EFL Exams Explained
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There are many different reasons your students might be learning English. Some might want to learn English for their own travelling pleasure. Some might want to study at an English-medium institution. Some might need to be able to communicate in English for their jobs. Some might be learning English at school. Because of these many different reasons, there is a variety of different English as a Foreign Language lessons you may be asked to teach. The majority of TEFL teachers teach General English or Business English. Some TEFL teachers teach English for Specific Purposes, which might include English for Medicine, English for Law, English for Aviation, English for Nursing or many other specialities of English. Another major EFL sector is English for Exams.
What English exams do my students need?
There are a number of different exams English learners can take, depending on their age and their need. As you can imagine, English exams for Young Learners and teens are very different to English exams for adults. At the same time, an exam in preparation for a degree is very different to an exam required for a job or immigration.
Let’s look at the different exams in detail:
The Cambridge exams
The Cambridge exams are a suite of exams run by Cambridge Assessment, in connection with the University of Cambridge. There are a range of exams for Young Learners and also for adults. The Starters, Movers, Flyers and KET exams assess lower level learners at school. The PET for Schools and FCE for schools exams assess school-age learners who are around the Intermediate and Upper Intermediate level.
Then there are the equivalent Cambridge exams for adult learners. The KET and PET exams assess lower level learners, while the First (FCE), Advanced (CAE) and Proficiency (CPE) exams assess learners at the higher levels. Then there are also three Cambridge exams aimed at Business English:
- Business Preliminary (BEC Preliminary)
- Business Vantage (BEC Vantage)
- Business Higher (BEC Higher)
Read more: Understanding Cambridge Exams for Adults
ISE (Integrated Skills in English)
The ISE exams are the Integrated Skills in English exams, run by Trinity College London. The exams assess authentic communicative skills in English. It is accepted by academic institutions and places of employment all over the world. The ISE exams are similar to the Cambridge exams in that there are different exams for different levels: ISE Foundation (A2), ISE I (B1), ISE II (B2), ISE III (C1) and ISE IV (C2).
The IELTS English Language Test
IELTS is an English language test used for study purposes, for work purposes or for immigration. IELTS is accepted by more than 11 000 academic institutions around the world as proof of an adequate English level of prospective students. It is also used as a requirement for immigration into Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK. Some organisations require their prospective employees to take the IELTS test as well.
There are two IELTS tests: the General and the Academic. Both test all four skills and are similar but differ in the Reading and Writing exams. The IELTS test is run by the British Council. There is no pass mark for the IELTS test. Rather, the learners are given scores on a scale. Institutions and government agencies will decide what score is a requirement for the purpose of the test. The highest mark is 9.
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)
Similar to the IELTS is the TOEFL family of assessments. These include the TOEFL Primary test for learners aged 8+, TOEFL Junior test for learners aged 11+ and the TOEFL ITP test for learners aged 16+. These tests are used to assess learner’s overall English communication skills.
For adult learners, there are the TOEFL Essentials test and the TOEFL iBT test. The Essentials test is used to test general proficiency and can be done at home, while the iBT test measures Academic English and is used by universities and tertiary institutions to evaluate potential students.
As in the IELTS test, there is no pass mark for the TOEFL, but different levels. The highest mark is 120. Each academic institution will require its students to obtain a certain score on the test, but that score will be different for different institutions.
TOEIC (Test of English for International Communication)
The TOEIC exams are used to assess a learner’s ability to communicate in English in a working environment. A job-seeker might choose to do the TOEIC exam so that their English level can be included on their CV. Alternatively, a company may ask potential employees to take the TOEIC exam to assess their English level, in order to offer additional language training or identify areas of weakness. The TOEIC Bridge test is a similar test for Beginner to Intermediate learners. The highest mark is 990.
Linguaskill is a relatively new exam from Cambridge Assessment. There is a Linguaskill General exam and a Linguaskill Business exam. The General exam is used to assess university students for admission or employees who need General English to perform the jobs. The Business exam is used in a business or corporate setting. It is an online exam.
PTE (Pearson Test of English)
Another new exam is the Pearson Test of English. It is used for general, academic, business or immigration purposes. There is a PTE Academic exam for students and PTE Home A1, PTE Home A2 and PTE Home B1 exams for immigration.
