Validate your English in France 1: TOEIC and TOEFL

If English is important for your career, it may be a good idea to take an exam that leads to a recognised qualification. It is never enough to write on your CV that you are fluent in English, recruiters often won’t have the time to verify this, especially when there are too many candidates to interview. A CV with proof of your English ability could help you go through to the next stage – the interview.

What Qualifications are available to me in France?

The most popular exam, both for learners and recruiters, is the TOEIC (test of English for international communication). An American company called ETS created this test, and administers testing around the world.
The TOEIC is test of comprehension – listening and reading. Candidates have to listen to recordings and read short texts and answer related questions in the form of a multiple choice. Each question is carefully assessed according to its difficulty, so different questions earn different points. Watch out for trick questions, as they are very common in the TOEIC. For example, you might be asked to choose a sentence that describes a photograph in your test book. Image the photograph is showing a group of business people having a meeting.
Be very observant. On the table there is a glass of water. One of the possible answers could be, ‘the man is wearing glasses’. This is a trap, because you might be panicked into thinking that because the sentence used the word ‘glass’ it must be the right answer.

Your TOEIC result is your total of a maiximum 990 points. Put your score on your CV – “TOEIC, 750 points” If you acheive a score of 600 or more, a recruiter will probably think your English is good enough to deal with English speaking customers and colleagues, and that you could happily travel to English-speaking countries. If you score less than 400, it’s probably better to study some more, take the test again and hope for a better score to put on your CV.

There is now an additional TOEIC test which evaluates your spoken English.

There is a test for lower level students called ‘TOEIC Bridge’. If you are reading this article with no difficulty, then it’s not for you, your level is good enough for the real TOEIC. TOEIC Bridge is useful for those who need English occasionally, and in a limited way, like secretaries, receptionists or hotel staff. It shows that you can get by when necessary.

Another exam created and run by ETS is the TOEFL (test of English as a foreign language). Many are confused about the difference between the TOEFL and the TOEIC. It’s quite simple though: if you want a recognised qualification to help you get a job, take the TOEIC. If you want to study in America, take the TOEFL. Non-native speakers of English are required to show that they will be able to follow the courses before being given permission to study in American Universities. The TOEFL is the most common way to do this.

For more information about these exams visit the ETS website:

main page

ETS France

NewTOEIC : Comment optimiser son score ?


  1. I’m very late to see the message, but I’m realy glad to learn english whith you. I’m so busy in my office and the time I get to study my english doesn’t permit to get my english so fluent that I need. I’m looking for some ways to study english more, to get TOEFL level.

  2. Hello Jonathan

    Think you for this information. I will contated TOEFEL in my cuntry wich evaluates my english spoken and written. I need British English.


    • davidd,

      I am familiar with the Bulats test as the last company I worked for used it exclusively as a placement test. I’ll write about it soon.

  3. Here is some more information. We are an official TOEIC test center and I offer students here some facts:

    Once you have chosen to take the TOEIC test for employment, for university or another purpose; you will also want to know: “what score level you need”

    The score level you need will be stated by the organization requesting a certificate. Score levels for a job position can range from 400 – 900 points and for university from 600 – 900 points. But please ask those requesting a certificate! These are only the common values we have seen as an official TOEIC test center over the last several years.

    You may feel your English level is good enough, but remember the TOEIC test costs a lot of money and if you sit it and suddenly find out that your level is lower than that you need, you will have to sit it again. Soon you can start spending money in the region of 250 Euro and maybe still not have achieved a certificate.

    You should also know that the TOEIC test is NOT easy; even if you have a good level of English, the need for good preparation before sitting the TOEIC test is very important. But unlike the perception given by many preparation resources, preparation for the TOEIC test is NOT the way to learning or improving your English; No! it is what it says; Preparation for a test.

    There is a difference; Preparation for a test gives you important information to make your test sitting easier. It allows you to get accustomed to the test procedures and administration, try sample test questions, plan your timing so you have time to answer all questions in the time allowed. (for instance; in the reading part of the test you will have only 75 minutes to answer 100 questions. This is only 45 seconds per question and this time is NOT enough to answer the last three parts, text completion, single passages and double passages) Additionally, preparation will give you tips and advice including for instance; ways to approach the questions, ideas (called tricks) on how to make concentrating on the audio easier, or, how to answer questions. With some preparation resources you will also be able to do a mock TOEIC test. All this is called preparation!

    Learning and improving your English language skills is a totally other subject requiring you to learn items such as vocabulary and grammar, to practice your English for improved fluency …etc I am sure all readers will understand my meaning here.

    Thousands of students every year end up having to spend a lot of money because they simply rely upon preparation material alone to improve their English level then find out that they do not get the level they need.

    Hamburg-English is a TOEIC test center of many years experience and our TOEIC preparation website was written for students worldwide. OnlineEnglish gives students a unique resource. It separates preparation and learning by offering training for both. Whether a student wishes to only prepare, or whether they need to learn and improve English skills, there are specific exercise areas for both.

    Training starts by the student sitting an entry test and completing some initial exercises, this test and the performance of the student completing the exercises allows the system to estimate the student’s TOEIC score level. (now they can see where to start) BUT not only this, the system also tells the student where they are weak, where they need to improve. has different training areas, if a student wishes to only prepare for the TOEIC test they will find question exercises for each part of the TOEIC test, tips and advice from administration through answering questions to how to plan and time your test sitting. Information regarding the problems past test takers have experienced and how to avoid them. Additionally students can complete exercises to improve listening and written comprehension and exercises to improve the recognition of information in the spoken and written word. The website also includes a full 2 hour mock TOEIC test to allow a student to get accustomed to the pressures and times when sitting the test. In fact, everything and more is available for a student to prepare properly.
    In a student needs to improve English skills OnlineEnglish will tell them and through separate training areas offer the student exercises for English grammar, vocabulary, word association, business phrases, business idioms … plus lots more.

    And during all this training, the student can watch their improvement, progress and know when they have a good chance of getting the score levels they need. OnlineEnglish was written by an official TOEIC test center and includes many years of know-how and experience that a student can trust.

    It costs nothing to visit us , and you can read the comments from past members.


    • Rob,

      Thank you for this information, I’m sure my readers will find it useful. What a long comment, how generous you are to take the time to inform the visitors of! It wouldn’t be just to get backlinks to your site, by any chance? I’ve removed the links from your comment, but would be more than happy to put them back in exchange for a link to me on your site.

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