The International English Language Testing System popularly referred to as the IELTS exam, is a world-renowned, widely accepted English language test. It is the first choice for most VISA applicants who wish to study or settle in an English-speaking country. When we say most applicants, there is a slight question niggling at the back of our heads, “Is there a minimum or maximum age limit for taking the IELTS exam?”
According to the official IELTS exam website, and I am paraphrasing here, the IELTS exam can be taken by anyone in the world, irrespective of their nationality, gender, age, race, or religion; however, it is not recommended for persons under 16 years of age.
Now, what is this “under-16” story? Do they mean that 16 years is the minimum age limit?
Absolutely not! Technically, all age groups are eligible to take the IELTS exam, however, a child under 16 years of age does not have much use for an IELTS score. Why so? Let us see this case in a little more detail.
We all know that most people prepare for the IELTS exam to get admission to a university or to get a migration visa to an English-speaking country like the UK, USA, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, or Singapore. In such cases, most applicants are 18 or more than 18 years of age and we also know that IELTS scores hold good only for two years. Now, if a person under 16 years of age prepares for the IELTS exam, his/her IELTS scores will expire much before he/she applies for the visa for study abroad or migration. So, this is the rudimentary logic behind the IELTS exam not being “recommended” for persons under 16 years of age.
However, there are some exceptions here; some foreign exchange programs, international schools, and bilingual schools would like to see your IELTS scores. So you will be required to take the IELTS exam. If you are entitled to none of the above situations, and are under 16 years of age but want to test your English proficiency, you have a number of Cambridge tests for that like the Cambridge ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) which will give you an idea of where you stand in English proficiency.
Related Blog Post: Things you must know before taking the IELTS
Coming to the original question again, we now know that there are no upper or lower age limits to take the IELTS exam. However, you might want to keep these case-specific factors in mind. If you are aspiring to study at a university in an English-speaking country, you will have to confirm the age limit restrictions for the university or the program that you are applying to.
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If you are planning to migrate to and settle in any English-speaking country, then the age factor plays a major role. Depending on whether you are applying for work visas or Permanent Residency, the age limit restrictions will vary. Every age group fetches your points and the best age group, one that will get you the most score, is the age group of 25-32. Gradually, the points will go down as you grow older and beyond 45 years of age, your points table will accrue negligible points. For further details about age factor versus visa points, please contact a qualified counselor who can guide you better on this.
Another notable exception is taking the IELTS exam for Canadian Visa. In June 2015, the Canadian government brought about some changes in the Citizenship Act in Canada. According to the new set of rules, the range of the age of applicants that are required to take an English proficiency test has been broadened. Earlier applicants falling under the age group of 18-54 were required to take the IELTS exam but now all applicants falling under the age group of 14-64 need to take the test.
Related Blog Post: What is a good IELTS score?
So if you think you are too young or too old for the IELTS exam, read the above article again and decide for yourself. And, in case, even after going through the same there are more detailed questions peeking into your mind, do not hesitate to consult an overseas education consultant for IELTS preparation.
Manya – The Princeton Review provides IELTS preparation which begins with diagnostic tests to determine the candidate’s strengths and shortcomings. To properly comprehend the IELTS exam pattern, it comprises IELTS practise papers, IELTS online courses, IELTS official study resources, IELTS books, and IELTS sample answers. Manya’s IELTS preparation time is determined by the candidate’s proficiency level; on average, 2–3 months of IELTS preparation time is deemed enough. IELTS preparation can also be done at home with the right materials and study materials. Experts recommend taking an online IELTS exam for time management and real-world experience as part of your IELTS preparation.
Here at Manya, we have a diverse pool of advisors with destination-specific expertise – so any query you have regarding the application process, any authentic information is just a call away!
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