Did you know that there are alternatives to traditional ways of assessing English in the UK? The UK and other international universities are accepting more varieties of English tests than ever before, many of which are available online, meaning you can complete your university application with proof of English proficiency with ease.

To take an online English test, you will need the following:

reliable internet connection
Up to 3 hours of privacy, depending on the test

IELTS Alternative Exams for Scholarships

Pearson (PTE Academic)

The Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE) is the leading computerized English proficiency exam used for study abroad and immigration.

The Pearson PTE academic test is widely accepted around the world and tests your English ability through English tasks that reflect real-life scenarios.

The PTE is scored using Artificial Intelligence (AI), the use of AI provides accurate and objective results, as well as giving the fastest result, usually within 48 hours.

The test was the first fully computer-based English test, and “international” English is tested, not just British or American. Practice tests are available on the day of your exam to ensure maximum confidence and you can submit your scores as many times as you like.

Duolingo (DET)

A growing number of UK universities are accepting the Duolingo test, including SOAS and the University of Sussex.

No need to schedule the test in advance, just complete it in less than an hour and submit it. The tests are certified in 48 hours.


TOEFL, or Test of English as a Foreign Language, is a long-established form of English proficiency, already accepted by many UK universities.

High scores are typically around 95 and standard scores are around 88. Once you take the online test, it is valid for two years.

Password English language test

The Password English language test is accepted by a large number of UK universities, including the University of Westminster, the University of Birmingham, and the University of Lincoln.

This test is generally only available to students who have been conditionally offered by the university in question and is taken entirely online.