Taking an English exam

Taking an English Exam

When studying English it is important to think about why you are taking an English exam. There may be a few reasons why you decide to take one:

  • Visa requirements
  • For a job
  • Personal motivation
  • University entry requirement
  • Business English

The key is to really think about whether you need to take an English exam and what type you should take. It can really motivate you to have a goal but it can also demotivate you and discourage you if it’s not right for you.

Thinking of taking an English language exam?

Here are some exams that you can take:

  • IELTS – typically taken for visa entry requirements, for a university degree or to work in the medical profession for example. It is valid for two years and you will be asked by the institution beforehand what score is required.
  • Cambridge – this is often the most recognised exam for employers although this depends where you live. For example in Japan the TOEFL exam is more recognised. The B2 First (formerly known as the First Certificate) is typically what employers will look for. This is an upper-intermediate level. Other exams include A2 Key (KET), B1 Preliminary (PET), C1 Advanced (CAE) and C2 Proficiency (CPE). There is no validity period for this exam.
  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) – This is a standardised academic English test principally taken by students applying to universities in the United States. It is also accepted as proof of English ability by some universities outside the United States as well.
  • IELTS Life Skills exam – This exam is usually needed for family route migrants such as spouses looking to move to the UK. An A1, A2 or B1 level is required depending on your circumstances.

Where and when can I take the exam?

You can take these exams almost anywhere in the world. On the websites of each of the organisations you can find the closest exam centre to you and you can even enrol for an exam online. TOEFL and IELTS offer exams almost every week whereas Cambridge English exams are only offered a few times a year, so be sure to plan ahead.

If you do a preparation course with Monty then we can help you enrol for the exam and pass it, of course!

Have a listen to our podcast episode about taking an English language exam: