What is IELTS?

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is the world’s most popular English language proficiency test for higher education and global migration, with over 3 million tests taken in the last year.

Trusted for excellence in English language learning

More than 10,000 organisations globally trust IELTS, so when you take the assessment you can be confident that it is recognised by educational institutions, employers, governments and professional bodies around the world.

Find out which organisations currently accept IELTS

How does IELTS work?

IELTS has been developed by some of the world’s leading language assessment experts and will test the full range of English skills needed for success in your new job or study placement abroad. You’ll be assessed on the following elements:

  • Listening
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Speaking

The test is designed to reflect the sort of language spoken every day in an English-speaking country and even covers variations such as British English, American and Australian English. 

Part of the assessment is a real-life conversation that will allow you to communicate effectively with English speakers across the globe.

Choosing the right test

IELTS Academic
If you’re planning to attend university for an undergraduate or postgraduate degree or you want to work with a professional organisation, you’ll need to take our IELTS Academic test.

IELTS General Training
For studying courses below degree level, work-related training or if you intend to emigrate to an English-speaking country, our IELTS General Training will provide you with the language skills you’ll need to participate fully in your country of choice. 

Applying for a UK Visa
IELTS is accepted by the UK Government for UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) applications. Both IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training meet the requirements specified by the UK Home Office.

When using IELTS as part of a UKVI application, you’ll need to take the test in a secure IELTS test centre, which has been approved for this purpose by the UK Government. 

Find out more about IELTS for UK Visa applications.