“Language is to the mind more than light is to the eye

-- William Gibson


English Levels:


There are several English language exams available that assess and certify proficiency in the English language. Here are some well-known English language exams:


  1. TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language): To evaluate and ascertain the degree of English proficiency among international students, the Educational Testing Services (ETS) administers the TOEFL, a common English language test.

The reading, writing, speaking, and listening components of the TOEFL exam are used to gauge a candidate's proficiency in the English language. Numerous educational institutions in English-speaking nations like the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and others accept the exam on a broad scale.


TOEFL Exam Pattern: The exam pattern consists of 4 sections: 


Reading: Time duration of this section: 54 to 72 minutes

Total number of questions: 30–40 questions

Three to four passages make up the reading portion of the TOEFL exam, which measures your ability to read, comprehend, and provide the right response to a text. The excerpts, which are typically taken from publications for higher education, cover themes based on common problems. The TOEFL total score range for this section is 0 to 30.


 Listening:  Time duration of this section: 54-72 minutes

Total number of questions: 28-39 questions

Your ability to listen to and understand English in various accents is assessed in the listening part. To examine and summarise the information, you will receive 3–4 audio lectures and 2–3 audio dialogues. The audio could be of a speech, a gathering conversation, or a negotiation. The TOEFL total score range for this section is 0 to 30.


 Speaking:  Time duration of this section: 17 minutes

Total number of questions: 4 questions

The TOEFL exam pattern's speaking component evaluates your English communication skills. You must get ready to speak about the subject matter and share your perspective on it. As both a human and an AI-based rater evaluate the problems in this segment, it is regarded as the most difficult in the exam. The TOEFL total score range for this section is 0 to 30.


Writing: Time duration of this section: 50 minutes

Total number of questions: 2 questions

The writing component evaluates your capacity for written opinion expression. Your points should be precise and error-free if you want to get good marks. A writing essay and cross-functional exercises like integrated writing are used to evaluate your writing skills. The TOEFL total score range for this section is 0 to 30.


 TOEFL iBT test:  The acronym TOEFL iBT means "Test of English as a Foreign Language, Internet-based Test." It is a test of English competence that gauges how well non-native English speakers can comprehend and communicate in academic contexts. Universities, colleges, and other organisations in English-speaking nations commonly recognise the test as a prerequisite for entrance.


 The four primary language skills reading, listening, speaking, and writing—are evaluated on the TOEFL iBT. It is intended to gauge a person's proficiency in spoken and written English as well as their comprehension of academic texts written in the language. People who intend to study or work in an environment where English is spoken often take the test, which is fully online.


TOEFL iBT test Format:

Reading Section: How well you can read and comprehend items utilised in an academic setting is evaluated on the TOEFL iBT Reading part.

There are three or four reading portions totaling about 700 words each, and each passage has ten questions. Answering all of the section's questions will take you between 54 and 72 minutes.

Reading passages are sections of college-level textbooks that are used to introduce a subject. The texts touch on a range of topics. If you are unfamiliar with a passage's subject, don't be concerned. The passage will have all the details you need to respond to the questions. In case you need it, a glossary tool is included that defines uncommon words.


Listening Section: Your capacity to comprehend conversations and lectures in English is assessed on the TOEFL iBT Listening section. It involves paying attention to the speaker's mood, level of conviction, and basic comprehension as well as the connections between the content.

listening inquiries: In this part, you'll hear lectures and chats. Both speak in academic jargon.

3–4 3-5 minute lessons, some of which included class discussion; 6 questions each talk

2-3 conversations, each lasting three minutes, with five questions

Throughout the exam, you are allowed to make notes on any audio item to aid in answering questions. You have 41 to 57 minutes to finish the segment of the test.


 Speaking Section:  Your proficiency in academic English is assessed on the TOEFL iBT Speaking portion, which lasts 17 minutes. The four tasks/questions reflect real-world scenarios you might run across inside and outside of a classroom.

First Independent Speaking Task: Your response must be fully based on your own thoughts, judgements, and experiences.

