It is becoming increasingly more common for students to head to other parts of the world so that they can study at some of the world’s finest universities. There is no denying that this is a great way to expand your cultural and educational horizons, but getting into these schools of higher learning is not as simple as just having a good transcript. As much as these universities want to welcome foreign students, they have requirements in place that help ensure that only the very best of the best get in. Students from Honk Kong are going to have to choose between IELTS and TOEFL English exams if they want to study abroad, but which one should they choose?
There is no easy answer to that question, as the best option really depends on where it is you would like to go to study. Different countries have a different opinion on which of the two they would prefer student’s to be in possession of. For example, if you plan on staying in Hong Kong to study, you will find that most major universities will accept both IELTS and TOEFL, although they will have certain scores that have to be achieved in each in order for your application to be seriously considered.
Where both of these exams are really put to the test, though, is when applying to schools overseas, particularly those in the United States. The IELTS English exam is the most commonly accepted test worldwide, and is also used as a barometer when applying for immigration or jobs that are available overseas. It is particularly popular in the UK, perhaps because the exam is put conducted by such esteemed organizations as the University of Cambridge. It is also written in UK English, which may also explain why it is so highly regarded in that part of the world.
While the IELTS English exam will be accepted at universities in Canada and the United States, the fact that it is in UK English means that the TOEFL exam is the one that is preferred by institutions in North America. Because of the minor differences between the two exams, some students consider it to be a good idea to take both, so that they can increase the number of overseas schools that they can apply to. What is a little off putting to students in Hong Kong is that the TOEFL English exam is done online, which means having to talk to a computer when sitting the test. That is a stigma that has to be overcome if your goal is to study in the United States.
All of that said, though, universities don’t really consider one exam to be more prestigious or relevant than the other, and they are not likely to deny your application based on which test you have passed. You can give yourself a little leg up, though, by taking the exam that is most widely accepted in the country you wish to study in. better yet, take both, and really allow the educational world to become your oyster.
One of the most important jobs available in Hong Kong is that of an immigration officer, especially when you consider that hundreds of millions of people pass through the border on an annual basis. This is a position that requires an excellent grasp of both Cantonese and English, as well as personality traits that all successful applicants must possess. High on the list of those traits is a level of confidence that is simply impossible to have if you are unsure about your English speaking skills. Those skills can be improved with professional help, and HKEnglish has a course aimed especially at those looking to make career as an immigration officer.
As you may have already guessed, landing such a position does not come without first being put through a very strict application process. There are in fact 5 different parts to the process, 2 of which require a very strong grasp of conversational English. Those who do the hiring for these positions look at all 5 parts of the process before making a decision, but there is certainly a lot of weight put on the interview elements, as much of your time in the position will require you to communicate with people crossing the border.
The position of immigration officer is one that pays well, and which is held in very high regard. It’s no real surprise that only the very best applicants are chosen. As previously stated, there is a 5-part hiring process that has to be navigated, and it is parts 2 and 5 which the HKEnglish course will help you get through. Once you have made it past the aptitude test, you will be given an extended interview in English, which is very impromptu in style. A solid grasp of conversational English is a must if you hope to move on to the next levels.
The final part of the hiring process will see you sit before a panel of officers, with the conversation in Cantonese, Mandarin, and English. There will be a lot of attention paid to how you answer even the simplest of questions, and it is often those that trip up many candidates. The course offered by HKEnglish will make you aware of the types of questions, easy and difficult, that you are likely to hear from the panel. It will also make you aware of the types of responses that work, as well as those that might hurt your chances.
There are a number of educational check marks that have to appear on your resume before you are considered for this job, but the best academic record will count for very little if you cannot excel in the English speaking part of the process. If it is your goal to become an immigration officer, but you know that your conversational English is lacking, you really need to take a look at the course offered by HKEnglish before you apply. Putting in the right sort of preparation beforehand will improve your chances of actually landing the job.
To start with, both IELTS and TOEFL are acknowledged and accepted by most universities and institutions for higher studies across the globe. .. There are many who ask which one is better, or which one is easier, though the choice purely relies on the target country of work or study. Understanding the differences between TOEFL and IELTS can help in this regard.
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IELTS & TOEFL Requirements for Hong Kong Universities
In Hong Kong most universities accept both for entry into their undergraduate and post=-graduate programs. HKU, for instance, requires a minimum overall Grade 6.5, a TOEFL iBT score of 80 or a TOEFL Paper Based Test Score of 550 for entry into its MBA Degree Course. Other faculties, such as science, as for a lower IELTS score of 6.
TOEFL vs IELTS
Both TOEFL and IELTS are exams taken by students from countries where English is not the main language. These exams are aimed at judging the English skills of a student and if or not they can meet the required standards of esteemed institutions in countries where English is the main language. IELTS is the most popular English entrance test in the world - but some universities and colleges in the USA only accept TOEFL so always check with the course director before booking your test. IELTS is also accepted for Immigration and their is a specific module for this: The General Training Module.
About the IELTS Exam
IELTS is conducted by University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations, British Council and IDP Education Pty Ltd. In short, the test is conducted in UK English and quite popular in the UK.
About the TOEFL Test
As for TOEFL, it is conducted by Educational Testing Service (ETS) and is quite popular in the US and Canada. For this reason, most students take both tests to be able to relocate to any country they get an opportunity in. Only the Internet Based Test (TOEFL iBT) is conducted in Hong Kong - which means that students have to speak to a computer. This can be off putting for many students as talking to a machine is not a real life situation and there is no visual feedback.
The two English exams have entirely different structures and demand different skills for their respective candidates. However, both these tests are no different with reference to recognition and esteemed universities across the globe accept the results from either exam.
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