When evaluating an English communication test, there are all sorts of variables to consider. How accessible is the test? Where can it be taken? How much does it cost? How quickly will you be able to get the results?
Along those lines, a follower on Twitter recently asked us if iTEP is “easier” than other English proficiency exams, including TOEFL or IELTS. The question, of course, is missing the fact that all English tests assess the same basic skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing and speaking. None is easier than the other—they are all meant to reflect the skill of the test-taker. While it certainly can’t claim to be easier, iTEP does offer a few appealing features that distinguish it from the pack.
While iTEP’s exams aren’t “easier” than the competitors, they certainly are easier to schedule. Of widely accepted tests, iTEP is the only one that offers on-demand scheduling. We have worked hard to make the sign-up process as stress-free as possible. Our 700+ Certified iTEP Test Centers across 50+ countries are eager to help you schedule a test within three days of your inquiry.
Our full suite of assessment tests is designed to be more convenient, comprehensive, and affordable for students and administrators alike. This is probably why some might think of it as “easy.” We make the whole process quick and efficient—one of the reasons we’re partnering with companies and governments to get our products into the hands of more people.
Less Time Investment
At just 90 minutes, iTEP is shorter than the other tests mentioned in the tweet. Of course, shorter doesn’t mean it’s any less comprehensive than TOEFL or IELTS. When designing our exams, we conducted extensive research to determine the optimal length. At 90 minutes, we are able to evaluate all language skills without the test-taker getting fatigued.
In addition, since iTEP can be scheduled on demand, test-takers typically don’t feel as much pressure building up to a test day and can approach it with more confidence. Since test-takers choose their own test dates, they can schedule to suit their personalities. For those who tend to worry about something as it approaches, they can sign up and take iTEP almost immediately, giving them only a few days to fret. For those who like to prepare, they can make sure they have enough time to study and take practice tests beforehand—big keys for helping to reduce test anxiety. Finally, if the desired score isn’t achieved, test-takers can always reschedule soon (we recommend 30 days)—no need to wait for the next pre-scheduled test date to roll around. All of this flexibility makes iTEP less of an imposition—it’s questions won’t be any easier than other exams, but the buildup just might be.
All of our exams share a similar intuitive structure and our questions are formatted to be easily understood at first glance, even to a beginner English speaker. iTEP exams also contain fewer questions than the other well-known tests. Because there are fewer questions, test-takers expand less effort taking the exam—another reason iTEP could be perceived as “easy.” However, the difficulty level of all of our products is designed so that an English speaker of any level gets an accurate score, and everyone can agree that accuracy is the most important function of an English communication test.
In addition, our speaking and writing sections are open ended—they’re a chance to show off your skills and how much you really know. These sections can be as hard or as easy as you want them to be. The test-taker’s score reflects his or her performance. It’s almost like each test-taker sets their own difficulty level on these sections.
Exams Mirror Reality
Lastly, remember that all English communication tests measure your ability to communicate. The goal is to reflect reality. The tests can’t be qualified as “easy” or “hard.” If you know the language, it will show on the test. After taking an iTEP exam, you will quickly realize what areas you need to improve on, and what concepts you’ve already mastered. You’ll have a baseline measurement to compare and help you become better at the language, which in turn could help you better understand the world. The ultimate goal is to become more fluent in English, not to choose the “easiest” test to get the score you need. The easiest test to schedule and take, however? We definitely recommend factoring that in all English testing decisions.