Questions 2-4: Integrated Speaking Tasks: These questions demand you to use all three components of the English language, hearing, reading, and speaking, just as you would in or outside of a classroom. You will have 15 to 30 seconds to prepare for each response, and you will have 45 or 60 seconds to actually respond. You must talk into the microphone in order to react, and your comments will be recorded.


Writing Section: Your ability to write in English for academic purposes and to organise and express your ideas clearly is assessed on the TOEFL iBT Writing part.

There are two written assignments.

Integrated writing assignment (20 minutes): read a brief text, hear a brief lecture, and then write a response to what you have read and heard.

Write an essay based on personal experience or opinion in response to a writing prompt for an independent writing activity (30 minutes).

You'll use a computer keyboard to type your answers (or write them by hand for the TOEFL iBT Paper Edition).

You have 50 minutes to finish the Writing component of the test.


  1. IELTS (International English Language Testing System): One way to gauge someone's level of English language competence is to have them take the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam. The IELTS exam format was created primarily to assess non-native English speakers' fluency in the language. These exams are generally accepted by a number of educational institutions and companies worldwide since they provide a reliable assessment of a person's language proficiency.

For applicants to numerous educational institutions in the UK, the USA, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, and other countries, IELTS serves as evidence of English language proficiency. For students to be able to apply to their schools or universities, each nation has its own benchmark score. It is significant to remember that the scores may vary depending on the institution of higher learning to which you are applying. 


 There are two types of IELTS Exams patterns : Academic and General. While both assess your fundamental English abilities, each has a different goal. It's crucial to determine which IELTS exam will best serve your needs.

When we talk about IELTS Academic: 

Purpose: Suitable for those wishing to attend a foreign university.

IELTS exam format: It tests fundamental English abilities like speaking, listening, reading, and writing.

IELTS test curriculum: contains high-level, academic-specific scenarios.

It is to be taken by those who want to study abroad for their undergraduate, graduate, or other courses.


Whereas, IELTS General: 

It is more appropriate for those looking to move to an English-speaking nation. 

It also applies to those who want to start a job.

The IELTS exam format consists of tests of fundamental English abilities like speaking, listening, reading, and writing.

The IELTS exam schedule tests the abilities needed in social and professional settings.

It is meant to be taken by those who want to immigrate or start a job abroad.


The Exam Pattern is as follows: 

Section: Listening

The 40 questions in the listening segment, divided into four parts, are the same for both the Academic and General IELTS examinations. As you move through the exam, the difficulty level rises, and each question has a distinct subject or accent.

While you are listening to the excerpts, you can type or write the answers. The listening test must be finished in 30 minutes by the candidate.


Section: Speaking

The speaking portion of the IELTS exam is regarded as being the most important. An 11–14 minute in-person interview will be used to analyse and appraise your speaking abilities. 

The interviewer would chat with the candidate in three separate segments to gauge their English-speaking proficiency while engaging in a variety of conversations. Both the Academic and General versions of the IELTS exam use the same syllabus for this part.


Section: Reading

There are 40 questions in the reading component of the IELTS exam, broken up into three categories. The questions must be answered within 60 minutes. For the academic and general editions, the syllabus is different.


Section: Writing

You have 60 minutes to prepare two 200–250 word short descriptive essays for the writing test. The IELTS Academic and General versions have a similar general task, but the questions' concepts are different.


  1.  Cambridge English Exams:  Numerous exams are available from Cambridge Assessment English, including Cambridge English: Preliminary (PET), Cambridge English: First (FCE), Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE), and Cambridge English: competency (CPE), for students at various competency levels. These tests, which are generally accepted for academic and professional purposes, evaluate all language proficiency.


  1.  TOEIC (Test of English for International Communication):  The Educational Testing Service created the TOEIC, or Test of English for International Communication, as a standardised test of language proficiency. This test is available for non-native speakers and instead of evaluating language proficiency in an academic setting, it concentrates on the communication abilities needed in the workplace.

This test is offered in more than 160 nations and is recognised by more than 14,000 organisations, making it a better option for candidates to demonstrate their language skills to potential employers. The four components of language proficiency that make up the test are speaking, listening, writing, and speaking. In contrast to exams like the TOEFL and IELTS, ETS offers two tests for the TOEIC: the Speaking, Writing, and Listening and Reading Sections, which applicants can take independently depending on the skill set needed in their line of work.


