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4 English Proficiency Tests Required for Studying MBA Abroad

4 English Proficiency Tests Required for Studying MBA Abroad


In the ever-expanding world of global education, pursuing a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from a foreign country like the USA, Australia, Canada, Europe, and likewise, is a strategic move for career aspirants seeking a competitive edge. However, before you embark on this exciting global MBA journey, you'll likely encounter a crucial hurdle: English Proficiency Tests.

So without further ado, let’s delve into the key English Proficiency tests required for a Global MBA program, their patterns, and the minimum scores needed for successful Global MBA admission.

What Is an English Proficiency Test?

Embarking on a Global MBA journey requires more than just academic prowess; it demands effective communication skills in the lingua franca of the business world – English. An English Proficiency Test is a standardized examination designed to assess your ability to understand, use, and communicate in the English Language, specifically in academic and professional settings. These tests aim to ensure that students possess the language skills necessary to thrive in an English-language business environment.

Why Is English Proficiency Test Required?

English proficiency is a fundamental skill for success in international education, particularly in Global MBA programs. Here's why English Proficiency tests are mandatory:

  1. Global Communication
    In the interconnected world of business, effective communication is paramount. A common language facilitates collaboration, and English serves as the universal language for international business transactions, negotiations, and discussions.
  2. Academic Success
    A Global MBA program involves complex coursework, extensive reading, and rigorous discussions. Without adequate English proficiency, students may struggle to comprehend, contribute meaningfully, and excel in their studies.
  3. Professional Competence
    MBA graduates are expected to communicate persuasively, whether presenting business proposals, engaging in negotiations, managing day-to-day tasks, or leading teams. Proficiency in English ensures management graduates can navigate the global professional landscape seamlessly.
  4. Networking Opportunities
    Global MBA programs attract students from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds. English proficiency guarantees effective communication in diverse academic and professional set-ups and fosters a collaborative environment, enhancing networking opportunities during and after the program.
  5. Global Employability
    International Employers seek MBA graduates who can communicate fluently in English. Proficiency in this language expands career opportunities globally, allowing graduates to work in multinational corporations and take on leadership roles.

English Proficiency Tests: Types, Patterns, Minimum Marks Required

Given below are a few important English proficiency tests that are valid almost all over the world.

  1. TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)
    TOEFL exam is one of the most widely accepted English language proficiency tests which is valid almost all over the globe. This test is of two types: TOEFL Paper-based test & TOEFL Internet-based test (iBT)
    • TOEFL Internet-based Test (iBT)
      The TOEFL iBT is widely accepted by business schools worldwide. It evaluates your ability to understand and use English at the university level.

      TOEFL Exam Pattern
      The TOEFL exam pattern for the internet-based version is given below.
      Section Number of Questions Time Given
      Reading 20 35 minutes
      Listening 28 36 minutes
      Speaking 4 (Tasks) 16 minutes
      Writing 2 (Tasks) 29 minutes
    • TOEFL Paper-based
      While the TOEFL iBT is more common, some institutions still accept the Paper-based version. It assesses your ability to understand English in academic settings. The only difference between TOEFL iBT and paper-based tests is that the speaking test is taken at home for the paper-based edition.

      TOEFL Exam Pattern
      The TOEFL exam pattern for the paper-based version is given below.
      Section Number of Questions Time Given
      Reading 30-40 54-72 minutes
      Listening 28-39 41-57 minutes
      Speaking 4 (Tasks) 17 minutes
      Writing 2 (Tasks) 50 minutes
    • What Is the Minimum TOEFL Score Required?
      The required minimum marks vary from one institution to another. For every part, the TOEFL iBT proficiency level ranges from poor to high. Below low-intermediate is the lowest proficiency level, with scores ranging from 0 to 3. The score for the Low Intermediate proficiency level varies from 4 to 17. The High Intermediate level of proficiency ranges from 18 to 23, while the Advanced level ranges from 24 to 30. For the paper-based version, the score might range from 310 to 677 points.
  2. IELTS (International English Language Testing System)
    The IELTS exam is another popular English proficiency test accepted by many MBA programs globally. It assesses your ability to communicate in English across all four language skills. It has two types: the IELTS General test and the IELTS Academic test.
    If you intend to study in a nation where English is spoken, the IELTS Academic test is most likely the best option. The IELTS General Training test is appropriate for individuals who want to migrate to an English-speaking nation like the UK, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand and those who want to train or study at a lower level than a bachelor's degree.

    The IELTS exam can be taken in three ways:
    1) Online Mode (remote)
    2) In person - Computer (at IELTS center)
    3) In person - On Paper (at IELTS center)
    • IELTS Exam Pattern for Academic Test
      The IELTS exam has four sections: Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking. The total length of the exam is 2 hours 54 minutes. The IELTS exam pattern is given below.
      Section Number of Questions Time Given
      Listening 40 40 minutes
      Reading 40 60 minutes
      Speaking 3 (Parts) 14 minutes
      Writing 2 (Tasks) 60 minutes
    • What Is the Minimum IELTS Band Score Required?
      The English proficiency level will be assessed on a band score of 1 to 9, with 9 being the highest attainable IELTS band score. The test's passing grade varies from one international university to another. In the United States, for example, the standard minimum IELTS band score requirement for undergraduate programs is 7.5. A minimum of 6.5 IELTS band score is required for the postgraduate level.
  3. PTE (Pearson Test of English)
    The PTE exam or PTE Academic exam evaluates your English language skills through a computer-based assessment, providing a comprehensive overview of your proficiency. It is also a widely recognized exam throughout the world. The PTE exam can be given both in online and offline modes where the exam format is the same.
    • PTE Exam Pattern
      The exam is divided into three main sections: Speaking and Writing, Reading, and Listening.
      Section Number of Questions Time Given
      Speaking & Writing 7 (Different Types) 54-67 minutes
      Reading 5 (Different Types) 29–30 minutes
      Listening 8 (Different Types) 30–43 minutes
    • What Is the Minimum PTE Score Required?
      Many MBA programs accept PTE scores, usually in the range of 57 to 67. Again, it's crucial to verify the specific requirements of your target institutions.
  4. Duolingo English Test
    In recent years, the Duolingo English Test has gained popularity as a convenient and efficient way to assess English proficiency. The result of the Duolingo English Test is available in two days and is accepted in 50 different countries worldwide.
    • Duolingo English Test Pattern
      The one-hour computer adaptive Duolingo English Test follows the following format.
      Section Time Given
      Introduction and onboarding 5 minutes
      Adaptive test 45 minutes
      Writing Sample and Speaking Sample 10 minutes
    • What Is the Minimum Duolingo Score Required?
      Duolingo scores are reported on a scale of 10 to 160. MBA programs may accept scores in the range of 90 to 120, but always check the individual requirements of your chosen schools.

      PIBM’s Global Joint Degree Program considers all the English Proficiency tests mentioned above, making it the most student-friendly Global MBA program that considers the marks of almost all the top English language proficiency tests. Thus, studying abroad is made easier with PIBM’s Global MBA program, the Joint Degree Program.


The minimum TOEFL score required for an Internet-based test is 80. A TOEFL score of 213 is required for paper-based test.

A minimum IELTS band score of 6.5 is required to register for PIBM’s Global MBA program.

PIBM’s Joint Degree Program accepts a minimum of 58 PTE score.

A minimum of 95 Duolingo score is accepted for PIBM’s Joint Degree Program.