Какой экзамен нужно сдавать?

Which test ( I mean English test) I should pass?

obrazovanieStudents need to take English tests, as well as other tests! Of course, learners need to take English tests at school, but they are often required to take English tests such as the TOEFL, IELTS, TOEIC or FCE. In a number of instances, you can decide which English test to take. This guide will help you begin to choose the best English test to take for your English learning needs and goals for both further education and career. Each of the major English tests are discussed and point towards more resources to study and prepare for these all important English tests.

To begin with, here are the major tests and their full titles

TOEFLTest of English as a Foreign Language
IELTSInternational English Language Testing System
TOEICTest of English for International Communication
FCEFirst Certificate of English
CAE — Certificate in  Advanced English
BULATSBusiness Language Testing Service
These English tests are created by two companies that dominate the English learning system word wide: ETS and University of Cambridge. TOEFL and TOEIC are provided by ETS and IELTS, FCE, CAE and BULATS are developed by University of Cambridge.

ETS

ETS stands for Educational Testing Service. ETS provides the TOEFL and the TOEIC test of English. It is an American company with headquarters in Princeton, New Jersey. ETS tests focus on North American English and computer based. Questions are almost exclusively multiple choice and ask you to choose from four choices based on information you have read, heard or have to deal with in some manner. Writing is also tested at the computer, so if you have difficulties typing you may have difficulties with these questions. Expect North American accents on all listening selections.

University of Cambridge

The University of Cambridge based in Cambridge, England is responsible for a wide range of English exams. However, the main international tests that are discussed in this overview are the IELTS the FCE and the CAE. For business English, the BULATS is also an option. Currently, the BULATS is not as popular as the other tests, but that may change in the future. The University of Cambridge is a dominate force in the entire English learning world, producing many English learning titles, as well as administering tests. Cambridge exams have a wide variety of question types including multiple choice, gap-fill, matching, etc. You will hear a wider variety of accents on University of Cambridge exams, but they tend towards British English.

Which English Test Should I Take? — Objective

The first and most important question to ask yourself when choosing your English test is:

Why do I need to take an English test?

Choose from the following for your answer:

  • I need to take an English test for study at University
  • I need to take an English test to get a job or improve my career
  • I want to improve my overall skills in English, but not necessarily for a purpose such as getting a better job or going to a university
  • Study for University

If you need to take an English test for study at university or in an academic setting you have a few choices. To focus solely on academic English, take the TOEFL or the IELTS academic. Both are used as qualifications for entrance into universities. There are some important differences. Many universities around the world now accept either tests, but they are more common in certain countries.

TOEFL — Most common exam for study in North American (Canada or United States)
IELTS — Most common exam for study in Australia or New Zealand

FCE and CAE are more general in nature, but are often requested by universities throughout the European Union. If you live in the European Union, the best choice is either the FCE or the CAE.

Free TOEFL Exam Preparation
Free IELTS Exam Preparation
FCE Exam Preparation
CAE Exam Preparation Resources

Study for Career

If career motivations are the most important reason in your choice of English test, take either the TOEIC or the IELTS general test. Both of these tests are requested by many employers and test an understanding of English as used in the workplace, as opposed the academic English which is tested in the TOEFL and IELTS academic. Also, the FCE and CAE are excellent tests for developing overall English language skills in a wide range of areas. If your employer is not specifically asking for the TOEIC or the IELTS general, I would highly recommend considering the FCE or CAE.

Free IELTS Exam Preparation
Free IELTS Exam Preparation

General English Improvement

If your goal in taking an English test is to improve your overall English, I would highly recommend taking the FCE (First Certificate in English) or, for more advanced learners, the CAE (Certificate in Advanced English). In my years of teaching English, I find these tests to be most representative of English usage skills. They test all aspects of English learning and the English tests themselves are very reflective of how you would use English in everyday life.

FCE Exam Preparation
CAE Exam Preparation Resources

For more information from the provider of these tests you can visit the following sites:

TOEFL — Test of English as a Foreign Language
IELTS — International English Language Testing System
TOEIC — Test of English for International Communication
FCE — First Certificate of English
CAE — Certificate in  Advanced English
BULATS — Business Language Testing Service
More Free English Test Help
Preparing for the IELTS
Free TOEIC Preparation
TOEFL — Test of English as a Foreign Language
More Exam Resources
TOEFL IELTS and FCE
Cambridge Exams FCE CAE Proficiency
British/Cambridge Exams
TOEFL, IELTS, Cambridge Examination Preparation
Take a Test
TOEIC — Test of English for International Communication
Effectively Taking the TOEFL, TOEIC, First Certificate, Proficiency or CAE
Differences Between American and British English
How to Take a Test

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