Are you learning any language? Do you know what level you have?
Find out your actual competence when you take one of the Foreign language proficiency tests.
Due to the fast advancement of communication, international trade, and business growth, widening the scope of specialized studies worldwide, more Indians are contemplating a career in foreign languages.
While the best foreign language for a career depends on many factors and entirely subjective, it is always advisable to pick a language to learn as per your career goal or interest.
- What is a foreign language proficiency exam?
- Benefits of Language Proficiency Test
- 20+ Most Popular Language Exams
- 1. French Proficiency Test
- 2. Spanish Proficiency Test
- 3. German — ZD, TestDaF, DSH & More
- 4. Chinese Mandarin — HSK
- 5. Korean — TOPIK
- 6. Japanese — JLPT
- 7. Russian — TORFL
- 8. Arabic — ALPT
- 9. Portuguese — CAPLE
- 10. Italian — CILS, CELI, PLIDA, CIC, IT
- 11. Dutch — CNaVT & NT2
- Final Thought
What is a foreign language proficiency exam?
The foreign language proficiency exam proves the competency of a person’s ability to speak a particular language.
It is the international standardized tests that assess someone’s non-native language skills.
Whether you are at the advanced level in your language studies or just starting, you can prove your competency level through various international tests.
Some of the famous ones are DELF, TEF, DELE, HSK, TOPIK, JLPT, ZD, TestDaF, TORFL, CELI, to name a few.
Benefits of Language Proficiency Test
The language proficiency test is beneficial for obvious reasons.
You can also use it as adequate proof of knowledge in a specific language. It can also help a great deal in satisfying the demands of both employees and employers alike.
A foreign language test emboldens the academic qualifications of an employee seeking a particular job that uses language.
The documentary proof of language test certificate added to other requirements will put you on your way to a smooth interview process.
It is as a result of your language test certification included in your qualifications.
They are of great significance for business organizations, educational institutions, and government establishments to know more about prospective employees or candidates’ language skills and personalities.
It is also mandatory for a wide range of UG, PG, and Doctorate courses in thousands of Colleges and Universities across the planet. Thus, it will open a world of job possibilities globally and supports career advancement.
Another great advantage of such is that it becomes a confidence booster right when you pass them.
It can translate into developing your personality at a career and social transitioning level.
Plus, It will also assist your Visa or PR application, traveling abroad, and of course, confirmation of your proficiency level.
20+ Most Popular Language Exams
As far as foreign language proficiency exams are concerned, there is plenty of fish in the sea.
Choose the one as per your fluency level, requirement, and convenience.
Since there are different sets of rules and test patterns, one should ask the institution what tests they require and accept.
Here is the list of the most prestigious and widely-recognized foreign assessments in India’s top foreign languages.
1. French Proficiency Test
Find out the exact level when you take a French proficiency test such as DELF, DALF, TEF, TCF, etc.
As the number of people learning French is speedily growing worldwide, so are the opportunities to put their skills to use in a wide array of careers.
It has led to the demand for French in India in a plentiful of sectors and industries.
The French diplomas can add considerable value to your CV and enable you to study in any Francophone country.
A) DELF and DALF
Have you been burning the midnight oil to learn French in India?
If so, imagine having your hard work officially recognized, and take the DELF (Diplôme d’Etudes en Langue Française) and then DALF (Diplôme Approfondi de Langue Française).
Both DELF and DALF are diplomas awarded by the French Ministry of Education.
The 4 DELF (A1, A2, B1, B2) evaluates beginners to higher intermediate levels. In contrast, the 2 DALF (C1, C2) exams are for those who are proficient.
Each of these has its accompanying CEFR level marking, as well. At each level, four skills are evaluated: speaking, listening, reading, and writing.
These exams are valid for life and are recognized globally.
The many DELF Exam centers are located at different Alliance Française branches.
Plus, DELF Prim (ages 8-12), DELF Junior (ages 12+), and DELF Pro for adults interested in integrating into a French-speaking country.
B) TEF and TCF
Are you’re looking to immigrate to Canada or Quebec, or France?
Well, then you cannot afford to miss Test d’ Evaluation de Français (TEF) or Test de Connaissance du Français (TCF).
Both exams are regarded as an international benchmark test that gauges your skill and knowledge in French.
The TEF exam also follows more or less the same pattern and style similar to TCF.
There are FIVE different TEF and TCF exams for various purposes, ranging from academic or professional reasons to French citizenship.
