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Comparing Advanced English Exams

The following table gives an approximate comparison between the different exams. The exams all use the Common European Framework (CEF) proficiency levels.
CEF Level Cambridge ESOL IELTS TOEFL iBT TOEIC Michigan BULATS PTE General PTE Academic
C2CPE9ECPElevel 585+
BEC Higher
7.5 110-120 880 level 4 76-84
BEC Vantage
687-109ECCElevel 359-75
BEC Prelim
4.557-86550level 243-58
4 40
A2 KET level 1 30-42

All about English Exams

Overview of the various English Exams.
40 minutes, 30 questions
part 1 - short extracts
part 3 - sentence completion
part 3 - multiple choice
part 4 - multiple matching
30 minutes
4 sections
40 items
60-90 minutes
4-6 lectures, 6 questions each
2-3 conversations, 5 questions each.
Reading 75 minutes
part 1-3 themed texts with multiple choice questions
part 2 - text with paragraphs missing
part 3 - text with multiple choice questions
part 4 - multiple matching.
IELTS - General Reading
60 minutes
3 sections - 40 items
Academic Reading
60 minutes
3 sections - 40 items
60-100 minutes
3-5 passages - 12-14 questions each

ESOL Writing 120 minutes
2 or 3 tasks
General and academic writing
60 minutes
2 tasks (150-250 words)
50 minutes
1 integrated task
1 independent task

ESOL Speaking ESOL Sound Silence IELTS - 15 minutes
interview, normally with another candidate
IELTS - 11-14 minutes
20 minutes
6 tasks, 2 independent and 2 integrated

English in Use


60 minutes
5 tasks with 50 questions
part 1 - gapped text with multiple choice
part 2 - gapped text
part 3 - word formation
part 4 gapped sentences
part 5 - key word formations

ESOL exam preparation with English Tap.

Cambridge university ESOL. CAE CPE and ?

English in Use

Paper 3, Part 3 (error correction, extra word)

In Paper 3, Part 3 you will have a short text of about 16 lines. In one task you will have to look at each line and decide if it contains an extra and unnecessary word. These extra words will be 'grammar words' and will often come from the following groups:

  • articles (the, a, an)
  • auxiliaries (do, have, are etc.)
  • comparatives (as, than, more etc.)
  • conjunctions (because, although)
  • prepositions (to, up, by etc.)
  • personal pronouns (she, it, them etc.)
  • modifiers (too, quite, so etc.)
  • relative pronouns (who, which, that etc.)

IELTS exam preparation with English Tap.


TOEFL exam preparation with English Tap.

The TOEFL is an English proficiency exam used to test your skills, reading writing, listening and speaking English. in an academic context. Lots of the language used is formal academic language, appropriate to academic situations, but you will also be expected to learn more informal language appropriate to discussions.

Test of English as a Foreign Language

Toefl IBT Internet based test

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (or TOEFL, pronounced "toe-full")

TOEFL Test preparation with native English speakers from USA and Canada over Skype

All Skype teachers are certified and experienced with TOEFL test preparation.

Increase your scores on the test and get into the college of your choice, or get the job you deserve. We can help you achieve your goal. Our approach is organized, systematic, and effective.

The appropriate TOEFL score is now the standard requirement for entry to a North American universities. Additionally, institutions such as government agencies, licensing bodies, businesses, or scholarship programs may require this test.

This course provides complete and careful preparation for all aspects of the academic module and includes:

  1. guidance and practice in all 4 areas of the exam
  2. mock examinations under authentic exam conditions
  3. regular tutorials with your teacher to give you individual help and study advice
  4. Free English Conversation Club on Skype

TOEFL Formats and contents

Internet-Based Test

Since its introduction in late 2005, the Internet-Based test (IBT) has progressively replaced both the computer-based (CBT) and paper-based(PBT) tests. The iBT has been introduced in phases, with the US, Canada, France, Germany and Italy in 2005 and the rest of the world in 2006, with test centers added regularly.

Although the demand for test seats was very high, and candidates had to wait for months, it is now possible to take the test within one to four weeks in most countries. The four-hour test consists of four sections, each measuring mainly one of the basic language skills (although some tasks may require multiple skills) focusing on language used in an academic, higher-education environment. Note-taking is allowed during the iBT. The test cannot be taken more than once a week.


