When it comes to English exams, there are plenty to choose from. Some of them you may sound familiar - but do you know which one will be most useful for you? OISE offers training for a range of different exams that help you prove your level of English to an employer or university; some related to specific professions, others are requested by employers or universities. Below we decipher the meaning of these various exams: BULATS/TOIEC/TOEFL/IELTS/TOLES/GMAT and The Cambridge Exam
The Cambridge Exam
Who is it for? Everyone can make good use of the Cambridge exam. It allows you to assess your English level thoroughly through written and oral comprehension, and written and oral expression. There are three levels:
First (FCE) - First Certificate in English (B2) Advanced (CAE) - Certificate of Advanced English (C1) Proficiency (CPE) - Certificate of Proficiency in English (C2)
BULATS (Business Language Testing Service)
Who is it for? Professionals pursuing graduate studies and students, in most cases at the request of a university. It is also used by employers to obtain a language certificate for non-native English speakers in a professional setting.
The BULATS exam gives you a score that matches the CEFR: Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: from A1 to C2. An employer will often ask for a certain level, for example a B2, which corresponds to intermediate level. Some master’s degrees also require a minimum level to validate an exam. TOEIC (Test of English for International Communication)
Who is it for? The TOEIC is a language test that measures the candidate’s ability to express, understand and use English in a professional setting. It is compulsory for obtaining a diploma at engineering schools in France. In addition, companies will often request a candidate’s TOEIC scores, which is becoming more and more common. The test is an important one and should not be taken lightly; the success of the TOEIC is down to both the candidate’s knowledge as well as their training specifically for the test - good training equals a successful TOEIC exam. IELTS (International English Language Testing System)
Who is it for? The IELTS is aimed at students and professionals who wish to enrol in an English-speaking university, applying for a work visa or for work abroad. If you are a student considering a Master’s or PhD in an English-speaking country, the IELTS is compulsory and forms an integral part of your application.
The IELTS consists of four components: oral and written comprehension, and written and oral expression. The student works efficiently on the various aspects of the IELTS and acquires the necessary skills needed on the day of the exam: time management, the ability to think on your feet in response to challenging questions and autonomy. The IELTS entails a face-to-face interview with an examiner, which is why much of the focus of the exam is on clear expression.
TOLES (Test of Legal English Skills)
Who is it for? The TOLES is a test for lawyers and law students which evaluates the English level for those working in international law, whose first language is not English. This test is a requirement if you are thinking about a career in law abroad. There are three levels:
Beginner Level 1 legal English exam suitable for beginner level. This focuses on basic grammar and vocabulary, and encourages commercial awareness.
Intermediate Level 2 legal English exam suitable for intermediate level. Focus on intermediate grammar and vocabulary. The focus is on a realistic introduction to work.
Advanced Level 3 legal English exam suitable for advanced level. Focuses on near-native grammar and vocabulary. The gold standard exam for commercial lawyers.
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)
Who is it for? Students and professionals wanting to access American and Canadian universities. The TOEFL is a language test mainly recognised in academic contexts, and evaluates the level of non-English speakers particularly in the admission process of American and Canadian universities. GMAT (The Graduate Management Admission Test)
The GMAT is an English test that assesses the qualifications of candidates who wish to pursue graduate studies in business management. It measures analytical writing, problem solving, logic and practises critical thinking abilities.