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English Language Proficiency Tests in Switzerland-TOEFL and IELTS

Language of instruction of many degree programs in Switzerland is English. The students must have certificate or pass reports of one of the following tests in order to get admissions into the Switzerland tertiary level institutions:

IELTS- International English Language Testing System

The IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is an internationally recognised standardised English language test designed to evaluate the English language skills of the applicants who want to study in Switzerland.  
The IELTS has two versions: IELTS Academic and IELST General Training. The ‘IELTS Academic’ is primarily designed for study at undergraduate or postgraduate degree level or for joining a professional organization, whereas the ‘IELTS General Training’ is for stay-abroad students or students who want to complete their secondary education. The British Council Switzerland offers IELTS tests in Berne, Zurich, Geneva, St. Gallen and Lugano (Manno).

Format

The IELTS comprises of four sections: Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking. The IELTS test is for 2 hours and 45 minutes. 

Listening

This section comprises of four audio clips and based on these clips, the applicant needs to answer certain questions. This section is of 30 minutes

Reading

This section has three passages and requires the applicants identify the main theme and other relevant information and develop a viewpoint. This section is of 60 minutes.

Writing

This section consists of two tasks.  First task requires the applicant to create a descriptive report of a table or diagram of 150 words, while the other task involves writing an essay in response to a statement given, about 250 words. This section is of 60 minutes.

Speaking

This section has a face-to-face interview between the applicant and the examiner wherein an applicant’s spoken communication skills are assessed. This section is about 10-15 minutes.
  

Scoring and Results

The IELTS scores are developed considering all the four sections i.e.  Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking, on a scale of 1 – 9. Also, an overall band score based on the average of all 4 sections is estimated. The score is represented in a test report form and given by means of post. The test Report Form is valid for two years from the date you took the test.

The IELTS 9-band scale: Band 9 refers to Expert user; Band 8 refers to Very good user; Band 7 refers to Good user; Band 6 refers to Competent user; Band 5 refers to Modest user; Band 4 refers to Limited user; Band 3 refers to Extremely limited user; Band 2 refers to Intermittent user and Band 1 refers to Non-user.

Registration

Register online at IELTS . Fill in your personal information in IELTS Application form and attach an identification proof. Send or upload a photocopy of your ID and other necessary documents. Send a signed print-out of your application summary to the relevant centre. Then pay the fees. You will receive an invoice via email after you have registered online. Acceptable forms of payment are by Credit Card, i.e. Visa or MasterCard, or by bank transfer. After the payment of fees, a summary email will be received which needs to be signed. Send the proof of payment and other required documentation by post within 5 days of your online registration. 

Contact Information
British Council / IELTS Team
Sennweg 2
PO Box 532
3000 Bern 9
T 41 (0) 31 301 4935 (Mon-Fri 09.00-17.00)
F 41 (0) 31 301 1459
www.britishcouncil.ch
ielts@britishcouncil.ch
 

Fees

The IELTS fee varies from year to year. Check the official website for payment and other necessary details. There is an additional fee being charged for rescheduling and cancellation of IELTS exam.

Special Arrangements

For Special test arrangement, the applicant must seek permission. These special sittings as a result of medical conditions or disabilities are made available only if the applicant provides the evidence to support the request.

TOEFL- Test of English as a Foreign Language

The TOEFL- Test of English as a Foreign Language is developed and regulated by ETS. TOEFL is an internationally known standardized English language test that assesses the English Language Proficiency of the applicant’s who wish to study in Switzerland. 

Format

TOEFL Internet based (iBT): The TOEFL iBT is a four-hour test and assesses the English language skills and abilities of the applicants. It measures the skills and knowledge in four areas: reading, listening, speaking and writing.

Reading

The reading section comprises 3 or 4 passages and assesses the ability to read and understand the passages in English of the applicants. It consists of 36-56 questions with total limit of 60-80 minutes

Listening

This part requires the applicants to listen to classroom discussions, lectures and accordingly answer questions based on them. It involves 34-51 questions and the duration of this section is 60-90 minutes.

Speaking

This section requires the applicants to express their point of view, communicate their ideas and thoughts on a particular topic clearly and effectively. It involves 6 tasks and the time allotted for this section is 20 minutes.

Writing

This section requires the applicant to write an essay based on reading and listening sections task. It assesses the ability and potential to communicate the relevant information clearly, coherently and effectively. It involves 2 tasks and the time allotted is 50 minutes.

Registration 

Register online at TOEFL . Put in all your details on the registration form and then pay the fees via credit/debit card. 

Fees

The TOEFL fee varies from year to year. Check the official website for payment details and there is an additional fee being charged for rescheduling and cancellation of TOEFL exam.

Scoring and Results

The TOEFL iBT is scored on a scale of 0 to 120 points. You receive a score from 0 to 30 in each of the four TOEFL test parts- Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing. Your total TOEFL score is the sum of the scores from the four sections. In addition to the scores, the applicant will also receive an official score record that includes your performance feedback at all the levels/tasks. The TOEFL iBT test score is valid for two years but the test can be taken as many times as you desire.

Special Arrangements

For Special test arrangements, the applicant must register online and fill out a registration form. These special sittings as a result of medical conditions or disabilities are made available only if the applicant provides the evidence to support the request.

See Also:
TOEFL
IELTS
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