English Proficiency Test Requirements for Admission to Zayed University’s Graduate Programs30 Dec, 2022
Educational institutions within the United Arab Emirates (UAE) must comply with statutory legislation and regulations that support the Ministry of Education’s mandate and the UAE leadership’s vision to transform into a world-class higher education system. The Commission for Academic Accreditation (CAA) is the “UAE Federal Government Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education that safeguard academic standards, and assure and enhance the quality of learning opportunities provided for students in UAE’s higher education institutions”.
CAA’s accreditation standards require applicants to take an English proficiency test to demonstrate their English proficiency for entry into any CAA accredited graduate program that is offered by a CAA accredited university in the UAE. For graduate programs offered in Arabic, applicants must also demonstrate their Arabic proficiency. The English proficiency test is waived if an applicant is a native speaker of English who has completed his/her undergraduate education in an English medium institution in a country where English is the official language.
Types of English Proficiency Tests for Graduate Program Admission to Zayed University
To comply with CAA accreditation standards, Zayed University accepts the following English proficiency tests to determine an applicant’s potential to pursue graduate education:
1. International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
IELTS is an internationally standardized recognized test jointly owned by the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge English.
IELTS comprises two variants: IELTS General Training (which is used for migration purposes) and IELTS Academic (which assesses English skills for studying at any educational institute).
Zayed University’s admission requirements for graduate programs offered in Arabic is an IELTS (Academic) overall band score of not less than 4.5. The admission requirement for graduate programs offered in English is an IELTS (Academic) overall band score of not less than 6.0 (or 5.5 for conditional admission).
The IELTS measures the English language ability of applicants across four sections - reading, listening, speaking, and writing. Applicants must sit all four tests. While all applicants take the same listening and speaking tests, they sit different reading and writing tests, depending on whether they have selected the Academic Module or the General Training Module. The speaking test is an oral interview between the applicant and examiner and may be scheduled up to a week before or after the other tests.
The IELTS (Academic) can be taken in a test center (on paper or on computer) or remotely online. The duration of the IELTS is 2 hours and 45 minutes including a mandatory 10-minute break midway through the test. Although there are no restrictions to re-sitting the IELTS test, applicants should allow adequate time to prepare for the re-sit test. Visit the IELTS website for re-sitting tips. The validity of the IELTS is two years.
Sample test questions are available on the official IELTS website. Applicants can contact the following training institutes to adequately prepare for the IELTS English speaking test:
The website of the British Council – United Arab Emirates lists the following IELTS test fees:
- IELTS (Academic) (Paper) AED 1,170
- IELTS (Academic) (Computer) AED 1,290
- IELTS from British Council (Premium Paper) AED 1,700
Consult the official IELTS website for more information on the IELTS (Academic) test content, how to register and prepare for the IELTS test, and test instructions, results and scores.
2. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
The TOEFL is another internationally recognized standardized test that measures the English language ability of non-native speakers aiming to enroll in English-speaking universities. TOEFL is a trademark of the Educational Testing Service (ETS) which is a private non-profit organization.
Zayed University’s admission requirements for graduate programs offered in Arabic is a TOEFL score of 133 CBT, 45 iBT. The admission requirement for graduate programs offered in English is a TOEFL score of 213 CBT, 79 iBT (or 197 CBT, 71 iBT for conditional admission).
The TOEFL measures the English language ability of applicants across four sections - reading, listening, speaking, and writing. The duration of the TOEFL internet-based test (iBT) is approximately 3.5 hours (up to 4 hours at a test center) and it can be taken only once in any three-day period. Visit the ETS website to sign in to schedule a test, view scores, update their profiles or make an online payment for the test fee of USD 270. The validity of the TOEFL is two years.
Although official TOEFL test preparation resources and free practice tests are available on the ETS website, applicants can contact the following training institutes to adequately prepare for the TOEFL test:
- Admideast – United Arab Emirates
- EMCAN Educational Institute
- NLP Tech
- The Exam Preparation and Testing House (TEPTH)
Consult the ETS website for more information on the TOEFL iBT test content, test dates and locations, registration, test instructions and scores.
3. The Emirates Standardized Test (EmSAT)
The EmSAT is a national system of standardized computer-based tests based on the United Arab Emirates national standards. The test is administered by the Ministry of Education UAE and assesses a student’s skills and knowledge in specific subjects for higher studies.
Zayed University’s admission requirements for graduate programs offered in Arabic is 950 on the EmSAT Achieve English examination and 1100 on the EmSAT Arabic examination. The admission requirement for graduate programs offered in English is 1400 on the EmSAT Achieve English examination (or 1250 for conditional admission).
Each EmSAT test has a different set of questions and timings. The Arabic test duration is 120 minutes and assesses a student’s reading and writing skills as well as vocabulary and language structure. The duration of the English test is 135 minutes and assesses an applicant’s grammar and vocabulary, close and extended reading passages and essay writing (250 words). For more information on test specifications, click here for the EmSAT Arabic test specifications and here for the EmSAT Achieve English test specifications.
The EmSAT registration fee is AED 258. An applicant can retake the test every 30 days for AED 105 per subject. The validity of the EmSAT is 18 months.
Although sample EmSAT tests are available on the Ministry of Education UAE’s website, applicants can contact the following training institutes to adequately prepare for the EmSAT test:
- Zabeel International Institute of Management and Technology
- Laurels Training Institute
- Proper Choice Training Institute
- Khawarizmi International College (KIC) (English Language)
Consult the Ministry of Education UAE’s website for EmSAT test dates, test centers, self-registration and test instructions before, during and after the test. Alternatively, applicants can contact the Ministry of Education, UAE at 80051115 (Free Phone) for assistance or more information.
Selecting an English Proficiency Test
Most universities will accept several of the international English proficiency tests such as IELTS and TOEFL. Although all tests evaluate the same skills (reading, writing, speaking and listening), they do it in different ways. According to ESL: “While there is a certain amount of variation between each test, there is no single certificate that is the “easiest”. Some may have a slightly shorter reading/writing section or a simpler listening section, but all of them present a challenge to prove one’s language level”. Therefore, it is important that applicants prepare well in advance for the tests. Applicants can also visit the British Council website for a comparison between the IELTS and TOEFL.
When selecting an English proficiency test for a graduate school application, applicants should consider the following:
- Checking which tests are accepted and knowing the minimum score one needs to get accepted in the university one is applying to.
- Verifying the test and registration dates to ensure that the official test scores reach the Admissions Office before the application deadline.
- Taking sample tests that can be found online to decide on the test format.
- Practicing English speaking skills.
- Adequately prepare and allowing ample time to re-sit a test.
For more information on Zayed University’s graduate program admission requirements, contact the Deanship of Graduate Studies at+971-2-599-3605 or visit the website