The Test of English Communication Skills - TECS

The TECS assesses the English proficiency level of test takers through a comprehensive items bank, based on updated topics used by individuals in real communication contexts. This provides students, staff, and employees of academic and non-academic, public and private institutions with a reliable, contextualized and affordable option to measure and improve the communications skills of English as a foreign language.


The TECS assesses the English proficiency level of test takers through a comprehensive items bank, based on updated topics used by people in real communication contexts. These topics make a range of current cultural topics such as music, sports, social networks, world news, technology and other general interest to pics that assess real communication among individuals on a day-to-day basis.  The TECS  measures the communication performance in the productive and receptive areas in four different sections:
Rated interview

Reading in context

Listening in context

Language use

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The structure of

The Test of English Communication Skills - TECS

Speaking section

30 Questions, 5 to 20 minutes.

Context-based listening

30 Questions, 20 to 40 minutes.

Texts comprehension and Interpretation

30 Questions, 20 to 40 minutes.

Use of Language

50 Questions, 20 to 40 minutes.

The speaking section of the TECS aims to assess the extent to which the test taker can understand and provide a response to different topics at a variety of levels according to the Common European Framework for Language Reference (CEFR). The questions range from very basic A1 levels questions, where the candidate can understand and express simple sentences related to their close reality, to more complex C1 type of questions, where interpretation and opinions are needed to express more comprehensively their view of cultural issues and thoughts.

This is the first section of the exam. Once the remaining online sections are finished, the TECS certificate may be issued without delay.

The Context-Based Listening section assesses the test taker’s understanding of spoken English with real samples from TV news, radio shows, and conferences, as opposed to isolated samples or scripted recordings that can result in misleading the English proficiency results, as it is not related to real life communication. Tests takers in this section must perform a variety of tasks according to different item types. They may listen to a news sample and answer a specific question. Listen to a real conversation to be continued by the test taker. Listen to audios that involve the recognition of the speaker viewpoint or attitudes towards a topic, assessing listening proficiency of higher levels, specifically B2 and C1 according to the CEFR.

Understanding written information is key for effective communication in the digital era for social, academic or job interactions. The TECS assesses reading proficiency by using different indicators that determine the extent to which a text taker understands a written passage. In addition to regular texts, individuals are exposed to everyday language through icons, signs and other short reading samples that need to be understood to interact in today’s society. Therefore, this section also includes iconographic interpretation questions that require following instruction, as well as events or graphic information. specific and interdisciplinary vocabulary.

Understanding the grammar rules of a language is an imperative component for effective communication. Accuracy does not always need to be present for someone to comprehend the meaning of a statement; however if the amount of language errors increases, the possibility that the information is understood correctly will decrease. Grammatical mathematics is a concept that has been reassessed by most modern linguistics, and since the aim of the TECS is mostly communicative, the items in these sections are focused on how the language is used more than the assessment of the memorization of grammar rules. The items range from simple tasks that aim to assess a limited control of a few simple grammatical structures and sentence patterns in a learned repertoire, to increased complexity tasks that appraise the way the individual communicates with reasonable accuracy in different contexts with generally good control of the structure.

Frequently Asked Questions


A standardized test puts different variables in one same scale. This allows comparing test results between different variables. As a result, the communication skills of test takers are compared across all the levels of the CEFR to assure consistency and reliability of the results. This makes the test scores more reliable and objective in order for test takers and organizations to more confident of their English Proficiency level. The Test of English Communication Skills is a standardized test, due to the item calibration process and psychometric analysis.
Yes. From the creation of the test items, writers follow the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages descriptors and concepts. The results are shown using the CEFR level A1, A2, B1, B2 and C1.
The Test of English Communication Skills – TECS – should be taken in a secure environment to assure the integrity of the test items. A picture ID is required and the test administrators are responsible for any fraud performed by the test taker. The TECSalso includes the speaking assessment, through a comprehensive questions bank. The English Diagnosis Exam – EDE – Uses recycled TECS items, to diagnose the English proficiency of test takers Listening, Language and Reading comprehension. This test does not asses the speaking skills. The test may be taken by any person interested in knowing about their English Level, who do not require a certificate as this test is not taken in a secure environment. The EDE may be used as study material or placement test.
You may take the TECS as many times as you want in order to know your progress in your English proficiency level. Although there are some policies that assure the integrity of the questions and quality of results. The individual may take a second TECS, 10 days after the first time it is taken. If the result is similar to the first test, the individual will be blocked form taking the test for 6 months.
The TECS certificate will be issued right after the test taker completes all the sections. It depends on the policies of the TECS administrator when they will send the certificate to the test taker.
Since the language, proficiency also depends on its frequency of use and practice. The TECS certificate is valid for two years. After this time, the individual must take the TECS again to confirm the English proficiency level.
There is not any institution of legal office that authorizes English Proficiency Certificates. Testing companies and publishers use quality indicators to show the community it is a valid and reliable certificate of the English Proficiency of the person. ILTO uses the analysis performed by a third party as an audit to the test items quality and reliability that the TECS measures what it is supposed to measure. This is why we use indicators such as validity, consistency, accuracy. ILTO is part of the NCTA (National College Testing Association) and ILTA (International Language Testing Association). These two organization are made by experts in Language testing who have back ILTO and their testing products.
A Trained rater with a minimum of C1 English proficiency level and knowledge of the testing platform, is the person appointed to ask the questions and rate the answers of the test taker in the speaking section of the TECS.
ILTO is focused on creating real life, contextualized and communicative English communication tests that are closer to the reality of the individuals evaluated. We also understand the needs of the organization and strive to provide the support and solutions to analyze test scores and overall English language performance to set and meet their goals.

The TECS has been psychometrically analyzed and studied; as a result, according to the Item Response Theory the reliability of the TECS is 0.95, which means that it evaluates what is supposed to. In another metric, the validity is 0.97 meaning that high quality items discriminate candidates based on English. The test is extremely accurate (SEM < 0.30) from approximately -1.0 to +3.0. This means that it serves the purpose of the test, to more accurately measure candidate’s English proficiency Level.
The TECS has proven to be a high quality test under the psychometric analysis, meaning that the results are accurate and a clear description of the individual proficiency level. As a result, a revision of the results of an individual based on the test quality claim will need to be deeply analyzed. Should you want to refute your results, please write an email to info@iltoexams.com.

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