Why IELTS Exam is Required


Aarushi Jain
Updated on Apr 14, 2023 05:36 PM IST

IELTS is an English language exam that is taken by international candidates who aspire to study or work in a country where English is the primary language. Let us walk you through the main reasons that will clear your doubts regarding why IELTS exam is required by aspirants. 

Why IELTS Exam is Required

You have probably heard of IELTS from friends, colleagues, or on the internet. But, have you ever considered why the IELTS exam is required?

IELTS is an English language competency exam needed by international candidates who wish to study or work in a country where English is the primary language of communication. Many students are puzzled as to why IELTS scores are required. The basic answer is that foreign institutions and visa issuing agencies want to ensure that you will have no communication problems while in the country.

Let us now help you understand better why the IELTS exam is required and its benefits so that it can help aspirants make better decisions for themselves.

Why Take IELTS Exam?

IELTS is the most widely used English language proficiency test in the world. It was created by some of the world's foremost language assessment professionals and assesses all of your English skills, including reading, writing, listening, and speaking. The exam simulates how you will study, work, and live in an English-speaking environment, which we will be discussing more in the later section of this article.

English is also the third most spoken language in the world, with 379 million native speakers. The ability to speak in the native language of the nation in which you intend to work or study offers numerous advantages. It is also necessary for employment prospects and community integration. It is recognized by over 11,000 employers, universities, institutions, and immigration authorities worldwide.

Score Band 7+ in IELTS in First Attempt!

What is IELTS?

Before jumping onto why the IELTS exam is required, let us first quickly shower some light on what is IELTS exam for a better understanding.

The International English Language Testing System, also known as IELTS is aimed at assisting you in working, studying, or relocating to a country where English is the primary language. This covers Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. During the test, your abilities to listen, read, write, and communicate in English will be evaluated. The IELTS exam is evaluated on a scale of 1-9. The British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia, and Cambridge English all own IELTS.

Exam Name



International English Language Testing System

Why IELTS Exam is Required?

To study, work, and migrate to an English-speaking country like Australia, New Zealand, and the UK

Conducted by


Mode of Exam

Paper-Based and Computer-Based Test


INR 15,500

Score Range


You may also check out the difference between the IELTS Computer-based vs Paper-based Test to decide which version of the test is better for you.

How IELTS was Developed?

To understand why the IELTS exam is required, it is necessary to first understand how the IELTS was established. The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) was developed to give a fair and accurate assessment of English language proficiency. Language specialists from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States create test questions. The exam is divided into four sections:

  • Listening

  • Reading

  • Writing

  • Speaking

The IELTS test content is based on real-life scenarios. It is objective and fair to all exam takers from all walks of life.

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How Much Time is Required to Prepare for IELTS?

IELTS Band Score

The below-mentioned table highlights the IELTS band scores from 1 to 9 and their respective skill level.

IELTS Band Score

Skill Level

Band 9

Expert user

Band 8

Very good user

Band 7

Good user

Band 6

Competent user

Band 5

Modest user

Band 4

Limited user

Band 3

Extremely limited user

Band 2

Intermittent user

Band 1


You can also check out the IELTS Band Score Calculator for more information on IELTS band scores.

Why IELTS Exam is Required?

Now that we have a good understanding of the IELTS exam and its band score, it will be easier for you to understand better why the IELTS exam is required. As stated above as well, the exam is required by those who are planning to either study, work or immigrate to an English-speaking country. It is hence essential and a major requirement for such aspirants to demonstrate a high level of understanding and proficiency in the English language.

Let us closely examine in what circumstances the IELTS exam is required:

IELTS for Studying Abroad

If you want to study abroad, keep in mind that there are numerous universities all around the world that accept the IELTS. The UK, Australia, New Zealand, the United States, and Canada are the most common countries where the IELTS exam is required for university admissions. If you are thinking about pursuing a Bachelors or Masters degree, you should take the IELTS Academic test. For programmes that do not award a degree, the IELTS General Training test suffices.

As a prospective international student, you must demonstrate that you are competent and capable of completing a degree program taught in English. To enrol yourself in advanced degree programs such as Master's or PhDs, you will require a better IELTS score.

IELTS for Work

The next purpose of why the IELTS exam is required is to work in a foreign country. Proof of language proficiency is a vital step in acquiring a visa to work in another country. Language skills are critical to career success and are regarded as a significant asset in addition to all other work requirements.

If you are applying for a work visa, you must have competent and good English language skills, which means you must be prepared for more than just basic conversational English.

Mentioned below is the basic IELTS score that you will need to work in some countries:

  • Work visa applicants in New Zealand must get an overall band score of 4 or higher in the IELTS General or Academic module. They may also submit further evidence of their English language ability, such as information regarding the countries 7they have lived in, their present country of residency, or the knowledge of English in their family.

