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The main exams in English language testing

Here we list the English-language exams offered by the various exam boards in the UK and US for students and teachers of English. Please contact the exam boards directly for more  information on each exam and availability for 2009. 
CEF – Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. 

Access Certificate in English Language Teaching (ACE)
For candidates who need a certificate in teaching English. Practical assessment and written examination.
Test dates: Contact exam board for fixed exam sessions.
Exam board: City and Guilds (formerly Pitman Qualifications)

Anglia Examination Syndicate/OCNW ESOL International
A step-by-step approach to assessing the English of non-native speakers through a suite of ten examinations from beginner to full proficiency.  The lower levels have a target age range of 6–13 but are also available in adult version. Available in all four skills.  
Age: 6-18+
Levels: First Step, Junior, Primary, Preliminary, Elementary, Pre-Intermediate, Intermediate, Advanced, Proficiency, Masters. The top four levels are Entry 3, and Levels 1, 2 and 3 of the National Qualifications Framework equivalent to CEF B1 to C2.
Test dates: Main test sessions January, April, May, June, December.
Exam board: Anglia Examination Syndicate in collaboration with OCNW at the top four levels.

Anglia International Business English
A suite of tests at four levels testing the English language needed in business contexts ranging from front of house to management.
Age: 16+
Levels: Practical Business English, Intermediate Business English, Advanced Business English and Proficiency in Business English.
Exam board: Anglia Examination Syndicate

BEC (Business English Certificates)
A suite of three exams testing English-language ability in a business context.
Level: Three levels: BEC Preliminary (CEF B1), BEC Vantage (CEF B2), BEC Higher (CEF C1).
Test dates: March, May, June, September and November 2009 (pencil-and-paper test); computer-based tests available throughout the year.
Exam board: Cambridge Esol

Bulats (Business Language Testing Service)
A language assessment service for organisations which need a reliable and affordable way of assessing the language ability of groups of employees or trainees. Available in English, French, German and Spanish.
Level: Up to CEF C2. 
Test dates: Organisations conduct the exams themselves, selecting dates and times at their own convenience. The tests are available on demand.
Exam board: Cambridge Esol with Alliance Française, Goethe Institute and Universidad de Salamanca.

CAE (Certificate in Advanced English)
An advanced level examination which may be used as proof of the level of language necessary to work at a managerial or professional level or follow a course of academic study at university level.
Level: CEF C1.
Exam dates: March, June and December 2009.
Exam board: Cambridge Esol

Cambridge Young Learners’ English tests
Target age range: 7–12
Level: Starters, Movers and Flyers. Flyers level is roughly equivalent to KET (Key English Test).
Test dates: Dates are set by centres, taking into account local needs and conditions. Contact your local centre for details of next test dates.
Exam board: Cambridge Esol

Cambridge Esol Skills for Life Certificates
A suite of modular tests designed for learners whose first language is not English and who are living or trying to settle in the UK. Only offered in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Level: Entry 1, 2, and 3 and Level 1 and 2 of the National Qualifications Framework, which is equivalent to CEF A1 to C1.
Test dates: Held on demand throughout the year – check with your local centre.
Exam board: Cambridge Esol

Cambridge Esol Certificates in Esol for Work
A suite of tests designed to support migrant and settled workers who are in work or intending to work in the UK. Only offered in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Level: Entry 3 and 1 on the National Qualifications Framework, which is equivalent to CEF B1 and B2. 
Test dates: Held on demand throughout the year – check with your local centre.
Exam board: Cambridge Esol

Cert IBET (Certificate in International Business English Training)
A 50-hour course and qualification which aims to enhance the skills of business English trainers and improve their ability to deliver a quality product to business clients. 
Age: 18+ 
Level:  Post-Tefl certificate qualification.
Test dates: Available year round. Check with course providers www.trinitycollege.co.uk/certibet.   
Exam board: Trinity College London

CITE (Certificate for International Teachers of English)
An examination to give non-native speakers of English who are already competent teachers a chance to obtain international recognition for their ability to teach through the medium of English.
Test dates: June and December
Level: Two levels: Primary and Secondary
Exam board: Anglia Examination Syndicate

