3 years ago
Admissions Advice

English language proficiency requirement

Just want to clarify, as an international student, if I have studied my subjects in English for the past years, I do not have to submit IELTS, TOEFL, etc. as a demonstration of English language proficiency right?


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3 answers

3 years ago

Hey AvankaPerera,

If you're an international student that have studied for 4 years or so in an institution which medium of instruction is English then you can ask you're counsellor to write an English proficiency test waiver for you.

In other words, you don't have to take IELTS or TOFEL.

3 years ago

No true. This may apply to some colleges like Harvard College which is test-optional for English Proficiency exam results but not for other US colleges. For example at Columbia University, if you do not have a 700 SAT score on the English section or a 29 ACT score on English and Reading, then you have to submit either a 100+ score on TOEFL, a 7.0+ score on IELTS or a 120+ score on DUOLINGO.

At Dartmouth for example, they have test-optional criteria but it seems that like Columbia if you have a good TOEFL, IELTS or DUOLINGO score, you have a better chances of being admitted as an Int'l student.

If your first language is not English and your school curriculum is not delivered in English, we require you to submit an English proficiency exam score from the TOEFL


The TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) is an exam that measures the English language ability of non-native speakers.

In addition to the English Language Proficiency details above, we will accept online results from the TOEFL and IELTS examinations from applicants for the Class of 2025 in order to be more flexible for international applicants during the COVID-19 pandemic: TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition, TOEFL IPT Plus for China, IELTS Indicator.

Most successful applicants score above 100 on the TOEFL exam, above a 7 on IELTS, and above a 120 on Duolingo. Dartmouth does not currently accept the MyBest score feature from TOEFL. If you currently attend a secondary or post-secondary academic program conducted in English, then this testing requirement is waived.

Therefore, my best advice is to read the specific guidelines for each and every college you are applying to in the US and follow their advice. As you may be aware, this upcoming cycle will be just as competitive as the previous cycle and there will be many more Int'l applicants applying to top US colleges so it's best to err on the side of caution than make any assumptions.

Good Luck on your applications journey.

3 years ago

No you need to show your English proficiency using these test like IELTS, TOFEL or Duolingo etc.

As these test show your proficiency in English as they test your linguistic skills, grammar and your vocabulary, and the colleges demand these test, this is a basic requirement , however it varies from college to college , some accept all of these some like TOEFL and others IELTS , but TOEFL is more widely accepted in United States College.

However these tests are a must especially if you are international student. Hope it will help you and best of luck.

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