As you can see, there are a number of different exams for EFL students. Which exam they choose to take will depend on their need. They will come to you with a specific exam in mind and it will be your job to prepare them adequately. In order to do this you need to familiarise yourself with the exam and the many different resources there are at your disposal to prepare lessons. Even if you feel confused by the different EFL exams, over time you will get to know them and you can add exams specialists to your CV!
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Name of course Duration Combined Level 5 TEFL Course 6 months Online Level 5 TEFL Course 6 months Online Level 3 TEFL Course 6 months 10hr Online Teaching Practice Course 10 hours Top-up courses 6 weeks Observed Teaching Practice Course 2 years
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where applicable) will not be permitted in any of the above circumstances, unless the cancellation of the course
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- The 6-month enrolment on the online course starts from the date that full payment for the course has been
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- All assignments must be submitted no later than 2 weeks before the enrolment end date. Students who wish to
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10. Assignments and Exams
- As part of some TEFL Courses you will be required to prepare and submit assignments. If you do not pass an
assignment you can resubmit an assignment in accordance with clause 10.2.
- You can submit each assignment up to three times. (i.e. after the first submission of an assignment, you may
re-submit the assignment a two further times up to a total of three submissions for one assignment).
- If you do not pass an assignment, you will not receive a grade, but you will be given feedback as to why you
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awarded a pass grade in.
- If you have a basis to believe your work has not been fairly assessed, you can request a re-mark via the tutor
support ticket platform. Due to the high number of students we cannot look at any assignment in advance of an
- You should submit your final assignment 2 weeks before your end date to allow time for marking and the
possible need for re-submission.
- Please be aware that if you have not completed all required assignments and allowed sufficient time for
marking before your end-date, you will need to apply for an extension.
- You are entitled to sit exams as many times as you need to in order to pass the exam. If you pass the exam you
cannot thereafter seek to resit the exam.
11. Failing the Course
- The TEFL Academy offers a guaranteed pass, or your money back guarantee. You can retake the exams as many times as needed in order to pass. If you fail to achieve a pass on any assignments after your third attempt we will provide you with a full refund. A full refund will not be provided in accordance with clauses 11.4, 11.5 & 11.8.
- Native speakers of English will typically be above the minimum standard of English for this course.
- Non-native speakers should have an English level of C1 (Advanced), as a minimum to commence the course.
Students may test their English level here: https://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/en/content.
- Students found not to have a C1 level of English will likely fail the course and not complete the
qualification. However, it is up to each prospective student to determine for themselves whether or not they
wish to commence a course even where they do not have a minimum of C1 level English. For the avoidance of any
doubt no refund will be provided for a student failing the course in any circumstances.
- Any student who fails or is removed from the course as a result of confirmed plagiarism (in accordance with
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- Where an assignment marker finds evidence that indicates that plagiarism may have occurred within a submitted
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the submitted assignment to the source it is believed to be plagiarised from. The Internal Quality Assurance
Manager will make an assessment as to whether they consider plagiarism to have occurred. In the event the
Internal Quality Assurance Manager decides that plagiarism has occurred, they will prepare and provide to you a
detailed report outlining the reasons for their decision along with a letter explaining your removal from the
course. Should you wish to dispute this decision, you can do so in accordance with The TEFL Academy’s Appeals
policy for students which can be found here.
- If you do not pass an assignment after submitting it up to three times in accordance with clause 10.2 you will
be deemed to have failed the course. Should you wish to dispute this decision, you can do so in accordance with
The TEFL Academy’s Appeals policy for students which can be found here. If you fail the course due to not passing your assignments you will be provided with a full refund.
- In order for you to legitimately fail the course, a clear attempt to answer the assignment requirements must be made. This requires uploading the required assignment templates for each submission, and an attempt to address feedback and recommendations provided by the tutor for the second and third attempts. If we deem your attempts at the assignments to not be genuine a refund will not be provided.
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- The TEFL Academy accepts no liability, nor shall it have any liability whether in contract, tort, under
statute or otherwise, for any loss or additional expense arising for students where they fail the course whether
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- If you have any questions or complaints about the TEFL Course, please contact us. You can telephone our
customer service team at +1 347 434 9694 or write to us at [email protected] or The TEFL Academy, Suite 101b, 21-22 Old Steine, Brighton, BN1 1EL, United Kingdom.
