English Proficiency Tests (TOEFL and IELTS) and their Importance in Foreign LLM Programs

By Upasana Dasgupta

English proficiency tests are often required by universities in Europe and North America as proof of English knowledge.

There are several English proficiency tests, most popular being TOEFL and IELTS. All such English profiency tests cover four aspects- listening, reading, writing and speaking.

Most U.S.A. universities prefer TOEFL and most universities in U.K. and Canada prefer IELTS. However, both TOEFL and IELTS are accepted worldwide.

These exams are held all round the year in various cities across the world and you have to register yourself for any such date.

The fee for registration is around Rs. 11,000.

Please note that the results take 2 to 6 weeks to come. So, I suggest write the exam early.

Please note that both TOEFL and IELTS scores are valid for two years only.

Also, please note that TOEFL and IELTS scores should be sent by their organising bodies to the universities. If you send your results to the university, the university may not find it acceptable.

Sending to three universities is included in the registration fee, beyond which one has to pay extra for sending scoresheets to universities.

However, a letter from the undergraduate university stating the undergraduate law degree was conducted in English is often taken as sufficient proof by the universities.

Even if you don’t need to take English proficiency test for admission in the desired university, you will need proof of English proficiency for obtaining your visa (study permit).

As I said, U.S.A. prefers TOEFL and U.K. and Canada prefer IELTS.

However, please note that IELTS has two versions- academic and general training. Academic is for academic purposes such as undergraduate and postgraduate studies.

IELTS General Training focuses on basic survival skills in broad social and workplace contexts.

It is typically for those who are going to English-speaking countries to do secondary education, work experience or training programs.

Though, universities require academic version, immigration officers of certain countries such as Canada require general IELTS.

Please check the visa requirement and university requirement before writing the exam.

Immigration officers may also accept other proofs of English proficiency, however, it is suggested that one has a valid English proficiency test score before applying for visa to avoid delays.

Good luck!

Upasana Dasgupta is a graduate of RMLNLU and has completed her Masters in Law (LLM) from McGill University. Presently. Presently, she is an associate at Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas. She runs a blog on LLM application here.

You can contact her through her Facebook page here or directly by emailing her at [email protected].

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