Most business schools and MBA programs require TOEFL scores from non-native English speakers and offer no alternative but there are some business schools that will accept TOEFL alternatives from applicants as well. The alternatives to TOEFL that may be accepted by some business schools are:
Pearson VUE delivers English language proficiency exams for non-native speakers of English who need to demonstrate their English language ability. PTE (Pearson Test of English) Academic is the world’s leading computer-based test of English for study abroad and immigration. PTE is accepted by thousands of institutions worldwide, and approved by the Australian Government for visa applications and accepted by thousands of institutions in the UK, Australia, USA, Canada, New Zealand, and Ireland, including Harvard, Yale and INSEAD.
PTE Academic scores are accessed via an online account. You will receive an email notifying you once your scores are available. After you receive this, you will need to login to the Pearson Vue account that you created to book your test. Typically, PTE Academic results are available within five business days.
PTE Academic is scored against the Global Scale of English, a thermometer-style scale that gives you an accurate overview of your skills. The Global Scale of English aligns with a variety of popular tests and scales around the world.
Your score report has several sections:
• Your personal details and photo
• Your overall score
• A detailed breakdown of your performance
The PTE Academic Score Report includes your overall score, communicative skills scores and enabling skills scores.
The overall score reflects your overall English language ability. The score is based on performance on all items in the test. The range for the overall score is 10-90 points.
Scores for communicative skills (listening, reading, speaking and writing) are based on all test items that assess these skills, either as a single skill or together with other skills. The range for each communicative skill score is 10-90 points.
Scores for enabling skills (grammar, oral fluency, pronunciation, spelling, vocabulary and written discourse) are based on all test items assessing one or more of these skills. The range for each enabling skill score is 10-90 points.
The display of the scores in a graph allows you to quickly see your strengths and weaknesses, and how each skill relates to your overall performance.
There are PTE Academic test centres located in over 50 countries worldwide.
You do not need any special computer skills. We recommend taking one of our practice tests to get used to moving through tasks. You can also watch the tutorial on our website.
You can take PTE Academic as many times as you like. You must wait to receive your scores before you can book your next test.
The PTE Academic is accepted as TOEFL substitute at the following MBA programs:
– Stanford (minimum required 68).
– HBS (minimum recommended 75).
– Booth (minimum required 70)
– Ross (minimum recommended 70).
The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is the world’s most popular high stakes English-language test for study, work and migration, with more than 2.2 million tests taken each year.
IELTS assesses all of your English skills — reading, writing, listening and speaking — and is designed to reflect real life use of English — at study, at work, and at play.
IELTS is the most widely accepted English language test that uses a one-on-one speaking test to assess your English communication skills. This means that you are assessed by having a real-life conversation with a real person. This is the most effective and natural way of testing your English conversation skills.
IELTS scores are accepted by over 9,000 organisations worldwide, including universities, employers, immigration authorities and professional bodies.
IELTS is designed by experts to fairly assess the language ability of candidates who want to study or work where English is the language of communication.
IELTS is the world’s proven test. Due to its high quality controls, IELTS is accepted by more than 9,000 organisations in over 145 countries.
• Universities, schools, training colleges, tertiary institutes
• Government departments and agencies
• Professional and industry bodies
• Multinational companies and employers.
Most top MBA programs accept the IELTS as a TOEFL substitute.
IELTS recognises both British and American English in terms of spelling, grammar and choice of words. It also incorporates a mix of native speaker accents from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and US in the Listening component.
IELTS tests are offered up to four times a month in over 900 test venues in more than 140 countries. The cost of taking the test is set locally and payable in the local currency, making registration convenient. Results are issued 13 calendar days after the test. Official IELTS test centres can send Test Report Forms directly to your organisation or institution (provided it has been nominated), either by mail or as an electronic download.
You have a choice of two versions of IELTS: Academic or General Training.
Everybody takes the same Listening and Speaking components. It is the Reading and Writing components that differ.
You will take the Listening, Reading and Writing tests all on the same day one after the other, with no breaks in between them.
Your Speaking test will either be after a break on the same day as the other three tests, or up to seven days before or after that. This will depend on your test centre.
Understanding the format of each section:
Listening – 30 minutes
You will listen to four recorded texts, monologues and conversations by a range of native speakers, and write your answers to a series of questions.
These include questions which test your ability to understand main ideas and detailed factual information, ability to understand the opinions and attitudes of speakers, ability to understand the purpose of an utterance and the ability to follow the development of ideas.