  • In the UK, applicants must achieve a score of at least 6.5 on each of the four components of the test (Reading, Speaking, Listening and Writing).

  • A ban score of 5 or above is deemed a 'vocational English' level for working in Australia. A band score of 6 indicates that the applicant speaks 'fluent English.'

  • In Canada and the USA, applicants should check the IELTS score criteria directly with the organization to which they wish to apply. Language requirements are often specified by employers and educational organizations.

IELTS for Immigration

The IELTS exam is used by government authorities as part of the application procedure for citizenship or the right to permanent residence. Language skill, they believe, is significantly related to people's capacity to integrate into the community and the workplace. The IELTS exam is recognized by immigration authorities and continues to play an essential part in the use of language assessment as a means of controlling migration rates.

  • The IELTS Life Skills test for immigration to the UK simply asks you to demonstrate your speaking and listening skills at the Common European Framework of Reference levels A1 or B1 (CEFR).

  • An IELTS overall score of 6.5 in either the General Training or Academic IELTS modules is required for immigration to New Zealand. This is required for visa applications.

  • IELTS is accepted in Canada, but you must also meet the Canadian Language Benchmarks standard.

  • The Department of Immigration and Citizenship in Australia recognizes both Vocational and Competent English.

Note: It is usually a good idea to verify with government agencies or organizations in these nations for specific language requirements and immigration scores.

Learn Important Tricks to Improve Your IELTS!

Benefits of IELTS Exam

Now that we have fairly understood why the IELTS exam is required, let us also throw some light on some of the prominent benefits of the IELTS exam for aspirants:

Helps in Getting Admission into an International University

One of the main reasons why IELTS exam is required, as mentioned above, is to study abroad. Having the IELTS qualification opens up a world of possibilities. If you desire to study at a university in countries like the UK, Canada, Australia, and others, IELTS is exactly what you need! Many major universities need this English language test as part of the admissions process, and the score you'll need varies on which university you want to attend.

Great to Kickstart your Career Abroad

The IELTS qualification, being the world's most popular English language proficiency test, is recognized globally and approved by over 11,000 organisations in over 140 countries. An excellent IELTS certificate can help you reach your employment goals, whether you desire to work for a multinational corporation, in education, or in government.


The IELTS test exam evaluates candidates on hearing, speaking, reading, and writing skills, and because the test is so demanding, you may be confident that your scores are an accurate picture of your English language skills.

Covers Both American and British English

There are some distinctions between American and British English, as we all know, and depending on your reasons for taking an English language test, you may need to know one more than the other. Fortunately, the IELTS test covers both American and British English, so no matter where you use your English, the English you learn for your IELTS test will be beneficial.

Great for Improving English Language Skills

The IELTS exam is also beneficial for improving your English language skills and vocabulary. Via the IELTS exam and its preparation, you are opening the doors of a plethora of new opportunities and of course, great learning/understanding of the English language. The exam prepares you for real-life scenarios by honing your four English language skills: speaking, listening, reading, and writing. While preparing for the IELTS exam, you also get the chance to learn new wordsas you practice important and difficult wordsfor IELTS vocabularypreparation.

Check out these links for more helpful IELTS preparation tips:

IELTS Reading Practice Test

IELTS Essay Writing Samples

IELTS Writing Task 1

IELTS Writing Task 2

IELTS Reading Tips

IELTS Task 1 Line Charts and Graphs

Is IELTS Mandatory to Study Abroad?

If you think that you will not get your golden ticket to study abroad if you do not give the IELTS exam, then you are highly wrong. Yes! You can study abroad without the IELTS exam too.

Many universities in nations such as Germany, the United States, and Australia provide pathway programs for students who want to pursue a course at their preferred university. Pathway programs assist students who do not complete course requirements in preparing for a variety of disciplines ranging from English to academic subjects. These programs typically last 9 to 15 months. Pathway programs will assist you in gaining admission to a university when your high school credentials are ineligible for direct admission to an undergraduate/graduate degree program.

Post knowing about why the IELTS exam is required, here are some of the prominent study abroad destinations for international students where students can study without IELTS.


If you want to study in the UK without taking IELTS, you must have an average score of 70% or higher in your 12th standard English. You should also have great communication skills in English, both written and verbal. Furthermore, many universities admit candidates provided their previous educational institution confirms that English was their language of instruction. Some of the universities in the UK that are accepting international students without IELTS are the University of Bristol, the University of Basel, the University of Geneva, London Southbank University, University of Warwick and more


Countries such as Canada have unique regulations for accepting international students who do not have IELTS. For example, if you have attended a school or lived in a place where English is the predominant language of teaching for the last four years, you do not need to provide proof of your English language proficiency. Some prominent universities in Canada that accept applicationswithout IELTS are Brandon University, University of Guelph, McGill University, University of Saskatchewan, Memorial University of Newfoundland and more.


