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IELTS test types

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is the world’s most popular high-stakes English language proficiency test for study, work and migration, with more than three million tests taken in the past year.

The test content for IELTS is developed by an international team of experts and undergoes extensive research to ensure the test remains fair and unbiased for any candidate regardless of nationality, background, gender, lifestyle or location.

There are two types of IELTS test:

  • IELTS Academic:  It is taken by students who wish to enrol for undergraduate or postgraduate courses in universities and colleges in an English-speaking country.
  • IELTS General Training: This is meant for those who are applying for secondary education, professionals seeking work experience and people seeking immigration in some countries like Canada, New Zealand, Australia and the UK.

You can take IELTS Academic or IELTS General Training, depending on the university or college you are applying to and your plans for the future.

IELTS for UKVI

If you need to study/move to the UK, you need to give an IELTS test approved for UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) purposes known as IELTS for UKVI. This applies to everyone coming from a non-English speaking country.

While there is no change in the content, format or level of difficulty and scoring, IELTS for UKVI simply follows certain extra security protocols to ensure the authenticity of the exam taker. Also, your Test Report Form or TRF may also look slightly different from the regular IELTS one.

The following IELTS tests are on the list:

  • IELTS for UKVI – Academic
  • IELTS for UKVI – General Training
  • IELTS Life Skills A1, A2 and B1 (confirm for A2)

IELTS Life Skills is a test for those who need to prove their English speaking and listening skills to acquire a UK VISA, and is available at Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) levels A1 and B1. It is designed to meet the requirements of UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) for certain visa categories and other immigration purposes.

  • IELTS Life Skills A1: If you are applying for a ‘family of a settled person’ visa
  • IELTS Life Skills B1: If you are applying for a ‘indefinite leave to remain or citizenship' visa

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