Thursday 3 May 2018, 08.00 - 09.15

The original purpose of IELTS General Training was to cater for adults seeking training or vocational opportunities in the medium of English. However, recent years have seen a significant growth in the use of IELTS General Training primarily for immigration purposes. This session examines current immigration requirements and explores the extent to which IELTS can satisfy these. We consider what impact increased government interest and input has had on the evolution of IELTS.  

We begin with an overview of the requirements of immigration authorities for a language test for applicants seeking admission to English-speaking countries. We then report on several studies commissioned by IELTS partners to look at the suitability of the IELTS General Training for immigration purposes and the recommendations for changes to the test to make it more appropriate for immigration and work context use.  

We will also explore the premise that due to the increasing use of IELTS General Training for immigration purposes by governments - and their input into the context and design of the questions - the test has evolved over time into a more appropriate test for social settings of work and integration to an English speaking country.


  • Justin Rodford, Partnership Manager, Cambridge Assessment English, UK (Chair) 
  • Stéphanie Béthencourt, Stakeholder Engagement Officer – IELTS, IDP Education, Australia
  • Dr Ardeshir Geranpayeh, Head of Automated Assessment & Learning, Cambridge Assessment English, UK
  • Mina Patel, Assessment Research Project Manager, British Council, Malaysia