A variety of voices and native-speaker accents are used and each section is heard only once.
Section 1: A conversation between two people set in an everyday social context.
Section 2: A monologue set in an everyday social context e.g. a speech about local facilities.
Section 3: A conversation between up to four people set in an educational or training context, e.g. a university tutor and a student discussing an assignment.
Section 4: A monologue on an academic subject e.g. a university lecture.
Reading – 60 minutes
The Reading component consists of 40 questions. A variety of question types is used in order to test a wide range of reading skills. These including reading for gist, reading for main ideas, reading for detail, skimming, understanding logical argument, recognising writers’ opinions, attitudes and purpose.
The Academic version includes three long texts which range from the descriptive and factual to the discursive and analytical. The texts are authentic and are taken from books, journals, magazines and newspapers. These have been selected for a non-specialist audience but are appropriate for candidates entering university courses or seeking professional registration.
IELTS General Training
The General Training version requires candidates to read extracts from books, magazines, newspapers, notices, advertisements, company handbooks and guidelines. These are materials you are likely to encounter on a daily basis in an English speaking environment.
Writing – 60 minutes
The Writing component of IELTS Academic includes two tasks. Topics are of general interest to, and suitable for candidates entering undergraduate and postgraduate studies or seeking professional registration.
You will be presented with a graph, table, chart or diagram and asked to describe, summarise or explain the information in your own words. You may be asked to describe and explain data, describe the stages of a process, how something works or describe an object or event.
You will be asked to write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem. Responses to both tasks must be in a formal style.
IELTS General Training
The Writing component of IELTS General Training includes two tasks which are based on topics of general interest.
You will be presented with a situation and asked to write a letter requesting information, or explaining the situation. The letter may be personal, semi-formal or formal in style.
You will be asked to write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem. The essay can be slightly more personal in style than the Academic Writing Task 2 essay.
Speaking – 11 to 14 minutes
The Speaking component assesses your use of spoken English, and takes between 11 and 14 minutes to complete. Every test is recorded. The Speaking component is delivered in such a way that it does not allow candidates to rehearse set responses beforehand.
The Examiner will ask you general questions about yourself and a range of familiar topics, such as home, family, work, studies and interests. This part lasts between four and five minutes.
You will be given a card which asks you to talk about a particular topic. You will have one minute to prepare before speaking for up to two minutes. The examiner will then ask one or two questions on the same topic to finish this part of the test.
You will be asked further questions connected to the topic in Part 2. These questions will give you the opportunity to discuss more abstract ideas and issue. The part of the test lasts between four and five minutes.
Test Report Form
Your Test Report Form will be posted to you 13 days after the test. All test centres will post your Test Report Form to you.
You will only receive one copy of your Test Report Form, unless you are applying to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), or United Kingdom Visas and Immigration (UKVI) – in these cases, you can receive two. Proof of application to CIC and UKVI must be provided.
You can have copies of your Test Report Form automatically sent to five institutions free of charge. This helps streamline your application processes. Additional copies will incur a small administration charge.
Your Test Report Form is a valuable document and you should keep it safe and secure because it cannot be replaced.
• your score, on a Band Scale from 1 to 9, for each section of the test (Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking)
• your Overall Band Score, on a scale from 1 to 9
• whether you have completed IELTS Academic or General Training
• your candidate photo and details of your nationality, first language and date of birth.
Test Report Forms are valid for a recommended period of two years. They have inbuilt security measures and cannot be copied. Receiving institutions can also access a database to double-check your results.
There is no pass or fail in IELTS. The test assesses all levels of English proficiency.
Test takers are graded on their performance in the test, using scores from 1 to 9 for each part of the test – Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. Your results from the four parts then produce an overall Band Score.
This unique 9-band system measures scores in a consistent manner – wherever and whenever the test is taken. It is internationally recognised and understood, giving you a reliable international currency.
You will be given a score from 1 to 9 for each part of the test – Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. The average produces your overall band score. You can score whole (e.g., 5.0, 6.0, 7.0) or half (e.g., 5.5., 6.5, 7.5) bands in each part of the test. Each band corresponds to a level of English competence. All parts of the test and the overall Band Score can be reported in whole and half bands, eg 6.5, 7.0, 7.5, 8.0.
How do I know if I need to take the TOEFL or if an alternative will do?
The best way to find out is to visit the website of the school/program in question as any alternative forms of testing will be mentioned there if they are accepted. You may also want to contact the school directly and ask them about it if you are still not sure about what your options are.