Depending on the level of language proficiency required in their line of work, candidates can choose from a variety of TOEIC tests. Both of these test formats cover various facets of language proficiency, which are divided into the following categories: 


Speaking and Writing Test, which can be taken by applicants who want to concentrate on speaking and writing for the advancement of their careers. The candidate may choose to take each of these parts independently. Writing skills are ones needed for creating business correspondence like emails, whereas speaking skills are ones needed for holding face-to-face contact, videoconferencing, teleconferencing, etc.


Test of hearing and reading comprehension (TOEIC): This section of the exam focuses on the listening abilities necessary for effective face-to-face communication in meetings, videoconferences, teleconferences, and even telephone calls. In order to understand and communicate through emails, written reports, newsletters, and regular business correspondence, the candidate's reading skills are also emphasised.


TOEIC Bridge Test: Candidates who are studying a language for the first time or at a lower-intermediate level should take the TOEIC Bridge Test. By using the test, they will be able to evaluate where they stand and develop their knowledge in the same area.


  1.  PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English Academic) : PTE Academic is an English language proficiency exam administered by Pearson. It assesses listening, reading, speaking, and writing skills. It is widely accepted by universities and institutions around the world.


 Writing & Speaking:  There are seven different question categories in this 54-67 minute section of the exam. It is the test's longest section. English that you might hear in an academic setting will be used to assess your speaking and writing abilities.


Reading and Writing: There are five different question categories in this 29 to 30 minute section of the test. One item type ('Reading and Writing: Fill in the Blanks') on the PTE Academic measures writing abilities because it is an integrated skills test.


 Listening:  There are eight different question categories in this 30- to 43-minute section of the exam. The audio or video clips that provide the basis for the questions start to play automatically. Each audio or video clip is only heard once. You're free to jot down notes.


  1.  OET (Occupational English Test):  The OET is specifically designed for healthcare professionals who wish to work in English-speaking countries. It assesses language proficiency in a healthcare context and is recognized by regulatory healthcare bodies and employers.


The exam structure is as follows:


 Listening Part A:  Your capacity to recognise certain information will be evaluated by the pattern of OET Listening Part A.

Two talks, or "extracts," between a medical expert and a patient are being played for you. You will see written cake notes with vacant spaces on your OET answer sheet (or on the screen if you are doing the OET on a computer).


 Listening Part B:  Your ability to comprehend the main idea, or "gist," of a brief excerpt is tested in Listening Part B. If you are taking OET on paper, you must complete this portion on a computerised response sheet using a number 2B pencil. If you don't submit your answers correctly, you risk losing points, so pay close attention to the instructions.


 Listening Part C:  Although the extracts are longer, the syllabus for Listening Part C is essentially similar to Listening Part B. Your capacity to comprehend and follow a presentation or an interview will be put to the test on the Listening Part C syllabus. These audio clips cover general medical subjects that are appropriate for all professions.


  1.  The CELPIP (Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program): Individuals can demonstrate their proficiency in English by taking the CELPIP Exam. The exam evaluates a test-taker's English proficiency in a range of real-world settings, including chatting with friends, reading newscasts, and interpreting and responding to written materials. It does this in a clear, accurate, and precise manner. The CELPIP exam is designed specifically for Canadian immigration, citizenship, and professional designation purposes. The CELPIP exam evaluates four language skills: listening, reading, writing, and speaking.

The exam structure is as follows:


Format for the Celpip Speaking Test (duration is 20 minutes):

Speaking talents of candidates are tested by the CELPIP Speaking part. Eight distinct Tasks plus a practice test make up this portion. In the majority of activities, you will have 60 to 90 seconds to talk on the assigned topic or in accordance with the guidelines. You will have approximately 30 seconds for preparation before speaking on each assigned subject. 


