The IELTS examination – Most candidates take this examination because they need to fulfill a key requirement set by:
- An academic institution
- Immigration authorities
- Government body
- Professional body
Institutions, immigration authorities, government and professional bodies from countries such as Australia, Britain, Canada, New Zealand and the United States (excluding immigration) will indicate their requirements on their respective websites.
There are varied score thresholds set by various institutions. While the test is scored between a range of 1 -9, the requirement of many universities, especially more popular universities is a band of 7 and above. For many other universities it is quite common for a range from 6 upward to be a suitable score.
This examination has penetrated the university market with over 9000 institutions accepting suitable scores as proof of English language level competency. To date the highest IELTS Band required is by Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism at a 8.5.
Since 1998 Australian immigration authorities have used the IELTS to assess English proficiency. There are different IELTS score requirements with higher IELTS band scores awarding greater points for skilled visas. E.g. A score of 7 indicates Proficient English awarding 10 points, however a score of 8 indicates Superior English and awards 20 points.
Since 1995 New Zealand has used the IELTS test. The range of scores required are between, 5 for business categories and partners and children aged 16 and over in the skilled migrant category to 6.5 for the principal applicant in the skilled migrant category.
The IELTS is used by Citizenship and Immigration Canada as evidence of English competency. The Canadian Language Benchmarks are the national standards used to describe, measure and recognize English language proficiency in immigrants.
The minimum Canadian Language Benchmark required ranges from CLB level 4 – 7 dependent on the category of Visa. Please make the distinction that the CLB level is different from the IELTS score, as each CLB level has preset thresholds for IELTS scores in the speaking, writing, reading and listening sections.
The IELTS is accepted by UK Visas and Immigration with IELTS scores ranging from 4 – 7 depending on the type of Visa.
Government & Professional Bodies
Please check with the relevant body for their specific requirements. E.g. Psychology Board of Australia requires a minimum overall score of 7 AND a minimum of 7 in listening, reading, writing and speaking.