With the rise of new-age courses and technological progressions across industries, students who wish to be up to date with these advancements, choose to study abroad to build their professional profiles and have internationally distinguished qualifications under their belt.
To be qualified for an overseas education there are numerous requirements that have to be fulfilled to take up courses abroad. One such requirement is the English Proficiency Test; The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is the popularly opted-for tests across the globe.
The first step towards acing these tests is to understand the structure of the test. While both tests aim at a general goal, their administration is somewhat different.
The structure of the TOEFL examination includes: Reading (36-70 questions, 60-100 minutes), Listening (34-51 questions, 60-90 minutes), Speaking (6 tasks. 20 minutes), and Writing (2 tasks, 50 minutes). Usually, it takes about 4 hours to complete the entire test.
Whereas the structure of the IELTS examination includes: Listening (40 questions, 30 minutes), Reading (40 questions, 60 minutes), and Writing (2 tasks, 60 minutes). The Speaking tests consist of three parts (11-14 minutes. It usually takes about 2 hours and 45 minutes to complete.
Create a study plan
The key to succeeding in a Proficiency Test is preparation. Being prepared before the test is important. As the tests assess one’s English skills, students must form a study plan to include as much as possible to succeed at the test.
Take each section individually and build your skill-set in that particular section. To plan for the writing section, as there is a time limitation on this section, students are urged to practice their timing while writing. This will help improve writing speed within a timeframe.
To be ready for the Speaking and Reading sections, practice speaking English alone. By doing so, students listen to themselves and can find ways to enhance the portions that need attention. Students may also communicate with native English speakers to build their vocabulary and conversational abilities.
Aim at a score
Courses abroad have particular criteria for English Proficiency that needs to be accomplished to be eligible for admission. The criterion varies among universities and courses. Students should set their target score in mind and work towards reaching that score.
TOEFL scores are granted based on the level of performance delivered. Each test section has about 4 or 5 proficiency levels.
1. Reading and Listening: High (30-22), Intermediate (21-15), Low (14-0)
2. Speaking: Good (30-26), Fair (25-18), Limited (17-10), Weak (9-0)?
3. Writing: Good (30-24), Fair (23-17), Limited (16-1)
As for IELTS, the sections are graded cumulatively and the overall scores range between 1-9, where each scale is correlative to a specified competency in English:
1 = Non-user, 5 = Modest User, 7 = Good User, 9 = Expert User.
Practice using mock tests
Practice makes perfect. Students are urged to use mock tests to file their English skills as they plan to appear for the examinations. Practicing activities like Timed Writing, reviewing written grammar, etc. from study models will help measure progress as well. Using these guides, one can analyze mistakes and work towards becoming better. After a few weeks, the student may take another mock test and then compare both the scores to review for improvements.
Join Irish Expert’s coaching classes
Irish Expert has an exclusive coaching department for English Proficiency Tests that encourages and helps students prepare for their tests. Over a month, students are provided with the right skillsets that are engineered for victory and help students get a better score.