If you’re studying a new language or already know one, you might have considered taking a foreign language proficiency test.
The purpose of these exams is to check your ability to handle a specific language and to assess how well you know it.
But is it worth your effort, time, and money? What are the advantages of a language competency exam? And what can you do with these certifications or diplomas?
If you are still on the fence and want some convincing reasons to dive deep into these tests, this post is for you.
Here, you will discover several benefits of language proficiency tests. So let’s find out everything there is to know.
But first, let’s look at what it really means.
Table of Contents
- What is language proficiency tests?
- How do language competency exams work?
- 9 Definite Advantages of language tests
- 1. It improves your career prospects
- 2. You will know your actual level
- 3. Boosts your confidence and motivates you
- 4. Acquire the right kind of language skills
- 5. The test is open to everyone
- 6. You are more likely to get scholarships
- 7. Immigration to foreign countries
- 8. Study or work overseas
- 9. Provides you with a deadline to focus on
- Conclusion: Should you take language exam?
What is language proficiency tests?
Language proficiency is the ability to use language in various contexts, settings, and topics.
It is to achieve real-world linguistic tasks and use them in day-to-day talk. Thus, it checks your skills in these practical situations.
As a non-native speaker, you take the test to measure your overall language skills. So that you can prove your knowledge and how good you are at it.
It’s beneficial to a company, a government agency, an educational establishment, or only for yourself.
The respective governments support these certifications. Everyone accepts them globally for different purposes.
How do language competency exams work?
A language test typically focuses on four areas — speaking, writing, reading, and listening.
Most of these exams, notably the European ones, are based on the CEFRL (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages).
CEFR groups a language into three broad categories: Basic, Independent, and Proficient User. Further, they subdivide into six levels, A1 to C2.
The A1 level allows you to understand and use elementary language to achieve specific objectives.
At the C2 level, candidates are near-natives and can take part in complex business, cultural and social interactions.
Yet, a few exams only cover specific parts and not all four.
For example, TOPIK, HSK, and JLPT don’t cover speaking. But HSK and TOPIK offer a separate speaking test, not included in the standard test.
9 Definite Advantages of language tests
You may wonder if you should take one of these tests or not. And what are the benefits connected with it?
There are several clear positive reasons. Here, let’s explore the 9 top advantages of the language proficiency examination.
1. It improves your career prospects
Of all the motivations to learn a new language, career progress is the most important among learners.
In today’s globalized economy, much employment requires you to speak a foreign language. Plus, it provides access to job prospects all across the world.
Assume you’re looking to work for French organizations or corporations that do business with Francophone countries.
In such a scenario, your French-speaking skills can help distinguish your resume.
The French proficiency tests score can assist the company in short-listing applicants.
“What DELF or DALF level did you achieve?” an interviewer is more likely to inquire in place of “Do you speak French?”
It results from your French diploma included in your CV. Companies no longer depend on assumptions and guesses; instead, they focus on precise fluency levels.
If you don’t have those exam results as proof, they will be unsure whether to call you for the interview.
Likewise, HR won’t take your language ability seriously if you mention the languages you know on your CV without having these certificates.
Unless you have passed such tests, your language ability is unclear. Passing these tests shows your accurate level.
Several positions are available with these certifications, like a teacher, tour guide, interpreter, translator, customer support, analyst, content writer, to name a few.
Suppose you want to work as a language specialist. Then, strive for a higher level, like B2/C1 or similar. It can help you make more money if you speak that language fluently.
So, if you wish to get ahead in your career or enhance your professional credentials, think about taking the official test in your target language. It will give your CV a significant edge.
2. You will know your actual level
If you have been learning a language for a while, you would certainly like to verify your knowledge. That is where these tests can help.
You will know your current level of understanding and your weaknesses. Then you can concentrate on the areas that need improvement.
Without these tests, you would not know exactly which stage you’re at and what part you need to develop to move forward.
To do better in the next exam, you might focus and pay special attention to your deficiencies. Then you can set goals and improve your capabilities meaningfully.
It will also motivate you to pursue other language learning goals to assist you in upcoming tests.
3. Boosts your confidence and motivates you
Another advantage of the language competency test is that it boosts your self-esteem and confidence when you pass it.
Most of you study harder before a test. Research has shown that this can enhance your language skills. Love or hate them, but exams surely motivate us to learn and work hard towards our dream.
Compared to other language lovers who did not take the examination, this shows success.
Having such a certification is exciting because you can talk about it with your friends and even brag about it. It is also concrete proof that you have gained a specific level of language proficiency.
It can support you in building your personality in your profession and social transition.
Finally, without a doubt, clearing the test is a tremendous confidence and morale booster.
4. Acquire the right kind of language skills
You will learn the right skills to succeed in your studies when you take a focused academic language exam.
These exams involve educational styles that use real-life language, tasks, issues, and topics.
It tells you to learn a range of practical scholarly abilities and develop real-life language communication skills.
