Preparing to study abroad: The TOEFL & IELTS Tests

If you desire to study abroad, preparation is key and that includes taking the right English tests either the TOEFL or IELTS. It is important to take advantage of opportunities to study abroad not only because there may be better institutions outside your home country, but largely because the exposure to different cultures and different lifestyles can make a tremendous difference in your general outlook, your decisions, and progress in life. Exposure to multicultural environments is very important, your imagination is triggered and you discover new systems. In Europe, the youth are encouraged to travel around the continent through various government funded programs. We do not have that privilege in Africa but thanks to numerous scholarships, you can still travel the world if your prepare and plan well.

It has always been advised that you start your preparations to study abroad at least a year in advance. This means deciding on the countries you want to study in, searching and selecting your programs, taking note of requirements, deadlines and scholarships and taking required tests. One of this requirements is an English test and here we talk of the 2 most widely accepted English tests – TOEFL & IELTS

  1. TOEFL: The TOEFL (Test of English as a foreign language) is the most widely respected English-language test in the world, recognized by more than 9,000 colleges, universities and agencies in more than 130 countries, including Australia, Canada, the U.K. ,United States and many European and Asian countries. This test examines and grades your ability to understand and work/ study in English at a higher academic level. In the United States, this is a requirement for all undergraduate and post graduate courses. In some European counties, this test or the IELTS is required for all undergraduate programs but not for post-graduate students if you have already studied your under-graduate degree in an English speaking country.

About the Test: The test can be taken either via internet TOEFL Ibt or paper based . The test measures your ability to use and understand English at the university level. And it evaluates how well you combine your listening, reading, speaking and writing skills to perform academic tasks. The test include reading section, listening section, writing and speaking sections. There are many organizations that offer test preparation for the TOEFL and help students to register for them. Visit these links for more information on TOEFL :;

2. IELTS: The IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is also a widely recognised English tests for admission to tertiary institutions in various institutions in the UK, United States, Europe, Australia and Asia. An IELTS certificate is recognised as evidence of proficiency in English by more than 10,000 education and training providers worldwide. Some universities in non-English speaking countries require an IELTS score, where courses are taught in English.. It reflects some of the features of academic language and assesses whether you are ready to begin studying or training. IELTS is available in two test versions: Academic – for people applying for higher education or professional registration, and General Training for those migrating to Australia, Canada and the UK, or applying for secondary education, training programmes and work experience in an English-speaking environment. Both versions provide a valid and accurate assessment of the four language skills: listening, reading, writing and speaking.

About the Test:

The IELTS test assesses your abilities in listening, reading, writing and speaking – in less than three hours. The Listening, Reading and Writing components of all IELTS tests are completed on the same day, with no breaks in between them. The Speaking component, however, can be completed up to a week before or after the other tests. Your test centre will advise. The total test time is 2 hours and 45 minutes. Learn more about the IELTS here: ,



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