The English language is the official language in Language. However, we have over 250 ethnics group in Nigeria who have different languages. Nigeria being an African country with diverse languages is one of the countries required to take an English certification examination before going to an English speaking country to study, work or relocate migrate.
Taking the right English language certification examination can open doors for you. Once you have successfully written and passed the exam, you can put your result on your CV and employers around the world viewing it will immediately understand what your level of English is without having to ask any more questions.
Even if you speak English very well, you still have to write some of these examinations which mostly contains listening, speaking, reading and writing before you can be accepted for whatever you need the certification for.
The English language is the second language when it comes to doing business all over the world. It is like the language that brings all together to mutually understand each other. As a tourist, English is the language you speak if you do not understand the native language of a country. A translator who speaks both the native language and English is who will be able to help the tourist find their way around.
If you’d like to be accredited for your written and spoken English, there are several different examinations you can consider, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages.
As you continue to read this article, you will learn the certification examinations you can sit for that will best suit the reason you need it for, whether it is to gain admission in an international school overseas to further your education, meet the requirements for a job position, relocate to an English speaking country and so on.
It is however important to note that having at least a credit in the English language in your senior school certificate can exempt you from writing an English certification if you want to study in some schools overseas. Check the requirements for international students on your choice of schools' website for more information on this.
Let us start with the most currently famous one in Nigeria, The International English Language Testing System (IELTS). It is an international standardized test of English language proficiency for non-native English language speakers. It is the worlds most popular English language proficiency test for higher education and global migration. It is highly recognised by educational institutions, employers, governments and professional bodies around the world. It is commonly written by Nigerians for the migration process open to Nigerian to relocate to Canada. 3 in every 5 Nigerians is taking the examination for the relocation process to Canada.
The cost of the exam is ₦79,000. It is jointly owned by British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge Assessment English.
There are two types of tests available to choose from depending on what it is you want to do. There is the IELTS Academic or IELTS General Training. You have the choice of writing the exam on paper or with the use of a computer.
IELTS Academic - As the name implies, it is used to test whether your English language proficiency is suitable for an academic environment. It is suitable for anyone entering university or professional institutions and a means of evaluating whether you are ready to begin studying or training.
IELTS General Training - It is used for measuring English language proficiency in a practical, everyday context. The test contains topics based on general interest in the workplace and social situations.
The tests consist of four types;
- Listening - 30 minutes
- Reading - 60 minutes
- Writing - 60 minutes
- Speaking - 11 to 14 minutes
What Is A Good IELTS Score?
What constitutes a high score for academic, work or immigration purposes differs for people as various factors come into place. What is considered high in one institution might not be considered high in another? Different organizations/bodies/universities/countries have their different minimum required scores and other requirements or qualification.
Let's take a look below at the British Council’s official descriptions of the different score bands to give you a general idea:
|IELTS BAND SCORE||SKILL LEVEL|
|0||Did not attempt|
One of the disadvantages of the exam is that it’s a multiple-choice format exam. This isn't considered to be completely representative of language abilities and probably oversimplifies the whole language-learning process. Also, the test score is only valid for 2 years. if you need it again after the 2 years, you would have to sit for it again.
You can contact any of the English tutors on Superprof. ng for online lessons to aid your studies for the test in other to meet the required score you will need.
TOEFL is an acronym of the Test of English as a Foreign Language. It is used to access your comprehension and proficiency of the language. It is one of the most widely respected English-language test in the world, 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). Whichever you decide to use is solely dependent on the location of your test centre. The cost of writing the test ranges between ₦60,000 and ₦75,000 depending on the location in Nigeria.
Toelf is a test that is taken all year round due to its depend in Nigeria. The test is broken down into four parts as seen below and each having a maximum score of 30:
The scores accepted by educational institutions vary from school to school and each one has its own accepted score. The score range is Reading: 0–30 Listening: 0–30 Speaking: 0–30 Writing: 0–30. Other requirements and skills for the programme or course or advanced studies will be stated by the school that will qualify your entry.
There is a lot of resources out there to help prepare the student for the examination because of the popularity of the tests. Just go online and you will find tons of exercises, soft copy books, videos and online courses, including those offered by ETS who runs TOEFL. There are also a lot of test centres in Nigeria like Ogun state, Asaba, Lagos, Ibadan, Abuja, Port Harcourt and several others states.
One disadvantage of this test is that it's only valid for two years. This is because language competency can change very quickly over time if the user isn't practising their language. Another disadvantage is and also that it’s a multiple-choice format exam that isn't considered to be completely representative of language abilities and probably oversimplifies the whole language-learning process. If you also don't have good computer skills, the test can be a challenge as TOEFL iBT is delivered exclusively online.
The Cambridge International Examinations (O and A levels, AS Levels, IGCSE, and Checkpoint) is also a test to examine students proficiency in the English language. Thousands of universities, employers and government ministries all over the world rely on Cambridge ESOL certificates as proof of English language ability.
The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK-based organisation whose main role is to operate the application process for British universities. They award points to students with high scores in the exam, making the students' admission acceptance to further their education almost inevitable. Cambridge ESOL is the only language proficiency exam with this accreditation from UCAS.
Cambridge ESOL proves that a candidate is fluent in the language and can read, speak, listen and communicate in English speaking environment. The cost of writing the examination varies depending on which level and subjects. You can check britishcouncil.org.ng for more information on the cost.
Cambridge Esol Test
There are two opportunities to sit the Cambridge Assessment International Examination every year in Nigeria: May/June and October/November.
The test includes four different parts:
- Paper 1- Reading and Use of English - Duration: 1 hour and 30 minutes
- Paper 2-Writing - Duration: 1 hour and 30 minutes
- Paper 3- Listening - Duration: 40 minutes
- Paper 4- Speaking - Duration: 16 minutes
Minus the fact that the Cambridge examination qualification certificate is accepted by thousands of universities, employers and governmental departments, it has no expiry date. It also covers all skills and helps you build your confidence to use English in real life. Cambridge also has one of the world’s largest language research teams to design their Cambridge exams and their grade system is objective and universal. Over 20,000 organisations accept its certification around the world and Cambridge University has been preparing English examinations for international students for over 100 years.
Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is a computer adaptive test intended to assess certain analytical, writing, quantitative, verbal, and reading skills in written English. There are over 600 test centres in 114 countries. The test is taken every Wednesdays and Thursdays of the week in Abuja while in Lagos, it is taken every day of the week (Mondays - Saturdays) throughout the year at certified centres in Nigeria. Students can sit for the examination only five times within a space of twelve months and the test can be taken just once in 30 days.
The grade or score accepted varies from school to school. The student will have o get information on the grade from the international admissions office of the school of interest. It is the most widely accepted exam for MBA admissions worldwide or anyone who wants to go to business school. The cost of the Gmat examination in Nigeria ₦N100,000.
The tests comprise of four sections:
- Analytical writing - 30 minutes
- Integrated reasoning - 30 minutes
- Quantitative reasoning - 62 minutes
- Verbal reasoning - 65 minutes
The final results will be on a scale between 200 and 800 and the score is valid for 5 years.
Make sure that you consider all your options before taking an English exam. Think about why you need a qualification in it and whether the people you need to prove your level to are going to recognise it! Each of the English Proficiency Certificate Examination has its own standard of tests which should also be carefully considered before sitting for it. Regardless of the standard used, the assessment is however to test how fluent your English language is. The registration for the exams is usually done online, which gives you room to edit your information before the examination date.
You can take lessons for any of the English certifications online by contacting any of our English tutors on Superprof. ng. There are varieties of online teachers who specialise in tutoring any of these Tests on the platform.