The TOEFL reading comprehension section consists of 35 long passages and questions about the passages. The passages are on academic topics; they are the kind of material that might be found in an undergraduate university textbook. Students answer questions about main ideas, details, inferences, sentence restatements, sentence insertion, vocabulary, function and overall ideas. New types of questions in the iBT require paraphrasing, filling out tables, or completing summaries. Generally prior knowledge of the subject under discussion is not necessary to come to the correct answer, though a priori knowledge may help.


It consists of six long passages and questions about the passages. The passages consist of two student conversations and four academic lectures or discussions. The questions ask the students to determine main ideas, details, function, stance, inferences, and overall organization.


It consists of six tasks, two independent tasks and four integrated tasks. In the two independent tasks, students must answer opinion questions about some aspect of academic life. In two integrated reading, listening, and speaking tasks, students must read a passage, listen to a passage, and speak about how the ideas in the two passages are related. In two integrated listening and speaking tasks, students must listen to long passages and then summarize and offer opinions on the information in the passages. Test takers are expected to convey information, explain ideas, and defend opinions clearly, coherently, and accurately.


The Writing Section consists of two tasks, one integrated task and one independent task. In the integrated task, students must read an academic passage, listen to an academic passage, and write about how the ideas in the two passages are related. In the independent task, students must write a personal essay.

IBT (Internet Based Testing) Skills testing tasks


    You will be asked to read 3 passages and given 39 questions. That thirteen questions per passage but be lucky! You will have sixty minutes to complete the reading task.


    You will be given fifty minutes to listen to 6 passages and be asked 34 questions.


    6 tasks and 6 questions lasting 20 minutes.


    Two tasks and 2 questions, lasting 55 minutes.

It should be noted that at least one of the sections of the test will include extra, uncounted material. Educational Testing Service includes extra material to try out material for future tests. Anyone taking the tests who is given a longer section must work hard on all of it because they won't know which material counts and which material is test trial material.

For example, if there are four reading passages instead of three, three of the passages will count and one of the passages will not be counted. The uncounted passage could be any of those passages.

Paper-Based Test

In areas where the IBT and CBT are not available, a paper-based test (PBT) is given. Because test takers cannot register at the testing center on the test date, they must register in advance using the registration form provided in the Supplemental Paper TOEFL Bulletin. They should register in advance of the given deadlines to ensure a place because the test centers have limited seating and may fill up early. Tests are administered only several times each year.

The PBT tests essentially the same skills as the CBT, albeit with some differences, noticeably the number of questions (which is higher in the PBT) and the score scales. The test lasts 4 hours more or less. Students can take the test as many times as they wish. However, colleges and universities usually consider only the most recent score.

Listening (30-40 minutes)

The listening consists of three parts:

  1. The first contains 30 questions about short conversations.
  2. The second part has 8 questions about longer conversations.
  3. The last part asks 12 questions about lectures or talks.
  4. Structure and Written Expression (25 minutes)

    This part has 15 exercises of completing sentences correctly and 25 exercises of identifying errors.

    Reading Comprehension (55 minutes)

    It has 50 questions about the reading passages.

    Writing (30 minutes)

    One essay with 250-300 words in average.

    Test Scores

    Internet-Based Test

    1. The iBT version of the TOEFL test is scored on a scale of 0 to 120 points.
    2. Each of the four sections (Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing) receives a scaled score from 0 to 30. The scaled scores from the four sections are added together to determine the overall score.
    3. Speaking is initially given a score of 0 to 4, and writing is initially given a score of 0 to 5. These scores are converted to scaled scores of 0 to 30.

    Computer-Based Test

    1. Three subscores are obtained, each of which is given on a 030 scale: Listening, Structure/Writing (combined), and Reading. These subscores are averaged to obtain the final score, which is on a 0300 scale.
    2. The score for Writing is a component of the score for the Structure Section. Even though the college or university where the test taker applied did not require a score for Writing, the test taker had to write the essay to complete the test.
    3. The Writing test is scored on a scale from 0 to 6. A score of 6 showed strong writing abilities, 5 average writing abilities, and 4 minimal writing abilities. A score of 3, 2 or 1 showed a lack of writing technique. The essay was read by two testing evaluators. Each one gave the essay a score. The two scores are averaged to produce the final Writing scores. If the evaluators were more than 1 point different in their assessment, a third evaluator scored the essay.

