Learning any language? Do you know what level you have? Find out your exact competence when you take one of the Foreign language proficiency tests.
Due to the rapid development of communication, growth of international trade and commerce, widening the scope of specialized studies and increasing foreign language jobs in the developed and developing countries, more Indians are considering a career in foreign languages.
What is a foreign language proficiency exam?
The foreign language proficiency exam is a way of proofing the competency of a person’s ability to speak a certain language. They are of great significance for business organizations, educational institutions and government establishments to help know more about the language skills and personality of prospective employees or candidates.
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 to learn the language, you can prove your fluency or language competency by taking a varied range of International language proficiency test such as DELF, TEF, DELE, HSK, TOPIK, JLPT, ZD, TestDAF, TORFL, CELI, just to name a few.
The Importance and Benefits Of Language Proficiency Test
Language proficiency test is important and beneficial as well for obvious reasons. Apart from the fact they can be used as adequate proof of knowledge and proficiency in a particular language, they 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 for a particular job, where the corresponding language is required. A documentary proof of language test certificate added to other requirements will put you on your way to a smooth interview process. This is as a result of your language test certification included in your qualifications.
These language certification are recognized worldwide by public and private educational institutions, governments and small to large corporations. It is also mandatory for a wide range UG, PG and Doctorate courses in thousands of Colleges and Universities across the planet. It will open a whole world of job opportunities around the world and supports career advancement.
Another great advantage of a foreign language proficiency test is that it becomes a confidence booster right from the moment you pass them. This can translate into developing your personality at a career and social transitioning level. Moreover, It will also help your Visa or PR application, traveling abroad, and of course confirmation of your proficiency level.
11 Proficiency Tests Foreign Language Learners Should Know
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 a test pattern. Thus, one should ask to target institution what proficiency tests they require and accept. Here is the list of the most prestigious and widely-recognized foreign assessment in the top 10 most popular foreign languages in India.
1. French Proficiency Test
Parlez-vous Français? Find out the exact level when you take 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. This has led to the demand of French in India in a plentiful of sectors and industries. The international French-language certifications and diplomas can add great value to your C.V. and also enable you to study in any Francophone countries.
A) DELF and DALF
Have you been burning the midnight oil to learn French in India? If so, consider 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.
In total there are 4 DELF (A1,A2,B1,B2), evaluating from beginners to higher intermediate level and 2 DALF (C1,C2) exams, for those who are proficient. Each of these has their accompanying CEFR level marking as well. At each level, 4 skills are evaluated: speaking, listening, reading and writing.
These exams are valid for life and are recognized around the world. The numerous DELF Exam Centers in India are located at many Alliance Française branches. Additionally, there are also DELF Prim (ages 8-12), DELF Junior (ages 12+), and DELF Pro for adults interested to integrate into a French-speaking country.
B) TEF and TCF
If you’re looking to immigrate to Canada or Quebec or France, then you cannot afford to miss the Test d’ Evaluation de Francais (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 like the TCF. There are 5 different types of TEF and TCF exams for a variety of 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 2 years only. The main difference between the DELF/DALF and TCF/TEF is that the latter is one single test where your score will determine the number of points awarded for French language proficiency. AF networks are the authorized TCF and TEF exam in India.
2. Spanish Proficiency Test
Why learn Spanish? Well, Spanish is one of the most important languages in the world. While there are a number of advantages in learning Spanish in India. The most-sought after reason is Career Scope after Learning Spanish. To prove your knowledge, you can appear for either DELE or SIELE.
This is an important test that is heard 4 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 in India 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 exam. The good thing about the DELE is that while the result of other test lasts for two to five years, the most, DELE give you a result that is permanently valid for a lifetime.
The test has six different versions from which you can choose at will. From A1, A2 to B1, B2, and C1, C2. You can choose beforehand which of the test you would like to take. The DELE Exam in India is conducted by the Instituto Cervantes.
What is SIELE Exam? SIELE is the Servicio Internacional de Evaluación de la Lengua Española which electronically certifies the competency level of your Spanish language. This international Spanish certification test is supported by the Cervantes Institute, the National Autonomous University of Mexico, Universidad de Buenos Aires and the University of Salamanca.
It is a single, multilevel exam and results of knowledge-levels of the Spanish language based on a scale of 1000 points, equivalent to the CEFR levels. SIELE certifies your level of proficiency with four tests: Reading and listening comprehension, Written expression and interaction and Spoken expression and interaction.
Since this Spanish certification exam gives students seeking education in Spanish-speaking countries, job seekers and employees a competitive advantage. Thus, It is a great asset to include on your C.V. The SIELE Certificate is valid for 5 years. As of January 2019, there are 18 SIELE test centers in India.
3. German — TELC, Zertifikat Deutsch, TestDaF, DSH
If you’re interested to study in Germany, Austria or Switzerland, Then you should participate in one of the German language proficiency test in India. 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 proficiency test that will ascertain your competency in speaking the German language (Deutsch). This exam is promoted and supported by the Government of Germany, and it’s designed according to the set out guidelines of the CEFR. The test is performed in levels ranging from A1, which is for beginners, to C2 which is for advanced speakers of the language.