If you intend to reside in Canada or Quebec province, you will need to take the TEF/TCF Canada or TEFAQ/TCFQ.
In both TCF and TEF, your scores will be valid for TWO years only.
The main difference between the DELF & DALF and TCF &TEF is that the latter is one single test. Thus, your score will determine the points awarded for proficiency in French.
AF networks are the authorized TCF and TEF exams in India.
2. Spanish Proficiency Test
Should you learn Spanish?
Well, Spanish is one of the most vital languages in the world.
While there many advantages to learning Spanish. The most sought-after reasons are hobbies, immigration, study abroad, and Career Scope after Learning Spanish.
To prove your ability, you can appear for either DELE or SIELE.
It is an important test that is heard four times a year—April, May, July, and November.
DELE stands for Diploma de Español Como Lengua Extranjera. DELE is administered on behalf of the Spanish Ministry of Education & Science, by Instituto Cervantes.
This Spanish certification exam adheres to the strict standard of the CEFRL—Common European Framework of Reference for Language.
Like all other tests, the DELE will put you to the test in the area of Spanish listening, speaking, reading comprehension, and written exams.
The good thing about the DELE is that while the expiry of other tests lasts for two to five years, the most, DELE, gives you a permanently valid result for a lifetime.
The test has six different versions from which you can decide at will. For example, from A1, A2 to B1, B2, and C1, C2.
You can choose beforehand which test you would like to take.
The Instituto Cervantes conducts the DELE Exam in India.
SIELE is the Servicio Internacional de Evaluación de la Lengua Española, which electronically certifies the competency level of your Spanish language.
The Cervantes Institute, the National Autonomous University of Mexico, Universidad de Buenos Aires, and the University of Salamanca support this international Spanish certification test.
It is a single, multilevel exam, and Spanish knowledge-level results are based on a scale of 1000 points, equivalent to the CEFR levels.
SIELE certifies your proficiency with four tests: Reading and listening comprehension, Written expression and interaction, and Spoken speech and communication.
Spanish certification exam gives students education in Hispanic countries, job seekers, and employees a competitive advantage.
Thus, It is a great asset to include in your CV. The SIELE Certificate is valid for five years.
As of January 2021, there are 18 SIELE test centers in India.
3. German — ZD, TestDaF, DSH & More
If you wish to study in Germany, Switzerland, or Austria, you should participate in one of the German proficiency tests.
You can prove your German skills by taking a test such as the Zertifikat Deutsch, TestDaF, DSH, TELC, ÖSD, or ÖIF.
Zertifikat Deutsch (ZD) is the language test that will ascertain your German language skill.
The exam is promoted and supported by the Government of Germany and follows the set-out guidelines of the CEFR. The levels range from A1, which is for beginners, to C2, which is for advanced language speakers.
While there are plenty of benefits of learning German, one primary reason to study is overseas studies.
If you pass the Goethe-Zertifikat C2: Großes Deutsches Sprachdiplom (GDS) test. You will then be eligible to study at a German university or higher education institution where teaching is done in German.
TELC, which stands for The European Language Certification, partners with Germany’s Federal Government to test your German proficiency (Deutsch).
The test is as per the set-out guidelines of the CEFR. The TELC also allows you to choose which area of the exam you wish to take.
TestDaF and DSH exams are for those who want to access higher education in Germany, where the medium of instruction is German.
There are three levels, which correspond to CEFR levels B2-C1.
All German universities and institutions of higher education recognize the TestDaF and DSH certificates.
Several Universities in Austria and Switzerland also accept it. Goethe-Institut conducts the TestDaf exam in India.
4. Chinese Mandarin — HSK
Do you think you know the Mandarin language?
Then take the Mandarin exam, i.e., the Hanyu Shuiping KaOshi (HSK) test, as performed by Hanban, representing the Chinese Ministry of Education.
There are six levels you can pick — HSK1, the easiest, to HSK6, the hardest.
The HSK oral test, i.e., HSKK, is divided into three levels, i.e., HSK (Elementary), HSK (Intermediate), and HSK (Advanced).
You can always decide which level of the test to take before going to sit for the assessment.
China’s economic growth is changing the world.
The demand in India is growing exponentially, thanks to increasing career choices in the Chinese.
An initial ₹ 1500 price is charged as a written fee beginning from HSK1, increasing by ₹ 6500 as you make progress further to the most advanced level, i.e., HSK6.
As of January 2021 – There is a total of 11 HSK test centers in India.
