British language test outranks TOEFL in India

September 23rd, 2008 - 11:13 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Sep 23 (IANS) The British Council’s language proficiency test International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is more popular in India than the US Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).”Last year around 160,000 people took the tests in India against 13,000 in 2006. We are seeking 36 percent increase over last year’s figures in 2008,” British Council Division first secretary (education services) Kevin McLaven told reporters here Tuesday.

Last year, 70,000 people took TOEFL test in India, less than half of the IELTS takers, he added.

According to McLaven, Australian educational institutions recognise only IELTS. Further, around 1,000 US educational institutions have now recognised IELTS in addition to TOEFL.

Though the two streams test the English language proficiency of people whose mother tongue is not English, officials say the grades are not exactly comparable.

McLaven said people generally prefer pen and paper to take a test and interact in person - IELTS model - than giving the test online and testing their proficiency in speaking English language sitting before a computer.

While the fees for taking IELTS is Rs.7,200 ($156), the TOEFL fee is $150.

“It is our policy to charge fees in local currency,” McLaven added.

British Council has started on line registration facility this month as a part of popularising IELTS.

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