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Language Centre English Test - Frequently Asked Questions


How can I prepare for studying or doing research abroad in English?

It is important to plan well ahead. At university level you will need to use a high level of academic English.
  • Ideally, you should have as much informal contact as possible with the English language for about 6 months to 1 year prior to your planned stay abroad
  • Activities, such as reading academic journals and English language newspapers as well as listening to discussion programmes on the BBC and CNN, are also useful ways of immersing yourself in the English language
  • Newspapers, such as The Guardian (British), The Financial Times (British), The New York Times (American) and The Globe and Mail (Canadian) are English language newspapers written in a more formal style. Reading them will help you to develop an idea of formal written English, similar to academic English. All these newspapers are available in the university library

Assessing your own Level

In addition, you should carry out your own assessment of your present English language levels in speaking, writing, listening and reading. The following steps are helpful in getting a general idea of your language level on the Common European Framework (CEFR):
  • Reading and Listening skills: You can take an online Dialang test. This diagnostic test will give you an approximate idea of your present reading and listening skills levels in terms of the CEFR. The Dialang test results tend to be on the high side and it is not a timed test like the LCET
  • Speaking and Writing skills: It is more difficult to estimate your own academic writing and speaking skills. The Language Centre Testing Unit (LCTU) provides advice about tests and testing in general. If you need further advice, you may contact them at: testingunit@rug.nl

Additional preparation

Before you contact the LCTU, it would be a good idea to show someone you know, who has a good academic level in the English language, a sample of your academic writing. You could also ask them to discuss the text subject with you so that they can give you their impression of your spoken English as well. Then you will be better prepared when you contact the LCTU for advice about improving your language level.
  • As it takes time to improve language skills, it is advisable to do a short revision course well before you take the LCET, or another international examination, in English
  • The LCTU also organizes workshops to help you prepare for your study or research visit abroad

How can I prepare for the test?

It is difficult to prepare specifically for proficiency tests, such as the LCET, IELTS, TOEFL and the Cambridge ESOL examinations, in the short term. The advice given above is also appropriate for preparing for the test.

  • Register for our 2 hour workshop we schedule every month which helps you thoroughly prepare for the LCET.
  • Please also take a look at our Preparation Tips for the Language Centre English Test.

Is the LCET the same as the IELTS and TOEFL?

The LCET is a test developed by the Language Centre for the University of Groningen, in order to assess your academic English level. It is accepted by most of our university partners, and many other universities and organizations. In most cases, the International Office at the University of Groningen will be able to give you information about which of our university partners accept our test but it is your responsibility to check this before taking the test.
  • When you take the LCET, you can also choose to receive written feedback on your test performance on payment of a small extra charge
  • The LCTU can also advise you about the different proficiency tests available. See the Test Comparison Grid below
  • If you are still unsure which test is best for you, the LCTU advisors can be contacted at testingunit@rug.nl

Comparison Grid of English Skills Tests

Test Description Cost Extra Information
Language Centre English Test (LCET) An academic proficiency test that tests all 4 skill areas in a university-related context (tests CEFR levels B1-C2).

€ 165
€ 210 with feedback

  • Location: University of Groningen
  • Monthly (more test dates available in the months before application deadlines and based on demand
  • Accepted by partner universities and by many other universities, but candidates need to check in advance
  • Digital test with some face-to-face contact, possibility for feedback
  • Sign up for the LCET
TOEFL General English proficiency test for all 4 skills (tests A1-C1). TOEFL iBT: $ 240
Cambridge/ESOL A proficiency test offered at 3 levels: Cambridge Proficiency, Cambridge Advanced and Cambridge First (tests B2-C2).

CPE: € 242
CAE: € 225
FCE: € 205

  • Centres throughout the Netherlands, including Groningen
  • 2-3 times a year: March, June and December, depending on which centre is chosen
  • Accepted globally
  • Sign up for the ESOL
IELTS A proficiency test for all 4 skills with the option of an academic version for the reading and writing parts of the test (tests B1-C2). € 186
Last modified:27 August 2019 12.18 p.m.
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