What is IELTS?
The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) measures the language proficiency of people who want to study or work where English is used as a language of communication. It uses a nine-band scale to clearly identify levels of proficiency, from non-user (band score 1) through to expert (band score 9).
IELTS Academic or IELTS General Training
IELTS is available in two test versions: Academic - for people applying for higher education or professional registration, and General Training for those migrating to Australia, Canada and the UK, or applying for secondary education, training programmes and work experience in an English-speaking environment. Both versions provide a valid and accurate assessment of the four language skills: listening, reading, writing and speaking.
IELTS for migration
Accepted for Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK
IELTS is accepted as evidence of English language proﬁciency for study, work and migration in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK, as well as for study and work in the USA.
Each country sets its own IELTS requirements. For up-to-date information, please visit the relevant government websites.
IELTS is accepted for many visa categories, as well as for permanent residency in Australia. It is also a requirement for some Australian professional organisations and accrediting bodies.
If you are applying for a work visa, professional recognition or for permanent residency in Canada, it is likely that you will be required to present evidence of English language proficiency. IELTS General Training is the only internationally available English proficiency test accepted by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for immigration to Canada.
The New Zealand government asks for IELTS as evidence of English language proficiency for many visas, including those within the Skilled Migrant, Investor and Entrepreneur, Residence from Work and Parent categories.
Evidence of English language ability is a requirement for those applying to settle permanently in the UK (also known as applying for 'leave to remain' or 'long residence').
IELTS for study
Accepted as evidence of English proficiency by 10,000 institutions
An IELTS certificate is recognised as evidence of proficiency in English by more than 10,000 education and training providers worldwide. Some universities in non-English speaking countries require an IELTS score, where courses are taught in English.
There are two types of IELTS suitable for study:
The IELTS Academic test is suitable for entry to study at undergraduate or postgraduate levels, and also for professional registration purposes. It assesses whether you are ready to begin studying or training in an environment where English language is used, and reflects some of the features of language used in academic study.
This IELTS test is suitable for those applying to train or study at below degree level, as well as those wishing to migrate to Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK. The test focuses on basic survival skills in broad social and workplace contexts.
Which test is right for me?
Most people will take the IELTS Academic test to support their study and application to study overseas - but it is important to check the entry requirements of individual organisations before choosing your test.
Students can nominate up to five organisations to which their IELTS test results will be sent automatically and free of charge. There is a fee for sending results to additional organisations. You can request your centre to send your results as long as your IELTS scores are valid.
IELTS for work
Employers, professional bodies and associations accept IELTS
Organisations around the world rely on IELTS to help them select the right people.
In most countries where English is the main language of communication, evidence of acceptable English language skills is a prerequisite for applicants and international graduates seeking professional registration. Required proficiency levels vary between organisations, professions, by country and by jurisdiction. It is up to individual professional registration bodies to determine the IELTS band score and version of the test (Academic or General Training) they require.
IELTS General Training measures English language proficiency in a practical, everyday context. and the tasks and texts reflect both workplace and social situations. It is usually required for vocational training, for example, in the construction, hospitality and leisure, and tourism industries.