Eligibility Criteria for IELTS

Eligibility Criteria for IELTS


IELTS Exam Eligibility Criteria

IELTS’ (International English Language Testing System) is an exam that is designed to assess the language ability of candidates who aspire to study or work in a country where English is the language of communication and instruction.

The IELTS exam is administered by The British Council, International Development Program (IDP) & Cambridge English for Speakers of Other languages (ESOL). As such they have not set strict eligibility criteria, thus making it a popular exam that students can opt for. About 1.3 to 1.4 million people take the IELTS test every year in India. As per IDP Education, there has been a yearly growth of 10-15% in the number of IELTS test takers as compared to the pre-pandemic levels.


About IELTS Exam 2024

The IELTS Exam covers four basic language skills – IELTS listening, IELTS reading, IELTS writing, and IELTS speaking. It is a compulsory exam for admissions into universities and training programs in the USA, UK, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada with a result validity period of two years from the date of the announcement of results.

The IELTS exam is an internationally accepted exam and is administered at centers throughout the world. It is not just accepted by international universities for student admissions but also by professional bodies, government agencies, and immigration authorities of countries like Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.

For taking the IELTS Exam, the preferred minimum age should be at least 16 years & you must have a valid passport. You can take the IELTS exam regardless of your cumulative percentage in 12th grade or equivalent. It is a necessary test to show that you are proficient in English in order to get admitted to a foreign university. Further, as IELTS is conducted 48 times a year (4 times a month), candidates can sit for the exam as many times as they want and can use the latest result to extend the validity period.

Now Indian students taking the IELTS exam have an option of retaking 1 section if they do not achieve their desired score on the first attempt rather than taking the entire test again.


Types of IELTS Exam

IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training Test are two formats of the IELTS Exam. Those who want to pursue higher education in a foreign country take the IELTS Academic, whereas those who want to go to major English-speaking countries for secondary education or job experience take the IELTS General Training Test.

The version of the exam you need differs based on your purpose of travel/goal:

Purpose of Travel/Goal The Version of IELTS applicable
To enroll into an academic program in a country, where most communication, if not all, is in English IELTS Academic
For work/work-related training or migration to an English speaking country IELTS General Training

Prior to registering for the IELTS test, you must check the version required from the organization or institution you apply to and accordingly plan the test.

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IELTS Test Pattern

The IELTS syllabus includes 4 sections; Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking. The IELTS test duration is 2 hours and 45 minutes.

Reading: The reading section comprises 40 questions and the total time allotted for this section is 30 minutes.

Listening: The Listening section comprises different types of 40 questions and the time allotted for this section is 30 minutes.

Speaking: In the speaking section, the candidates’ ability to communicate effectively in the country where they have applied to is monitored through this section. The candidates have to go through a face-to-face interview and the overall length of this section varies from 11-14 minutes.

Writing: The writing section includes two types of questions where the candidates have to write a short essay in about 250 words. In addition, candidates are given a diagram, data, or a table which they are required to explain in their own words.

Now that you are familiar with the IELTS test format, it is time to prepare for IELTS. For IELTS preparation, one can go for self-study or can also choose to enroll in IELTS preparation classes!


Why is the IELTS Test Important for Indian Students?

  1. Required in every course
  2. Recognized in all parts of the world
  3. English language skills get improved
  4. Interpretation of Results
  5. British English and American English both are valid
  6. Accessible in every part of the world


IELTS Eligibility for Canada

You need to have at least an English proficiency of CLB (Canadian Language Benchmark) 7 which matches the IELTS 6 score to apply for a Canadian visa to study abroad. Below is the list of the top universities in Canada that accepts the IELTS score:

University IELTS for Undergraduate IELTS for Postgraduate
University of Toronto 6.5 7
University of British Columbia 6.5 6.5
McGill University 6.5 6.5
McMaster University 6.5 6.5
University of Alberta 6.5 6.5


IELTS Eligibility for the USA

You need to have at least an English proficiency of at least an IELTS 5.5 score to study in the USA. However, the eligibility is different for different exams and different universities. Below are some of the top universities in the USA that accept the IELTS score:

University IELTS for Undergraduate IELTS for Postgraduate
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 7.0 7.0
California Institute of Technology 7.0 7.0
Harvard University 7.0 7.0
Princeton University 7.0 7.0
Yale University 7.0 7.0


IELTS Eligibility for the UK

You need to have at least an English proficiency required by the university to which you have applied to and your course to study in the UK. Below are some of the top universities in the UK that accept the IELTS score:

University IELTS for Undergraduate IELTS for Postgraduate
University of Oxford 7 7.5
University of Cambridge 7 7
Imperial College London 7 7
University College London 6.5 6.5
University of Edinburgh 6.5 6.5


IELTS Eligibility for Australia

You need to have at least 5.5 in each of the four bands if you are planning to study in Australia. Below are some of the top universities in Australia which accept the IELTS score:

University IELTS for Undergraduate IELTS for Postgraduate
Australian National University 6.5 6.5
University of Melbourne 6.5 6.5
The University of Sydney 6.5 6.5
University of New South Wales 6 6
Monash University 6.5 6.5
University of Western Australia 6.5 6.5


IELTS Eligibility for New Zealand

You need to have a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 to get admission into a university in New Zealand. Below is the list of top universities in New Zealand that accept the IELTS score:

Universities IELTS for Undergraduate IELTS for Postgraduate
Massey University 6 6.5
University of Auckland 6 6.5
University of Otago 6 6.5
Victoria University of Wellington 6.5 6.5
University of Waikato 6.5 6.5

How to Register for the IELTS Exam?

