How to Prepare for Your English Language Proficiency Test
Updated: Aug 25
From writing essays to chatting with classmates, strong English language skills are a necessary component to studying at a U.S. college or university. In reviewing your application, college admissions officers want to see that your English skills are strong enough to allow you to succeed in and out of the classroom. This is where English Language proficiency tests come in. The TOEFL®, IELTS, and Duolingo exams all assess your English proficiency and can show colleges that you’re equipped for international study. To best prepare for your upcoming English Language proficiency test, review the following steps.
Use EdAgree’s tools to determine your strengths and weaknesses: Before planning for your English proficiency exam, it’s important to identify your strengths and weaknesses. EdAgree’s free English Diagnostic Test helps you to recognize where your listening, reading, grammar, and vocabulary skill levels are and can show you how best to spend your study sessions. Similarly, EdAgree’s English Speaking Practice pinpoints your strong and weak points using the same technology that scores the TOEFL®.
Check-in with a school counselor: When planning your English proficiency exam, there are many factors to consider, like what exams are accepted by the schools you plan to apply to and whether it’s best for you to take an online or in-person test. Your school counselor can help you weigh these factors, and provide support when registering and studying for English proficiency exams.
Schedule your exam: Once you've determined which exam you'll be taking, a helpful next step is scheduling your exam. Having a date for your exam allows you to plan your studying accordingly so that you're at peak-readiness when it's time to take your test. Information about test dates can be found on each exam's website. For help scheduling your exam, check in with your school counselor.
Take a preliminary practice exam: The best place to begin preparation for your English exam is with an initial practice exam that can help you to determine your starting point. Regardless of which exam you plan to take, free practice exams are available to you online at the links below.
Once you’ve taken this first practice test, score yourself and determine which exam sections will require the most practice.
Focus on your areas of weakness: After you’ve identified the area of your exam that needs the most improvement, it’s best to focus your time and energy on strengthening those weak spots. In addition to traditional practice activities, try working English practice into your day-to-day routine. For example, if you most need to improve your listening skills, try listening to a daily English-speaking podcast to help with your comprehension.
Put it all together: Now that you’ve identified your areas of weakness and worked to improve them, it’s helpful to put your studying into context by taking more practice exams. Once you feel confident in your ability to excel at each individual section of the exam, try a full run-through of the exam to get a feel for the pacing of the test. When you’re satisfied with your scores on these practice tests, you’re ready for your exam date — good luck!
At EdAgree, we are here to help you identify your path to academic success at a U.S. university. We want to help you present your best self during the admissions process, and additional support throughout study abroad and beyond! This includes helping you prepare for English proficiency exams with our English Language Diagnostic Test and English Speaking Practice Tool.
Create your free EdAgree profile today to start your path to the right university for you and your future!