English Proficiency Testing

The whole point of moving to the USA to get a higher education is to actually learn something. But how can you learn anything if you don’t speak English? That’s why most schools require that international students from non-native English-speaking countries (there’s usually a list) must take a test to prove their proficiency in English. Doing so ensures that students make the most out of their experience and that schools make the most out of their resources. But be aware that depending on the results of the test, some schools may request that students sign up for additional English language courses as part of their academic requirements.  

There are several accredited English-language tests, though not all may be approved by your school. They’re also all thorough – both your speaking ability and your reading and writing comprehension will be assessed. As always, each test has a fee that should be considered when determining your budget.

Which test is best?

There is no limit for the number of times you can take the TOEFL as long as you wait 12 days in between, so don’t be upset if you don’t like your score on the first try. But with fees ranging from approximately $150-$300 per test, you may want additional resources to help you study so you’ll only have to take it once. 

Compared to other tests, Duolingo is a bargain, less than hour to complete and costing only $49. But not every school accepts it, and for some that do it’s only considered supplementary to another English-language test.