Want To Study Abroad? How To Choose An English Language Proficiency Test?

Want To Study Abroad? How To Choose An English Language Proficiency Test?

As more Indian students aspire to study abroad, it’s important to know how to choose an English language test for better admission prospects.

Sachin JainUpdated: Sunday, April 07, 2024, 10:27 PM IST
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An increasing number of Indian students are choosing to study abroad. According to the Ministry of External Affairs, in 2023, over 1.3 million Indian students were pursuing their higher education in 79 countries with the largest number of students studying in the USA, Canada, the UK and Australia. This number is expected to increase to 2.5 million in the next five years.   

This rising interest in international education underscores the critical role of English language proficiency tests, such as the TOEFL iBT test, in allowing potential students access to global institutions. Irrespective of whether an Indian student intends to pursue undergraduate graduate or post-graduate studies abroad, the English language proficiency test is almost a mandatory requirement.

What’s to be considered while choosing an English language assessment?

Students should choose such assessment tests that meet the following criteria:

Recognised by foreign universities: Students should verify the preferred or required tests by the universities they target to align with their admission criteria.

According to visa requirements: Certain countries such as Canada, Australia, etc. have an approved list of English language proficiency tests along with scores based on which the student visas are granted. Students should have a knowledge of country-specific requirements of English language tests based on their target universities.

Countries with expedited student visa approvals: Certain countries such as Canada have special student visa routes such as the Student Direct Scheme (SDS) that allows students from specific countries such as India to apply under the SDS route which enables the grant of visa within 20 days v/s four to six weeks in the normal course. 

Global acceptance: There is a rising trend amongst students aspiring to study abroad to apply to multiple universities in different countries. Hence, students should choose a test that is globally and most widely acceptable.

Test duration: English language proficiency tests that are most widely accepted globally have a duration ranging between two to three hours.

Test format: The tests can be paper-based or online. For most students, online tests are more convenient.

Test results: The speed of test results is very critical in the application planning process.

The author is the Country Manager, ETS India & South Asia

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