What is it exactly that makes the IELTS test stand out as the gold standard of English language tests? We explore what the benefits of taking the test are.
As a prospective international student, you’ll be aware of the importance of demonstrating your English language proficiency as part of the university application process. You’ll also know that several English language tests are accepted to prove you meet the English entry requirements. With all of these test options, you’ll probably ask yourself what sets the IELTS test apart and what makes IELTS so popular. We are here to answer these questions and more on the benefits of an IELTS test.
IELTS has international recognition
One of the primary reasons why IELTS has become the most popular English language test in the world is the global recognition that it receives. The test is recognised and accepted by over 10,000 organisations in approximately 140 countries. The IELTS test is taken by over three million people a year, including international students and those looking to move abroad.
The IELTS test has an advantage over other English language tests, like TOEFL, for an important reason. The IELTS test is accepted as evidence of English language skills by almost all immigration authorities. This acceptance is crucial when applying for a visa as well as applying to university. Critically it is the test of choice for countries like the UK, Canada, the USA, Australia, and New Zealand.
The IELTS test is held in high regard internationally because of the robust structure and framework used for assessment. The IELTS test examines your communicative ability in everyday situations and scenarios for both work and study. Importantly the IELTS speaking test is conducted face-to-face which is a much more accurate judgment of English language communication skills.
IELTS is widely available
An advantage of taking the IELTS test is the ease of finding an examination centre or securing a test booking. There are more than 1,200 test centres worldwide, with the added benefit of taking the writing, listening, and reading components online if you wish to.
With a global footprint, there are also plenty of preparation courses, practice tests, and IELTS test resources you can use to get ready for IELTS test day. You can download free materials from the IELTS website, including questions, model answers, and test information brochures. The website also explains what examiners are looking for and how the IELTS test is marked.
IELTS for university admission
The IELTS test is the most widely accepted examination for English language ability by universities. 100 per cent of universities in the UK and Australia accept the IELTS test. In the USA, there are over 3,500 institutions that use IELTS as part of the entry criteria for admission. The IELTS test is frequently used as the benchmark or equivalency for other English language test scores.
One of the reasons universities continue to recognise the IELTS test as the exemplar of English language exams is the integrity and security of the test itself. The test protocols used include standardised marking, scoring, timed conditions, biometric verification, test day security, and post-examination result scrutiny. This regime ensures the integrity of the result for universities.
Another bonus is that the test is evaluated by migration and law enforcement agencies, higher education institutions, and government immigration services. This ensures both test quality and compliance. This feedback and assessment loop increases the authority of the test and the requisite standard across the globe.
Ideal for academic preparation and language proficiency
While taking an IELTS test may be the first step on your study abroad journey by helping with your application, the test also serves another important purpose. The knowledge that you gain by taking the test will allow you to be ready for the requirements of academic degree study. You’ll be able to interact with your lecturers and professors. This interaction makes a big difference when you want to ask a question and in understanding what you’re being asked.
The IELTS test is also the ideal preparation for the everyday scenarios you will face when living and studying in a new country. This can be as simple as ordering a meal or asking for directions. Communicating well is also a big help when you’re meeting new people and making friends. The skills you refine in your IELTS test can come in handy when you join a new student society or meet friends for a drink.
IELTS for career progression
Never overlook the impression you can make on a potential future employer by demonstrating your knack for communication. Employers are looking for students and graduates who have a good command of spoken and written English, which the IELTS test goes a long way to helping. Getting a good IELTS score means hitting the ground running in securing work experience or an internship.
If you’re looking to live and work in a country after your studies some visas, work permits, and residency applications require evidence of English proficiency over and above your degree. An IELTS test provides you with the ticket to do so, as the test has a reputation for reliability and consistency.