Available English language tests

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To investigate some of the available language assessments

Approx. 20 minutes

Your experience of language testing

There are a multitude of different language tests out there, the challenge can be knowing how to choose the right one.

TASK: Spend a few minutes reflecting. Think about the following questions. 

  • Which language assessments have you taken as a learner? Which have you used as a teacher?

  • Why did you choose the assessments you did as a learner / teacher?

Popular language tests

TASK: We’re going to do a quick brainstorming activity. Start the timer below and then write down as many different language tests as you can think of.

Example: IELTS

Well-known paid for tests

What do you have on your list that isn’t on ours? Are there any on our list that you haven’t heard of?

Free language tests

TASK: As well as these big name tests there are also lots of free English tests available online. Do a quick web search. What do you find?

Free online tests

Here are a few that we found. Have a quick look at a few of these. What would you say is the difference between these free tests and the paid for assessments we saw above?

The free tests are often more limited in terms of how detailed the assessment is and are often focussed on testing grammar and vocabulary through closed questions. None of them feature a human examiner although some are starting to use AI assessors (e.g. SpeechAce). The free tests are mostly designed to help sell another exam or product but can be helpful for learners or teachers who need to get a quick idea of their students’ level. None of the free tests would be acceptable for immigration or study purposes.