What Are Some Ways to Test English Speaking Skills?


Quick Answer

Two of the most common ways to test English-speaking skills are to take the International Language Testing System test, or IELTS, and the Test of English as a Foreign Language, or TOELF. The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, abbreviated as CEFR, is also a common exam to assess English-speaking skills.

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The IELTS, which was created in 1989, has become one of the most popular English language tests in the world, as of 2015. IELTS is an international standardised test of English language proficiency for non-native English speakers. In 2014, 2.5 million tests have been taken across the globe. IELTS is accepted by most Australian, British, Canadian and New Zealand academic institutions and by more than 3,000 academic institutions in the United States. It is required for immigration to Australia and New Zealand and is the only language test approved by U.K. Visas and Immigration.

The TOEFL, is a standardized test of English language ability for non-native English speakers who want to apply to American universities. TOEFL contains four parts to assess all four essential skills of English: listening, reading, writing and speaking. However, unlike IELTS, TOELF has two formats: an Internet-based test and a paper-based test. The Internet-based format has progressively replaced the paper-based format since its introduction in late 2005. In the TOEFL Internet-based test, the answers of test takers are digitally recorded for evaluation.

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