How to choose an English Language Assessment Test for studying abroad 

Beginning your studies in a foreign institution is both exciting and challenging. An essential requirement for this journey is mastering the English language, which is usually verified through an English language assessment test. Making the right choice can be confusing, but this article will provide an in-depth guide for selecting the right test to reach your ultimate goal.

Understanding the English Language Assessment Test

The English language assessment test is more than just passing an exam. This rigorous and comprehensive assessment of your linguistic skills evaluates your analytical, reading, writing, and listening abilities. It is, in essence, a key that can unlock doors to academic institutions globally while ensuring you are ready to engage in coursework and live in an English speaking country.

Why are these English Language Tests essential?

English language proficiency tests are non-negotiable prerequisites for universities screening international students. The test score demonstrates your fluency and comprehension in English, which is the medium of instruction for most courses. Moreover, a good score can set you apart, positioning you as a strong candidate and enhancing your university application.

Top English Language Tests for studying abroad

Several recognized and standardized tests measure your command of English. Understanding each one’s nuances is key to making the right choice. Here’s a quick look:

  • Oxford ELLT: Oxford ELLT is conducted by Oxford International Education Group. There are two types of Oxford ELLT tests. The ELLT Global is a computer delivered in a test centre and you can take Oxford ELLT digital online from the comfort of your home. Oxford ELLT is accepted by universities in the UK, USA, Canada and Australia.
  • TOEFL or Test of English as a Foreign Language: This test is ideal if you are more comfortable with American English and are interested in studying in the United States, as it is widely accepted in U.S. institutions.
  • IELTS or International English Language Testing System: As a versatile and universally recognized test, IELTS caters to both American and British English. It is a preferred choice for many international students.
  • PTE Academic: If you prefer a computer-based evaluation, the PTE Academic offers this format along with widespread acceptance globally.
  • Cambridge English Exams: Whether you aim to study, work, or live your life using English, Cambridge English Exams can assess your language skill set.

Choosing the Right Test: Factors to Consider

Your choice of an English language assessment test will primarily depend on your specific circumstances. Here are factors to ponder:

  • University Requirements: Some universities may specify a preferred test. This information is often available on the university’s official website. Make sure to check this information before deciding on a test.
  • Cost: Price is an essential factor. While investing in your future, you have to maintain your current budget. Check for the tests’ pricing structures and select one that fits your financial capabilities.
  • Flexibility: This means how accessible the test delivery is. Does the test offer different modes (online/offline) and dates.
    • Test Center Locations: A test center near you will make your journey easier. Some tests like PTE Academic offer online options, which can be a considerable advantage, particularly during unforeseen circumstances such as the pandemic.
    • Test Dates: Scheduling is crucial. Find a test that offers suitable date options, giving you sufficient time for preparation—Plan based on your application deadlines.
  • Score Reporting Time: Various tests take different periods to issue test scores. Ensure your chosen evaluation will release your scores promptly to meet your university’s application deadline.
  • Test structure: Familiarize yourself with the format and structure of the tests. Do you perform better on multi-choice questions, or do you prefer descriptive answers? Other factors include the length of the test, the types of sections, and whether it is computer-based.
  • Preparation: Evaluate the time and resources you need to prepare for the test. Free resources like online practice tests can be beneficial.

Ready to start preparing? Use the following tips:

  • Leverage Study Guides: A well-prepared study guide will familiarize you with the test layout and the kind of questions you should anticipate.
  • Practice: Taking mock tests is the most effective way to prepare. This helps you gauge the timing for each section and helps you adapt to the test format.
  • Attend Preparation Classes: Though this may come at an extra cost, a preparation class equips you with invaluable tools and strategies for the test.
  • Maintain Consistency: Regular, daily practice can be more beneficial than marathon sessions. Make practice a habit!

Facing Test Day

After all your dedicated preparation, on test day, remember to stay composed. You have earned this moment, so trust in your abilities. Make sure to arrive early, bringing all necessary items, which will typically be listed out by the test organizers.

Selecting the right English language assessment test is a significant step towards fulfilling your academic dreams. Therefore, choose wisely, prepare judiciously, and approach the test confidently. Your determination, coupled with meticulous preparation, will empower you to achieve a commendable score that opens pathways to global education. Here’s to your successful academic journey abroad! Best of luck!

Book your test today

Oxford ELLT

100% online

Prove English language

£120 fee

Oxford ELLT Global

Computer delivered at test centres

Prove English language

Specific dates

£120 fee


100% online

Instant result

£20 fee