Taking the right English language certification examination can open doors for you especially if the English Language is not your native language. In Nigeria, though English is the official language spoken, it is not our mother tongue. We have over 250 ethnics groups with their various modes of communication.
Even if you speak English very well, you still have to write some English tests which mostly contains listening, speaking, reading and writing before you can be accepted to further your education, work or relocate to some English speaking countries.
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 and that's why it is beneficial to learn it if you would want to do anything outside your native country.
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 benefits and recognition to prove your level of understanding. You also need to make sure that the people you're proving your level of proficiency to are familiar with the proof you're showing them.
Let's take a look at the various English Test and how you can get them. Before we proceed, remember you can get qualified and skilled English tutors online at Superprof Nigeria (www.superprof.ng) to teach you the language.
A Guide To English Proficiency Examination
There are English Certificates 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.
Let us take a look at some of the biggest English exams which you may be very familiar with and might probably need.
We’re talking about the TOEFL, IELTS, CAMBRIDGE ESOL and the GMAT!
The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) 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. The cost of taking the test in Nigeria is ₦79,000.
There is the IELTS Academic which is used to test whether your English language proficiency is suitable for an academic environment and the IELTS general training which is used for measuring English language proficiency in a practical, everyday context.
The test consists of four types: listening, reading, writing and speaking. What will constitute a high score for academic, work or immigration purposes differs for people as various factors come into place.
TOEFL meaning Test of English as a Foreign Language 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 used to access your comprehension and proficiency of the English language. The cost of writing the test ranges between ₦60,000 and ₦75,000 depending on the location in Nigeria.
The test is valid for two years and is broken down into four parts which are listening, speaking, reading and writing. The score range is Reading: 0–30 Listening: 0–30 Speaking: 0–30 Writing: 0–30 and scores accepted by educational institutions vary from school to school.
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. Cambridge ESOL proves that a candidate is fluent in the language and can read, speak, listen and communicate in English speaking environment.
This test has no expiry date and the test includes four parts: reading and use of English, writing, listening and speaking. You can check britishcouncil.org.ng for more information on the cost.
GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) is a computer adaptive test intended to assess certain analytical, writing, quantitative, verbal, and reading skills in written English. This test is usually taken by candidates who want to do their MBA or business programs in an international or foreign English speaking country.
The test is valid for five years and the cost of taking the examination in Nigeria is ₦100,000. The test comprises four sections namely; analytical writing, integrated reasoning, quantitative reasoning and verbal reasoning.
Cambridge English Examinations
This 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. It is used to test your grammar, vocabulary, listening skills, speaking skills, reading and writing skills.
Out of all the Cambridge English assessment, CPE which is also known as C2 is Cambridge's highest-level qualification and proof that you are a highly competent speaker of English while KET commonly referred to as the Cambridge English Qualification A2 Key is a beginner test which is an elementary qualification for students of English as a Second Language (ESL).
There are two opportunities to sit the Cambridge Assessment International Examination every year in Nigeria: May/June and October/November. Many European countries accept this exam for foreign students who want to study or take a course in their country.
The British Council also offer the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) which is chosen by a lot of candidates in Nigeria each year, especially for the Canadian immigration process. A number of English-speaking countries use this when it comes to immigration
Certifications Needed To Teach English
There are plenty of English tests, diplomas, and certificates you can use to prove your proficiency and show potential customers that you know the English language inside out, including grammar, vocabulary, speaking, and reading and writing. Depending on the kind of learner you're going to be teaching the English language, the qualifications and experience you’ll need vary.
Technically you do not need a degree or any legal requirement in Nigeria to teach English privately though you do have to learn English, of course. Having knowledge in the field you are interested in teaching cannot be overemphasized. If you however want to work with schools in Nigeria, the minimum requirement is NCE (Nigeria Certificate In Education). A university or higher education degree does not necessarily come in handy for those who want to work as a private tutor especially to primary students. All you need to have is a certain degree of fluency, a variety of writing skills, and an in-depth understanding of spoken general English.
You have an added advantage as an English teacher if you can speak a native Nigerian language or other languages. It will improve your competitiveness in the labour market. As a Bilingual speaker, you can consider giving English tutorials to children and adults who can't understand the language but understand your native language.
Tips On How To Become A Successful English Tutor
- Be patient, be a good listener and encourage good communication with your students.
- Be creative with your pricing. Everyone loves a good pricing deal.
- Be innovative with continuous research in your area of expertise
- Decide the subject area you will like to specialise in and begin to build your knowledge in it.
- Always prepare for your sessions before your tutorial classes.
- Aspiring teachers have to ensure they get the necessary and requisite education, training, and certification to better impart the much-needed knowledge and character to children.
The GMAT Examination
GMAT is a computer adaptive test (CAT) started in 1953 to ascertain the analytical, writing, quantitative, verbal, and reading skills in written English for use in admission to business management programmes. (GMAC) is the developer and administrator of this test. Over 2,300 business schools around the world accept the GMAT as part of their entrance requirements. The cost of the Gmat examination in Nigeria ₦100,000. 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.
The examination consists of four sections:
- Analytical writing
- Integrated reasoning
- Quantitative reasoning
- Verbal reasoning
To prep for the examination is a serious time commitment and you must have a solid study plan. It can take between 2-3 months or even more to prepare for the test. However, your study plan has to be individualised to suit your learning pace and your everyday lifestyle. It is important to note that the GMAT exam is not like any other test discussed. You cannot successfully pass this test without fully preparing in advance for it.
There are several books on GMAT practice questions and answers you can get from bookshops nationwide in Nigeria. to start your study plan. You can also get several free and paid materials for the examinations on Nigerian and foreign websites to start your day to day hours of study.
You can reach a higher score faster with lower time investment with the help of a good tutor. A good tutor will easily diagnose your GMAT weaknesses and prescribe homework and study plans that will efficiently target those weaknesses to achieve your desired goal for your admission requirement.
You can find a private tutor to help you learn English online by visiting Superprof.ng