What is IELTS?

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is designed to help you work, study or migrate to a country where English is the native language. This includes countries such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and USA.

Your ability to listen, read, write and speak in English will be assessed during the test. IELTS is graded on a scale of 1-9.  

IELTS is jointly owned by the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge Assessment English.

Why take IELTS?

If you are looking to work, live or study in an English-speaking country, then you must be able to demonstrate a high level of English language ability.

English is the third most spoken language in the world, with 379 million speakers worldwide.

Being able to communicate in the native language of the country you wish to work or study in, has a wide range of benefits. It is also essential for job opportunities as well as integration into the community.

IELTS is the most popular test for those looking to migrate to Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK. It is globally recognised by more than 11,000 employers, universities, schools and immigration bodies including 3,400 institutions in the USA.  

IELTS score scale

Band score Skill level Description 
9 Expert user The test taker has fully operational command of the language. Their use of English is appropriate, accurate and fluent, and shows complete understanding.
  
8 Very good user The test taker has fully operational command of the language with only occasional unsystematic inaccuracies and inappropriate usage. They may misunderstand some things in unfamiliar situations. They handle complex and detailed argumentation well.
  
7 Good user The test taker has operational command of the language, though with occasional inaccuracies, inappropriate usage and misunderstandings in some situations. They generally handle complex language well and understand detailed reasoning.
  
6 Competent user The test taker has an effective command of the language despite some inaccuracies, inappropriate usage and misunderstandings. They can use and understand fairly complex language, particularly in familiar situations.
  
5 Modest user The test taker has a partial command of the language and copes with overall meaning in most situations, although they are likely to make many mistakes. They should be able to handle basic communication in their own field.
  
4 Limited user The test taker's basic competence is limited to familiar situations. They frequently show problems in understanding and expression. They are not able to use complex language.
  
3 Extremely limited user The test taker conveys and understands only general meaning in very familiar situations. There are frequent breakdowns in communication.
  
2 Intermittent user The test taker has great difficulty understanding spoken and written English.
  
1 Non-user The test taker has no ability to use the language except a few isolated words.
  
0 Did not attempt the test The test taker did not answer the questions.
  

What IELTS score do I need?

The higher you can score in your IELTS, reflects a better understanding and ability to communicate in English. Each immigration body, university, workplace or institution will have specific IELTS score requirements. The score you need will depend on what you are looking to do in the country, i.e work or study. 

Entry requirements for organisations which accept IELTS

How IELTS is developed

IELTS is developed to provide a fair and accurate assessment of English language proficiency.

Test questions are developed by language specialists from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the USA. The test covers four sections: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. 

IELTS test content reflects everyday situations. It is unbiased and fair to all test takers from all backgrounds.

Learn more about the test

Students chatting on the grass

IELTS for migration

IELTS is accepted for migration to Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

IELTS for migration

IELTS for study

Thousands of education and training providers all over the world use IELTS results to select their students.

IELTS for study
Young man wearing suit

IELTS for work

Many professional registration bodies and employers rely on IELTS as evidence of English language proficiency.

IELTS for work