Many Australian universities are admitting students without IELTS if they had completed a full-time course in which English was the medium of instruction or those who are ready to attend an English program or a Pathway Program before the start of the course. The universities in Australia offering admission withoutIELTSare Bond University, Swinburne University of Technology, The University of South Australia, The University of Southern Queensland, The University of Queensland, The University of Adelaide and more.


Few universities in the USA admit overseas students without requiring English competency tests. Students who have completed a year of full-time study at any US institution, for example, are exempt from satisfying the conditions for qualifying via IELTS. Aside from that, many colleges in the USA provide Pathway Programs to students who do not meet the English language requirements. Some of the universities where you can study without IELTS are California State University, Los Angeles, University of North Alabama, Northwood University, University of Dayton, Drexel University, University of Colorado Boulder and more.


European countries, such as Germany, also allow international students to apply to their universities without taking the IELTS. If you have great communication skills and can demonstrate your former education was completed solely in English, you can avoid taking IELTS. The universities where you can study without IELTS in Germany are the University of Freiburg, University of Siegen, University of Bayreuth, Free University of Berlin, University of Kiel and more.

We hope that after analyzing why the IELTS exam is required, its benefits, and various alternatives to taking the IELTS exam, you will be able to make the best decision for yourself based on your future goals and objectives. If you intend to study abroad, your decision to take IELTS will be influenced by the country in which you wish to study as well as the university's eligibility requirements for your chosen program. On the other hand, if you intend to work and immigrate, you will be needed to demonstrate your English language proficiency through the IELTS exam.

Need any help with whether to give IELTS exam or not? Write to us at abroad@collegedekho.com and our counsellors will be happy to help you!

Get Personalised IELTS Prep Tips from Experts!


Can I get an IELTS certificate without giving the exam?

No, you can not or must not get an IELTS certificate without giving the exam. Obtaining an IELTS certificate without taking the exam is actually illegal and unethical. The ramifications might be severe, affecting both your reputation and your future. You may also face criminal charges for purchasing the forged certificate.

How many students take IELTS every year in India?

The number of students that take IELTS is around 1.3 to 1.4 million (estimated figure) every year. These aspirants take the IELTS exam for various reasons such as to study, work or migrate to countries like the UK, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and more, where English is a native or official language. 

What is the purpose of the IELTS test? Or Why IELTS exam is required?

As discussed in the above article in detail, the main purpose of the IELTS exam (or International English Language Testing System) is to assist you in working, studying, or migrating to a country where English is the native language. This covers Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK, USA, and more.

Why is IELTS mandatory?

The IELTS exam is mandatory if you are planning to work, study or migrate to a country where English is the native language as universities, employers, global conglomerates and multinationals require proof of English language proficiency when they offer you (non-native English speaker) admission to their university or employment. As a result, the IELTS exam becomes a requirement for such applicants.

Can I get a job after the IELTS exam?

After your IELTS exam, you will have access to a wide range of professional prospects in English-speaking nations. There are many different professional bodies that ask for an IELTS score for registration in the industry. Teaching, medicine, law, management, and engineering are only a few examples to highlight.

How much does the IELTS exam cost in India?

The cost of different types of IELTS exam in India is mentioned below: 

  • Computer-delivered IELTS: INR 15,500

  • Computer-delivered IELTS for UKVI: INR 15,750

  • IELTS Life Skills (A1 and B1): INR 14,600

  • IELTS for UK Visas and Immigration: INR 15,700

  • Pen and paper-based IELTS: INR 15,500

How many times can I take the IELTS exam?

The IELTS exam can be taken as many times as you want. There is no limit that has been set for you to take the IELTS exam. You can take the exam whenever there is a requirement or need and utilise the preferred test result. However, we strongly advise you to undertake more preparation before taking the IELTS exam again.

What is the minimum age limit for the IELTS exam?

The minimum age limit for the IELTS exam for aspirants who wish to study, work or migrate abroad in countries like the UK, the USA, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and more is 16 years. You can not be less than 16 years of age to give any type of IELTS exam.

Why do students end up getting lower IELTS band scores?

It is true that sometimes students do end up getting lower IELTS band scores than what they expect. This may be due to a lack of planning and preparedness or it can also happen when people underestimate the test's length, complexity, and difficulty. Most individuals believe it is simple, and as a result, they fail or have inferior bands.

Is IELTS valid for 3 years now?

No, the ILETS exam is not valid for 3 years. It is still valid for only 2 years from the date of the exam. Also, the result date will not play any role in the validity of IELTS. It is further notable that the validity of IELTS remains 2 years every year although IELTS validity in Australia may be three years for skilled migration.

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