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The Truth about TOEFL, IELTS, PTE, and Cambridge English

Preparing to get an MBA in another country or your own country involves a lot of steps. So does moving and working in an English-speaking country. But we've broken down one of them with this look at the English proficiency tests you need to take.

It's not easy taking the BIG step to moving to or studying in another country. Especially an English-speaking one. There are so many steps to take first to just get approved! For instance, to get into a university to study for an MBA or other degree in the US, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, you need to take an English proficiency exam.

International business schools in Spain, France, Germany, and Italy, among other countries, also demand that applicants take an English proficiency test.

If you're staying in your home country, many colleges and universities demand that their students pass an English proficiency exam to graduate. What about if you want to live and work in another country?

In order to apply for a work visa, student visa, or permanent residence visa to live in an English-speaking country, including the US, UK, Canada, Australia, Ireland, Singapore, and New Zealand, you need to take an English proficiency exam as well.

The difference between the English proficiency tests

There are four English tests, the TOEFL, IELTS, PTE, and Cambridge English.


The TOEFL is the most popular test for studying in the U.S. The TOEFL tests your proficiency in American English.


The PTE tests English proficiency for both academic and migration purposes. The PTE recognizes and accepts American, UK, Australian and Canadian spelling.


The IELTS is used to test English language skills for study, migration, and work. The IELTS tests your skills in British English.

Cambridge English

Cambridge English also tests English proficiency for studying at a university. Cambridge English tests British English.

All the exams have a basic structure. They include four parts: writing, reading, speaking, and listening.

However, each exam uses a different grading system.

The times for completing each part vary between tests, but each test allows about 3 hours to complete.

Preparing to take an English test

Taking an English proficiency test is a lot to add to your plate when you're trying to plan your next steps in life. But no worries. We can help you with this next goal of yours by helping you prepare. We now offer TOEFL, IELTS, PTE, and Cambridge English exam preparation classes. Our teachers are certified examiners who have taken the exams themselves and know all the tips and tricks for getting a good score. We have classes after work and on weekends. And they're at the right price for you. Ready to start? Contact me for details. Email or WhatsApp me.


Jackie Donaldson is the owner and director of Amidon Studios Language Studies. She started Amidon Studios in 2017 after managing a language institute in Lima, Peru for six years. She's taught students from all over the world while living in Peru, Mexico, and the U.S. When she's not working or studying, you'll find her gardening, playing with her cat Frankie, swimming, baking, and exploring the globe.

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