While there are plenty of benefits of learning German in India. One primary reason to study German language in India is overseas studies. By passing the Goethe-Zertifikat C2: Großes Deutsches Sprachdiplom (GDS) test, you will be eligible to study at a German university or institution of higher education where teaching is done through German.
TELC, which stands for The European Language Certification, partners with the Federal Government of Germany to test your proficiency in German (Deutsch). The test is done according to the set out guidelines of the CEFR. The TELC also allows you to choose which area of the exam you wish to be tested on.
TestDaF and DSH exam 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 certificate. It is also accepted by several Universities in Austria and Switzerland. TestDaf exam in India is conducted by Goethe-Institut.
4. Chinese Mandarin — HSK
There are 6 levels from which you can choose—HSK1, the easiest, to HSK6, the hardest. The HSK oral test i.e. HSKK is divided into 3 levels i.e. HSK (Elementary), HSK (Intermediate) and HSK (Advanced). You can always decide which level of the test you which to take before going to sit for the assessment.
China’s economic growth is changing the world. The demand for the Chinese language in India is growing at an unprecedented level thanks to career options after learning Mandarin. An initial ₹ 1500 fee is charged as written fee beginning from HSK1 and which increases by ₹ 6500 as you make progress further to the most advanced level ie. HSK6. As of January 2019 – There is a total of 11 HSK test centers in India.
5. Korean —TOPIK
TOPIK stands for a test of proficiency in Korean, and it’s currently being offered 6 times a year in Korea and twice in other countries including India to people studying the Korean language. The test measures your proficiency in Korean through listening comprehension, writing, and reading in the Korean language.
TOPIK has 2 different levels of testing namely; TOPIK-I and TOPIK-II, which are subclassified into levels 1,2 (TOPIK-I, beginner-level) and Levels 3, 4, 5, and 6 (TOPIK-II, intermediate / advanced level). TOPIK exam is held twice in India, in April, and in October.
The validity of the TOPIK test is for two years and can be used in a variety of situation like improving career options after learning Korean and job opportunities in Korean companies. Many Korean companies and universities require this exam, and it can also be used when applying for obtaining residency in South Korea. As of January 2019 — There are 5 TOPIK exam centers in India.
6. Japanese — JLPT
There are several benefits in learning Japanese in India. For the majority of candidates, Career Options after learning Japanese is the utmost important reason. The Japanese Language Proficiency Test in India (JLPT) provides you with an opportunity to test your proficiency level in the Japanese Language. In Japan, It has been administered 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 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 Russian language in India, then you might be aware of The Test Of Russian as a Foreign Language (TORFL). It is administered by the Russian Ministry of Education and Science. The TORFL evaluates candidates across five competencies: writing, vocabulary/grammar, speaking, reading, and listening. All five competencies are equally weighted – 20% each.
If you’re interested in covering Russia as an ideal study abroad destination, then it is compulsory to appear for TORFL. The Russian proficiency exam is conducted over a period of two days and you will receive their results within ten days’ time.
8. Arabic — ALPT
The ALPT stands for Arabic Language Proficiency Test. It was developed in 2002 as a way of testing the proficiency of foreigners in the Arabic language. The ALPT currently serves as the global Arabic language proficiency standard in terms of reliability and validity.
It consists of five skills tests of writing, reading, and structure, listening, and speaking. The test requires access to a computer and internet connectivity for you to complete it. The test is used by schools and organizations worldwide. You can take an ALPT test if you’re studying the Arabic language in India.
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. The another portuguese test (CELPE-Bras) is a Brazilian Certificate of Proficiency in Portuguese for Foreigners.
The CAPLE examination levels are divided into 6 sub-levels: ACESSO – A1, CIPLE – A2, DEPLE – B1, DIPLE – B2, DAPLE – C1, DUPLE – C2. CAPLE certificates/diplomas never expire and accepted and recognized across Portugal. If you’re learning Portuguese in India, you might be aware that these exams are conducted by and at Camões Institute, New Delhi.
10. Italian — CILS, CELI, PLIDA, CIC, IT
Do you speak Italiano? You can check your Italian knowledge by appearing in one of the Italian proficiency test, namely CILS, CELI, CIC, PLIDA, or IT. These Italian exams are organized all around the world who want to prove their Italian language proficiency with an internationally recognized certificate.
There are many reasons to study the Italian language in India. And if you have any convincing reason to learn Italian, you can appear for one of the Italian proficiency tests such as CILS or CELI as to check your Italian knowledge. The Italian Embassy Culture center in New Delhi or Mumbai are the authorized CILS exam centers in India.
11. Dutch — CNaVT and NT2
If you’re studying Dutch language in India, you can attempt to clear CNaVT (Certificaat Nederlands als Vreemde Taal) test. The CNaVT certifies your Dutch language proficiency as a foreign language worldwide. The certification is widely recognised as proof of ability in Dutch 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 language proficiency with an internationally recognized certificate.
A foreign language proficiency test is the yardstick that measures your knowledge of the language you have spent so much time and resources to study. 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.