For example, you can develop various skills, such as
- You can create long essays with a proper structure, introduction, flow, and a solid conclusion.
- You can attend lectures and ask detailed questions to clear your doubts and improve your wisdom.
- You can read quickly enough to cope with the demands of an academic course.
- Read books and study materials and grasp the key topics and ideas.
- Give explicit opinions and presentations.
- It enhances creative writing and makes you a better problem solver and a more logical thinker.
5. The test is open to everyone
As a language learner, you may need a degree or an official diploma for various reasons. So, you study at a language institution to achieve your goal.
But what if you want to do self-study or learn through books, a private teacher, apps, and internet resources?
After all, not everyone can attend conventional language programs.
A linguistic competence test is a solution!
It is the most effective way to increase your work opportunities. You can also further your education and prepare for travel, study, or life abroad.
Everyone is welcome to take these exams, regardless of their language mastery, age, profession, or nationality.
You don’t need to enroll in a course to show your skills and expertise. It is open to non-native speakers with no fixed or minimum requirements.
You can prepare yourself. Then, select the test dates, locate the nearest testing center, and apply.
You will receive an internationally recognized certification once you pass.
6. You are more likely to get scholarships
One of the top benefits of taking a language proficiency test is to get a scholarship for undergraduate, postgraduate, and doctorate research courses to study in a foreign country.
Several governments, companies, and universities offer many scholarships to deserving students from different parts of the world.
Many non-English countries, like France, Germany, Korea, Italy, Japan, and China, are home to top-ranked universities, ranking in the top 200 globally.
Most of these opportunities may not demand a language test score. Besides, that may not be the primary criteria at most institutions.
Still, the score you get on the test increases your overall chances if you are up against someone with similar credentials.
And sometimes, it is even mandatory.
For example, the Goethe-Zertifikat diploma entitles international students to apply for a scholarship program at a university or an educational institution of higher education in Germany.
Similarly, the TOPIK score increases the chance of getting a GKS scholarship to study in South Korea.
7. Immigration to foreign countries
Do you want to settle in a country where your mother tongue is not the primary or the first language there?
If that is the situation, what are you required to do?
You need to study that language and then take the language exam required by the immigration authorities. Plus, universities, private companies, and government bodies also accept such tests.
But, aside from formal conditions, there are several reasons a language test could benefit you.
Do you know TCF Canada and IELTS scores add points to PR for Canada?
Likewise, TEF Naturalisation and DELE are the conditions for obtaining citizenship in France and Spain.
The number of immigrants to developed nations has risen in recent times.
It has led to more people taking different competency tests to boost their chance of getting immigration.
Do you have your sights set on immigrating to a foreign country and applying for permanent residence?
You can take part in the different immigration programs run by various governments. Basic language skills have become vital for jobs.
In that scenario, it can play an essential role. It is also helpful for other visas, like study, work, or even a marriage visa.
Your applications will get priority, among others, ahead of others who don’t have such qualifications.
8. Study or work overseas
Do you desire to work or study abroad for a better future?
You can also have a once-in-a-lifetime experience of cultural aspects, traditions and visit beautiful tourist places.
In most non-English-speaking countries, you need a good command of the local language for most work.
Sometimes, it is a prerequisite to study at a foreign university or take up a profession in the ever-growing business world.
Language tests can be a fantastic asset to your profile if you study overseas. Your application to various colleges will get preference.
Besides a comfortable stay and genuine interaction, getting a post-study job will be easier if you have an official language credential.
It is useful when you apply for employment. Many companies expect you to pass a certain level. It can range from intermediate to advanced.
9. Provides you with a deadline to focus on
The other excellent benefit of these language tests is that they hold you accountable for reaching the goal on time.
They only conduct most language exams a few times a year and only at specific testing centers worldwide. So, for instance, you can sit for JLPT twice a year and only at 8 test centers in India or the USA.
There are few seats and fixed registration deadlines and exam dates. And since registration is on a first-come, first-served basis, seats get filled quickly.
Decide well in advance if you truly want to take the test. Also, once you sign up for the exam, you’ll have a few months to prepare yourself for it and, hopefully, pass it.
The exam registration fee makes you even more committed by requiring you to pay. The price is high for most tests.
Each test costs anywhere from $50-$200 or more, like TEF Canada, from $300 to $350.
As a result, you’ll be more likely to take each exam seriously and study hard so that you don’t have to retake it and pay the fee again.
Conclusion: Should you take language exam?
If you’ve read this article this far, chances are you’re interested in taking one of the language tests.
There are many indisputable benefits of language proficiency tests.
The list is endless, from jobs and scholarships to applying for citizenship and confirming one’s level.
Candidates receive a quality language-level certificate that can be valuable for academic, personal, or professional projects.
The perks involved with it far outweigh the shortcomings it may have. And that’s why the total number of test-takers has increased multifold in the past years.
I hope this blog article helps you understand and decide how to use your language competency result.
Why and which test are you preparing for, and what is your inspiration? You can leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you!