The EF Standard English Test (EF SET) is an open-access standardized English test used primarily by adults for professional English certification purposes. Because it is open-access, schools and companies also use the EF SET to measure English levels in students or employees cost-effectively. The EF SET is one of the few standardized English tests that measures students at all proficiency levels with comparable accuracy. The test is not oriented towards an academic or business audience, but rather assesses general English skills that are used in any setting.
The EF SET is a suite of 2 tests of different lengths and levels of precision – the EF SET Quick English Check and the EF SET English Certificate. Both EF SET tests are composed of a reading and a listening section, and the tests are directly aligned to the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR). EF SET Certificate scores can be posted on LinkedIn and can be added directly to an individual profile on LinkedIn as proof of your English skills. The EF SET does not test speaking or writing skills.
The EF SET Quick Check is a short, 15-minute version of the test and is not adaptive. It gives an approximate estimation of proficiency levels with scores of ‘low’, ‘mid’, or ‘high’. The EF SET English Certificate is adaptive and uses the same 0 to 100 scoring scale with the CEFR equivalency provided in the results. The term ‘adaptive’ means that the questions on the test get more or less difficult depending on how well a student answers previous questions.
The EF SET English Certificate is the more popular of the 2 tests. It is composed of a 25-minute reading section followed by a 25-minute listening section. This rigorous test results in a score on the EF SET scale but also shows an equivalent score range on the IELTS and TOEFL tests. These score equivalencies have been studied by 3rd parties and shown to be reliable.
The EF SET was built and is maintained by EF Education First, a European education company. The test was initially built for internal purposes, the released later as an open-access tool online.