Should my kids prepare for English level tests?
This depends on your goals. First, understand that making a student study for an English level test does not always mean their English ability will be quite high. Tests often focus on language acquisition aspects, and not using English naturally. Tests are often a barrier for entry to get into a better school, program or seek other opportunities. If you are hoping to expand your child’s opportunities, and English credentials then a test may be suitable for them. Tests should be taken because they are a requirement for a better opportunity, and not taken just for the sake of taking a test.
If you are interested in taking English tests then please consider these as they are recognized around the world:
Cambridge English has exams available for various levels with center locations around the world. These tests are also based on the Common European Framework of References for Languages or CEFR for short. CEFR places levels from A1 (beginner) to C2 (native/fluent). These tests will provide a clear path and hierarchy for your student to follow should they take these tests. The CEFR scale can be translated across test. For example if you have a B2 score with CEFR there is an equivalent for IELTS / TOEIC / TOEFL.
IELTS / TOEIC / TOEFL are generally taken by middle to advance students. These tests scores are often used for admission into universities, jobs and countries abroad. Each country has its own rules about whether or not they will accept these scores. For example, if you are a Chinese student but wanting to study in the United Kingdom then you will be required to attain a certain score. Please check with the respective university / governments for exact details on test scores. We recommend taking IELTS as it is more recognized around the world.
In sum, tests can be an effective way to check the level of your student. They can also be used a tool for more opportunities. However, if your student has been regularly studying English for years now it may be more suitable to wait until they are older to take a test like IELTS. English tests are likely not required for staying in your own country attending a local. If your student wants to either travel, live, study or work abroad then taking IELTS will be beneficial for them when they are about to embark on their journey.
Answered by Chris Ternosky
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