 Task 1:  Giving Advice: In this activity, you are given 30 seconds to be ready before speaking for the following 90 seconds about the topic at hand. Keep in mind that you must offer counsel to the designated individual in this work, such as your sibling, sister, or friend. Here is an added piece of advice. Make three parts to your response. You describe your qualifications for advising that person in the first section. Now, in the second section, you offer any suggestions you may have, and in the third, you provide the justifications and talk about the drawbacks or disadvantages of the alternate option. Remember to correctly manage closure because most students tend to just keep talking without paying attention to the conclusion, which is equally vital for a decent grade.


 Task 2:  Talking about a Personal Experience: You will be required to discuss a personal experience for this work. Once more, you will have 30 seconds to prepare. However, unlike part 1, you will only have 60 seconds to respond. This is only one minute, which is not much time to share a personal story. Here are a few pointers that will help you speak more quickly. Divide your response once more into three sections: first, introduce or briefly discuss yourself; second, discuss your experience; and third, correctly close. There are follow-up questions in some of the questions, so you must respond to each of them and provide further information.


 Task 3:  Describing a Scene: You will be given an image to describe in this homework. Once more, you have 30 seconds to get ready and 60 seconds to talk on the provided image. The majority of students immediately begin discussing each and every item in the image, but it is impossible to explain everything in just 60 seconds. Instead, we must pick the items to be discussed very carefully, and once the appropriate items have been chosen, we must speak about each of them. The best course of action at this point is to first give a general explanation of the image, then pick out a person or object that is in the foreground and talk about them before moving on to the next. Always have the closure in mind.


 Task 4 : Making Predictions: You will be given an image for this job once more, but this time, rather than describing it as we did for task 3, you will be asked to predict what might happen next. The majority of students continue to discuss the image as if they are tackling task 3, but remember that this task requires making predictions. The best method to approach assignment 4 of the speaking section is to begin by explaining the general picture in one line, then turn your attention to each individual object or person and forecast what they might do next. Try to provide a justification for your predictions in this section; doing so will help you perform well on this particular task.


 Task 5:  Comparing and Persuading: As is obvious from the task name, this activity consists of two sections or two possibilities. Your objective is to compare the two options and persuade a known individual to accept your recommendation from the available options. You will have 30 seconds to get ready and 60 seconds to persuade someone else of your point of view. Here is a strategy to help you succeed in this task: acknowledge the other alternative, then share your decision with the other individual, and finally, provide justification for your choice. Most of the time, you address a member of your family or a close acquaintance.


 Task 6 : Dealing with a Difficult Situation: You will encounter a challenging situation in this stage, where you must select one of the two provided alternatives and communicate with the individual specified in that selection. In contrast to the majority of the assignments, this one will offer you 60 seconds to do it. You will try to persuade the individual you know for 60 seconds as to why you have selected that certain course of action. It's best to break up your response into three sections: the first section should contain your decision, the second should include your justifications, and the third should have a workable solution.


 Task 7: Expressing Opinions:  One of the two jobs, expressing opinions, requires you to speak for around 90 seconds. Once more, you have 30 seconds to prepare, so attempt to maximise that time. You must express your views in this work in accordance with the prompt. Here is a breakdown of the information in your reply to the speaking task 7 score you received. First, express your opinion. Then, support it with good arguments and thorough justification. Similar to the responsibility of delivering counsel, a strong argument must be made in order to receive a high grade. Finally, a successful conclusion will ensure high scores.


 Task 8: Describing an Unusual Situation:  The majority of the time, the photographs you are requested to explain are not realistic, making this task one of the hardest ones. We need to prepare for this assignment as well; you can't just dismiss it because it's a little challenging. The good news is that you only have 60 seconds to speak about the provided photo after 30 seconds for preparation. Most of the time, when you phone someone to describe the scenario, you'll be doing so to explain the situation first. Then, after describing it briefly, you can continue to add information before ending the call.


Format for the Celpip Listening Test (50 minutes):

The CELPIP Listening part is a top-notch examination of candidates' listening skills. This component consists of a practice test and six distinct parts. Each portion is played once, and candidates have around 6 minutes to listen and respond. You must pay close attention to each passage because you cannot replay it. Even though each section is given the same amount of time, there are different numbers of questions in each passage, which we shall explore later. The listening section of Celpip is divided into the following sections:


Part 1: Listening to Problem Solving: In this portion, two persons are conversing, and then questions are asked. There are a total of 8 questions and 3 conversations in this particular section. Following the initial conversation, you will be required to respond to three questions. The next dialogue and the following three questions will be heard after 10 seconds of preparation. Once more, you will have 10 seconds to prepare before the last discussion and final two questions are played.

