English remains one of the most popular languages spoken and taught practically everywhere in Nigeria and around the globe. Once you can understand it, you can be assured that you will find it easy when you go to a foreign land whether or not they speak English. Even if it is not an English speaking country, be sure there is always a translator ready to help you translate from their language to English.
In Nigeria, we have various languages from different ethnics group. However, English is what binds us all in understanding each other. You can’t just say you are good with the English language on your CV, you have to prove it. There are plenty of certificates that can tell a learner what their level is. Unfortunately, with so many, it can be difficult to decide which one you need.
We at Superprof are here to guide you through the process of choosing the right one that suits your need.
Cambridge English Language Assessment:
This is one of the biggest of three main exam boards forming Cambridge Assessment, a non-teaching department of the University of Cambridge. The assessment provides a path to improving language skills and it originated from Cambridge which is one of the most famous educational institutions in the globe.
It is popularly known and over 20,000 organizations accept its Proficiency (CPE), Advanced (CAE), First (FCE), Preliminary (PET) and Key (KET) certification around the globe. Cambridge has been preparing English exams for international students for over 100 years. There are almost 2,700 examination centres around the world. The assessment is used to test your grammar, vocabulary, listening skills, speaking skills, reading and writing skills.
Key English Test (KET)
This is a beginner or elementary qualification for students of English as a Second Language (ESL). it is commonly referred to as the Cambridge English Qualification A2 Key. It is expected that students/candidates at this level have a basic understanding of common verbs, vocabulary, basic phrases, and simple spelling. Successful completion of a Cambridge KET test shows that the students can communicate in simple situations. The candidate can move on to another certification examination. You can check online for information and past questions to use during your studying before your selected dates.
Thousands of people including Nigerians sit for the KET exam every year. It comes in three parts:
Reading and Writing: They are combined together in one paper and it lasts for about 1 hour.
Listening: 25 questions in 30 minutes.
Speaking: It lasts between 8 and 10 minutes.
You will receive a Statement of your Results from the organizing body after successfully completing the examination.
You can take English lessons online at www. super prof.ng
Preliminary English Test (PET)
This is one of the Cambridge English exams and is very similar to the KET exam with a few differences. This is exam is equivalent to B1, a level above A2. B1 Preliminary is an intermediate qualification and is designed for learners who have mastered the basics of English.
Many multinational organizations require that their staff have and understand at least this level.
The test has these four parts:
- Reading- six parts - 45 minutes
- Writing - two parts- 45 minutes
- Listening - four parts- 30 minutes
- Speaking - an interview, 12 minutes
You can browse, shop, download, get additional information on centres in Nigeria and also take an online practice test www.cambridge.org/ng.
First Certificate in English (FCE)
This general qualification proves that you can speak and write it well enough to work or study in an English-speaking environment. B2/ upper-intermediate is one of Cambridge English qualifications and it is their most popular exam, accepted by thousands of businesses and educational institutions globally.
To take the exam you should be able to: write short reports and emails, explain an idea or have a detailed discussion and understand general English on TV and in newspapers. Successful completion of this exam is officially recognised with a certificate that will be delivered to you by the ESOL exam centre of Cambridge. This certification has lifetime validity. It is cost-effective as you don't have to pay a fee for it like every 2,3,4 or 5 years like some of the other certification examinations. However, the FCE fee varies by location.
The test has four sections:
- Reading & Use of English -75 minutes
- Writing - 2 essays, 80 minutes
- Listening - 40 minutes
- Speaking - interview, normally with another candidate, 14 minutes
There are several dates available for the exam. The paper-based exam can be taken in March, May, June, August and December. The computer-based exam can be taken in February, April, July, August and November.
A Statement of Results is given to the candidates 4 to 6 weeks after the paper-based exam and 2 weeks after the computer-based exam.
Certificate in Advanced English (CAE)
This qualification shows that your English is of a standard expected of a professional business person or an undergraduate college student. It is currently known as C1 advanced and was introduced in 1991.
This exam is for people who want to prove to employers or universities that they can communicate confidently in English in professional and high-level academic situations. The certification is a real asset for your professional career or for your higher education studies.
The test has four sections:
- Reading & Use of English - 90 minutes
- Writing - 2 tasks, 90 minutes
- Listening - 40 minutes, 30 questions
- Speaking - This paper is conducted face-to-face, normally with another candidate - 15 minutes
Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE)
It is also known as C2 and is Cambridge's highest-level qualification and proof that you are a highly competent speaker of English. It shows the world that you have mastered it to an exceptional stage. Successfully sitting for the exam means you have the knowledge that’s needed to study or work in a very senior professional or academic environment.
The test has five sections:
- Reading - 4 parts, 90 minutes
- Composition - 2 tasks, 2 hours
- Use of English - 90 minutes
- Listening - 3 or 4 recordings, 40 minutes
- Interview - it is a face to face interview - 15 minutes
A candidate who has passed the CPE examination receives a Statement of Results along with a certificate.
International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
This an international standardized test of English language proficiency for non-native English speakers. It is the worlds most popular proficiency test for higher education and global migration. It is commonly written by Nigerians who want to relocate to Canada and school in some countries.
There are two types of tests: IELTS Academic or IELTS General Training and each consists of four types; Listening, speaking, writing and speaking.
The cost of the exam in Nigeria is ₦79,000. There are 11 examination centres in Nigeria and an average of 120 people sit for the examination at a centre each day.
ETS English Examinations
Educational Testing Service (ETS), founded in 1947 and is the world's largest private nonprofit educational testing and assessment organization. Their headquarters is in New Jersey, USA and their examinations are usually associated with entry (undergraduate and postgraduate) to the Us tertiary. They are the administers of TOEFL and TOEIC tests, GRE General and Subject Tests, HiSET and Praxis Series assessments.
They are in more than 180 countries, and at over 9,000 locations globally. Their examinations have a literary, academic, practical and professional focus.
TOELF is used to access your comprehension and proficiency of the language. It is one of the most widely respected tests in the globe, recognized by more than 11,000 universities in over 150 countries. It is a prerequisite to study in an English speaking country as a foreigner regardless of the course you choose to study.
There is the Internet-based Test (TOEFL iBT) or the Paper-based Test (TOEFL PBT). The cost of sitting for this examination test ranges between ₦60,000 and ₦75,000 depending on the location in Nigeria.
The TOEFL examination centres are in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Ibadan, Owerri, Asaba, Enugu, and Jos
Nationally-Recognised Exams for Proficiency in English
There is also a number of English proficiency examinations globally you could consider taking. However, these may be limited to the country you take them in. In Nigeria TOEFL, IELTS, CAMBRIDGE and GMAT are commonly done.
Whatever you do, make sure you think and do your research on the one that best suits your need. We have given you all the information you need to get started. However, your choice of college or relocation country can have already decided which is a compulsory requirement. For instance, IELTS is commonly used by the Canadian government and colleges, the united states of America usually make use of TOEFL and the suited kingdom commonly uses the Cambridge examination and certifications.
Learn languages online on www.Superprof.ng.
Click the below links to read up more on the English proficiency tests:
- Which English Language Certification Should You Prepare To Take?
- Qualifications Needed To Become An English Teacher
- A Guide To The GMAT Examinations