What are the most popular online English tests for International students?

There are several reasons to take English language tests, they can be used when studying abroad, working abroad or living abroad.

Other than traditional forms of English languages tests such as IELTS, there are many alternative tests students can take. Universities in the UK are now accepting more kinds of English language tests than ever before after the impact of COVID. Most of these tests are online – this means it is easier for students when they apply for universities or language schools in the UK.


Here, we will talk about popular online English language tests for international students who wish to study in the UK:

  • Pearson (PTE Academic)

PTE is a computer-based English test, it measures your English speaking, listening, reading and writing skills in a single, short test. This test is widely accepted across the world with a human approach to automated scoring as there is no instructor, meaning there is no need to take the test in front of a person; and there is only one test meaning you only need to spend a single two-hour test via computer in one go.

You can take frequent tests if you think you can improve your score, it also offers last-minute availability to students; as well as delivering the fastest results in as little as 48 hours. PTE also offers friendly test centreswith small groups of test takers (up to 15 seats).

You are able to buy a real scored practice test online and other bundles to help you prepare the test before you take it. There is also a test taker handbook available for downloading on the website.

If you would like to find out more about PTE Academic please click here.


  • Pearson Versant Test (VEPT)

VEPT is an automated English test which can be taken online via a computer, it is another of the online tests Pearson offers. It also assesses your English levels with the main 4 components – speaking, listening, writing and reading.

Tests are available 24/7 meaning you can do the test at any time without making an appointment. You can book as many tests as you need without a limit or time limit. This test takes around 1-2 hours and results are normally delivered within 30 minutes after you have done the test.

VEPT is also an internal test for LSI Portsmouth with an affordable price, and our students can take this test at any time. We will assess your level based on the result.

If you would like to find out more about the Pearson Versant Test please click here.


  • Duolingo (DET)

The Duolingo test is an online test that can be taken anytime, anywhere, without booking in advance. It is accepted by over 3000 institutions around the world and still increasing, it is also affordable with a small cost.

Before you take the test you can do a practice test for free. This test takes 1 hour, results are released within 48 hours and can be shared with anyone, such as your university, with just a link.

If you would like to find out more about Duolingo test please click here.


  • TOEFL (iBT)

TOEFL is a long established test, has been accepted by most of institutions in over 160 countries. It has 3 testing options for students:

  • The traditional TOEFL iBT test in a test centre
  • The TOEFL iBT home edition
  • The TOEFL iBT paper edition

Students can choose whichever is suitable for them. For the online test, you will need to download and install the ETS Secure Test browser on the computer.

If you would like to find out more about the Duolingo test please click here.


For all online tests you must have the following before you start:

  • A quiet, well-lit room
  • A reliable internet connect
  • A computer
  • A front-facing camera
  • A microphone
  • A speaker

Some tests may require proof of ID such as passport or driving licence and some tests may require certain operating systems such as Windows or Mac OS X.


If you would like to know more about which test is suitable for you, please do not hesitate to contact us on studentservices@lsi-portsmouth.co.uk.