- If your complaint is not dealt to your satisfaction with you may make a complaint to the course accrediting
body. You can find the contact details for the accrediting body in the The TEFL Academy’s Appeals Policy which
can be found here.
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- Any student who fails or is removed from the course by failing to meet the academic standards or through being
found guilty of plagiarism will be removed immediately from the course without refund.
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Academy uses your personal information.
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- Any claims made in connection with these Terms shall be subject to English law and all proceedings shall be
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LAST UPDATED: 19th July 2023
Please read all of the following information carefully.
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ELEARNING FUTURES LTD takes the security of and our legal responsibilities around your personal data seriously. This statement explains relevant information about our processing of your personal data collected via this website (“website” or “site”).We aim to always respect your data protection rights in compliance with the latest Data Protection Laws, including the GDPR.
Who we are
- This website is owned and operated by ELEARNING FUTURES LTD , (we) a limited company registered in the United Kingdom.
Registered company number 13725845, Palmeira Avenue Mansions, 19 Church Road, Hove, BN3 2FA.
- This Policy sets out the basis on which any personal data we collect from you, or that you provide to us, will be processed by us.
- Our Data Protection Officer (DPO) can be contacted by email at [email protected]
- This policy (and any other documents referred to on it) sets out the basis on which any personal data we collect from you, or that you provide to us, will be processed by us. Please read the following carefully to understand our practices regarding your personal data and how we will treat it.
- For the purpose of the General Data Protection Regulation, the data controller is ELEARNING FUTURES LTD.
- ELEARNING FUTURES LTD collects and processes personal information for a variety of reasons. If you wish to communicate with us about this privacy notice, or any issue relating to information governance or data protection, please contact us using the following details: By post:
Information Governance & Risk Management Team
ELEARNING FUTURES LTD,
Palmeira Avenue Mansions,
19 Church Road,
Email: [email protected]
- ELEARNING FUTURES LTD shares personal information within the wider ELEARNING FUTURES LTD group of entities situated both within and outside the EU. We do this under a data-sharing agreement that includes the appropriate EU model international data transfer clauses to make sure your personal information is protected, no matter which entity in the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD group holds that information.
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Collection and Use of your data
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- All personal data is stored securely in accordance with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2016/679) (GDPR). For more details on security see section 6, below.
- We use your data to provide the best possible services to you. This includes:
- Providing and managing your account;
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- Market research;
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- Ensuring our investigations and appeals are handled accurately and fairly;
In some cases, such as during an investigation or appeal, we may use public data such as social media accounts or review sites in order to ensure accuracy and fairness.
- In some cases, the collection of data may be a statutory or contractual requirement, and we will be limited in the services we can provide you without your consent, for us to be able to use such data.
- With your permission and/or where permitted by law, we may also use your data for marketing purposes which may include contacting you by email AND/OR telephone AND/OR text message AND/OR post with information, news and offers on our services. We will not, however, send you any unsolicited marketing or spam and will take all reasonable steps to ensure that we fully protect your rights and comply with our obligations under the GDPR and the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003, as amended in 2004, 2011 and 2015.
- In order to facilitate completion of enrolment, we do collect data from our online booking forms and may remind you of your saved order so that you can complete your enrolment
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- you have given consent to the processing of your personal data for one or more specific purposes;
- processing is necessary for the performance of a contract to which you are a party or in order to take steps at the request of you prior to entering into a contract;
- processing is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation to which we are subject;
- processing is necessary to protect the vital interests of you or of another natural person;
- processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or the exercise of official authority vested in the controller; and/or
- processing is necessary for the legitimate interests pursued by us or by a third party, except where such interests are overridden by the fundamental rights and freedoms of the data subject which require protection of personal data, in particular where the data subject is a child.
We collect and use personal information to offer people information, products and services. This policy will apply in all locations where we operate to all forms of information and to all systems used to collect, store, process or transfer information.
With your prior agreement, we may share your data, such as name, email and CV, with potential employers.
