I'm from an English speaking country where my education was predominately in English. I'm currently in the process of applying for studies abroad and they have requested me to provide a document of proficiency in English. I have no idea what kind of document this should be. Can someone enlighten me as to what this should be?

  • 2
    If you are from a country in which English is a native language (mother tongue), I doubt there would be any need for further proof than your school grade certificate.
    – Ébe Isaac
    Nov 17, 2015 at 3:09
  • @ÉbeIsaac a section asks me for a copy of my degree and the other asks me for proof of English proficiency Nov 17, 2015 at 3:36
  • A degree from a country whose primary language is English might be accepted as proof of English proficiency. But you may have to push. (I recall a former PhD student from Jamaica having to convince the powers-that-be that English was in fact her first language.)
    – JeffE
    Nov 18, 2015 at 13:36
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    @JeffE your comment is hilarious because I am, de facto, from Jamaica Nov 19, 2015 at 2:12
  • Aha!! Definitely talk to the department directly, by phone/Skype if possible. In the case I remember, the people that needed convincing were campus-level bureaucrats.
    – JeffE
    Nov 19, 2015 at 12:55

1 Answer 1


Frankly, I would suggest you just ask them. There is usually a contact at universities and similar whose role is student services or enrolment support or similar. They should be able to advise you on exactly what is required. Often there is even a dedicated officer for international students.

Taking an educated guess, it may be they require something like a letter of reference, written by a teacher of yours who can attest to your English proficiency, or perhaps academic results from some sort of English class, or an example of your skills, such as a document you have written.

Keep in mind that this is a general question written with the expectation that many applicants will not speak English as their first language. You don't need to prove you're the next Ernest Hemingway, just that you understand English to a sufficient degree that you will not struggle to understand your teachers.

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