The admissions directors of foreign universities are looking for students who are highly motivated, resourceful, and capable of integrating quickly into school life.
One of the ways to show that you have all these qualities is by providing proof of sufficient knowledge of the language you need for your studies. Why is this so important?
A language certificate is required by most universities because the score serves as proof of your language skills. Note that it's up to universities to decide on the required test and the minimum score.
English proficiency test for university admission
Most universities where English is used as a language of communication require TOEFL or IELTS scores to measure the language proficiency of the candidates. These two tests evaluate the level of English language proficiency in a more academic context, while the TOEIC focuses on business English skills. Hence, these two tests are designed to evaluate the language skills of the candidates and thus their capacity to understand the material taught in class and settle into life on campus.
The universities decide on the minimum score requirements on the basis of the level of language used during the course. The required score typically varies from university to university but it can also vary within the same university across different programmes.
Achieving a high score requires preparation
Before sitting for a language proficiency exam, ensure that it is required by the university to which you plan to apply. To achieve the required score, it is vital to get the necessary training. An efficient preparation for language proficiency tests under real conditions would allow you to learn how to manage your time best and be more confident on the day of the exam.
Both the TOEFL and IELTS test:
- Your motivation: To obtain the desired score in a particular test, you should not simply read and speak English from time to time. You have to train intensively and consistently to achieve your goal. Language tests have different formats and require specific knowledge of the instructions, structure, and topics that you can come across during the test.
- Your resourcefulness: You will have to register, practise, and take the test within certain time limits. All this calls for a certain amount of resourcefulness.
- Your ability to integrate: The score that you achieve will reveal your level of language proficiency. If you get a good enough score in the TOEFL or IELTS, admissions officers would deem you able to integrate in an English-speaking environment, understand the courses, and interact with your classmates and teachers.
In most cases, the TOEFL is required by North American universities, while the IELTS is the test of choice for universities in commonwealth countries, such as Australia. However, this is not a hard-and-fast rule. As we already said, every university chooses its own language test!
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