Many standardized testing systems in the world exist that can be taken to specifically mark someone’s English proficiency level. IELTS is one of the most popular English standardized testing systems all around the world and is also the one that is broadly taken among all these tests.
IELTS is an abbreviation for the word International English Language Testing System. This is an international testing system that has some specific purposes.
Usually, people who live in countries that are not the first world ones or aren’t the most sophisticated among the others tend to go to the first world countries to get settled down for a better lifestyle or go to these sophisticated countries for study or work purpose.
No matter what their purpose is, as a first world country and being a country that has English as their native language, one has to prove their English proficiency level to the embassy of that specific country to determine their capability of surviving and studying or working there.
That’s why they need these tests and IELTS is the most common and widely accepted one among all the other tests around the world in all the English speaking countries of the world. One has to remember that the IELTS test is only applicable to those belonging to a non-native English speaking country.
IELTS was properly established and first conducted in the year of 1989 and since then it is being jointly managed and conducted by three organizations all around the world which are IDP: IELTS Australia, British Council, and Cambridge Assessment English.
According to Wikipedia, there have reportedly more than 1200 test centers found in all over the world, over 140 countries accept this test, and until the year 2017, more than three million people have taken the test.
IELTS can be both paper-based and computer-based. There are two main types of IELTS. These are- the Academic IELTS and General Training IELTS.
UKVI IELTS is also a type of IELTS that has been established especially for and by the UKVI or the United Kingdom Visa & Immigration and is specifically accepted by them and also tends to meet the requirements of Immigration to Australia.
There has another recent IELTS test that has been offered in the year of 2015 and is also a test specifically dedicated to the UKVI which is the IELTS Life Skills test. Usually, every IELTS test has four modules except the IELTS Life Skills.
These modules are- Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing. In IELTS Life Skills, it only covers the Listening and the speaking modules.
Why Do You Need IELTS?
IELTS is a standardized English test that is the most popular among all the other English proficiency tests around the whole world.
Behind taking an IELTS, there can be a lot of purposes. Some people take the IELTS preparation classes and take the test when they are done preparing themselves just to accelerate their English proficiency game to do better in their regular academics.
Some people take the test keeping this fact in the back of their minds that English is an international language and so, this preparation and test will never go in vain and they will be benefited from it one way or another. There are some very common and personal reasons as to why someone might take the test.
But the professional purpose behind taking the test cannot be these personal reasons. Rather, people take these tests for some very specific professional purposes.
Each year, a big number of people belonging to poor, developing, and underdeveloped countries tend to move out to the first world sophisticated countries (which are also the countries that have English as their native language) with the hope of settling down there to have a better life, or simply just go there for better higher education opportunities and work opportunities to earn a handsome amount of money.
All these purposes require them to prove that they can survive in the country and by properly communicating with the people which require some basic fluency and proficiency skills in English.
The embassies of the English speaking countries require some specific tests that prove their English proficiency level (mostly they require IELTS). The IELTS test certificate and required band score is a condition that you have to fulfill to pass this stage. Without proving your proficiency in IELTS, you certainly are not eligible to apply for the visas in these countries.
There are no failing marks in IELTS. The band score starts from the Band1 non-users and ends to Band9 the expert users. Each of your purposes will require a different type of IELTS and will have different band score requirements both overall and individually.
Which IELTS does your purpose require?
If you’re planning for applying abroad and you are halfway through researching the procedure, by this time, you should already know what is IELTS, why it is a necessity, and how many types of IELTS are out there.
Now, if you’re a beginner and completely a newbie in this field, you might be wondering what type of IELTS is the right one for you to take keeping your purpose of applying abroad on the back of your mind. So, here we are to your rescue!
If you are someone who wants to migrate to a first world English speaking country, you might need to take the IELTS General Training. And if the country is the United Kingdom (also applicable to some extent for Australia), then for this purpose you might be needing the IELTS Life Skills test.
If you are willing to apply to any English speaking first world countries due to any professional or work purpose, you might be needing the General Training IELTS and the IELTS Life Skills test if the country is the UK or Australia.
Now, here comes the IELTS that we would be helping you to get prepared for as this purpose perfectly fits our work type as we work with the student applications.
So, if you are willing to go abroad for your higher education and get a degree from countries like the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, etc. or any other first world English speaking countries, you might be needing the Academic IELTS only, and if the country is the United Kingdom where you are applying for, then you may give the UKVI IELTS.
