English language tests and exams
Which test or exam should I take?
You must first consider what your needs are and only then compare the English tests and exams below to find one that is appropriate for you. The tests and exams below are the most well-known and widely accepted for higher education, work and visa purposes. However, they are not all recognised equally by government agencies, employers or universities so please check the websites carefully to make sure that your score will be accepted by the relevant organisation.
International English Language Testing System (IELTS) offers a general and academic test, but both test your language skills in reading, writing, listening and speaking.
IELTS is the most
widely accepted test by universities and colleges and is the only language test accepted in
support of visa applications to the UK. It can be taken through the British Council in
IELTS uses a
banding system to grade tests from 1-9. As with all the tests and exams mentioned here, it is important to ensure that you understand the format of the test and
prepare properly in advance.
TOEFL is another well-known English academic test,
widely accepted by educational institutions around the world and
available to take in all the countries with an AKU campus.
Free test preparation resources are available, including test questions and sample responses to speaking and writing questions.
Pearson offers a computer-based academic English test,
PTE Academic, and a paper-based general English test,
PTE General. PTE Academic is widely accepted by
organisations in Australia and North America but is not currently available in
Cambridge English offer a range of exams suitable for different levels and needs. You are invited to take this
short multiple-choice test to find out which test might best meet your needs.
You can use this search facility to find an exam centre near you.
Sample tests and exam guides are provided by Cambridge to help you prepare.
Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) is an attempt to standardise the levels of language exams in different regions. The English tests and exams above can be mapped to the 6 levels of the CEFR. These six reference levels are increasingly accepted as the standard for assessing language proficiency.
PTE General Level 1
PTE Academic 30-42
PTE General Level 2
PTE Academic 43-58
Cambridge English First (FCE)
PTE General Level 3
PTE Academic 59-75
Cambridge English Advanced (CAE)
PTE General Level 4
PTE Academic 76-84
Cambridge English Proficiency (CPE)
PTE General Level 5
PTE Academic 85+