The International English Language Testing System or IELTS is an international standardised test of English language proficiency for non-native English language speakers. It is jointly managed by the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge English Language Assessment,and was established in 1989. IELTS is one of the major English-language tests in the world, others being the TOEFL, TOEIC and OPI/OPIc.
There are two versions of the IELTS: the Academic Version and the General Training Version. There is also a separate test offered by the IELTS test partners, called IELTS Life Skills:
- IELTS Academic is intended for those who want to enroll in universities and other institutions of higher education and for professionals such as medical doctors and nurses who want to study or practise in an English-speaking country.
- IELTS General Training is intended for those planning to undertake non-academic training or to gain work experience, or for immigration purposes.
- IELTS Life Skills is intended for those who need to prove their English speaking and listening skills at Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) levels A1 or B1 and can be used to apply for a ‘family of a settled person’ visa, indefinite leave to remain or citizenship in the UK.
IELTS is accepted by most Australian, British, Canadian and New Zealand academic institutions, by over 3,000 academic institutions in the United States, and by various professional organisations across the world.
IELTS is the only Secure English Language Test approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) for visa customers applying both outside and inside the UK. It is also a requirement for immigration to Australia and New Zealand. In Canada, IELTS, TEF, or CELPIP are accepted by the immigration authority.
No minimum score is required to pass the test. An IELTS result or Test Report Form is issued to all test takers with a score from "band 1" ("non-user") to "band 9" ("expert user") and each institution sets a different threshold. There is also a "band 0" score for those who did not attempt the test. Institutions are advised not to consider a report older than two years to be valid, unless the user proves that they have worked to maintain their level. In theory, tests performed on native English speakers must show 9.0 results in 100%. However, this result has never been achieved.
English Language Requirements
- International applicants will be required to provide evidence of their English language ability.
- For those applicants who are nationals of and currently residing in a country where English is NOT the official language, evidence of an IELTS or TOEFL test must be provided.
- Alternatively, applicants can provide evidence that English has been the sole medium of instruction and examination in their most recent studies, for a minimum of 2 years, and within the last 24 months. Academic transcripts and a letter from your institution will be required.