CertTesol (Certificate Tesol)
An initial Tefl/Tesol qualification that is widely recognised by employers in the UK and worldwide. It is accepted by the British Council’s accredited teaching organisations in 100+ countries.
Age: 18+
Level: Accredited in the UK by the QCA at Level 4 on the National Qualifications Framework.
Test dates: Available part-time and full-time. Check with course provider for schedules and fees (www.trinitycollege.co.uk/coursesearch).
Exam board: Trinity College London

Certificate TEYL
Designed for those with little or no experience of teaching English to young learners from six to twelve years of age. Teachers may be practising teachers holding a licence to teach in their own country or the country where they work.
Age: 18+
Level: Accredited in the UK by the QCA at Level 4 on the National Qualifications Framework.
Test dates: Tesol moderations available year round. Check with course provider for schedules.
Exam board: Trinity College London

CPE (Certificate of Proficiency in English)
A high-level qualification for those wishing to use English for professional or study purposes. Suitable for candidates who have achieved a certain degree of maturity in the handling of abstract ideas and concepts.
Level: CEF C2.
Test dates: June and December 2009.
Exam board: Cambridge Esol

Delta Module One (Diploma in English Language Teaching to Adults) (part of the Delta qualification)
For experienced teachers of English to speakers of other languages, who are ready to progress their careers. A test of the theories behind how people learn languages and how they are taught.
Test dates: June and December 2009.
Exam board: Cambridge Esol

DipTesol (LTCL Diploma Tesol) 
An advanced Tefl qualification for experienced teachers of Esol/EFL. The DipTesol is highly regarded and widely available. It is accepted by the British Council as a full Tefl qualification in its accredited teaching organisations in 100+ countries. 
Age: Certificate Tesol or equivalent plus two years Esol teaching experience.
Level: Accredited in the UK at Level 7 on the National Qualifications Framework.
Test dates: Available year round. Check with course provider for schedules and fees (www.trinitycollege.co.uk/coursesearch).
Exam board: Trinity College London

English for Business
Core examination is a reading and writing test of business-related tasks. Optional speaking and listening tasks also available.
Level: Preliminary to Level 4.
Test dates: On demand and series.
Exam board: LCCI International Qualifications

English for Business Communications
Recognises a learner’s ability to read and write the complete range of business communications. Examination is by a single written test.
Age: 16 +
Level: Three levels, from pre-intermediate to advanced.
Test dates: On demand with a minimum of two weeks’ notice from centres in the UK and Ireland and a minimum of four weeks’ notice for all other centres.
Exam board: City and Guilds (formerly Pitman Qualifications)

English for Office Skills 
Ideal for those proofreading or producing paperwork in English. Examination is by a single written test.
Age: 16 +
Level: Two levels.
Test dates: On demand with a minimum of two weeks’ notice from centres in the UK and Ireland and a minimum of four weeks’ notice for all other centres.
Exam board: City and Guilds (formerly Pitman Qualifications)

English for Tourism (EfT), spoken and written examinations
Designed to develop and assess candidates’ ability to communicate in English in the tourism industry.
Level: Levels 1 and 2.
Test dates: On demand and series.
Exam board: LCCI International Qualifications

English Language Skills Assessment (Elsa)
A series of tests that assess core English language skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking). Uses a single-scale scoring system. Online and paper-based versions available.
Test dates: On demand.
Exam board: LCCI International Qualifications

English Placement Test 
Designed to place adult students in an intensive English-language programme.
Age: 18+
Level: Beginner to upper-intermediate.
Test dates: According to need of institution.
Exam board: University Of Michigan English Language Institute

Esol and Spoken Esol for Young Learners 
Specifically aimed at younger students who are just starting to learn English. Esol examination is by a single written test. Spoken Esol examination is by a single spoken test.
Age: Eight to fourteen.
Level: Two levels: basic and elementary.
Test dates: On demand with a minimum of two weeks’ notice from centres in the UK and Ireland and a minimum of four weeks’ notice for all other centres.
Exam board: City and Guilds (formerly Pitman Qualifications)