    Paper-Based Test

    1. The final PBT score ranges between 310 and 677 and is based on three subscores: Listening (3168), Structure (3168), and Reading (3167). Unlike the CBT, the score of the Writing section (referred to as the Test of Written English, TWE) is not part of the final score; instead, it is reported separately on a scale of 06.
    2. The score test takers receive on the Listening, Structure and Reading parts of the TOEFL test is not the percentage of correct answers. The score is converted to take into account the fact that some tests are more difficult than others. The converted scores correct these differences. Therefore, the converted score is a more accurate reflection of the ability than the correct answer score is.

    Understanding Details

    Necessary Skills

    Identifying Facts
    • Comprehending important information and facts are stated in a passage
    • Locating a specific piece of information in the passage quickly
    • Using examples and descriptions to find information
    • Understanding the distinction between main ideas and supporting details
    • Using transitional expressions to locate details such as examples, time, reasons, or results

    Identifying Negative Facts
    • Recognizing incorrect information as well as information not mentioned in the text
    • Identifying paraphrases that do or do not correctly summarize information from the text

    Example Questions
    • According to the passage, who/when/where/what/how/why _____?
    • According to paragraph _____, ________ because
    • In paragraph ____, the author states that_____
    • In paragraph _____, what does the author say about _______?
    • The author mentions ______ as an example of ___________
    • According to the passage, which of the following is true about _____?

    Negative Facts Questions
    • All of the following are mentioned in the passage EXCEPT_____
    • According to the passage, which is NOT ______?


    Australia is the world's smallest continent, but it is one of the most fascinating. Australia has rainforests, deserts, and mountains. Seventy percent of the people in Australia live in cities near the coasts. The middle of the country is nearly deserted.
    Australia has 175 million sheep, about a sixth of the world's total. It produces a third of the world's wool. It exports ninety-seven percent of its wool to Japan, Europe, and China. Australia also has about 24 million cattle. It exports beef to more than 100 countries. Two million tourists visit this beautiful country each year.

    continent (n),
    a large landmass
    fascinating (adj);
    very interesting
    rainforest (n):
    a dense forest that is usually seen in hot humid areas
    percent (n):
    per 100 (i.e., 70%)
    export (v):
    to ship and sell products to other nations

    1. How much of the world's wool is produced in Australia, according to the passage?
      1. 66 percent
      2. 33 percent
      3. 25 percent
      4. 75 percent
    2. How many Australians live in cities near the coast?
      1. 70 percent
      2. 20 percent
      3. 30 percent
      4. 50 percent
    3. The word "deserted" in paragraph 1 is closest in meaning to
      1. dangerous
      2. dry
      3. empty
      4. old and falling down
    4. How did you choose the answer for the questions 2 above? Explain or show how you found the right answer.

    Classical Music

    The classical period of music lasted from 1760 to 1790. It featured music written for the pianoforte. This instrument was an early version of the modern piano.
    The classical period produced two great composers. One was Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809). The other was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791). Haydn wrote more than 100 symphonies. A symphony is a piece of music designed for a large group of instruments. Haydn also wrote a lot of famous chamber music. This is designed for small groups. Mozart first performed in public at age 5 for one lucky audience. He wrote his first symphony before age 10. He also wrote many great piano concertos and several operas.

    feature (v),
    to have; to be characterized by
    version (n);
    a different form or variation
    composer (n):
    a person who writes music
    chamber (n):
    a room
    perform (v):
    to play music, act, sing, etc.

    1. According to the passage, how long did the classical period of music last?
      1. Two decades
      2. 25 years
      3. Three decades
      4. Four decades
    2. According to the passage, which of the following is NOT true?
      1. The pianoforte is an earlier version of the modern piano.
      2. Both composers were born in the eighteenth century.
      3. Only one person listened to Mozart's first performance.
      4. Mozart composed music when he was very young.
    3. The expression "in public" in paragraph 2 is closest in meaning to
      1. at school
      2. in front of people
      3. for money
      4. in a small group
    4. What kind of music would a group of four musicians in the classical period most likely play?
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