British council launches new global English test aimed at Mideast

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The British council announced Monday that they have introduced a new English assessment tool which is specifically useful for the needs of the Middle East’s business world.

The new product, called Aptis, is capable of assessing an individual’s English language capabilities in all four communication areas (speaking, listening, reading and writing).


Philip Rylah, Director of Examinations in MENA, introduced Aptis to the UAE market.

He said: “Companies are increasingly driving demand for English in the region,” pointing out that some industry sectors are in particular need of proficient English speakers.

Fields such “IT and software development, maritime and airfreight, telecommunication, banking and finance, as well as tourism and hospitality have the highest need for English-speaking employees.” Rylah also stated also that, “three quarters of English speakers today are second language speakers and half of employees in international companies globally use English every day at work.”

The British council described Aptis as a “business-to business English assessment service available to organizations not individuals.”

Aptis is the latest addition to the British Council's English and Examinations products, designed to improve English communication in the workplace.

A novel feature is that Aptis “develops, manages, delivers and monitors the test simultaneously,” which aims to eliminate human error.

Andrew Mackenzie, head of Assessment Services at the British Council said, “the British Council has seized an opportunity to develop something that was not yet available, up until now, (organizations) have chosen products that are often an imperfect fit… they are looking for very specific niche solutions.”

Aptis works cohesively with existing language tests such as IELTS – the high-stakes test which the British Council jointly owns with Cambridge ESOL and IDP: IELTS Australia.

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