UKVI IELTS is not something that we would recommend all of you to take as it serves a specific purpose and almost everywhere there UKVI IELTS is required, they also accept normal or the ordinary IELTS.
Then, you might be wondering why it is even created and what purpose does this IELTS specifically serve. Well, the UKVI IELTS is the United Kingdom Visa & Immigration approved IELTS which has some certain differences between them and the normal academic IELTS tests.
The UKVI IELTS is a requirement for most of the universities situated in the United Kingdom and somewhat holds the same values as Academic IELTS.
The modules, the question patterns, the test patterns, scorings, formats, difficulty levels, etc. all are completely the same as an Academic IELTS.
The only slight differences between an IELTS and a UKVI IELTS are, one- the UKVI IELTS can only be given in centers that are UKVI or the UK Home Office approved, and two- the UKVI IELTS test report will have slight differences with the usual IELTS.
You might be thinking, then who would we suggest to take the UKVI IELTS? Certainly, those who have an aim to apply to any university that is situated in any country of the United Kingdom may take the UKVI IELTS test.
Even though the universities might accept IELTS too but still you should go for the UKVI one in this case.
Why? Simply because being the only one IELTS accepted by and created for the UKVI or British Home Office, it has some extra values that count. For example- if you take IELTS and you could not score the required band, you may have to sit for another IELTS.
But if you’ve sat for the UKVI IELTS and could not score the required band but are close to it, you may still have a chance to go to the UK in your preferred subject along with a presessional English course. This is the perk of sitting for a UKVI IELTS in terms of applying to the UK for higher studies.
Other than that, you may also get some other benefits like the ones who want to apply for foundation courses do not have any options to apply with an IELTS, but they can surely apply with a UKVI IELTS.
Popular IELTS Alternatives
Anyone eager to know about the alternative options for the traditional IELTS, this is a note to all of you that you have to keep in your mind that the acceptance of the below tests may vary from university to university as well as country to country.
So, before enrolling or registering yourself for any of these tests, make sure you know what your targeted university has in the requirements.
It has been seen to be a very popular choice for people who cannot access traditional IELTS due to some difficulties. This specific test is online-based and does not require to get registered days or months ago or to book any seats before the test.
Everything can be done easily within one hour and can be submitted online instantly. The test reports are supposed to be certified and given within 48 hours of the test.
This is specifically accepted by most of the prominent universities in the UK these days and is also accepted by around 140 institutions in Canada.
TOEFL has been a very common choice for people wanting to apply to Canada for the past few decades. It is said to be taken in a different pattern than the IELTS and does not also match with the marking criteria as the IELTS.
It does not have any individual or separate bands but has an overall score point which is 120, including the four sections of the test.
This test can be both an IBT (Internet-based test) and a PBT (Paper-based test). Both of these types have different patterns. This test takes around 6 days to give out the results.
3. PTE Pearson
This is a test that has a reputation of being an easier version of the English standardized testing systems when it comes to the marking or scoring.
It is a very sophisticated test to judge the efficiency of non-native English speakers and is widely accepted by a bunch of first world country universities. It is also an online-based testing system.
This has to be booked within at least 24 hours of the test time and the results are out within 48 hours after the test has been taken.
• Internal Tests
Here, we are not talking about any specific alternative tests like the previous ones. Rather, it is a type of test that can be used as an alternative but is not managed or conducted by one specific organization’s body.
Usually, very few universities in the UK have the authority to assess their international students’ English proficiency by their English department or very own team if the students haven’t taken IELTS or any other required tests.
These tests are usually conducted online but can also be conducted on spot from the home country of the students by the international officer of that specific university. These tests tend to copy every basic rule and marking criteria of the traditional IELTS.
The universities have to be UKVI approved to have this ability to provide this type of Internal test. The tests are usually called Internal English Assessment Tests or IEAT. But keep in your mind that this test is only applicable for that specific university that’s taking the test.
If any student took any IEAT from any UKVI listed university and later on chose to go to any other university for some reasons, he/she has to go through IELTS or any other alternative tests as he/she is not eligible to apply to any other university with that test that he/she has taken from another university.
The time duration for the results to out completely depend on the individual universities and their English departments. You must have a conditional offer letter from that university to get yourself enrolled for their internal English test.