There are a large number of English exams available and the majority
of these are taken by people aiming to get into university. Here is a
rundown of the major exams available.
This exam is ideal for those
seeking places in universities in England, Australia and New
This exam is for students
who wish to study in the US and Canada.
- Cambridge Main Suite
This suite of exams is designed for to cover a wide-range of age
ranges and abilities.
Most universities will not require you to sit an English exam
if you have taken English GCSEs, A-levels or SATs.
Exam suites compared
|0 - 250
||0 - 30
||0 - 8
||0 - 1
|33 - 60
||9 - 18
||1 - 1.5
|255 - 400
||63 - 90
||19 - 29
||2 - 2.5
|93 - 120
||30 - 40
||3 - 3.5
|405 - 600
||123 - 150
||41 - 52
|153 - 180
||53 - 64
||4.5 - 5
|605 - 780
||183 - 210
||65 - 78
||5.5 - 6
|213 - 240
||79 - 95
||6.5 - 7
||C1 (Effective proficiency)
|785 - 900
||243 - 270
||96 - 110
||7.5 - 8
|905 - 990
||273 - 300
||111 - 120
||8.5 - 9
Which is easier?
- TOEIC is the easiest, because it doesn't test as many elements
in English language.
- If you are strong at speaking then IELTs is a good bet.
- The TOEFL® ibt is much harder to beat with exam preparation
courses than previous editions of the test, however if you learn
academic specific vocabulary it is still easier than the Cambridge
- The Cambridge suite-exams require a good all-round knowledge
of English and are harder to beat with exam oriented lessons.
Which is the most widely recognised?
- TOEIC is only really recognised in Japan and South Korea
- TOEFL® is excellent for American universities
- IELTs should be your choice for British, Australian and New
- The Cambridge suite are recognised by most British universities
and a number of other establishments around the world. The Cambridge
suite does NOT have an expiry date, so you can use a Cambridge
pass for life.
What about BULATs and the European Framework?
- BULATs is a commercial exam, which companies use to measure
the English of their employees
- The common EU framework is designed to provide a standard across
European languages and is being used by a number of organisations
to standardise their testing.
This exam is for employers in S.Korea and Japan.
MUET is a Malaysian examination used in local universities and
is often demanded for students to graduate or enter university.
Resources on this Website
The resources below are for general revision. Resources for individual exams can be found in their exam pages.
- Exam Feedback Handout (40KB PDF)
A quick way to give exam feedback that ensures students look at more than just their marks. This could be done via self, peer or teacher to student feedback sessions.
- Diamond 9 Revision resource (110KB PDF)
This resource helps students to think about the importance of revision and how they might want to revise. It is also a useful Thinking and Speaking exercise.
- Revision Techniques Pack (696KB PDF)
This pack includes six of the best revision techniques, exercises, a handout for students and Teacher's Notes.
- Revision Starter Exercise (244KB PDF)
A starter exercise to encourage students to think about the benefits of revision.