You must select one of the four photographs as your answer to the first question on this test. Each dialogue lasts for about one to two minutes and is only played once. Each dialogue lasts for about one to two minutes and is only played once.There is no need to emphasise how carefully you should listen to each of them before selecting the best option from the list.


Part 2: Listening to daily life conversation: The "Listening to daily life conversation" segment consists of a two-person chat followed by five questions. topic participants will talk about their everyday problems before questions are posed in response to the topic. You must choose the best response from a list of four options for each of the multiple-choice questions. You will have around 30 seconds to listen to the question and select the appropriate response. You won't have a break for preparation like you did in part one of the listening segment.


Part 3: Listening for information: You will hear a clip for around two to two and a half minutes in this task before answering six questions. In this case, questions are not written; instead, you will hear them one at a time. Only the four possibilities or you can choices are shown on the screen. Now, in order to perform well on this particular activity, you must remember the following:


1. Pay attention to what others are saying or debating.

2. What issue or topic are they talking about?

3. Pay attention to the information's details because you might be questioned about them.

4. You should pay attention to the location of the conversation as well as the locations that are being discussed.


Part 4: Listening to News Item: You will hear each news item in this section only once, for a total of around one and a half minutes. The question will then be posed after a man or woman reads the news in the same manner as you would hear it on the radio or television. The audio sample lasts for almost 1.5 minutes.

There are a total of five questions with four possible answers. In contrast to part 3, questions in this portion are written, allowing you to read the question or statement and choose the best response


Part 5: Listening to a discussion: This section differs from the others in that it contains a video clip rather than an audio clip. There aren't many individuals talking or chatting in this 1.5 to 2 minute video clip. You must pay close attention to what they are saying because eight questions about this video clip will be presented to you at the conclusion.

You must choose the best answer out of four possibilities for each question, just as you did in the earlier parts. Keep your pen and paper close by to take notes if you feel like they are giving you information—or should I say potential information—about which one of the questions may be based.


Part 6: Listening to viewpoints: The listening segment concludes with this. A person will express their thoughts on a specific topic or object in this section. You must pay close attention and take notes on the facts you learn.

Since there are no audio questions in this section, read the questions carefully and choose from the available four answers. This section's audio, which lasts for around 3 minutes, is followed by six multiple-choice questions.


Format for the Celpip Reading Test (55 minutes):

The CELPIP Reading part is a highly effective way to assess candidates' reading skills. This segment consists of one practice test and four distinct parts. Following is a list of the many sections of the Celpip Reading section:

CELPIP Practise Reading Assignments

Part 1:Reading the correspondence

Part 2: Reading to Apply a Diagram 

Part 3: Informational Reading

Part 4: Reading for Points of View


Format for the Celpip Writing Test (53 minutes):

The CELPIP Writing portion is a highly effective way to gauge a candidate's writing abilities. There are two parts to this section. The list of sections in the Celpip Writing section is as follows:

First Task: Composing an Email:

Second Task: Responding to survey questions.


  1. The Canadian Academic English Language (CAEL): Test gauges a student's level of competency in the language before they enrol in a Canadian university or college. One of the finest methods for determining which pupils have the necessary English proficiency for academic success is CAEL. It offers an accurate portrayal of language use in a Canadian academic setting. Examinees complete tasks similar to those they might encounter in a Canadian university or college classroom, including reading articles, listening to lectures, answering questions, and writing brief essays.


Format for CAEL test includes speaking, Integrated Reading, Integrated Listening, Academic Unit A, and Academic Unit B are the five sections.

You will need to submit a statement at the beginning of the test indicating whether you agree or disagree with an essay question. The lecture, readings, and other exercises for the remainder of the test will all revolve around the same subject. The test has a total running length of about two hours and fifteen minutes, and it is divided into the following sections:


 Reading Section: (50 minutes; two readings) : You must recognise and categorise the major concepts and data presented in the form of excerpts from books, magazines, graphs, documents, and brochures.


