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proficiency tests of various foreign languages

Foreign Language Proficiency Tests

Foreign Language Proficiency Tests- A Beginner’s Guide

Foreign Language proficiency tests plays a crucial role in academic and professional success. It enables individuals to effectively communicate, access information, and participate in various aspects of society. For international students and professionals seeking opportunities in India, demonstrating language proficiency is essential for gaining admission to higher education institutions, securing employment, and navigating daily life.

Understanding Foreign Language Proficiency Frameworks

Before delving into specific language tests, it’s important to understand the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), an internationally recognized standard for describing language proficiency levels. The CEFR divides language proficiency into six levels:

  • A1: Breakthrough or beginner
  • A2: Waystage or elementary
  • B1: Threshold or intermediate
  • B2: Vantage or upper intermediate
  • C1: Effective Operational Proficiency or advanced
  • C2: Mastery or proficiency

These levels are further divided into two sublevels each, providing a more nuanced assessment of language skills.

Language Tests for Higher Education

Several language tests are widely accepted by higher education institutions in India for assessing English proficiency. These include:


  • Pearson Test of English (PTE): PTE is a computer-based English proficiency test that measures listening, reading, writing, and speaking skills. It is gaining popularity due to its fast results and flexible scheduling. 
  • A computer-based English proficiency test that measures listening, reading, writing, and speaking skills.
  • Gaining popularity due to its fast results and flexible scheduling.
  • Official website:


Language Tests for Employment

For employment purposes, language proficiency is often assessed using tests designed to measure specific skills relevant to the workplace. These include:

  • Business English Communication (BEC): BEC offers various levels of tests, ranging from Preliminary to Advanced, assessing English communication skills in business contexts.
  • Occupational English Test (OET): OET is specifically designed for healthcare professionals, assessing their English communication skills in medical settings.
  • TOEIC (Test of English for International Communication): TOEIC focuses on measuring English proficiency in professional environments, particularly for listening and reading comprehension.

Additional Foreign Language Proficiency Tests

Apart from the commonly used tests mentioned above, several language-specific tests are also recognized for assessing proficiency in various languages. These include:


Choosing the Right Test

The choice of language proficiency test depends on the specific requirements of the educational institution or employer. It’s crucial to check the accepted tests and their required scores for the desired program or position.

Preparing for Language Tests

Thorough preparation is essential for achieving a satisfactory score on any language proficiency test. This may involve taking preparatory courses, practicing with sample tests, and engaging in regular language practice.

To assess language skills for immigration purposes, each country utilizes a range of internationally recognized language tests that align with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

TestLevelsEstimated ChargesConducted in IndiaImportant Links
HSK (Mandarin Chinese)1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6Varies by levelYes
DELF/DALF (French)A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2Varies by levelYes
TELC, Goethe (German)A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2Varies by levelYes
DELE (Spanish)A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2Varies by levelYes
JLPT (Japanese)N5, N4, N3, N2, N1Varies by levelYes
TOPIK (Korean)1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6Varies by levelYes
TRKI (Russian)A1, A2, B1, B2, C1Varies by levelYes
IELTS (English)General Training (GT), Academic (AC)Varies by testYes
TOEFL (English)iBT, PBT, JuniorVaries by testYes
CEFR (European Framework of Reference for Languages)A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2N/AN/A
ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages)Novice, Intermediate, Advanced, SuperiorN/AN/A
CILS (Italian)A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2Varies by levelYes
TOEIC (English)Listening, Reading, Listening and Reading, Speaking, WritingVaries by testYes
TEF, TCF (French)A1, A2, B1, B2, C1Varies by levelYes
OET (English)Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Dentistry, DieteticsVaries by testYes
PET (English)A1, A2Varies by levelYes
FCE (English)B1, B2Varies by levelYes

Table Comparing Levels of Each Test

HSK1, 234, 5, 6
TELC, GoetheA1, A2B1, B2C1, C2
DELEA1, A2B1, B2C1, C2
JLPTN5, N4N3, N2N1
TOPIK1, 23, 45, 6
TRKIA1, A2B1B2, C1
IELTSGeneral Training (GT)Academic (AC)Both
To learn more about our foreign language courses, please feel free to contact us at any time. You can reach out to us by calling Mr Priyanshu Sharma at 9929-51 51 51, Mrs Roopshikha Sharma at 9314502814, or Mr Akash Verma at 9001016193. Alternatively, you can visit our website at for further details.
Read our blog at if you want to speak a foreign language like a native speaker with DIFL’s Unique pedagogy.

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