Two of the authorized English proficiency examinations accepted in the United Kingdom are the TOEFL or the Test of English as a Foreign Language and TOEIC or the Test of English as International Communication. Both of these examinations are given by the ETS – Educational Testing Service, the world’s largest private non-profit educational testing and assessment organization.
For those who are wondering what these tests are, TOEFL is an English proficiency examination that covers academic English. It evaluates an individual’s expertise to understand and use English in an academic setting. The TOEIC is also an English proficiency examination that measures an individual’s English skill using business English. Unlike the TOEFL, the TOEIC speaking and the writing examinations are taken separately by the candidate.
Since its reliability in assessing the individual’s English level has been proven over the years, it has been a demand in visa applications in the United Kingdom for quite some time until it has been suspended recently for some reasons.
The reason for this suspension is a BBC program's revealing a fraud in TOEIC testing. ETS has been very particular with the issue of security with their examinations; hence, both TOEIC and TOEFL has been suspended in UK visa applications. It has been said that certain fraudulent activities of some third party contractor has been made known. To prevent more potential problems with this issue, ETS has come into a decision not to extend the Secure English Language Testing License with the Home Office.
ETS has already released a statement saying candidates who have already registered for the exams will be given a refund. Since the two tests are essential in visa applications, certain solutions have been given by ETS.
Individuals who intend to take the said examinations for immigration application can take other English proficiency examinations like Cambridge English or the International English Language Testing System examination. Pending applications should contact their institution as soon as possible. They are also advised to wait for the letter from the Home Office indicating how to continue with the application. People who need to make an extension should contact their institution right away. There are some options to be given before the immigration permission expires.
Both tests may have been suspended; however, options are being given by ETS to their clients. Looking at the brighter side of it, this suspension only upholds the integrity of ETS in giving fair and reliable English tests for all.