English Language Proficiency Tests

10 Major English Language Proficiency Tests (Update 2024)

No matter where you go in Europe, you would need proof of your English proficiency to get a Visa. International students also need to show their credible English proficiency results to apply for any program abroad. You can guess the importance of having an English proficiency certificate to apply for programs, jobs, for communication and more.

But different countries accept different credible results based on some standards such as scholarly English proficiency, communicative skills and more. If you are wondering whether to sit for an English proficiency test, then do check out this list of all the credible English language proficiency tests.


One of the most well known and commonly used English proficiency tests is the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). For getting accepted by American universities, this test is one of the two tests that you must take. The current level is called TOEFL iBT. The exam lasts for 3 hours and has 4 language sections (Reading , listening , speaking, and writing). Each section is worth 30 points. The format can be center based, home edition or paper edition. Based on the location, on average the test costs up to $200 USD. 

2. IELTS-Academic Version

To get into many universities or jobs across the globe, you would need to take the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). It is widely accepted and has two versions. One for the academic version and the other one is the general training version. The length of the exam is 2 hours and 45 minutes. The academic version is required for admissions and the other is for getting work permits. Similar to TOEFL, it has 4 sections of language acquiring skills. The format of the test varies with different exercises such as multiple choice, matching, short answers, diagram labeling and more. On average, the test costs approximately $245 USD. 

3. GRE or Graduate Record Examinations

The GRE (Graduate Record Examination) is not known as a separate English language proficiency test rather a logical test. But for applying in many educational institutions in Germany and other countries, this test has a notable section to test English. The test is two types: General and Subject. With its 6 sections, the examinee has to answer quantitative, verbal and analytical writing questions. It’s a difficult and time consuming exam and a good score earns a great chance while applying for many educational institutions.

Check this list of top English Speaking Countries by Population.

4. GMAT or Graduate Management Admission Test

Similar to GRE, the GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) is also not a language test per se, but a logic test. It cannot be directly known as an English language proficiency test. However, acing at the English section of the test is itself a great factor. For MBA programs abroad, this test is a notable test. Similar to GRE, this test has tough questions requiring analytical and critical thinking. The challenging part of the language test has verbal and writing parts to answer. 

5. PTE or Pearson Test of English Academic

PTE (Pearson Test of English Academic) exam is a standardized test evaluating English proficiency. Those candidates who want to work or study abroad in an English speaking country, this test is a credible test to take. In order to complete the test and attain the score, the candidate has to attend the Pearson’s test center where you use the computer and headset to read, listen and provide answers. The three sections of the test are listening, speaking and writing. The test’s range of overall score is 10 to 90 points. 

6. OET

Accurate for the doctors and healthcare professionals, Occupational English Test or OET is a highly prescribed English proficiency test. For communicating with the patients, their families and for internal requirements, this test is based on real-life task scenarios and interactions, the candidates can appear in the test offline or online at the designated test center. This test is highly accepted and trusted by hospitals and universities in the UK, Ireland, New Zealand, the USA and Dubai. 

7. EF Standard English Test

A well-known standardized test for the non-native English language is the EF Standard English Test. Based on the model of IELTS and TOEFL, this test has two versions. Both versions assess your reading and listening skills in English language. The test does not test writing or speaking comprehension. One version is a 15-minute test and the other a 50-minute test, which assesses the score based on CEFR. 


The TOEIC test is an English language assessment based on the CEFR framework. This test is suitable for proving the English language level internationally. The candidates can choose between two tests, one if listening and reading, and the other one is speaking and writing. There is also an option of combining both the tests and testing all four language skills at once. The entire test of 4 skills takes more than 3 hours and you can expect the results within 15 days. 

9. Linguaskill

Linguaskill Anywhere is a certified test according to the CEFR level. It tests the candidate’s comprehensive English skill. It is a computer-based test which assesses three language skills including reading, writing and speaking. For everyday formal and professional situations, this test is a quality test. You can get the results within 48 hours. It is a reliable test which is accepted by the University of Cambridge. 

10. Harver

Harver is an oral English test. It is to test the candidate’s fluency, word choice and pronunciation. Based on the oral expression assessment, this test can also be customized. This innovative test also evaluates verbal interaction aspects like fluency, speaking speed, and hesitations. There is no written expression and the scoring is automated so not many places accept it. 

Whether you are planning to go to the UK or any other European country, having an English language proficiency test result would enable you many opportunities that you wouldn’t want to miss. 

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