TOEFL, TOEIC, IELTS, Cambridge: which test to choose?

With three hours of lessons per week, it is not always easy to progress in the language… Fortunately, there are effective methods for practicing at home.

Difficult to navigate with all these language tests. To sum up, two companies, one English (University of Cambridge) and the other American (ETS), share the market for English tests. For the moment, ETS has the advantage, but Cambridge intends to raise its head.

ETS tests

Certify your level of English to enhance your skills in the job market: TOEIC® tests

The TOEIC Bridge™ test (from 20 to 180 points) certifies the English level of beginner to intermediate level learners (CEFRL A1 to B2) in oral and written comprehension. The MCQ lasts approximately 1h30 and includes 100 questions. It’s a paper-and-pencil test.
Public price : €78 incl. VAT (bank charges included).
Where to pass it? Within an academic institution or language school (registration and administration of the test done by the institution) or in a public test center approved by ETS Global (individual registration) on the ETS Global site.

Red Arrow The TOEIC® Listening and Reading test (from 10 to 990 points) certifies written and oral comprehension skills in English used in a professional context for intermediate to advanced levels. This test is a MCQ of 2h30 and includes 200 questions. It’s a paper-and-pencil test. A B2 CEFR level is often required for graduation from engineering and business schools. Similarly, this minimum score is often requested during recruitment.
Public price : €114 including VAT (bank charges included).
Where to pass it? Within an academic institution or language school (registration and administration of the test done by the institution) or in one of the 110 public test centers approved by ETS Global (individual registration) on the ETS Global site.

Red Arrow The TOEIC® Speaking and Writing test (from 0 to 200 points for each skill) certifies the skills of oral and written expression in the English language used in a professional context for intermediate to advanced levels. This test lasts 20 minutes for the oral expression part and 60 minutes for the written expression part. The candidate answers open questions on a computer (it is therefore not a MCQ). The candidate’s answers are recorded and corrected by correctors certified by ETS.
Public price : €114 including VAT (bank charges included).
Where to pass it? Within an academic institution or language school (registration and administration of the test done by the institution) or in a center of the public test centers approved by ETS Global (individual registration) on the ETS Global site.

Certify your level of English to study in an English-speaking university: the TOEFL® test

Red Arrow The TOEFL iBT® test (from 0 to 120 points) assesses the level of academic English of candidates in comprehension and in oral and written expression. It lasts four hours. The candidate answers open-ended and multiple-choice questions on a computer. A minimum score of 90 points is often required for entry to English-speaking universities (English, Australian, American, Canadian, etc.).
Price : $240 (about €183).
Where to pass it? In the network of centers approved by ETS. List of test centers.

To prepare for all these tests, you can get the following books available for purchase on the ETS Global website:
Achieve TOEIC Bridge™ (Renald Rilcy) – 30.90€
Tactics for TOEIC® LISTENING & READING PACK (Grant Trew) – 46.00€
Tactics for TOEIC® SPEAKING & WRITING PACK (Grant Trew) – 46.00€
TOEFL® iBT: The Official ETS Study Guide (fourth edition) (ETS) – 25.89€

The Cambridge ESOL tests

Among the six tests offered by the certification department of the University of Cambridge, here are the four most interesting.

Red Arrow FCE (First Certificate Examination) of Cambridge (level B2, intermediate). Comprehension and written and oral expression. Level sufficient to enter an Anglo-Saxon university.
Price : between 145 and 179 €.

Red Arrow CAE (Certificate in Advanced English). Comprehension and written and oral expression. Level C1 (advanced level).
Price : between 159 and 190 €.

Red Arrow Proficiency in English (level C2, the highest). Comprehension and written and oral expression.
Price : from 162 to 192 €.

Red Arrow Bulats (Business Language Testing Service). Tests the level of business English (comprehension and oral and written expression).
Price : 145 € (or less if you only spend part of it).

Where to take these tests? British Council, 9, rue Constantine, 75007 Paris, tel. 01.49.55.73.00. And in several universities in the provinces. Information.

Also : IELTS (International English Language Testing System).

And also…
For German : the Goethe Institute organizes its exams. Two sessions per year, €150 for level C2 (allowing admission to a German university). Listings at goethe.de.
In Spanish : DELE (diploma de español como lengua extranjera). Two sessions per year, between 100 and 150 € depending on the level.

Leave a Comment