Esol for Work (UK only) 
External assessments of reading, writing, speaking and listening intended for people living and working or planning to work in the UK. See www.trinitycollege.co.uk/esolforwork.
Age: 16+
Test dates: Speaking and listening assessments available all year round and can be combined in a block booking with Esol Skills for Life. Reading and writing exams held monthly. 
Level: Entry 3 and Level 1 on the National Qualifications Framework in the UK.
Exam board: Trinity College London

Esol Skills for Life (UK only) 
External assessments of reading, writing, speaking and listening intended for UK residents whose first language is not English. See www.trinitycollege.co.uk/skillsforlife.
Age: 16+
Level: Step 1 and Step 2. QCA-accredited at Entry 1 to Level 3 on the National Qualifications Framework in the UK.
Test dates: Speaking and listening assessments available all year round and can be combined in a block booking with Esol for Work. Reading and writing exams held monthly.
Exam board: Trinity College London

Examination for the Certificate of Competence in English 
To establish their competence in English for school or employment purposes.
Age: Unrestricted.
Level: Upper-intermediate.
Test dates: Twice a year at authorised centres.
Exam board: University Of Michigan English Language Institute

Examination for the Certificate of Proficiency in English
Designed for advanced-level learners of English to demonstrate their proficiency in English to institutions of higher education and employers.
Age: Unrestricted.
Level: Advanced.
Test dates: Twice a year at authorised centres.
Exam board: University Of Michigan English Language Institute

FCE (First Certificate in English)
Learners at this level can be assumed to have sufficient ability to operate effectively in English in many clerical, secretarial and managerial posts.
Level: CEF B2.
Test dates: March, June and December 2009.
Exam board: Cambridge Esol

Foundation English Language Skills Assessment
Covers three language skills – listening, reading and speaking. Online and paper-based versions available.
Level: Basic.
Test dates: On demand.
Exam board: LCCI International Qualifications

FTCL Tesol (Fellowship Diploma in Tesol)
A new high-level qualification that recognises the achievements of experienced Tefl/Tesol professionals through a dissertation and a viva.    
Age: See www.trinitycollege.co.uk/ftclTesol for entry requirements. 
Level: Accredited in the UK by the QCA at Level 7 on the National Qualifications Framework.
Test dates: Not course-based. 
Exam board: Trinity College London

Graded Examinations in Spoken English (GESE)  
A one-to-one oral examinations with a native-English-speaking examiner who travels from the UK. See www trinitycollege.co.uk/gese. 
GESE Initial stage (Grades 1–3) 
The conduct of the examination is initiated by the examiner.
Age: 7+
Level: Grades 2 and 3 are at A1–A2, Basic User in the CEF.
Test dates: No fixed dates. Exam sessions available all year round.
GESE Elementary stage (Grades 4–6) 
The candidate initiates the topic discussion and the examiner leads the conversation.
Age: 7+
Level: A2–B1, Basic to Independent User in the CEF.
Test dates: No fixed dates. Exam sessions available all year round.
GESE Intermediate stage (Grades 7–9) 
Candidate initiates the topic discussion and the examiner leads the conversation.
Age: 7+
Level: B2, Independent User in the CEF.
Test dates: No fixed dates. Exam sessions available all year round.
GESE Advanced stage (Grades 10–12) 
The candidate presents a formal topic and initiates the discussion. There is also an interactive task and a listening task. 
Age: 7+
Level: C1–C2, Independent to Proficient User in the CEF.
Test dates: No fixed dates. Exam sessions available all year round.
Exam board: Trinity College London

ICFE (International Certificate in Financial English)
An exam testing English used in the context of accountancy and finance.
Level: CEF B2–C1.
Test dates: May and November 2009.
Exam board: Cambridge Esol

Ielts (International English Language Testing System)
A proficiency test covering the four language skills, listening, reading, writing and speaking. Available in two modules: academic and general training. 
Level: Ielts measures across the ability range. An Ielts score of 6.5 is equivalent to C1 in the CEF.
Test dates: Available up to four times a month – check with your local center. 
Exam board: Cambridge Esol with the British Council and IDP Australia.