5. Korean — TOPIK
TOPIK stands for a test of proficiency in Korean.
It is currently being offered six times a year in Korea and twice in other countries, including India, to study Korean.
The test measures Korean knowledge through listening comprehension, writing, and reading in the Korean language.
TOPIK has TWO different testing levels. Namely, TOPIK-I and TOPIK-II, subclassified into sublevels 1,2 (TOPIK-I, beginner-level) and Levels 3, 4, 5, and 6 (TOPIK-II, intermediate and advanced level).
The TOPIK test is held twice in India in April and October, and the validity is two years.
It can be helpful in various situations, like improving career options in Korean and jobs in Korean companies.
Many Korean companies and universities require this exam. It can also be used when applying for obtaining residency in South Korea.
As of January 2021 — There are 5 TOPIK exam centers in India.
6. Japanese — JLPT
There are several perks of learning Japanese.
For the majority of candidates, job opportunities involving Japanese is the utmost attraction.
The Japanese Language Proficiency Test in India (JLPT) provides you with a chance to check your Japanese level.
In Japan, It has been conducted by JEES, while the Japan Foundation administers overseas tests.
The JLPT certification exam is the most widely recognized Japanese language test. Test takers are evaluated on a scale of N1 to N5, with N1 being the easiest level and N5 the most difficult.
There are 7 JLPT Exam Centers in India, and the test is held twice a year, in July & December.
The JLPT exam fees are between Rs. 1,000 to 1,500, and the certification is valid for life.
7. Russian — TORFL
If you’re learning the Russian language in India, you might know The Test Of Russian as a Foreign Language (TORFL).
The Russian Ministry of Education and Science administrates TORFL.
The TORFL evaluates candidates across five competencies: writing, vocabulary/grammar, speaking, reading, and listening.
All five skills are equally weighted – 20% each.
If you’re interested in covering Russia as an ideal study abroad destination, it is compulsory to appear for TORFL.
The Russian international exam is conducted over two days, and you will receive your results within ten days.
8. Arabic — ALPT
The ALPT stands for the Arabic Language Proficiency Test.
It was developed in 2002 as a way of testing the ability of foreigners in the Arabic language.
The ALPT currently serves as the global Arabic language skills standard in terms of reliability and validity.
It consists of five skills tests of writing, reading, and structure, listening, and speaking, and requires access to a computer and internet connectivity to complete it.
The test is used by schools and organizations worldwide. For example, you can take an ALPT test if you’re studying the Arabic language.
9. Portuguese — CAPLE
The CAPLE (Centre for Evaluation of Portuguese as a Foreign Language) is a Portuguese language proficiency test offered in Portugal and 45 other countries and territories.
The exam is based on standard European Portuguese. Another Portuguese test (CELPE-Bras) is a Brazilian Certificate of competency in Portuguese for Foreigners.
The CAPLE examination levels are divided into six sub-levels: ACESSO – A1, CIPLE – A2, DEPLE – B1, DIPLE – B2, DAPLE – C1, DUPLE – C2.
CAPLE certificates/diplomas never expire and are accepted and recognized across Portugal.
10. Italian — CILS, CELI, PLIDA, CIC, IT
Do you speak Italiano?
You can check your Italian knowledge by appearing in Italian proficiency tests, namely CILS, CELI, CIC, PLIDA, or IT.
These Italian exams are organized worldwide who want to prove their Italian eloquence with an internationally recognized certificate.
The Italian Embassy Culture center in New Delhi and Mumbai are the authorized Indian CILS exam centers.
11. Dutch — CNaVT & NT2
You can attempt to clear CNaVT (Certificaat Nederlands Als Vreemde Taal) test if you’re studying the Dutch language.
The CNaVT certifies your Dutch language proficiency as a foreign language worldwide.
The certification is widely recognized as proof of Dutch ability if you want to study in the Netherlands and Belgium or if you want to apply for citizenship in these two countries.
The Staatsexamen NT2 is another Dutch exam that will enable you to work or study in the Netherlands.
Both the CNaVT and NT2 certificates teach to levels specified in the CEFRL.
These tests are organized frequently for those who want to prove their Dutch proficiency with an internationally recognized certification.
A foreign language proficiency test is the yardstick that measures your knowledge of the language you have spent so much time and resources studying.
The essence is to create a sense of qualification around the spectrum of that language when called upon.
It is something you should consider doing irrespective of the language you are learning.