Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Do you take the time to assess yourself in your English learning?

Do you look at assessments as a negative thing?

We’re talking about assessments today, and why these can be a beneficial and helpful tool.

If you go in with the right mindset, and use some helpful tactics, then this can be a great way to improve.

This can be a great way to measure where you are at, and then work through what needs improvement—this helps you to take your English learning and speaking to another level.

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The Value of Assessments

Recently Aubrey mentioned something interesting to us that is well worth sharing with you our audience.

She said that she has a student who heard of IELTS from AEE and wanted to use it to assess her language learning.

Inspired by that, we want to discuss how to self-assess language level, and give you some resources to test your level.

You may hear the word “assessment” and feel a somewhat negative reaction.

The reality is that this is a good thing, and it’s something that you can enjoy and learn from if you work to make it a positive experience.

You have to change your way of thinking when it comes to assessments, and you just might find that you can benefit from it in a big way.

There are some really wonderful ways to utilize and benefit from assessments, and they can serve a bigger purpose.

Who Is This For?

So you may wonder who is this for?

Who would knowingly want assessments?

A person who needs a benchmark, and that can be a lot of us!

Someone who likes to get organized, and who likes to have ways to measure improvement.

Perhaps it is for an obvious reason, like to get into school, but perhaps it is for personal reasons.

Would it be beneficial for you to get assessed for some reason?

Why would anyone want to be assessed for fun?

It is about empowerment in a way, and it’s also about improvement of course.

Assessment is the way to prove to yourself that you are learning.

Sometimes it can be hard to tell if you are improving or not, and this helps you to see that you are or can highlight that you need to make some changes.

Have you reached a plateau?

Maybe you’re early on or at the beginning and you may wonder where is your starting point?

If you have these questions, we have ideas for how you can go through assessment.

Options For Assessment

If you want to measure your progress, or if you want a tool that will help you there are a few good ones out there.

You can go the traditional route or you can try out a newer assessment tool to help you focus on all the right things.

  • Toefl: This is used more for traditional American English. It is more of a standard and therefore is more traditional in nature.
  • Duolingo: This is the Duolingo English Test which can be found at . This seems to be getting accepted at many places so it’s becoming more common. It’s a cheap option, but can work just fine.

As you move along in either of these assessments, you can do the following things to make it truly productive.

  • Watch 5 minutes of a show and put a percentage on how much you think you understood. After one month of studying, watch the same one and see if this number increased. This is a great way to see if things are working for you, or if you need to improve upon things.
  • Ask a friend or tutor to have a conversation. Ask them to mark down 5 areas where they think you need improvement, whether it’s vocabulary, grammar, or pronunciation. Have them score you on overall speaking and explain why. This is easy enough, but it can work quite well!

Try To Work On These Things

There are a few things that you can work on to help yourself improve as you are assessing your progress.

Try these ideas, and then complete the activity again in a month for good measure.

  • Record yourself: Evaluate what you are looking to improve, and send to someone if possible. You may feel uncomfortable with this at first, but it works really well.
  • Make quizzes and tests: This helps you to measure your knowledge at any given moment. You can set it up or have somebody you know set it up for you. It’s easy to see firsthand how well you are doing or what you need to improve upon.
  • Share something you learned with someone else: This can be the best way to retain information and it can actually be fun in the process.

Basically take the time to set goals, and then have ways to measure those goals.

You can do this on your own, or you can have a friend or tutor help you for a fun inclusive twist.

Overall, you have to choose which test is best for you.

TOEFL and IELTS are good, traditional, well known options.

Duolingo seems to be getting popular, and may be a good one to check into.

Self-assessment is empowering yourself and helps you learn in a different way.

It’s good if you don’t want a formal test but still want to measure your improvement.


Think of which option is best for you, and then use that moving forward.

Be sure to always think of ways to improve because that’s what it’s all about.

We can all improve, no matter what our level may be and that’s important to remember.

Try to get creative and don’t think of assessments as a scary or bad thing, but rather as a way of improving your learning and speaking.

If you have any questions, please leave them below in the comments section.

We’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

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