What Are the Alternatives to IELTS/TOEFL Tests for Studying Abroad?

Many Cambodian students are worrying about IELTS/TOEFL tests for some reasons. Some students think that those tests are expensive and burdens for their studying abroad. Going and studying abroad is already expensive when those IELTS/TOEFL tests are still needed.

Some other students don’t have enough time to prepare for those tests when they need to prepare for other documents before going abroad. Scoring low for those tests can reduce the chances that their applications can be accepted. These are all basic concerns.

Regardless, not many Cambodian students know that there are alternatives to the costly and difficult IELTS/TOEFL tests which they should not worry whether they score low or are rushing to prepare other documents besides being ready for the tests. Without further due, the following are some of the alternatives to IELTS/TOEFL tests Cambodian students can consider.


Duolingo English Test

There shouldn’t be any hassles with Duolingo English Test because it is all about online test-taking. The test takes you only one hour for it when Duolingo is a well-reputed website and mobile application for students to learn languages. We don’t have hassles with it because what you need is a computer with a front camera and microphone as well as stable Internet to take the test.

Besides, Duolingo charges a fee of only 49 US dollars that Cambodian students can pay by a digital transaction. What to know about the test? The test examines your macro-skills in English. Those skills are such as Writing, Speaking, Listening and Reading. Furthermore, the test is different from IELTS and TOEFL. Cambodian students should be prepared to answer harder questions when you can answer correctly the questions you are responding to. It works the opposite as well. If you are answering wrong, the next question is easier. Also, the exercise test is available online for unlimited attempts as well.

We should not have wonder why the test takes you only one hour for testing those four macro-skills. Lastly, around 1000 schools/universities recognise the test. You don’t need to worry those schools are some unpopular schools because some Ivy League universities such as Yale and Columbia Universities do recognise the test as well. We encourage Cambodian students to check whether our favourite schools/universities accept Duolingo English Test or not before taking the test. Please be sure to check for some sample questions on the Internet to prepare for the test too.

  1. No hassles because of all about online testing
  2. Test taking around one hour and 49 US dollars
  3. Requiring a computer with a front camera & microphone
  4. Requiring a stable Internet connection
  5. Testing four macro-skills including Writing, Speaking, Listening & Reading
  6. Students answering harder questions when they get the questions right
  7. Students answering easier questions when they get the questions wrong
  8. Around 1000 schools/universities recognising the test
  9. Ivy League such as Yale and Columbia recognising the test
  10. Checking whether your preferred schools accept Duolingo test


Pearson English Language Test

It takes only five business days for the results to come out from taking the Pearson English Language Test. Pearson English Test is a good alternative to IELTS and TOEFL tests if some of you cannot be familiar with either IELTS or TOEFL. PTE or the Peason English Test is very recommended for Cambodian students who are already abroad and need some English proficiency tests to finalise your application submission.

The fees are varied based on countries such as around 210 US dollars in Australia and 155 US dollars in India. As a result, we encourage you to check the website and see prices for countries you locate in when it requires a test centre for you to take the test. If you are wondering what the test is like, PTE tests for your four macro-skills in English including Speaking, Listening, Writing and Reading. The test can be challenging and recommended for those of you who are not familiar with TOEFL or IELTS or want to try another alternative. PTE often tests two macro-skills at the same times such as speaking and reading or reading and listening. The whole test takes around 3 hours with the computer, as a result.

Some Cambodian students can be worrying that the test is not very well-recognised. However, you don’t need to worry because PTE is a very well-known test and recognised by many schools and universities. Some Ivy League schools such as Yale and Harvard Business School do recognise the test. Some other famous schools such as INSEAD authorise the test as their English proficiency tests as well. We encourage you to check and search whether your preferred schools/universities do authorise the test or not.

  1. Taking only five business days for results to come out
  2. A good alternative to IELTS and TOEFL
  3. Good for those who are not familiar with IELTS/TOEFL
  4. Recommended for Cambodian students who are already abroad
  5. Fee varied and based on countries from around 150 to 210 US dollars
  6. Testing four macro-skills such as Speaking, Listening, Writing & Reading
  7. Testing two macro-skills at the same time such as speaking & reading
  8. Whole test-taking around 3 hours with the computer at a test center
  9. Yale, Harvard Business School & INSEAD authorising the test
  10. Recommended to check and search whether your schools accept the test


Cambridge English Advanced Test

Cambodian students who excel in Cambridge English Advanced Test or C1 Advanced can prove themselves as qualified students for high-schools and universities abroad too. Thus, there is no need to have only two ways of choices such as IELTS and TOEFL for proof of your English proficiency. Moreover, Cambodian students should not worry that the test is not widely recognised because there are around 9000 institutions including government departments, businesses and educational institutions which recognise the test. We can find the C1 test helpful for our career journey because businesses and government departments accept the C1 test too.

