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The importance of TOEIC and TOEFL exams

Most MBAs require an assessment of the candidate’s level of English during the selection process. If you wish to join an MBA programme in France or abroad licke UQAM Universtity in Canada, you will most likely be asked to prove your level of English by including the results of a TOEIC or TOEFL exam in your application. The Toeic: a reputable test, will help you to increase your mobility and have opportunity to study abroad, for example in US universities.

TOEIC and TOEFL Higher education

Illustration : the prestigious Harvard University (source : AEDE)

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TOEFL and TOEIC, two exams required by MBA programmes

In some cases, the candidate can be exempted from taking an English test, notably if they have completed a course in a higher education institution in which the teaching language is English (for example, the candidate may have gained their baccalaureate in France, followed by studying a degree in England). Be aware that not all MBA programmes follow this rule.

Morover, the Toeic test will be a really must have for your resume.

Presentation of the TOEFL exam for MBAs

There are two versions of the TOEFL exam: the TOEFL PBT (paper version) and the TOEFL IBT (online version). Both are valid for candidates wishing to join an MBA programme, except if the requirements of the programme say otherwise.

To join an MBA programme, you will have to obtain 100/120 points or more in the TOEFL IBT exam, though there is no consensus on what counts as a good score. For example, HEC requires a score of 100 points or more to join its MBA programme, INSEAD requires a score of 105 or more, while Harvard’s MBA Admission Board advises against applying if candidates have obtained a score of 108 or less.

Presentation of the TOEIC exam for MBAs

Many MBA programmes prefer the TOEIC exam to the TOEFL exam for an assessment of candidates’ level of English as this test evaluates the candidate within a business context.

There are several versions of the TOEIC exam. Today, the most common is the Reading & Listening exam. This version assesses the candidates on their written comprehension (Reading) and their oral comprehension (Listening). The TOEIC score is marked on a scale of 10 to 990 points.

If you sit the TOEIC exam to join an MBA, you will need to obtain a score of 850 or more. From 850 points and above, it is considered that the candidate has a good level of English and will be able to interact within an English-speaking professional environment without difficulty. Here again, the requirements vary: Audencia Nantes requires a score of 800 points to join its MBA programme, HEC requires a score of 850 points, while INSEAD requires 950 points.

Preparing and passing your language exam

What score will I have to get?

If you are sitting an English exam in order to join an MBA programme, the first thing to do is to learn the requirements of the course that you are aiming for. This will help you to determine whether you should prepare the TOEIC or TOEFL exam, and also the score you should obtain.

  • Some MBA programmes require a global TOEFL score, while others require specific scores for each section of the test
  • Institutions requiring the TOEIC exam generally demand the TOEIC Listening & Reading exam, but they can also demand the TOEIC Speaking & Writing exam. For example, INSEAD requires 950 points in the TOEIC Listening & Reading exam, as well as 190 points in the Speaking section, and 170 points in the Writing section

Whatever the minimum score required by the MBA programme that you wish to join, it is necessary to have a more ambitious target because your TOEIC score is a discriminatory criterion of selection. The higher score, the more you will stand out from other candidates. MBAs are particularly prestigious and selective courses and many candidates apply. According to L’Etudiant, every year there are 2200 candidates for 200 places to join the HEC MBA course.

Anything you can use to stand out from the competition is an asset, including an excellent score in the TOEIC or TOEFL exam.

Our advice

In order to succeed in the TOEIC or TOEFL exams, you have to know the format of the test perfectly and practise different standard exercises. On the Global-Exam website, you will have unlimited access to dozens of hours of training specifically created by teachers specialised in the test you are preparing. TOEIC and TOEFL exams are standardised tests with recurring themes and questions. Knowing the format of the test perfectly is vital to your success.

We advise you to practice regularly, starting from 2 or 3 months before your exam. It is necessary to find the time to revise for the test, even if you already have a good level of English, because you often have to wait for a long time before obtaining an exam date. Be flexible with your time, in order to be able to sit the test a second time if your first score is too low.

Two practice modes are available:

  • The “training mode” which allows you to do standard practice exercises
  • The “exam mode” which allows you to do mock exams, under real exam conditions (you cannot press pause or look at correct answers, etc.)

We recommend that each candidate assesses their starting level by taking a mock exam. This will allow you to evaluate your progression requirements if you are to obtain the targeted score. Then, you should spot your weak and strong points in order to improve your score throughout your preparation by taking many exercises. In order for candidates preparing for the TOEIC and TOEFL exams to follow their progression, we have created a tailored tool: the dashboard. It enables you to see your progress since the beginning of your preparation and the areas to improve.

As well as the dashboard, we have developed many tools which guarantee that our advice is personalised and that our candidates progress rapidly: corrections of e-book exercises specific to each exam, grammar notes, forum, blog articles, etc.