Which level of English do you need to study in the United States?

Friday November 18, 2022

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Communication is the main tool for human interaction. For this simple reason, attempting to live in a foreign country without learning their language seems illogical.

The required level of English will depend on which country of origin and the university you’ll be studying at. Generally, universities request the undergraduate student a B1 or B2 level, which implies that they have the capacity to understand around 80% of what you’re hearing, that you can read, write, and speak in an efficient way in English and successfully study in this language.

To accredit you know English you’ll have to prove it with a certificate. There are two classic tests that are usually requested from the international student:

  1. IELTS test (International English Language Testing System). It’s managed by the British Council, and it can be of two types: Academic or General Training. This test consists of four parts: Listening, Reading, Writing (on the same day) and Speaking (that can be evaluated on a different day with previous coordination). Each one of them receives a score from 0 to 9.

This test lasts about 2:45 hours in total and is very popular: 3,400 institutions in the United States accept this test. You can get more information here.

  1. TOEFL test (Test of English as a Foreign Language). It’s an English test accepted by more than 11,500 universities and other institutions in more than 160 countries, including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom, as well as Europe and Asia. It consists of measuring four communication skills in students: reading, listening, speaking and writing. The maximum score is 120, so each part of the test will have a maximum value of 30 points. The entire exam takes approximately 3 hours, with an additional 30 minutes for the registration process. Find out more about here.

Before taking any of the two exams, check with your destination university how they are evaluating the English proficiency of their international students. For some, this certification will suffice; for others, you’ll need proof of having previously studied the ESL (English as a Second Language) program at the same destination university or having completed high school at an English-speaking institution. Other universities accept the Duolingo test as valid.

We always advise that you prepare and inform yourself as much as possible to avoid surprises. As you can see, all paths lead to success, but you must have it clear which one will be your destiny and work hard until you achieve it.

If you have any questions, please contact us through our social media on Facebook, Instagram or write us an email to admissions@sanignaciouniversity.edu so we can give an answer to all of your concerns as soon as possible.