SVAR Survey by Aspiring Minds: 97% engineers in India cannot speak English required for jobs in corporate sales/business consulting

Aspiring Minds

National Spoken English Skills report, Engineers 2015-16 by Aspiring Minds, based on SVAR, India’s largest Spoken English Test

 · Around 3/4th engineers do not have spoken English skills required for any job in knowledge economy

· 97% engineers in India cannot speak English required for jobs in corporate sales/business consulting

· Around 61% engineers possess grammar skills no better than a class VII student

· Females score over males in written English while males show better Spoken element.

· Not more than 7.1% engineers can speak English with fluency that renders speech meaningful

· Pronunication and fluency are the major barriers in effective Spoken English.

New Delhi, 20 July, 2015: “Absurd” as it may sound, but this word is not understood by 67% of the engineering population in India, pronunciation is a far cry! Aspiring Minds, world’s leading employability credentialing firm released a report on the state of spoken English capabilities in young engineers and how their employability is affected by their Spoken English skills. The National Spoken English Skills (SES) of Engineersreport analyses the spoken English skills of over 30,000 engineers in India from more than 500 colleges.The study is based on SVAR, Aspiring Minds patented automated spoken English assessment tool measuring spoken English (pronunciation, fluency, etc) and listening skills and is used across the world by large global corporations to test and rate spoken English capabilities.


According to the report over 51% engineering graduates are not employable based on their spoken English scores.This is a signal that there is a need for higher emphasis not only on written English.The report extensively discusses specific areas of spoken English skills that engineering graduates most lack in and implications of these deficiencies. It also provides suggestive ways to bridge these gaps by way of interventions in the Indian higher education system in order to improve the English of students.

Of the six hundred thousand engineers that graduate annually, only 2.9% candidates have spoken English skills (SES) for high-end jobs in corporate sales/business consulting. These are some of the best paying jobs in the market. This signals that there is a need for higher emphasis not only on written English but also on SES.


Varun Aggarwal, co-founder and CTO, Aspiring Minds,said,“Withjobs going global, the importance of English has increased manifold. It is now a medium of communication at both international and intra-national levels. However, at the same time, it is disappointing to know that 97% engineers cannot speak English fluently and 3/4th of them are not eligible for job requirements in any knowledge economy. He further adds, “Recruiters and HR managers around the world report that candidates with English skills above the local average stand out from the crowd and garner 30-50% higher salaries than similarly-qualified candidates without English skills. The trends in India are no different, with English fluency being one of the key qualities recruiters look for during the interview process.”


Engineers show larger gap in elements of spoken English, pronunciation and fluency. Only 6.8% engineers show ability to speak/respond spontaneously. These candidates can speak fluently, with good pronunciation and proper sentence construction.

Tier of college has been found to have major influence on quality of spoken English. As expected the spoken English ability of candidates becomes worse, on an average, in campuses in lower tier cities. There is further degradation of spoken English skills from tier 2 to tier 3 campuses as compared to that from tier 1 to tier 2 campus.




Figure: Distribution across CEFR Level of CollegeCity


Delhi, Mumbai+Pune and Bangalore do the best with respect to spoken English, whereas Hyderabad and Chennai needs maximum improvement.



Figure: Distribution across CEFR Level -Key Cities



SVAR is an automated tool measuring listening and spoken skills used across the world by industries to test spoken English.SVAR is a 20 minute test taken over the phone and rates the candidates on multiple parameters of Fluency, Active listening, Vocabulary, Grammar, Spoken English Comprehension and Pronunciation.It uses advanced machine learning technology to automatically grade spoken English.

Aspiring Minds, a job-credentialing leader, delivers AMCAT – the world’s most widely-used employability test and the only standardized test designed for job matching. AMCAT™ is a proven, scientific, comprehensive solution that uses patent-pending technology to help companies dramatically improve their hiring while enabling job seekers to evaluate and certify their skills and find appropriate career opportunities. More than 2 million candidates have taken the cloud-based, data-driven test, resulting in 400,000 job matches and awarding of millions of credentials.

A strong in-house research and development team with alumni from IITs and MIT form the development back bone of the patent pending assessment tools.Based in India, with U.S. headquarters in Redwood City, California, Aspiring Minds serves more than 2000 corporations, including some of the world’s largest multinational companies, and 4,000 higher education institutions. Aspiring Minds executives, board members and advisers include individuals affiliated with MIT; Harvard University; and Omidyar Network, also an investor.