Do You Need To Take An English Language Test For Postgraduate Study?
One of the biggest concerns for prospective international students is whether or not they require to take an English language test to study for their postgraduate degree in a British university.
This quick blog will explain if you need to prove your language proficiency.
Who doesn’t need to take a test?
There are a few countries where you won’t need to take a language test. The first obvious one is if you’re a native English speaker.
The UK government classify a citizen of the following countries as a native-English speaker:
- Antigua and Barbuda
- The Bahamas
- Republic of Ireland
- New Zealand
- St Kitts and Nevis
- St Lucia
- St Vincent and the Grenadines
- Trinidad and Tobago
If you are from one of these countries, it’s very unlikely you’ll require to take an English language test unless you were educated abroad and in a different language. In any doubt, always confirm with your prospective university.
English as a secondary language
English is a co-official and majority language in many countries, typically from countries that gained independence from the UK. You may have to take an English-language test, although it can vary from university to university.
What about non-native English speakers?
English is taught as a secondary language in most countries. Although you may have learned some in education, it may not be enough – if you have taken an advanced English language course with a certificate, you probably won’t need to supply proof of English proficiency.
However, if you received the certificate for your English language course dated over 3 years, you may still need to supply proof of your knowledge or that you have continued to use English on a day-by-day basis. This is usually done through a phone call but can also be determined with a casual face-to-face with a member of staff at the campus.
If you are unsure, it’s always a good idea to contact your prospective university to see if your certificate course is sufficient or if you still require more proof.
Who will need to take a language test?
If you’re a non-native speaker and haven’t previously studied at a university level in English, it’s extremely likely that you will need to participate in an English language test as part of the application process. There are many types of English tests that are widely accepted at universities around the world, with the main types being:
You can read more about the test in our detailed guide;
It’s best to ask your prospective university which tests they accept so you can find the best one suited for you. Each test varies in length, generally between 2 to 4 hours long. The exam will test your basic English language skills in the following four sections;
Fees & Disabilities
You will have to pay to sit the English language tests. The prices vary from company to company and from region to region. If you cannot afford to pay, you should ask the company for any payment plans to help fund the test.
If you have any disabilities, you should contact the company or test centre before booking a test as they will have to make sure they can accommodate your special needs. You can find more information on their website.
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