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English proficiency tests available online
Roshna Mohan

Roshna Mohan is a Content Writer at Hotcourses India - an IDP company. A post-graduate in Biotechnology, she chose content writing as her career out of sheer interest. Reading and cooking are her stress-busters. Talk about these to take the introvert out of the ambivert. Her all-time favourite authors are Paulo Coelho, Yuval Noah Harari and Robin Cook.


21 Aug 2020 Book icon 4 mins Share

English proficiency tests available online

Several English language proficiency test providers have come up with their online versions to help you in your education journey. We explore the options.

21 Aug 2020 Book icon 4 mins Share
English proficiency tests available online

It goes without saying that you will need an English language proficiency certificate if you want to study abroad. It is uncertain at the moment as to when testing centres in India will be fully functional. With the pandemic still ongoing and no signs of the lockdown being lifted, services are embracing the virtual realm, and this includes English language test providers. The best bet for a student aspiring to study abroad would be to opt for an online test, especially if it is accepted by the institution abroad. In this article, we will explore what the different online options available are, especially given that you may not be able to visit a test centre to have English language proficiency assessed.


TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) has come up with the online version called the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition. The TOEFL iBT is available in most of the countries where TOEFL was available, which includes India. The online test format and content is identical to the test available at a test centre. The benefit is that you can take the test from the comfort of your home. You will still have to register for the test and book your slot though. Ideally, this should be possible within 24 hours of registering. The test will be available throughout the day, four days a week. The basic hardware requirements for the test include:

  • A desktop or a laptop
  • A movable camera
  • A microphone  
  • A speaker (headsets are not allowed for this test)

Once you are ready with your hardware items, you will have to install the software for taking the test effectively. This includes the ETS Test Browser and ProctorU for checking your system and ensuring that it meets the necessary requirements. You should register for the test only once you check these off the list. Registration for the test should be done in your ETS account. Once you register and pay, you will receive an email requesting that you book a date and time.

On the day of the, ensure that you check-in 15 minutes before the time it’s due to begin. This is mandatory, otherwise, the test will be cancelled. Before you check in, make sure that your surroundings are clear of any items that are not approved for use during the test. The online test requires that you show the test area and surroundings to the proctor and you should be visible by the proctor during the entire course of the test.

The test results will be available within six to ten days of taking the test and the scores are valid for two years after your test date. The scores will be shared with institutions as well. If you would like to book a re-test, you can do the same after an interval of three days.

Duolingo English Test

Duolingo was initially popular among people interested in learning new languages, however Duolingo also came up with the Duolingo English Test to help test takers certify their English proficiency. More and more institutions are accepting Duolingo scores. In fact, as per their website, more than 2,000 institutions worldwide accept Duolingo English test scores. You can register on the Duolingo English test site or sign in for the test with your Google account. Once you sign in, you will have the option to try out the test before you purchase the actual test. The test duration is approximately 60 minutes. This includes two parts, an adaptive test which lasts for 45 minutes and a video interview for ten minutes.

The score is reported on a scale out of 160. As with other language proficiency tests, you will get an overall score as well as sub scores. However, the sub scores are not focused on the individual skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening, but on literacy, conversation, comprehension and production. Literacy is the ability to read and write while comprehension is the ability to read and listen. Conversation rates your ability to listen and speak and production tests the person’s ability to write and speak. The test result will include a score range rather than a definite score. More details about the test score comparison are available on the Duolingo website. The test results will be available within 48 hours of taking the test. The test requirements mentioned on the Duolingo website include:

  • A computer with a reliable internet connection
  • A camera
  • A microphone
  • Speakers

The room should be quiet and well-lit and you should remember to have your government ID next to you as well.


LaguageCert is a lesser-known test and their scores are accepted in the UK.  LanguageCert provides online exams with remote invigilation. the exams are available 24/7 and you have the liberty to book up to four hours beforehand. The test boasts of being secure, reliable and providing fast results. The written and spoken exams can be taken on the same day or separately. Once you select the right test and the time and date of your preference, you should download their exam software.

Other hardware requirements are as you may expect, namely a computer with reliable internet, a microphone, headphones, and a webcam. A real person will be monitoring the test online and for support during the test. The results are available within three days of taking the test.

IELTS indicator

IELTS has remained a popular choice of test for students looking to demonstrate their English language skills. IELTS Indicator is similar to IELTS in syllabus, structure, content, format and timings. The duration of the test is approximately two hours and 45 minutes. It is evaluated by certified IELTS examiners. You have the option to try the practice test to get an idea of what to expect. Do check out our article dedicated to the IELTS indicator for more comprehensive information.

Universities are relaxing their regulations and entry requirements. However, you should check with your university before registering for any of the language tests available online. For more updates from the higher education sector across the globe, please check out our International Student News page.

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