- ELEARNING FUTURES LTD is committed to:
- performing privacy impact assessments to protect the privacy and rights of its customers and employees
- protecting the confidentiality, integrity and availability of the information it collects, stores, transfers and processes in accordance with law and international good practice, and meeting its legal requirements and contractual obligations
- explaining why it needs personal information, only asking for the personal information it needs and only sharing personal information within the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD and with other organisations as necessary or where the person concerned has given their consent
- allowing people to request access to the personal information it holds on them and to complain if they believe their information has been mishandled
- not keep personal information for longer than necessary
- taking measures to protect the rights and freedoms of individuals whose personal information may be transferred to countries with differing data protection laws
- ensuring that actual or suspected breaches of information security are reported and investigated
- assessing and measuring the maturity of its information security controls annually
- applying these standards to its supply chain and delivery partners.
We will provide adequate and appropriate resources to implement this policy and will ensure it is communicated and understood.
- We also use other organisations to process your personal information in order to carry out services on our behalf. We use them to:
- Provide customer service, surveys and marketing
- Personalise our services
- Process payments
- Carry out fraud and other legal investigations
Where we use another organisation, we make sure that your personal information is protected and remains in our control.
- We also, in certain situations, share personal information with government bodies and law enforcement bodies. Where we do share personal information with these types of organisations we’ll make sure it’s protected, as far as it is reasonably possible.
We’ll use your personal information to send you direct marketing and to better identify products and services that interest you. We do that if you’re one of our customers or if you’ve been in touch with us another way (such as registering to attend an ELEARNING FUTURES LTD event).
This means we’ll:
- create a profile about you to better understand you as a customer and tailor the communications we send you (including our marketing messages);
- tell you about other products and services you might be interested in;
- try to identify products and services you’re interested in; and
We use the following for marketing and to identify the products and services you’re interested in.
- Your contact details. This includes your name, gender, address, phone number, date of birth and email address.
- Information from cookies and tags placed on your connected devices.
- Information from other organisations such as aggregated demographic data and publicly available sources like the electoral roll and business directories.
- Details of the products and services you’ve bought and how you use them.
We’ll send you information (about the products and services we provide) by phone, post, email, text message, online banner advertising. We also use the information we have about you to personalise these messages wherever we can as we believe it is important to make them relevant to you. We do this because we have a legitimate business interest in keeping you up to date with our products and services. We also check that you are happy for us to send you marketing messages before we do so. In each message we send, you also have the option to opt-out.
We’ll only market other organisations’ products and services if you have said it is OK for us to do so.
You can ask us to stop sending you marketing information or withdraw your permission at any time.
ELEARNING FUTURES LTD retains personal information in line with our corporate retention requirements. Your data will be stored within the European Economic Area (“the EEA”) (The EEA consists of all EU member states, plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein). However, in some circumstances, part or all of your data may be stored or transferred outside of the European Economic Area (“the EEA”). You are deemed to accept and agree to this by using our site and submitting information to us. If we do store or transfer data outside the EEA, we will take all reasonable steps to ensure that your data is treated as safely and securely as it would be within the EEA and under the GDPR. Such steps may include, but not be limited to, the use of legally binding contractual terms between us and any third parties we engage with, and the use of the EU-approved Model Contractual Arrangements. If we intend at any time to transfer any of your data outside the EEA, we will always obtain your consent beforehand.
Right to access personal information
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- When making a request you will need to give us:
- a request in writing (by post or by email)
- We may need to ask you to provide:
- proof of your identity
- proof of your home address
- any information that we reasonably need to locate the information you have requested (for example details of the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD offices or staff that you have had contact with and when)
We will not start looking for your information until we receive all of the above. In order to submit your request, or for help making a request, please contact us.
Rights concerning the processing of your personal information
- Right to restrict processing of personal information
- In some situations, you have the right to require us to restrict the processing of your personal information. We may restrict your personal information by temporarily moving the information to another processing system, making the information unavailable to users, or temporarily removing published information from a website. We may also use technical methods to ensure the personal information is not subject to further processing and cannot be changed. When we have restricted processing of personal information, this will be clearly indicated on our systems.
- You can require us to restrict processing in the following circumstances:
- You are concerned that the information we hold about you is inaccurate. You can ask us to restrict the information until we can determine whether the information is accurate or inaccurate.
- We are processing your personal data unlawfully and you do not want us to delete the information but restrict it instead.