For taking the tests, Cambodian students should be prepared for writing, listening, reading and speaking. Meanwhile, there are samples of tests for you to prepare and get ahead for the tests. Regardless, we encourage you to take the tests only when you need to submit for admissions to schools/universities abroad when you are staying abroad because there are not many test centres available in Cambodia.

  1. Cambridge English Advanced or C1 to prove English proficiency
  2. No need for having IELTS/TOEFL tests for proving your proficiency
  3. Cambodian students not worrying about the C1 test not widely recognised
  4. Around 9000 institutions recognising the C1 test
  5. Students needing to prepare for writing, listening, reading and speaking tests
  6. C1 offering samples of tests for you to practice
  7. Recommended for those who are staying abroad because of not many local test centres


Letter of Recommendation or MOI (Medium of Instruction) Certificates

Cambodian students can consider Letter of Recommendation or MOI (Medium of Instruction) Certificates if you are from those schools/universities which English is a medium language for communication and learning. You can ask for the letter or certificate from your schools’ administration office. It is spot on that many universities across the world accept this type of letter as long as you can prove you come from those English-spoken institutions.

  1. Students being smart seeking a letter of recommendations from schools/universities
  2. It can be either a letter of recommendation or MOI certificate
  3. Asking from administration departments for a proof
  4. Your present schools/universities needing to have English as a medium language


Intensive English Programme & School Placement Test

When placement tests are possible with intensive English programmes, many universities and schools offer foreign students intensive English programmes so that those students can take on courses with English as the main language. There are many universities/schools which base in English-spoken countries and accept students with limited English knowledge by offering the schools’ intensive English programmes. Those countries are such as the United States, Australia, Singapore, Indonesia and more. For a university degree in the United States, there are many universities in New York, Massachusetts, Texas, Washington and California which accept students by offering intensive English programmes.

Furthermore, Cambodian students who don’t have IELTS/TOEFL score reports can pick schools or universities that offer placement tests for them. There are many universities across the world which don’t need your IELTS/TOEFL scores for you to be admitted to those schools or universities. Counting schools and universities isn’t yet enough. Rather, you should count on countries that accept students through some placement tests. Those countries are such as the United States, Canada and Singapore. Consequently, if we plant to study in those countries, you can check for your favourite schools/universities’ websites or consult with a study abroad agency.

No matter what, students should be ready for those placement tests as well because they can be difficult for some of you. Some placement tests can include reading, math and writing. Hence, Cambodian students should not just be ready for English tests because there can be tests for other skills for those of you who want to go to universities or colleges abroad. There can be cases for students who apply for high-schools abroad too. Please don’t forget to check schools/universities’ websites for info about those placement tests so that you can be very ready for those tests. Feel free to seek a helping hand from some nearby consultancies such as WEduAbroad as well.

  1. Many schools/universities offering students intensive English programmes
  2. Countries such as the US, Australia, Singapore and Indonesia having the policy
  3. Universities in New York, Massachusetts, Texas and more offering English programmes
  4. Cambodian students picking schools/universities that offer placement tests
  5. Countries such as the US, Canada and Singapore offering tests to foreign students
  6. Students needing to be ready for those tests because they can be difficult
  7. Some placement tests including other skills such as Math besides English
  8. Checking websites and consulting with agencies for insight

Here is a list of countries you can study abroad without IELTS/TOEFL.

What Should You Get from the Article?

Cambodian students and parents should no longer worry whether they don’t have IELTS/TOEFL tests, or the scores don’t satisfy requirements of those schools’/universities’ abroad yet because there are many alternatives besides TOEFL and IELTS for our students to consider for admissions to your favourite schools or universities abroad. Those alternative ranges from a Duolingo English Test to a School Replacement Test.

No matter what, it becomes hard when there are too many options for you to consider. As a result, we encourage you to contact some Cambodia-based consultancy for study abroad such as WEduAbroad who can advise you for free over this topic. You can pay a visit to WEduAbroad at the 9th Floor, B-Ray Tower, Preah Norodom Blvd, Tonle Bassak Commune, Chamkamorn District, Phnom Penh (map here) or make a call to 017 548 354. There is a Facebook page which you can communicate and seek consultancies at as well.



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