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IELTS Exam UK

Candidates planning to move to the UK for academic or professional purposes need to appear for (UK Immigration and Visa) UKVI IELTS.

The IELTS exam UK is one of the Secure English language Tests (SELT), accepted by the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) as proof of English proficiency for those wishing to live, work, and study in the UK. 

Quick Fact

  • Do you know there there are three types of IELTS exams?
  • How are they different from one another?
  • What are the requirements for taking the IELTS test?
  • Which IELTS exam do you need to take?
  • The answers to these questions can be found in this blog. The UK has three IELTS exams that serve different purposes: Academic, IELTS General Training, and IELTS Life Skills.

    In this blog, we will be describing everything you need to know about the IELTS Exam UK.

    What is the IELTS for the UK?

    The IELTS for the UK is UKVI IELTS - UK Visa and Immigration IELTS. This test assesses English language abilities among candidates for UK visa and immigration purposes. The UKVI IELTS is structured similar to the normal IELTS, with four sections: reading, writing, listening and speaking. These are comparable in content, format, difficulty level, and scoring system. The sole difference between ordinary IELTS and IELTS for the UK is that the UK government approves the latter for work, study, or migration to the UK. It also meets specific administrative needs unique to UK Visas and Immigration.

    In addition, depending on the demand, there are three types of examinations within UKVI IELTS (IELTS Academic, General Training, and IELTS Life Skills).

    Why is IELTS Required to Study in the UK?

    All candidates from non-native English-speaking countries must appear for IELTS to study in the UK. It is to ensure that you have all the skills required for a successful application to a university. As the medium of instruction in all the UK universities is English, candidates moving to study here must demonstrate a decent level of spoken and written English to support their application, which can be done via the IELTS exam. To study in the UK, you need a Tier 4 Visa, which can only be obtained if you meet the English proficiency standard set by your university.

    Which IELTS Exam is for the UK?

    There are three IELTS exams for the UK - IELTS Academic, IELTS General Training, and IELTS Life Skills. The UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) accepts all these exams as proof of English proficiency for those looking to live, work, and study in the UK.

    IELTS Life Skills

    IELTS Life Skills is a UK government-approved Secure English Language Test (SELT) offered by IELTS Partners. This test helps candidates prove their proficiency in English speaking and listening skills at the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

    There are 3-levels of the IELTS Life Skills test:

    • IELTS Life Skills – A1 Speaking and Listening
    • IELTS Life Skills – A2 Speaking and Listening (offered in the UK only)
    • IELTS Life Skills – B1 Speaking and Listening.

    Test results are typically available within seven days of the test. The test results are in Pass/Fail format. A failed result means that you have not cleared the exam, and it cannot be used for your visa application.

    IELTS Requirement for the UK

    As an international student, you need to submit your proficiency in the English language to get admission to a UK university. It can be done by taking the IELTS Academic test. The language requirements vary depending on the university and course. To study in the UK, you will need a Tier 4 Visa, which can be obtained only if you meet the English proficiency criterion set by your university.

    To Study in the UK, the basic requirements are listed below.

    Level (Courses)

    English Requirement

    University Foundation

    IELTS 4.5 (4.0+ in all skills)

    Bachelor’s Degree

    IELTS 6.5 (6.0+ in all skills)

    Pre-Master’s

    IELTS 5.0 (5.0+ in all skills)

    Master’s Degree

    IELTS 6.5 (6.0+ in all skills)

    These are the general scores and can vary depending on the university and course.

    IELTS Requirements for UK's Top 10 Universities

    Universities in the UK have excellent reputations, so they expect the same from their candidates. The IELTS requirements for UK universities are strict. Students must be proficient in English to study at any prestigious UK university.

    Here are UK's top 10 universities as per the Times Higher Education (THE) World Rankings and their IELTS requirements.

