International English Examinations

TOEFL & IELTS SAT & OTHERS

TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)

Level of Acceptance:

The TOEFL test is the most widely respected English-language test in the world, recognized by more than 9,000 colleges, universities and agencies in more than 130 countries, including Australia, Canada, the U.K. and the United States.

Who Takes the TOEFL Test:

  • Students planning to study at a higher education institution
  • English-language learning program admissions and exit
  • Scholarship and certification candidates
  • English-language learners who want to track their progress
  • Students and workers applying for visas

Testing Format:

The test is given in English and administered via the Internet. There are four sections (listening, reading, speaking, and writing) which take a total of about four and a half hours to complete, including check-in.

Section Time Limit Questions Tasks
Reading 60–80 minutes 36–56 questions Read 3 or 4 passages from academic texts and answer questions.
Listening 60–90 minutes 34–51 questions Listen to lectures, classroom discussions and conversations, then answer questions.
Break 10 minutes
Speaking 20 minutes 6 tasks Express an opinion on a familiar topic; speak based on reading and listening tasks.
Writing 50 minutes 2 tasks Write essay responses based on reading and listening tasks; support an opinion in writing.

The test you take may include extra questions in the Reading or Listening section that do not count toward your score. These are either questions that enable ETS to make test scores comparable across administrations or new questions that help ETS determine how such questions function under actual testing conditions.

Please read the timing instructions for the Reading Section carefully. The instructions will indicate how many passages you will receive and the amount of time you have to respond to questions for those passages. Be sure to pace yourself so that you have time to answer all the questions.

A standard English language (QWERTY) computer keyboard is used for the test. We recommend that you practice typing on a QWERTY keyboard before taking the test.

Score:

Reading: 0-30 marks

Listening : 0-30 marks

Speaking : 0-4 points converted to 0-30 score scale

Writing : 0-5 points converted to 0-30 score scale

Total marks: 0-120 marks

The TOEFL score is valid for two years.

Useful Link: TOFEL Website

 

IELTS (International English Language Testing System)

Level of Acceptance:

Organisations in over 140 countries rely on IELTS to select the right people. These include all universities and the vast majority of education providers in Australia, New Zealand, the UK, over 3,000 institutions in the US as well as most universities in Canada. Some universities in non-English speaking countries where English is the language of instruction also require an IELTS score.

Who Takes the IELTS Test:

IELTS is a test that measures the language proficiency of people who want to study or work in environments where English is used as a language of communication. An easy-to-use 9-band scale clearly identifies proficiency level, from non-user (band score 1) through to expert (band score 9).

Testing Format:

There are two versions to choose from – Academic and General Training. IELTS Academic is suitable for entry to study at undergraduate or postgraduate levels, and also for professional registration purposes. If you are applying for a Tier 4 Student Visa to enter a university that is a Tier 4 Sponsor to study a bachelor or postgraduate degree, you must meet the English language level set by the institution. All British universities and colleges accept IELTS results. Tier 4 Student Visa applicants can apply to the UK universities.

There are four parts – Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. The total test time is 2 hours and 45 minutes.

IELTS Listening Description:

Paper Element Description
Format

Four sections, each with ten questions.

The first two sections deal with situations set in everyday social contexts.

    Section 1: a conversation between two speakers (e.g., a conversation about travel arrangements)

    Section 2: a monologue (e.g., a speech about local facilities).

The final two sections deal with situations set in educational and training contexts.

    Section 3: a conversation between two main speakers (e.g., two university students in discussion, perhaps guided by a tutor)

    Section 4: a monologue on an academic subject. They include a range of accents, including British, Australian, New Zealand and American.

Timing Approximately 30 minutes (plus 10 minutes' transfer time).
No. of Questions 40
Task Types Multiple choice, matching, plan/map/diagram labelling, form/note/table/flow-chart/summary completion, sentence completion.

 IELTS Reading Description:

Paper Element Description
Format

Three reading passages with a variety of questions using a number of task types.

Timing 60 minutes
No. of Questions 40
Task Types

Multiple choice, identifying information, identifying writer’s views/claims,

matching information, matching headings, matching features, matching sentence endings, sentence completion,

summary completion, note completion, table completion, flow-chart completion, diagram label completion, short-answer questions.

 IELTS Writing Description:

Paper Element Description
Format

There are two Writing tasks and BOTH must be completed.

Timing 60 minutes
No. of Questions 2
Task Types

Task 1: test takers are asked to describe some visual information (graph/table/chart/diagram), and to present the description in their own words.

They need to write 150 words in about 20 minutes.

Task 2 test takers are presented with a point of view or argument or problem. They need to write 250 words in about 40 minutes.

IELTS Speaking Description:

Paper Element Description
Format

An oral interview between the test takers' and an examiner. All Speaking tests are recorded.

Timing 11–14 minutes
Task Types

There are three parts to the test and each part fulfils a specific function in terms of interaction pattern, task input and test takers output.

 

The score is valid for 2 years

For exams-related enquiries, in-person registration and certificate collection:

Tel: 2913 5100

E-mail: examinations@britishcouncil.org.hk

Address: 3 Supreme Court Road, Admiralty, Hong Kong

Useful Link: IELTS Website