Ilec (International Legal English Certificate)
An exam testing English used in a legal context.
Level: CEF B2–C1.
Test dates: May, November 2009.
Exam board: Cambridge Esol

Integrated Skills in English (ISE) 
Assesses all four skills – speaking, writing, listening and reading – interacting with each other as they do in the real world.
Age: 7+ with recommended transition points at each level: 0 – junior, I – junior school, I - middle school, II – secondary school, III &  IV – college and university.
Level: Five levels (ISE 0–IV) covering A2 to C2 in the CEF.
Test dates: Speaking and listening assessments available all year round. Reading and writing exams held monthly. See www.trinitycollege.co.uk/ise.
Exam board: Trinity College London

International Esol 
A communicative test of a learner’s reading, writing and listening skills in English. Examination is by a single written test.
Age: 16+
Level: Six levels linked to the CEF: Preliminary (A1), Access (A2), Achiever (B1), Communicator (B2), Expert (C1) and Mastery (C2).
Test dates: On demand with a minimum of two weeks’ notice from centres in the UK and Ireland and a minimum of four weeks’ notice for all other centres.
Exam board: City and Guilds (formerly Pitman Qualifications)

International Spoken Esol 
A communicative test of spoken English. Examination is by single spoken test.
Age: 16 +
Level: Six levels linked to the CEF: Preliminary (A1), Access (A2), Achiever (B1), Communicator (B2), Expert (C1) and Mastery (C2).
Test dates: On demand with a minimum of two weeks’ notice from centres in the UK and Ireland and a minimum of four weeks’ notice for all other centres.
Exam board: City and Guilds (formerly Pitman Qualifications).

Jetset Esol International
Compulsory reading and writing and listening tests. Optional speaking test.
Age: 6+
Level: Foundation to level 6.
Test dates: On demand.
Exam board: Education Development International

KET (Key English Test)
An elementary-level exam, testing a student’s ability to deal with basic written and spoken communication. A special version, KET for Schools, is available for use by learners of secondary school age.
Level: CEF A2.
Test dates: March, May, June, November and December 2009.
Exam board: Cambridge Esol

Listening Comprehension Test 
Designed to assess the readiness of examinees for full-time post-secondary academic work.
Age: 18+
Level: Intermediate to advanced.
Test dates: According to need of institution.
Exam board: University Of Michigan English Language Institute

London Tests of English (to be renamed PTE General from November 2009)
A suite of English-language tests designed for adult and teenage learners. Levels 4 and 5 are accepted for entrance to a number of UK universities and institutes of higher education. The tests are scenario-based and assess reading, writing, listening and speaking skills and are offered at six levels.
Age: 12 +
Level: Six levels from A1 (Foundation) to Level 5 (Proficient).
Test dates: May, June, November and December 2009.
Exam board: Pearson Language Tests (awarded by Edexcel).

London Tests of English for Children
This is a suite of English-language tests developed for assessing young learners. All four skills are assessed: reading, writing, listening and speaking.
Age: Up to 13 years.
Level: Firstwords, Springboard, Quickmarch and Breakthrough.
Test dates: May, June and November 2009.
Exam board: Pearson Language Tests (awarded by Edexcel)

Michigan English Test
Designed to assess English-language proficiency in social, educational and workplace contexts.
Age: Unrestricted.
Level: High Beginner to Lower Advanced.
Test dates: Once a month at authorised centres.
Exam board: University of Michigan English Language Institute

Michigan English Language Assessment Battery
Used for academic and professional purposes.
Age: 18+
Level: Ielts/Toefl equivalent.
Test dates: Monthly administered by authorised examiners.
Exam board: University Of Michigan English Language Institute

PET (Preliminary English Test)
An intermediate level exam testing students’ ability to cope with everyday written and spoken communications. A special version, PET for Schools, is available for use by learners of secondary-school age.
Level: CEF B1.
Test dates: March, May, June, November and December 2009.
Exam board: Cambridge Esol

PTE Academic
PTE Academic is a new international computer-based academic English-language proficiency test, designed to measure reading, writing, listening and speaking skills as they are used in academic settings. 
Level: Academic English.
Test dates: Launching in October 2009, test takers will be able to register online and schedule their test on a ‘choose and book’ basis.  PTE Academic will be offered in a number of countries worldwide. For a complete list of test centre locations visit www.pearsonpte.com. 
Exam board: Pearson Language Tests (endorsed by GMAC®)

