IELTS has cemented its position as the world’s most popular high stakes English-language test for study, work and migration with latest figures revealing a record 1.5 million tests were taken around the world in 2010.
Representing over 15 consecutive years of global growth, the number of tests taken has increased year-on-year annually since 1995.
North America followed by the Philippines and Hong Kong experienced the largest growth over the year, whilst China, Australia and India continue to retain their positions as the largest markets for IELTS.
Tony Pollock, Chief Executive of IDP: IELTS Australia, speaking on behalf of the three IELTS partners said, “We believe the increase in the number of IELTS tests taken can be attributed to two key factors. Firstly, we have seen greater test accessibility with 800 locations in 130 countries now available.
"There are also over 6,000 institutions globally that rely on the rigour and reliability of the IELTS test to make informed decisions where English language skills are a key requirement, including universities, employers, professional bodies and immigration authorities," he continued.
IELTS provides a reliable measure of a candidate’s ability across the four skills of listening, reading, writing and speaking.
Candidates cited the number one reason for taking the test in 2010 was in pursuit of entry into an academic institution, followed by migration purposes.
"IELTS continues to help change people’s lives as they look for opportunities around the world – whether that be in education, for migration or employment. That's why IELTS is a high stakes test and also why it's so critical that the test continue to be a robust and rigorous measure of English language proficiency.
"With 1.5 million tests delivered last year, it is clear that the effectiveness of IELTS in this regard is acknowledged by both candidates and those who use and rely on the test alike," Mr Pollock concluded.