Imagine you woke up this morning and you wanted to evaluate your level in the English language before applying for a new job. Are you as good as you think you are or are you a bit rusty?
Maybe you feel like you could do with improving your language skills, brushing up on your English grammar, or working on your listening so that you don’t get replaced by an intern in six months.
Perhaps you annoyed your English neighbour and you need to work on your writing skills to write them an apology note to smooth things over. Maybe you could take them out for coffee or dinner?
These are all good reasons to improve your English but you need to ask yourself how do you do it? Whether online or on paper, there are plenty of quizzes and questionnaires to help you with your English.
Here’s some of the best tools to help you evaluate yourself in English.
There are plenty of websites and games online for you to learn English while having fun.
Testing yourself is a great way to find out your level in English. (Source: Careers For Tomorrow)
If you have 5 minutes to kill, you can always do a little English test and see how good you are at the language. There’s more to the internet than just Facebook and YouTube, after all. Why not spend your time productively rather than seeing what your friends are up to?
A quick search on Google is all it takes to have tonnes of English quizzes at your fingertips.
You can quickly evaluate and brush up on your grammar without pulling your hair out. You can do quizzes on vocabulary, grammar, spelling, tenses, etc. Perhaps you’d like to broaden your knowledge of idiomatic expressions. There are resources for that, too!
Knowing your level is hugely important if you’re looking at different English courses. It’d be awful if you paid for an English course just to find out it was either far too difficult or far too easy. Being in the wrong class can be really costly.
If the class is too easy, you’ll get bored and stop paying attention. This can sometimes be more dangerous than the class being too easy as you won’t be paying attention to certain things that you could be learning.
On the other hand, being in a class that’s too difficult is a horrible and demotivating experience. Being out of your depth can make you feel lost in every lesson and make you think about giving up altogether!
Then there’s the exams. Imagine if you signed up for an exam at the wrong level. English exams cost money!
If you take an exam that’s beyond your level, you’re almost guaranteed to fail. If you take an exam that’s below your level, you’re basically wasting your time!
On this page, you can take a quick English level test (25 questions) and see roughly what level you have and whether you need to study English some more. This free English tests cover grammar, syntax, and conjugations.
At the end, you’ll know what level you are and be able to find activities that match your level. This is hugely beneficial when it comes to choosing what you should be study.
To improve your English, don’t forget to:
Practice speaking English,
Work on your pronunciation.
For a bit more of a challenge, you can look online for the British Council’s language level tests. You’ll find tonnes of results for English level tests from organisations and language schools.
Much like Cambridge’s level test, the British Council’s test includes 25 questions. While the questions are similar, the British Council’s quiz also includes questions on collocations and commonly used word combinations.
The British Council’s level test is a quick and easy indicator of your level. (Source: British Council)
This is particularly useful for those who have an advanced level of English and want to sound more like a native.
However, don’t worry if you find a few of the questions confusing or get a low score. In fact, a B2 roughly corresponds to secondary school education in this level. This means that you’d understand most of what’s written on the web with a good understanding of idioms and expressions. The reason for finding out your level is so that you can find appropriate activities and exercises and get better.
Additionally, you can use resources to prepare for TOEIC (Test of English for International Communication) or BULATS. Whether on your own in a private tutorial or as part of a group, you’ll learn much better if you get yourself a private tutor.
The TOEIC is an international certificate that verifies your level in English. The Test of English for International Communication can tell you what level you have. It should be noted that most companies ask for a score of 750.
For those who’d like to see roughly what they’d get in this test without paying a penny, there are plenty of TOEIC tests available online. They include writing, listening, and speaking parts.
You can try one or several parts of a TOEIC exam on etsglobal.org and even check your answers.
It’s the perfect site for those wanting to learn English in a professional capacity.
This certificate could be yours if you sit the TOEIC. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)
Click here for sample TOEIC questions.
Here’s some advice: don’t pay anything at first!
On the site usingenglish.com, there are plenty of resources for elementary, intermediate, or advanced users of English.
You can find plenty of tests, quizzes, and activities for the following CEFR levels:
A1: Basic User: Breakthrough or Beginner
A2: Basic User: Waystage or Elementary
B1: Independent User: Threshold or Intermediate
B2: Independent User: Vantage or Upper Intermediate
C1: Proficient User: Effective Operational Proficiency or Advanced
To improve your English grammar, you should definitely consider getting the appropriate textbooks, resources, and classes for your level (see above).
The site offers English lessons and exercises for various levels. There are plenty of free resources and, once you’ve checked your level, you can do vocabulary, grammar, or even real-life activities. There are even resources for writing essays and business English as well as games you can play.
It’s a good idea to focus on a given topic. Find different ways to look at the same problem. Then put together a portfolio of activities to work through. Once you’re comfortable with one topic, you can consider moving on to the next.
You can put together a variety of exercises working on the same grammatical point in different ways. This is a great way to make sure you don’t get bored. Variety is the spice of life, after all!
Though we often forget since our faces are firmly glued to our screens, books still exist. We don’t need to do everything on our devices. We should sometimes put down our smartphones, tablets, and laptops, and go back to books. That doesn’t mean you can’t still use your device to buy the books, of course!
You needn’t break the bank, either. There are plenty of cheap books to practice grammar and vocabulary that you could take on holiday with you as you relax by the poolside.
Why not pick up a pocket guide to English grammar? Books like these are great for brushing up. They’re also cheap and effective tools for learning.
Whether online or in a bookshop, it’s not difficult to find books on learning English, no matter what your level is! With a few books and a few activities, you’ll see that you can go from the basics all the way to advanced.
Once you know your level, you’ll find there are plenty of other resources for any learner of English.
You can work on your English skills and practise your spoken English with fluent English speakers over Skype. Look for language exchange websites that put speakers of different languages into contact with one another.
You can study English online by using the various language learning sites or practise with online quizzes.
If you prefer a personalised approach, consider hiring an English teacher or tutor whose English classes can focus on whatever you need to work on: reading and writing, speaking, or listening.
Learn to speak English as your second language with language courses at a specialised language school. These centres focus solely on teaching a language (or languages) and usually do exam preparation, too!
Now you’ve started to learn English, be sure to take a formal ESOL exam such as TOEFL & IELTS.