IELTS (International English Language Testing System)

What is IELTS?

IELTS is a standardized English examination that is a quantitative way of measuring the proficiency of a candidate in the use of the language. It uses a band scale of 1-9 where 1 is for non-users of the language and 9 being expert. Generally, this exam is a requirement for the following entry to English speaking countries: work, migrate, study and train.

Will it expire?

Yes, IELTS TRF is valid for 2 years.

Is there an exam every month?

Yes. In most cities, IELTS is conducted every week and IELTS UKVI is scheduled twice in a month.

What is the difference vs General and Academic?

The Academic exam is for those applying for professional registration and further studies thus the exam materials are mostly based on academic topics from scientific books, journals and research. This is done to gauge how well a candidate can understand topics that are technical and specific to a particular field of study.

The General Training exam is for migration purposes and for training. Materials for this specific IELTS exams are geared to measure how well a candidate can adapt to social situations. Unlike the Academic exam, the General Training resources are from flyers, leaflets, magazines and other sources of day-to-day English encounter.

What is the UKVI?

The UKVI is a type of IELTS exam specifically requested by the United Kingdom Visa and Immigration to suit their standards of a Secured English Language Test (SELT). UKVI includes different IELTS exam types: Academic, General Training and Life Skills A1, A2, and B1.

Difference between Standard IELTS vs IELTS UKVI?

UKVI IELTS is generally the same as the standard IELTS examination in terms of content, exam format, examiners, level of difficulty, scoring system and so on. However, this is specifically designed to meet the administrative standards for UK visa in order for the exam to be admitted as an English proficiency certification in support of any type of visa application to the UK. Moreover, to secure, monitor, and allow verification, cameras and other recording equipment are present in the test venue on the day of the exam itself.

The IELTS Test Result Form (TRF) will be slightly different as it will indicate UKVI in it. The UKVI exam results, generally may be used anywhere in any other institutions or countries and it is not limited to the use for UK processing only but it is safe to check with each specific organization if they would accept the UKVI TRF.

The IELTS UKVI is available in almost all IELTS test centers but make sure to countercheck booking to be made as the UKVI has a separate booking window and corresponding fees and may not be changed once confirmed. UKVI is also delivered in a computer-based system in some countries, please check with IDP and British Council for the availability of such test variant.

What is required for UK Application for nurses?

Generally, IELTS UKVI with a 7-band score for each component (Listening; Reading; Writing; Speaking) is required. This is necessary for both Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) compliance and for VISA purposes. However, NMC requires standard IELTS only but would still accept UKVI results. However, VISA processing requires UKVI test only.

IELTS OET Combined Score Criteria
7 B
  • Overall grade of 7 or B in all four subtests
  • No grade below 6.5 or C+
  • Must be taken in a six-month period
6.5 C+

What if I already have standard IELTS with an all 7-score?

Then you may proceed with your NMC processing but may need to take UKVI IELTS for your VISA application with a required score of 4 only.

What is a combination score for IELTS?

For UK, 2 possible test results can be submitted to satisfy English requirement. However, it should meet general criteria:

  1. It can be either Standard IELTS or UKVI or any combination
  2. Must be taken within a 6-month window
  3. Both TRF should still be valid at the time of application
  4. No score should be below 6.5 in any component including the Overall Band Score

Acceptable result:

Test 1 8.5 7.5 6.5 7.5 7.5
Test 2 7 6.5 7 8 7

The following result will not be accepted:

Test 1 8 7 7 6.5 7
Test 2 8.5 6 7.5 7.5 7.5