IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is an English language exam that is expected of international applicants who choose to study or work in a country where English is the primary language. The United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, the United States, and Canada are the most common countries where IELTS is approved for university admissions. The exam primarily assesses students’ ability to communicate in four Basic English language skills: listening, reading, speaking, and writing.
IDP Education Australia, the British Council, and Cambridge English Language Assessment collectively own and administer the IELTS test. With 3.5 million IELTS tests administered in 2018, it has established itself as a leader in the field of international higher education. It is accepted by all universities in the United Kingdom and Australia. It is also accepted in over 3,400 institutions in the United States and thousands more in English-speaking countries.
Why IELTS Exam is required?
The IELTS 2021 exam is required for migration and academic purposes in English-speaking countries such as Australia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, the United States, and Canada. It is the only English Language Test that UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) has accepted for visa applicants applying from both within and outside the UK. Many students are perplexed as to why IELTS scores are needed. The short answer is that international universities and visa granting authorities want to make sure you won’t have any contact problems when you’re there.
Since your overall IELTS scores are so significant, you must demonstrate a clear understanding and command of the English language. Another common misunderstanding among students is whether or not IELTS is a required exam. IELTS is not needed for all university admissions. Many universities do not even need IELTS scores to be considered for admission. But keep in mind that if you don’t take IELTS, your chances of getting a student visa may be harmed because visa officers may be skeptical of your English proficiency if you don’t have IELTS scores. As a result, it is better to take IELTS and strive for a score of at least 6 bands overall.
You should take the IELTS test once a week with the British Council or IDP (four times a month). The British Council and IDP have a global test schedule of 48 days per year.
Cost of IELTS in Nigeria
In Nigeria, the IELTS exam costs between N75,000 and N80,000 on average. The fluctuation in price is due to the fluctuating currency exchange rate. When the currency exchange rate is reasonably balanced and rational, it is best to register for this test. The exam can be taken in different parts of the world and at different times. While locations vary, the test is usually written at least eight times a year. Lagos and Abuja are the most common IELTS test centers, with tests being administered more than once a year in these and a few other locations.
Countries Accepting IELTS Score
More than 140 countries recognize the IELTS test, including the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, the United States, and Canada. You can take IELTS and apply to your preferred country with a good score, whether it’s for research, job, or immigration. Before taking the IELTS test, it’s a good idea to double-check the country’s university/criteria.
Requirements to Sit For The IELTS
Here are simple steps to take when registering for IELTS. Note that these steps are easy and stress-free. If these steps are followed, you should expect a smooth registration.
It’s only natural that this is the first thing to do. Make sure you’ve read everything there is to know about the exam and that you’re prepared to take it. Learn about the fees, the type of exam, the mode of the test, the testing centers, and the open dates. Make sure you were at least 16 years old when you applied. After that, you should be able to go.
Select an Exam Form
IELTS is divided into two styles and types: General Training and Academic. Choose the choice that best suits your needs.
Choose an exam date and place.
At this point, don’t hurry. It’s important to choose a time and place that are both convenient for you. You can look up available dates and locations on the British Council’s website. Note that test dates close and it is necessary to get yourself updated about the latest dates for the test.
Obtain the Required Documents
It is not necessary to spend a lot of money on registration. Scanning your international passport and basic information is all that is needed. Make sure the picture on your passport is saved as a png, jpeg, or gif file. Basic information about you, such as your birth date, passport expiration date, and signature, should be included in the scanned copy of your passport.
You will receive a confirmation email with the access code for your online practice questions and other helpful materials once you have completed the form.
Other available tests
Aside from IELTS, TOEFL is another English exam that is usually taken in Nigeria. The TOEFL test, like IELTS, is designed to assess your ability to communicate in English in academic, university, and classroom environments. Over 8,500 institutions in 130 countries, including the United Kingdom, the United States, and Australia, as well as all of the world’s top 100 universities, embrace it. The Education Testing Service, located in the United States, administers the TOEFL, which is performed in American English. This test is more likely to be favored by American institutions.
Aside from the various types of English used in each test, TOEFL questions are almost exclusively multiple-choice, while IELTS allows you to respond to a variety of question types, including short response, gap-filling, and short essay tasks. The IELTS exam is slightly shorter than the TOEFL, taking around two hours and forty minutes versus four hours.
There is only one form of TOEFL exam that is fully computer-based, while there are two types of IELTS exams, both of which are paper-based. The Academic IELTS exam is required for students applying to English-speaking tertiary programs, while the General Training exam is required for immigration and certain occupational requirements.