 Listening Section: (20-minute listening segment; recorded lecture):  You will respond to questions while listening to a lecture from a first-year university course that has been modified. Note-taking, filling out charts, finding information, and filling in blanks are just a few of the assignments.


 Writing Section: (45 minutes; one essay-related topic):  You will be asked to agree or disagree with a claim, offer arguments for/against, and evaluate the benefits and drawbacks of the specific action based on the initial essay topic and details from the Reading and Listening portions.


 Speaking Section: (25 minutes; 5 tasks):  Speaking assignments could involve transmitting information, providing brief presentations, or summing key themes after listening to group discussions.


CAEL Exam scoring Structure: 

One point is typically awarded for each correct answer in the CAEL scoring system. If a question has three possible answers, each answer must address a separate aspect of the question.


Test results for foreign testing sites are made available 15 days following the exam date, and your Score Report will be emailed to you. A CAEL exam's results are good for two years.


Your English language competency is rated on the CAEL Assessment Score Report in four categories: academic reading, writing, listening, and speaking. An overall band score that ranges from band level 10 to band level 90 is used to define the outcome.



Band Descriptor


Fluent: Communicates clearly and successfully in all business and educational contexts.


Expert: Exhibits an exceptionally high level of skill. In unknown circumstances, language is precise and adaptable.


Adept: In most situations, uses terminology that is generally accurate. There are clear restrictions on flexibility.


Advanced: Demonstrates proficiency in a professional or academic setting.


High Intermediate: Demonstrates some proficiency in academic or professional settings, yet communication may occasionally fail.


IIntermediate: Shows some understanding of and ability to communicate complicated ideas and arguments that are common in academic or professional settings.


High Beginner: Communicates fundamental concepts in everyday contexts regarding well-known subjects.


Low Beginner: Has limited communication skills.


Band scores are interpreted by grouping scores into ranges, each of which represents a particular level of a candidate's linguistic competence.


Band score range



You must improve your academic English proficiency before you may apply to degree programmes at Canadian universities.


For entrance to a few Canadian degree programmes, you might meet the academic English language requirements.


Meet the English language proficiency requirements for admission to several degree programmes at Canadian universities.


For admission to degree programmes at Canadian universities, you must meet the academic English language standards.


Within four weeks of the test date, test takers may request a test review from the CAEL test administrators. Within 15 days of submitting a review request, each test component is rescored, evaluated, and test review findings are given.


Language Exams Specifically for Canada:

For language proficiency assessment in Canada, the two main English language exams accepted for immigration, citizenship, and professional designation purposes are the CELPIP (Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program) and IELTS (International English Language Testing System). These exams evaluate English language skills within the Canadian context. Additionally, French language exams are also available for those interested in demonstrating proficiency in the French language for immigration or other purposes in the province of Quebec. Here are the details for each exam:

  1. CELPIP (Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program): 

    • Test Format: Computer-based test.

    • Sections: Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking.

    • Scoring: The CELPIP exam uses a scoring scale from 1 to 12, reflecting proficiency levels according to the Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB).

    • Accepted by: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), and other Canadian organisations.

  2. IELTS (International English Language Testing System):

    • Test Format: Both paper-based and computer-based options are available.

    • Sections: Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking.

    • Scoring: The IELTS exam uses a 9-band scoring system, reflecting proficiency levels according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

    • Accepted by: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), and other Canadian organisations.

French Language Exams:

  1. TEF (Test d'évaluation de français):

    • Test Format: Paper-based test.

    • Sections: Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing.

    • Scoring: The TEF exam provides a detailed analysis of language proficiency levels on a scale of 0 to 699, reflecting the six levels of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

    • Accepted by: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for French language proficiency requirements in Quebec.

  2. TCF (Test de Connaissance du Français):

    • Test Format: Paper-based test.

    • Sections: Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing.

    • Scoring: The TCF exam provides a score from A1 to C2, reflecting proficiency levels according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

    • Accepted by: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for French language proficiency requirements in Quebec.