Practical Business English 
Tests ability in straightforward forms of business communicating.
Level: Elementary.
Test dates: On demand.
Exam board: LCCI International Qualifications

Spoken English for Industry and Commerce
Face-to-face spoken assessment approved by external examiners. Tasks include general conversation, role plays, listening and reading comprehension. Only available in certain countries.
Levels: Preliminary to level 4.
Test dates: On demand.
Exam board: LCCI International Qualifications

Spoken English Tests for Business (SETB)
For candidates who need to use spoken English in the workplace. Examination is by a single spoken test.
Age: 16 +
Level: Three levels broadly targeted as A1/A2, B1/B2 and C1/C2 of the CEF.
Test dates: On demand with a minimum of two weeks’ notice from centres in the UK and Ireland and a minimum of four weeks’ notice for all other centres.
Exam board: City and Guilds (formerly Pitman Qualifications)

Tesol Qualifications for the Lifelong Learning Sector  (DTLLS Esol)
For those teaching or intending to teach in the lifelong learning sector in the UK. Endorsed by Standards Verification UK. See www.trinitycollege.co.uk/dtlls for teacher progression routes and exemptions.
Age: 18+
Level: Accredited in the UK by the QCA at Level 5 on the National Qualifications Framework.
Test dates: Available year round. Check with course provider for schedules.
Exam board: Trinity College London

TSE ® (Test of Spoken English™) 
Measures the ability of non-native speakers of English to communicate effectively. The test is used for employment, graduate assistantships, licensure and certification purposes.
Age: 16+
Level: Intermediate and above.
Test dates: Continuous.
Exam board: ETS

TKT (Teaching Knowledge Test)
A suite of three exams for teachers of all backgrounds, giving a strong foundation in the core areas of teaching knowledge needed in the English-language teaching classroom. In addition there are two specialist exams in Content and Language Integrated Learning and Knowledge about Language.
Test dates: Held throughout the year – check with your local centre.
Exam board: Cambridge Esol

Toefl® (Test of English as a Foreign Language™) 
Measures the ability of non-native speakers of English to use and understand English as it is spoken, written and heard in college and university settings. The test is offered in different formats, depending on a test-taker’s location. The paper-based test (PBT) will be given when the internet-based test (iBT) is not available (see Toefl iBT™).
Age: 16+
Level: Intermediate plus (university entrance).
Test dates: Continuous.
Exam board: ETS

Toefl iBT™
The internet-based Toefl emphasises integrated skills and provides better information to institutions about students’ ability to communicate in an academic setting and their readiness for academic coursework.
Age: 16+
Level: Intermediate plus (university entrance).
Test dates: Continuous.
Exam board: ETS

Toeic® (Test of English for International Communication™)
The Toeic is used to measure the everyday English skills of people in the international workplace.
Age: 16+
Level: Intermediate and above.
Test dates: Continuous.
Exam board: ETS

Toles (Test of Legal English Skills)
Age: 18+
Level: Toles Foundation, Toles Higher and Toles Advanced.
Toles Foundation is for students with a lower level of general English and who have little or no experience of working with legal documents in English. Toles Higher is for candidates who are familiar with, and actively able to use, the vocabulary introduced and tested at Toles Foundation level. The examination also tests new skills that are appropriate at this intermediate level of learning legal English. Toles Advanced is for candidates with a good level of general English who are familiar with working with legal documents written in English or have successfully taken the Toles Higher exam.
Test dates: Foundation: 20 March, 19 June, 27 November. Higher: 20 March, 19 June, 27 November. Advanced is offered on demand.
Exam board: Global Legal English

Versant for English
Automated test of spoken English.
Age: Adult.
Level: Elementary to advanced.
Test dates: On demand.
Exam board: Harcourt Assessment



For more information contact the exam boards directly:    
www.cityandguilds.com/IEQ    
www.ets.org        
www.toles.co.uk
http://harcourtassessment.com
www.lccieb.com        
www.cambridgeEsol.org
www.pearsonlanguageassessments.com/home/exams/
www.trinitycollege.co.uk/Tesol
www.lsa.umich.edu/eli