IELTS Introduction

IELTS is a task-based test covering the four language skills (listening, reading, writing and speaking). It is used by Governments, Educational Institutions and Companies to assess the readiness of individuals wanting to emigrate, study or work in countries where English is the native and official language. The exam is marked in bands, 1 being the lowest and 9 being the highest, and candidates are advised that they will need to reach a certain band (often between 5.5 – 7.5), in order to take the next step in pursuing their work, study or life objectives.

IELTS Academic or IELTS General Training

IELTS can be taken in two different formats: Academic, which is designed for people wishing to pursue higher education or professional registration, and General Training, which is designed for those wishing to migrate to Australia, Canada and the UK, or applying for secondary education, training programs and work experience in environments where English is the primary language of communication. There are some differences between the two exams, notably in the Reading and Writing examination.

IELTS English

The IELTS exam recognize that there are many different English’s spoken around the world and does not hold one English, for example British English or American English, above any other. It is therefore important for test-takers to feel comfortable with listening to or speaking to people speaking North American, British, Irish, Australian and New Zealand English.

IELTS for Study

An IELTS certificate is an internationally recognized certificate of proficiency in English and is valid for enrolment at over more than 10,000 education and training providers worldwide. Some universities in non-English speaking countries, for example Norway and Denmark, require an IELTS score, where courses are taught in English.

IELTS Academic

The IELTS Academic test is designed to ascertain a candidate’s readiness for entry to study at undergraduate or postgraduate levels, and for professional registration. It assesses whether you are ready to begin studying or training in an environment where English language is used, particularly reflecting some of the features of language used in academic study (for more information on the Academic test, see section on Test Format).

IELTS General

This IELTS General test is suitable for those applying to train or study at below degree level, for example at High School or Secondary School, 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.

IELTS for Work

Professional registration

In countries where English is the primary language of communication, evidence of the necessary English language skills is a prerequisite for applicants and international graduates who are seeking professional registration. Required proficiency level requirements vary between organizations, professions, and by country and by jurisdiction. Individual professional registration bodies determine the IELTS band score and version of the test (Academic or General Training) that applicants must do.

IELTS for vocational training

The General Training version of IELTS measures English language proficiency in a practical, everyday context and the tasks and texts reflect both workplace and social situations. This is the version of the test usually required for vocational training, for example in the construction, hospitality and leisure, and tourism industries.

Industry Requirements

Many of the registration bodies that accept IELTS represent the health care professions, such as nursing, medicine and pharmacy, where English language competence is of critical importance. Other professional bodies in particular countries requiring an IELTS result include accounting, engineering, law and veterinary practice. A wide range of other employers from sectors such as finance, government, construction, energy, aviation and tourism also require IELTS. This list continues to grow reflecting the importance of the English language in many professional and vocational sectors.

IELTS for Migration

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.

IELTS is widely recognized by many immigration authorities as the benchmark for English language proficiency. The following information provides an overview of the different national IELTS requirements, but please take note that each country sets its own IELTS requirements and requirements can change. For up-to-date information, please visit the relevant government websites.

United Kingdom: IELTS Academic, IELTS General Training and IELTS Life Skills are accepted by the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) as proof of English proficiency for those wishing to live, work and study in the UK. 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 tests for UK Visas and Immigration are managed by the IELTS partners, which comprises The British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge Assessment English.

USA: The IELTS examination is used by US migration authorities to ascertain the English language proficiency of visa and permanent citizen applicants. IELTS is accepted by over 3,400 institutions in the USA, including boarding schools, associate, undergraduate, graduate, professional and law programs. Approximately 99% of American 4-year colleges and universities that enroll more than 1,000 international students now accept IELTS as proof of English proficiency for their international applicants.

Australia: IELTS is accepted for many visa categories, as well as for permanent residency in Australia. In fact, all universities and colleges in Australia accept IELTS, it is also a requirement for some Australian professional organizations and accrediting bodies.

Canada: Work visa, professional recognition or for permanent residency applicants are required to provide 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.

New Zealand: The government uses IELTS scores as evidence of English language proficiency for most visas, including those within the Skilled Migrant, Investor and Entrepreneur, Residence from Work and Parent categories ( With IELTS you can be confident that you are taking a test that is trusted by institutions and organizations throughout New Zealand. In fact, all universities, colleges and professional associations in New Zealand that have set minimum language requirements to accept IELTS.

Signup For Staff and Student