For non-native English speakers like me, get to know about TOEFL, TOEIC, and IELTS if you plan to study and work abroad

1 Comment


What is TOEFL?

The Test of English as a Foreign Language or TOEFL is an English proficiency exam. TOEFL test is designed for non-native English speakers in order to evaluate their proficiency in the English language–it measures the individual’s ability to use and understand the language. The test focuses on the following areas: listening, reading, writing, and speaking. It is completely done over the internet. Hence, it’s also called TOEFL IBT (internet-based test). Unless TOEFL IBT wouldn’t be possible in some places, a pen and paper test is provided in designated areas.

TOEFL IBT test covers four sections and each with its allocated time:

Reading —60-100 minutes

3-5 passages (12-14 questions each)

Listening — 60-90 minutes

4-6 lectures and academic discussions (6 questions each)

2-3 conversations (5 questions each)

Speaking —20 minutes


6 tasks (2 independent, 4 integrated)

Writing –50 minutes

1 integrated task, 1 independent task

Why take TOEFL?

Many colleges and universities from English-speaking countries like US and Canada list TOEFL test as one of the requirements for a foreign student to be admitted in the college or university. Also, some institutions require a foreign individual to submit a TOEFL test result as a basis for evaluation in terms of determining the individual’s competencies in the English language.

Who takes TOEFL?

Individuals who take TOEFL test are those who are:

  •  Non-native English speakers
  • Planning to study abroad primarily in English-speaking countries
  •  In an exchange and scholarship programs
  • English learners who want to evaluate and compare their present and previous performances in the test result for certification or future employment in certain countries



What is TOEIC?

As the world becomes globally competitive, individuals must also be equipped with the needed skills in order to keep up with the changing times and one particular aspect is the ability to communicate using the English language.

TOEIC is an acronym for Test of English for International Communication. It is a standardized English language test given to non-native English speaking examinees or employees to test their competencies in a working environment and check their English language skills whether or not they can meet the demands of a globally competitive environment. TOEIC allows each individual to prove their worth in a business environment by being able to meet with the demands of an ever changing world.

The TOEIC test measures your ability to use English in daily working situations like telephone conversations, business meetings, customer relations, etc.

It’s a two-hour pencil and paper test divided into two sections:

Listening—has 100 questions based on the audio played during each segment. The allotted time is 45 minutes

Reading—has 100 questions multiple-choice test items divided into three segments: incomplete sentences, error recognition, and reading comprehension. The allotted time is 75 minutes.

Aside from the traditional 2-hour paper and pencil test to examine the applicant’s listening and reading skills, speaking (20 minutes) and writing (60 minutes) tests have also been included which is taken via the internet to make the exam more reliable as it covers all four aspects of communication.

Why take TOEIC?

  • To get hired by an established company
  • To advance their careers
  •  To be promoted to a higher and deserving position in accordance to their skills
  •  To gain employer’s confidence in your abilities and performance
  • For certification purposes and/or as an employment requirement (i.e. nurses CGFNS’s certificate)

Who uses TOEIC?

  • Non-native English speaker
  • School and universities
  •  Companies and private organizations
  •  Health professional (i.e. nurses, radiographer, physical therapist)
  • Applicants of working/immigrant visa



What is IELTS?

International English Language Testing System or IELTS is a standardized English proficiency test that can be taken by both native and non-native English speakers who wish to study, work, and migrate to UK and other English speaking countries. Native speakers take the IELTS to gain higher proficiency points but they are not necessarily required to take it except for proving higher level of English competencies.

IELTS consists of two types:

Academics—those who wish to study in English-speaking universities and institutions of higher education

General Training—this test is designed for those who are planning to immigrate to, and work in an English speaking country

The test has four sections and each with allotted time:

Listening – 4 sections, 40 questions, 30 minutes

Reading – 3 sections, 40 questions, 60 minutes

Writing – 3 sections, 40 questions, 60 minutes

Speaking – interview, 15 minutes

Why Take IELTS?

IELTS is a highly recognized English language proficiency test education, employment, and immigration purposes. It is widely acceptable by over 6,000 institutions and organizations, and 125 countries worldwide.

The test determines the candidate’s English proficiency in dealing with everyday experiences as the exam covers real-life tasks. It is used as a basis to measure the candidate’s ability to communicate as it consists of all four major skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing

Who takes IELTS?

IELTS test are taken by:

  • Candidates who want to pursue education in English-speaking countries
  • Those who want to immigrate and work in a foreign land whose primary language is English
  •  Professionals and students who want to comply to the institution or organization’s policy
  • Professionals who want to register as a doctor or nurse in English-speaking territories



Related articles


Freelance: A Jump Start To A New Career

Leave a comment

Few months ago, I had a full-time job with a stable income. I worked as a preschool teacher. All I had to do was prepare my lesson and teach and play with the students.

The school where I worked was established in 2006, and I was one of the pioneer teachers. At that time, there were only four teachers with not more than 40 students. I was lucky that among the many applicants who applied for the job, I was chosen despite my educational background. There was really a huge disparity between the job I was applying for and my course description. Imagine, from a Political Science graduate to a full-time preschool teacher. Although I took professional education course way back 2004, it was still way different from early childhood education.

Another opportunity came when I happened to read a post at a local online classified ads. Again, I didn’t have any second thoughts. I immediately sent my application and resume online to the address that was posted on that site. I got excited at the thought of becoming an Online English teacher, but then again I didn’t have any experience teaching online, however, it didn’t stop me from trying my luck. Just like my first job, I was assigned as the marketing assistant and circulation-in-charge for a publishing company, and the challenging part was the time I was tasked to do bookkeeping. Who wouldn’t fret? I was studying the constitution of the Philippines and the next thing I knew, I was already doing some computations and payrolls–definitely out of my league.

One day, I received a message through my cellphone. The message came from the manager of the Online English school, and I was literally having cold feet and hands. I got nervous when I read the message that I would be interviewed later that day. So, basically the rest was history. I got the job–yeepee!

Did I quit from my daytime job as a preschool teacher? No, I didn’t. I was literally in the act of juggling from daytime to night time job. Soon, I found myself too exhausted trying to balance my time–work, family, and self.

First, I gave up online teaching, and months later, I quit my daytime job as a preschool teacher. The next thing I knew I was already unemployed. At first, I enjoyed the freedom of just staying at home–relaxed and carefree. I had a new title on my name–full-time mother and homemaker. I spent my time surfing the internet while my son was in school and while my hubby was busy working.

While browsing, the word “freelancer” popped into my mind. I had been eyeing on becoming a freelancer even before I quit my two jobs. I remembered having thoughts of becoming a freelancer and entrepreneur. I did some research on freelancing, and I found many home-based teaching jobs and so many other online jobs that I can do at home.

It has been less than a month since I finally decided to give it (freelancing) a go, and then I realized that it’s not easy to be an online freelancer. I am in the process of learning and getting helpful tips from experts who have managed to make it as a freelancer. I just wish that I won’t run out of patience and hope.

Hopefully, I can manage to do more online jobs like article writing, blogging, and any similar jobs. Thus, gaining more experiences mean gaining more projects and income.

The internet is a difficult world to thrive in but soon you’ll learn to settle. It’s like a maze that you need to find your way around. You are definitely on your own trying to make a mark in the online industry where aggressiveness, determination, creativity, patience, perseverance, and resourcefulness play a major role.

I am a freelancer and it’s a jump start to a new career.