    Rank

    University

    Global Rank

    IELTS minimum requirement (Undergraduate programs)

    IELTS minimum requirement (Postgraduate programs)

    1

    University of Oxford

    1

    7

    7.5

    2

    University of Cambridge

    5

    7.5

    7

    3

    Imperial College London

    12

    6.5

    6.5

    4

    University College London (UCL)

    18

    6.5

    6.5

    5

    London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

    27

    7

    7

    6

    University of Edinburgh

    30

    6.5

    6.5

    7

    King’s College London

    35

    7.5

    7.5

    8

    University of Manchester

    50

    6

    6

    9

    University of Warwick

    78

    6

    6.5

    10

    University of Glasgow

    86

    6.5

    6.5

    IELTS Requirement for UG Courses in the UK

    To get admission at an Undergraduate level to any UK university, the minimum IELTS requirement is a band of 6.5 or more. However, the requirements are a bit stringent if you wish to study at a top UK university.

    Here is a list of top UK universities and their IELTS requirements.

    University Name

    Minimum IELTS Score

    University of Oxford

    7.0

    London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

    7.0

    University of Cambridge

    7.5

    Imperial College London

    6.5

    University of St Andrews

    6.5

    Loughborough University

    6.5

    University College London (UCL)

    6.5

    University of Warwick

    6.0

    University of Bath

    7.0

    University of Glasgow

    6.5

    University of Birmingham

    6.0

    IELTS Requirement for Master's Courses in the UK

    To get admission at the Master's level in any UK university, the minimum IELTS score requirement is 6.0 or more. However, for top UK universities, you need to score at least 6.5 bands.

    Here is the list of top UK universities and their IELTS requirements at the PG level.

    University Name

    Minimum IELTS Score 

    University of Oxford

    7.5

    London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

    7.0

    University of Cambridge

    7.0

    Imperial College London

    6.5

    University of St Andrews

    6.5

    Loughborough University

    6.5

    University College London (UCL)

    6.5

    University of Warwick

    6.5

    University of Bath

    6.5

    University of Glasgow

    6.5

    University of Birmingham

    6.0

    IELTS Exam for UK Student Visa

    To pursue higher education in any UK university, students must appear for the IELTS Academic for UKVI test. This test is for applicants willing to study at the Undergraduate or Postgraduate levels in the UK or seeking professional registration in the UK. This test is the same as the regular IELTS (for all other purposes) with similar content, examiners, format, difficulty level, and scoring.

    What are the different types of IELTS for UK Visas?

    There are - types of IELTS for UK Visa, also known as IELTS for UKVI. They are given below.

    1. IELTS for UKVI Academic
    2. IELTS for UKVI General Training
    3. IELTS for UKVI Life Skills

    IELTS Academic: This test is for applicants who wish to pursue academic education at Undergraduate or Postgraduate levels or seeking professional enrolment in the UK.

    IELTS General Training: This test is for applicants willing to migrate to the UK or those aspiring to study on the below-listed degrees.

    IELTS Life Skills A1: This test is designed for students who must demonstrate their English listening and speaking skills as part of their visa and immigration application to the United Kingdom.

    IELTS Life Skills A2: This test is for applicants who need to demonstrate their English speaking and listening abilities as part of their application for a UK Visa for a Family or Partner visa extension.

    IELTS Life Skills B1: Life Skills B1 is a specific English-language test (SELT) accepted as proof of English proficiency by the United Kingdom Visa and Immigration Department. In the 22-minute examination, an examiner and another test taker assess your listening and speaking skills.

    Types of IELTS For Immigration

    If you are willing to migrate to the UK, you need to provide evidence of your proficiency in the English language by giving IELTS for the UKVI test.

    For UK migration, there are two types of tests you can take, depending on your visa:

    • IELTS General Training and IELTS Life Skills
    • IELTS General Training applies for Tier 1 and Tier 2 visas to the UK.

    If you're applying for a 'family of a settled person visa, an extension of a 'family of a settled person visa', or for indefinite leave to remain or citizenship, you need to appear for IELTS Life Skills. 

    We hope to have covered all information related to the IELTS exam for the UK. If you need more information about studying in the UK, like the cost of studying, scholarships etc., you can refer to our blogs on them.

    AECC has expert counsellors to help you with everything from researching the best universities to visa guidance. You will get detailed information, so there is no place for making mistakes. Don't hesitate to contact us for free assistance!

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