Different modes of thinking and problem solving are favored by IELTS and TOEFL. Since the TOEFL is mainly a multiple-choice exam, students would need to be able to think analytically to assess the pros and cons of their choices. Since students are confronted with a variety of question forms, IELTS demands more memory and draws on broader comprehension skills. Duolingo, a popular English exam among Asian students, is another choice.
IELTS Score Validity Period
From the time you obtain your IELTS results, your IELTS score is valid for two years.
IELTS test results are usually available within a week (online) or 13 calendar days (offline) after you take the test. When your results are available, you will be notified via email. You can view your IELTS scores by logging into your account on the IELTS Results website.
Advantages of passing IELTS
You’re probably wondering what the advantages of having an IELTS score of 8 or 9 are. Then you should be aware that the higher your band ranking, the more benefits, and platforms are available to you. You have the option of selecting your preferred country. IELTS will help you survive and thrive in the foreign countries of your choosing where English is the native language. And if you’re going to a country where English is the primary language of communication or the native language, you’ll need to match your skills. Furthermore, you will be ecstatic with the numerous employment opportunities available after passing IELTS.
1. Needed for most stages and steps for going abroad
As previously mentioned, students who achieve a good IELTS score have already met one of the requirements for studying in countries where English is the primary language. The exam is also used for visa applications, immigration forms, and work applications in foreign countries, in addition to being used to gain entry.
2. It is accepted worldwide
IELTS is recognized by more than 135 countries and 9000 organizations around the world as evidence of the ability to communicate effectively in English. As a result, it has a reputation as a successful English proficiency exam that stretches beyond English-speaking countries.
3. It’s a good way to test your English abilities.
The exams are designed in such a way that ESL students and individuals can compare their knowledge of English to that of native English speakers. As a result, you’ll be able to see how competitive you are. You may also use the exam as a training tool to develop your English language skills.
4. Accurate knowledge of your English skills
On all of the exams, the examiners use strict guidelines to determine the English language skills. As a result, the result you get accurately reflects your English language proficiency. Even if there is no actual failure on the exam, most institutions will be happy with a score of at least 7. Candidates who score lower or receive a low score will still take the exam again.
5. Information on institutions where the tests are needed globally
Individuals will benefit from this feature of IELTS because it will save them time. The IELTS Global Recognition System maintains an up-to-date database of organizations that need test results from all over the world. Aside from that, the system includes the minimum scores that each organization needs. That will give you an idea of who to apply to and if your IELTS score is appropriate.
6. British and American English covered
Many ESL students are perplexed by the distinction between American and British English. The distinctions between the two can be minor or important, or they can be glaring and evident. The IELTS exam covers all forms of English, allowing applicants to understand the distinctions. Different accents and how those words are pronounced by the two categories are exposed at least on a basic level.
7. Live exam
The IELTS is created with real-life scenarios in mind. As a result, the test has a speaking segment that includes a face-to-face meeting with an instructor. This will seem intimidating, but the exam is confidential. There are no distractions other than the applicant and the examiner speaking English. This is critical because you will encounter similar circumstances if you plan to study in an English-speaking country.
IELTS is a test that evaluates students’ English language skills at all stages. As a result, students will never fail the exam. On a scale of 1 to 9, students receive an IELTS score for each of the four skills, as well as an overall band score. Candidates should be aware that the IELTS cut-off score varies depending on which colleges and programs they are interested in, and that not all universities and programs require candidates to pass the IELTS test. If you want to apply to universities, get a job, or immigrate to an English-speaking country, your overall IELTS band score is crucial.
IELTS requirements for applying to a UK university
During the application process, international students are required to show a certain degree of spoken and written English. One of the exams that can be used to show an applicant’s ability to use the English language for academic purposes is the IELTS (International English Language Testing System).
The following is a list of IELTS general criteria for various levels of study:
- No IELTS is required for short English courses (less than 11 months).
- IELTS overall 4.0 for the foundation course
- Undergraduate degree program – IELTS score of 6.0 overall, with a minimum of 5.5 in each component
- IELTS overall 6.5 with no less than 6.0 in each factor for a postgraduate degree course
IELTS Requirements in the USA
Although American universities used to favor the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) tests, the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) has recently gained popularity in the United States. Over 3,000 universities in the United States now recognize IELTS ratings as evidence of English language proficiency. Most universities in the United States need a minimum score of 6.0 to 7.5 (though some need a higher score), although required scores differ by department and program. Some programs in the United States will not approve IELTS ratings, so prospective students should study their particular program of interest for specific requirements.
IELTS Requirement for Canada
Although there is no minimum IELTS score required for immigration to Canada, language criteria for admission to a top Canadian university are very strict, for both overall and per-section requirements. A total score of 6.5 and a minimum of 6 per section is common for good universities.