How to Prepare for Your ESL Placement Test

by Fae Esperas

An English proficiency test does wonders for people who want to go abroad. If you are a licensed teacher, being able to pass this exam broadens your job opportunities, as many schools look for educators who can teach both their chosen subject areas and English to students of all levels. If you are not a teacher by profession, passing an ESL test gives you the edge you need to enroll in TEFL courses so you can teach English abroad.

How to Prepare for your ESL Placement Test
Prepare for your ESL Placement Test. Photo by GWT

ESL teachers and tutors are sought after by schools everywhere to help students improve English communication skills, so passing your ESL test can be the first step to a lucrative international teaching career! However, many people think that an ESL placement test is not really important, especially when they are already confident in using the language. However, confidence is not the only factor considered by most English proficiency schools. While some conduct exams and interviews, there are some companies that look exclusively at ESL placement results as the best gauge of whether you are fit for an ESL teaching job or not, so taking it can't hurt!

Here's what you need to do to pass your ESL placement test with flying colors: 

1. Brush up on your grammar. 

ESL placement tests deal more with the practical use of the English language. So read through some grammar books or check out websites that focus on English grammar and communication too. Make sure you are up to date on any evolutionary changes to the language since you first learned it, and review all types of grammar rules thoroughly. 

2. Take an ESL course. 

Due to the high demand of ESL teachers and tutors, many individuals are aspiring to land jobs in the industry and many more have found it imperative to take ESL courses. These courses help them review their English, oral and written, skills in a more consistent manner. There are even online ESL courses that you can take during your free time.

3. Work on practice tests. 

Answering practice tests is also a great way to supplement your review for an ESL placement exam. You can answer test sheets that include possible questions to actual tests, or take simulation exercises online. These practice tests are usually included in ESL courses and they can greatly help you prepare for the test. Practice tests especially help to gauge your practical understanding of the English language and give you an idea of where you are struggling.

A girl reading a book

4. Relax. 

Don't stress yourself out when preparing for an ESL placement test. Just focus on your review, the lessons being handed to you, and take note of your confidence in using the English language. By being relaxed you will be more comfortable creating conversations in English, which is what the ESL test is all about.

5. Get an English Language Partner. 

Call up a friend who is a native English speaker or ask a fellow classmate, to practice with you. The more you speak it, listen to it, read it, and write it, the more you will absorb and the more you will project you know in your ESL test.

After you pass your ESL placement test, check out TEFL programs to start teaching English around the world!