Proficiency in English has levels, and these levels can be reached when you sit and pass some tests. You are going to need the outcomes of these tests for academic or immigration purposes. Here are the types of English proficiency tests that are widely accepted.
The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is the best-known and most commonly used English proficiency test. It is designed specifically to test knowledge of English as it is used in an academic setting.
It is a four-hour test using two formats of the internet-based test (iBT) and the paper-delivered test. Answers are recorded and evaluated by the graders. Students are tested on reading comprehension, listening comprehension, speaking, and written expression. The test is administered on fixed dates more than 50 times a year.
The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) has two versions: an academic version used by universities for academic purposes and a general training version used by governments and employers for work and immigration permits.
This test has a duration of three hours with students tested on listening (40 minutes), reading (60 minutes), writing (60 minutes), and speaking (11-14 minutes). The test holds twice a month on the weekends.
The Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English is required for admission to UK universities. It is an advanced test accepted as proof of C1 level English. It has a four-hour test period and test-takers are tested on reading and use of English, writing, listening, and speaking. This test can be taken monthly.
The Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English is the most advanced of English level tests. It tests knowledge of English at the C2 level and takes four hours to be administered.
The test has four sections of reading and use of English (90 minutes), writing (90 minutes), listening (40 minutes), and speaking (16 minutes) and is offered only twice per year in June and December.