STEP 1: Go to IELTS India’s official website (www.ieltsidpindia.com). Select the IELTS test that you need to take. For example, Computer-delivered IELTS or Pen and paper-based IELTS, etc. Fill out the other two fields by choosing the IELTS test type that is, IELTS Academic or IELTS General Training. Choose your preferred test city and click on ‘Book Now’.

STEP 2: In this step, you are required to pick a date on which you can take your IELTS exam from the available dates for booking. The dates available will appear in green color and your selected date will appear in black. Review your chosen date and click on ‘Book Now’

STEP 3: Read the IELTS terms and conditions and click on ‘Accept’ to continue.

STEP 4: Next up, fill out all your personal details and then submit. Further fill out more registration details such as your address, your reason for taking the IELTS, occupation, nationality, first language, etc.

STEP 5: Upload the first and last page of your passport copy in JPG, JPEG, PNG, and PDF with a maximum file size of up to 1 MB.

STEP 6: You now will have the option to add up to 5 recognized organizations that will receive your score either electronically or by post. Also, note that these universities can access your results before you receive them by mail. The next step is to review your application and check for mistakes and inconsistencies.

STEP 7: Go ahead and pay the IELTS registration fee for booking your test successfully and voila you just registered for your IELTS exam.


IELTS Special Requirements

Candidates with any special requirements can also take IELTS examinations. Students who meet the particular requirements can take the test, which provides equal possibilities to everyone who wishes to study and work abroad. People who fall within this category include

  • People who have difficulty learning
  • People who are deaf or hard of hearing
  • People who are visually impaired
  • Individuals suffering from specific medical issues

Those who meet any of the mentioned criteria are eligible for special accommodations at the exam centers if they notify the authorities at least three months before the test. The authorities must also provide their approval.

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What is the minimum age limit for IELTS?

To appear for the IELTS exam, one must be 16 years of age and have a valid (unexpired) passport.

Who sets the IELTS eligibility criteria?

IELTS is administered by the IDP. Anyone who wishes to pursue higher education or work abroad can take the IELTS IDP exam. Candidates should, however, always check the eligibility criteria established by the educational institution or organization to which they are applying.

Can I apply for the IELTS exam after the 12th standard?

As such, there are no specific requirements for taking the IELTS exam. Furthermore, there are no minimum marks or percentage requirements for taking the IELTS exam. Candidates do not need to have a minimum score in high school to take the IELTS test.

Is 12th marks important for taking IELTS?

As a such, there are no specific requirements for taking the IELTS exam. Furthermore, there are no minimum marks or percentage requirements for taking the IELTS exam. Candidates do not need to have a minimum score in high school to take the IELTS test.

Is there any minimum score needed to pass the IELTS test?

There is no minimum score required to pass the IELTS test. An IELTS result is calculated from band 1 to band 9. There is a ‘band 0’ score as well for those who had not attempted the test.

What is the minimum IELTS Score required by Top Universities?

Candidates willing to apply for top universities need to ensure a minimum score of IELTS band 7.0. Top universities in the USA like Harvard and Stanford accept IELTS scores of 7 or more. Similarly, in the UK, universities like Oxford or Cambridge require 7.5 or more.

Which Countries that Accept IELTS Scores?

Over 10,000 institutions accept this system across 140 countries. But, candidates usually prefer counties like Canada, Australia, Ireland, the UK, the USA, and New Zealand. In which, every country has its requirement, rules, and management.

What is the IELTS eligibility criteria regarding the availability of the documents?

The only document required for IELTS registration is your passport number and some of its details to apply for the exam. Appearing for the IELTS means that you intend to either study abroad or immigrate. You will need a passport for these purposes. While IELTS registration and on exam day you will need a passport in original form and also one colored photocopy.

What is IELTS exam maximum age limit?

The British Council and IDP, the organizations that administers the exam, have set no IELTS exam age limit or eligibility criteria, though it is preferable that the candidate be at least 16 years of age.  Therefore there is no maximum age limit for IELTS exam.

What is IELTS eligibility score for Canada?

Scores required by top universities in Canada:

What are the mandatory documents I need to have before booking an IELTS test?

Passport is the accepted document for booking an IELTS test.

What level of English do I need before I can sit the IELTS test?

There is no such requirement as an English level to sit for the IELTS test. However, basic English skills are required to do well on the test. The better the skill, the better the band score.

How soon can I repeat the IELTS test?

There are no limits on how often students may take the exam within a given period of time. Also, there is no mandatory waiting period before taking the IELTS again.

When will I receive venue details for my IELTS test?

An email will be sent to you 2 days before the test with the venue and other details.

How do I pay for my IELTS test?

Payment for the IELTS test can be made via- 

  • Credit/Debit (Visa or Master) and Net – banking.
  • Demand Draft.
  • Bank deposit.

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