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Over 12,500 organisations across 140 countries recognise the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) as their benchmark for English language proficiency. This widespread popularity confirms IELTS’s status as the gold standard when it comes to English language testing.  

In this article, we discuss what IELTS is, how IELTS benefits organisations, and the steps you can take to recognise IELTS. 

What is IELTS? 

IELTS is a standardised test that evaluates the English language proficiency of individuals aiming to study, work, or live in English-speaking environments. Over 12,000 organisations globally accept IELTS scores for education, employment, and immigration purposes.  

As the most popular English proficiency test in the world, IELTS is all you need to verify the language skills of your students, staff, or candidates. 

Which organisations accept IELTS? 

IELTS is used by organisations that need to verify someone’s English language proficiency. 

  • Educational bodies, including universities, schools, colleges, and academic institutions, depend on IELTS to confirm that students possess the necessary English capabilities for academic success.
  • Government sectors and immigration authorities value IELTS scores for visa processing. 
  • Professional organisations rely on IELTS to recognise qualified professionals.
  • Employers use IELTS to identify individuals who will succeed in English-speaking professional settings. 

Why recognise IELTS?   

It’s a trusted indication of English proficiency 

IELTS is universally recognised for being a secure, precise, and reliable measure of English ability. Known for its rigour, IELTS provides peace of mind that the English scores you receive are an accurate reflection of the test taker’s ability. It also tests English with no accent or bias – a truly international test for international English. 

It’s been globally recognised for decades 

For 35 years, IELTS has stood out as a leading choice for English language assessment. IELTS’ established presence is a reason why it’s so popular. In fact, four million tests were booked worldwide last year alone. IELTS is also taken across 140 countries and recognised around the world by over 12,500 organisations. 

IELTS expands your access to prospective candidates 

The unique global footprint of the IELTS test enables you to access a wider and more diverse pool of candidates. This helps you choose the best candidates for your organisation. 

IELTS results are reliable and credible 

IELTS tests are highly secure and follow robust safeguarding procedures. IELTS also provides a complimentary IELTS Results Service, where organisations can verify test taker scores, ensuring the credibility and reliability of IELTS results. 

The test is designed by language experts  

The IELTS test is meticulously designed and conducted by certified English language experts at the British Council, IDP Education and Cambridge University Press & Assessment. The test's international benchmarking ensures that IELTS scores provide an authentic and precise reflection of an individual's English language skills. 

How IELTS approaches language testing 

IELTS is carefully designed to reflect the highest standard of English proficiency testing. The test is committed to rigour and providing a true representation of a test taker's language abilities. IELTS guarantees credible and reliable results by prioritising rigorous test development and a detailed scoring system.  

Rigorous test development and standardisation 

  • Expert design — IELTS questions are crafted by a team of linguistic and subject matter experts to ensure they accurately measure English language proficiency across listening, reading, writing, and speaking. 
  • Validation and standardisation — before any test material is used, it undergoes extensive testing and validation to ensure it meets strict criteria for difficulty and fairness. This process guarantees that the test is consistent and unbiased, providing a reliable measure of English proficiency. 
  • Continuous review — IELTS maintains its high standards through continuous review and quality checks, ensuring that the test remains relevant and accurate in assessing the evolving use of the English language worldwide. 

Detailed scoring system 

The IELTS scoring system provides an unambiguous view of a test taker’s language proficiency. Test takers receive a score from 1 to 9 for each of the four skills. These scores are then averaged to generate an overall band score. 

  • Band scores — the IELTS band scores range from band score 1 to band score 9. 
    A score of 1 indicates a 'non-user' with little English ability. At the opposite end of the spectrum, a band score of 9 indicates an 'expert' who has proved their use of English is appropriate, accurate and fluent, with a complete understanding. The skill-specific and overall band scores offer a clear and detailed indication of a test taker's language proficiency.  
  • Descriptive feedback — each band score corresponds to a descriptive label that provides insight into the user's ability to use and understand English. This detailed feedback is invaluable for organisations and individuals alike, as it offers a comprehensive view of the test taker's language skills. 

    The clarity and detail of the IELTS scoring system, coupled with its rigorous standardisation, contribute to its widespread recognition and trust by academic institutions, employers, and government bodies. 

Steps to becoming an IELTS Recognising Organisation 

  1. Apply to become an IELTS Recognising Organisation via the online application form. Once registered, enhance your visibility by providing a free listing on the Who accepts IELTS? page and other relevant IELTS websites.  
  2. Upon submitting the form, you will be contacted by one of our Account Managers and notified of your registration. 
  3. Once approved, publicly state your recognition of IELTS. To aid prospective test takers in their preparation, clearly outline which IELTS scores you require for different applications. 
  4. Indicate that you recognise IELTS on your website with the official IELTS “Accepted Here” logo. 

Start accepting IELTS results today 

Becoming an IELTS Recognising Organisation offers enhanced credibility, streamlined processes, and accurate assessment of English language skills. tart your IELTS journey.

Register your organisation today.