English Language Testing and Assessment

English Language Testing and Assessment
English Language Testing and Assessment

You may be studying English as a second language, or you may be taking an English test. Whatever the case, knowing what to expect before and during the test can help reduce your stress.

We will outline language testing and assessment in general and how it relates specifically to English language tests and assessments. We’ll break down the different levels of competence that are assessed by tests of this kind and summarize which tests are used at which level. And finally, we’ll walk you through the process of taking an English test for those who need it for admission purposes or employment purposes but don’t have much practice with these types of tests.




Language testing and assessment is a method of determining and assessing the English language proficiency level of an individual. There are a few different types of tests for language testing, most commonly proficiency, but literacy as well as formal grammar tests are often used as well. Formal grammar tests assess knowledge of written English and what is known as Standard English, which we will define in a moment. Different countries have different levels at which an individual is considered proficient enough in their native tongue to be able to function in an English speaking environment. We’ll list some of these proficiency levels later on.



There are two types of English language tests. The first is the IELTS, which is used to determine the English language level of an individual before they enter university or begin work in an English speaking country. This test is not annual, but instead taken only once when needed for admission purposes. The TOEFL is also used for admission to universities and English speaking companies, as well as for individuals who are applying for visas to come to the United States or other countries such as Canada. This test is annual, and can be taken as many times as needed, but the scores are only valid for a year. We will explain how these tests work in more detail throughout the article.



Admission tests are designed to determine the language level of an individual before they are admitted to a university or other institution. The main difference between admission tests such as TOEFL and IELTS is that the IELTS is taken only once to determine entrance into university while the TOEFL can be taken many times in order to try and improve an individual’s score so that they might do better on their admissions test.

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