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EF (Education First) have created a free online language test called EFSET. As it stands, it is a bit of a curate's egg, but I do think that they are onto something. It's slick and available in several languages, and you can log in directly from Facebook,Google or Linkedin.

They seem to want to provide some sort of alternative to IELTS and TOEFL, and I don't see any way that an online language test that could be taken by anyone will do much to replace them because it can be cheated so easily, but the fact that you can publish the results to Linkedin may mean that employers start to see it when people apply and start to notice it, and get an idea from the results, which can only be a good thing as long as this limitation is clear. Cheating is already a problem- the UK stopped accepting ETS exam results (TOEIC & TOEFL) for visas because people were taking the exams on other people's behalf. However, if people start taking the test and publishing their results online, then employers may naturally gain a sense of what to expect and be more aware of standards in interviews.

At the moment, it consists of a listening and a reading test. It's quick- it takes about 15 minutes. The test is mostly aimed for higher levels- the results a beginner would get from the current test would largely be irrelevant as they could easily be the product of chance. I think it could grow into a worthwhile tool. I don't see EFSET replacing IELTS and TOEFL, but I think that they could develop this into something useful if they continue to work on it and expand it to a number of levels.

It's free, you can take it any number of times, you can post the results to your Linkedin page- there's quite a lot going for it. I hope this does go somewhere.

Categories: General


They demand an address and phone number to let you see your results. That's a Tab Closer for me.

I filled them in inaccurately and got the results. I guess it matters more if you're going to publish them on your Linkedin page. I know the problem you mean- I don't like being asked for such information.

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