toefl guide

Do I need to take the TOEFL?

Madison Oster October 12th, 2021

Taking the TOEFL is not a simple and easy thing to do. Before you commit to studying and taking the test you should be sure that you really do need the test for your college or graduate program application. In addition, you should check the time frame in which to take it TOEFL and determine where your current English level is compared to the TOEFL standards.

TOEFL is not an easy test. Having good test taking skills and knowing many tricks and tips do help with taking the test, but nothing can really compensate for your English language skills. Therefore, taking the test when your ability is not up to it is a waste of time, money, and energy. In order to get a favorable result in your first try taking the test, you will need some planning and forethought. So…do you really need the TOEFL?

This article will help you to answer some questions before deciding to register for the TOEFL. You should understand what the TOEFL can and cannot do for you before registering for the test.

What English certification do you need?

Don’t assume that TOEFL is the only English proficiency certification you can get. Many programs of study and employers require proof of English competence, but don’t specify what certifications they need to be exact. In cases like those, you will have more than one option and you can choose which one is the most appropriate test for you.

The IELTS and the TOEFL are the two most widely-accepted and most popular English tests. Yet, they are not the only ones. There are other types of English proficiency tests such are ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview, Cambridge English Assessments, and some others. There are plenty of resources online to help you compare and choose a test that is most appropriate for you. Consider all aspects of a test: pricing, time offering, location, level of difficulty and program acceptance. After considering all those, if you still find TOEFL is the best test for you, of course, go for the TOEFL test then.

For students

Generally, the schools and programs you are applying to will ask for your proof of English proficiency. You may need to take an exam with an academic English component in order to prove that your English level is appropriate for upper-level academic English. Since you need a well-rounded set of skills including Speaking, Writing, Reading, and Listening to be successful with your high education study, any test that provides less than the proof of proficiency for all four skills at once will probably be rejected by your university. Reasons like this are why the TOEFL and IELTS are popular with students who are seeking to study at high-level education universities.

Besides submitting a test score, you can prove otherwise. If you have done significant coursework in English whether in an English speaking country, at your home country, or lived in an English speaking country for a long period of time, you can check with the programs and schools you are applying to about situations like these. Many schools allow you to opt out of any English proficiency test if you can prove your English skills through other means. An extended stay in an English-speaking country may be an efficient way to get you out of an English proficiency test, which is not only tiring and stressful, but also expensive.

For professionals

Nowadays, Speaking English well opens new doors full of opportunities for aspiring professionals. Many students are now learning English for job-related reasons instead of for school. If you think you will need an English proficiency exam, start preparing yourself early. Do not wait until you get an offer or find the job of your dreams. Start now, otherwise, preparing for the test in such a short period of time is stressful and you may not score as high as you would like.

On the other hand, the TOEFL is a great test for academic English speaking environments. It is not exactly the best English proficiency test for career-related goals, but still, it is one of the most widely recognized ones. There are many English proficiency tests out there, so do your research carefully and choose the one that is most appropriate to your ability and strengths….. as long as that test is accepted by the program you are applying for, of course.

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