- We no longer need the information for the purposes for which we collected it, but they are needed by you for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims.
- You have objected to the processing (see below), and we need to decide whether the legitimate grounds we have to process the information override your legitimate interests.
Processing you think is unlawful
- If you tell us that you think we are processing your personal information unlawfully, but you do not want the information to be erased, you have the right to require us to restrict the processing of that information.
- We will ask you for an explanation about why you think the processing is unlawful, and may also ask that you provide evidence to support this view.
Processing of personal information you think is inaccurate
- You can tell us if you think the personal information we are processing about you is factually inaccurate. You can require us to restrict how we use your personal information until we can verify the accuracy of the information. We will ask you for an explanation about why you think the information is inaccurate, and may also ask that you provide some supporting evidence of the alleged inaccuracy.
- If we find that the personal information we are processing about you is inaccurate, we will take appropriate steps to correct the information.
Personal information is no longer needed by ELEARNING FUTURES LTD but needed by you in connection with a legal claim
- In most circumstances, we will securely delete or dispose of personal information when we no longer need it for our legitimate business purposes. Our approach to retention is outlined in our corporate retention schedules.
- However, if the personal information we no longer need would assist you in establishing, exercising or defending a legal claim, you can require us to keep the information for as long as necessary. We may ask you to provide an explanation and any available supporting evidence that a legal claim is ongoing or contemplated.
Right to erasure of personal data (“the right to be forgotten”)
In the following circumstances, you have the right to require that ELEARNING FUTURES LTD securely deletes or destroys your personal information:
- If the personal information we hold about you is no longer necessary for the purposes for which we originally collected it.
- The processing is based on consent – if you have previously given your consent to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD collecting and processing your personal information, and you notify us that you withdraw your consent. Please note: withdrawing your consent does not mean the processing of your personal data which occurred before the withdrawal was unlawful.
- We are processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes, and you want us to stop.
- If you think ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has processed your personal information unlawfully.
If you think any of the above situations apply, we may ask you for an explanation and further information to verify this.
Right to object to processing
You have the right to object to the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD processing your personal data in the following circumstances:
Personal information used for direct marketing
If we are using your personal information to send you direct marketing, you have the right to object at any time. If you exercise this right, we will stop processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes. However, we may keep your information on a “suppression list” to ensure your information is not added to any marketing lists at some point in the future.
Automated decision making and profiling
- ‘Profiling’ is the automated use of personal data held on a computer to analyse or predict things that have a legal effect, or other similarly significant effects, on the individual. Examples would include economic situation, health, personal preferences or interests and location. You have the right not to be subject to a solely automated decision (that is, a decision made electronically, with no human intervention), and this may include profiling (although there is no general right to object to profiling). If you are concerned the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has made a solely automated decision about you, you can object.
- Please note, ELEARNING FUTURES LTD is allowed to carry out automated decisions with no human intervention where you have given your explicit consent to this processing (although you have the right to withdraw your consent).
- We are also permitted to make automated decisions with no human intervention in the following circumstances:
- The automated decision is necessary to enter into, or perform a contract, or complete a contract involving you and the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD.
- The automated decision is allowed under a law passed at the European Union level, or at the level of the European Union or EEA member state level (i.e., is allowed under national law). The law will provide safeguards to protect your rights and freedoms.
However, you still have a general right to object in both of the above circumstances, providing reasons why you think the processing is having a negative effect on you. If you do object, we will carefully consider your reasons, and decide whether to review the decision-making process in your specific case.
Right to data portability
- If you have provided your information to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD, you have the right to request and receive a copy of that information in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format.
- You also have the right to ask us to send the information we hold about you to another organisation.
- There are some situations in which the right to data portability does not apply. For further information, please contact us.
Exercising your rights concerning the processing of your personal information
If you wish to exercise any of the above rights concerning the way in which we process your personal information, please contact:
Risk Management Team
ELEARNING FUTURES LTD,
21-22 Old Steine,
Email: [email protected]
Your right to complain to a national data protection regulator (data protection supervisory authority)
- If you think we have processed your personal information unfairly or unlawfully, or we have not complied with your rights under GDPR, you have the right to complain to a national data protection regulator.
- Complaints about how we process your personal information can be considered by the data protection regulator.