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Setting yourself up for success in Erasmus with the IELTS and TOEFL exams

Published by Cokidoo cokitools — 3 years ago

Blog: Erasmusu Blog
Tags: General

Setting yourself up for success in Erasmus with the IELTS and TOEFL exams

Adding an Erasmus experience to your academic career gives you a more rounded perception of your education and of the world in general. You get the opportunity to further your studies in another school, and, of course, to make friends from all over the world and settle into the culture of another country. You take on a more multicultural perspective and gain experience finding common ground with others, despite coming from different backgrounds- an invaluable skill in a world where international exchanges become more and more frequent every day. The Erasmus Programme is one of the most memorable and rewarding times of participants’ lives.

Students who chose an English-language Erasmus experience have the chance to improve their skills in the unofficial language of international communication. English is the go-to language for exchanges between countries, and is increasingly the language of business, research and technology. Erasmus offers many programmes in English-speaking countries, and has many schools in non-English-speaking countries that still offer programmes in English.

Setting yourself up for success in Erasmus with the IELTS and TOEFL exams

Because good English skills are increasingly sought-after, these programmes are highly competitive. Specific requirements vary by school and by programme, but generally an English level of B2 in the Common European Framework for Reference (CEFR) is expected. English proficiency certificates can be accepted as proof of an applicant’s language abilities. Two of these are the IELTS and TOEFL exams.

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is the most popular English-language test for study, work, and migration in the world. The academic version of the test is composed of 40 minutes of listening, 60 minutes of reading, 60 of writing, and 11-14 minutes of speaking. The speaking portion consists of a face-to-face interview between the test taker and an examiner, allowing for conversational abilities to be tested in the context of a back-and-forth conversation with a real person. The makers of the test claim it is the most accurate and realistic way of determining conversational ability. The listening, reading, and writing portions are always completed one after the other, but the speaking portion may take place up to 7 days before or after the test date. The samples in the test represent a variety of accents, and the test recognises both British and American English spelling, grammar and vocabulary.

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is the most popular English language proficiency test for admissions to universities, particularly in North America, and the entire test can be completed in one day. The questions are all academically based, including samples such as passages from textbooks or classroom lectures. The makers of the test believe that, as a result, the test is the best suited for determining English levels for academic purposes. The test is divided into the same four portions as the IELTS, but the time divisions are a little different: 60-80 minutes for reading, 60-90 minutes for listening, 20 minutes for speaking, and 50 minutes for writing. The speaking portion of this test consists of responses to pre-recorded questions, and instead of having only one examiner, this portion is graded by a panel of three to six reviewers. The samples are mostly in American English, but include a few samples with other accents, and like the TOEFL, recognises both British and American English spelling, grammar, and vocabulary.

The sooner you begin improving your skills, the more prepared you’ll be for the experience, and the more you’ll be able to take advantage of spending your days in English! Consider taking one of Kaplan’s IELTS or TOEFL preparation courses to help prepare for exam day and maximise your chances of success.

The results of these tests are generally accepted for up to two years after the test date. For specific information about the level expected of you, contact the school and program you are interested in.

Kaplan International English is one of the top providers of English language courses in the world, with schools in seven English speaking countries.


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