Record two million IELTS tests taken in the last 12 months

Tuesday 28 May 2013

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) reinforces its position as the world’s most popular English proficiency test for higher education and global migration, with a record of two million tests taken around the world in the last 12 months.

The two million test figure represents 11% growth in the number of tests taken in the last 12 months and marks the eighteenth year of consecutive growth in IELTS test numbers.

The growth in test numbers also reflects the strong growth in the number of organizations turning to IELTS to meet their needs for language proficiency assessment. IELTS is now accepted by more than 8,000 educational institutions, employers, professional associations and governments in 135 countries around the world – including over 3,000 institutions and programs in the USA.

Making the announcement from the IELTS booth at the NAFSA conference in St. Louis, Missouri, Zach Johnson, CEO at IELTS USA said “Of the two million tests, the numbers of people taking IELTS to go to the US continues to grow and all of the Top 25 US universities accepting foreign students accept IELTS as proof of English proficiency.”

Globally, the demand for IELTS in countries such as China, India, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Turkey has remained high, with students taking the test for entry to educational institutions in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and USA, among many other destinations.

John Gildea, Head of IELTS at the British Council says “The phenomenal growth we’ve seen around the world is testament to the popularity of the test with test takers – and the organisations that trust IELTS scores as an accurate indicator of a person’s ability to communicate in English”

John Belleville, Head of IELTS at IDP IELTS adds “IELTS is maintaining its position as the most secure high-stakes English proficiency test available, and is available to people in more than 900 locations around the world.”

IELTS is jointly owned by the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge English Language Assessment.

Notes to Editor

For more information, please contact Nisha Pawar in the British Council Press Office on +44 (0)207 389 4967 or nisha.pawar@britishcouncil.org  

International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

IELTS is the International English Language Testing System, the world’s most popular English language proficiency test with two million tests taken in the last year. Over 8,000 organizations trust and accept IELTS as a secure, valid and reliable indicator of true to life ability to communicate in English for education, immigration and professional accreditation. IELTS is jointly owned by British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge English Language Assessment. 

IDP: IELTS Australia, a subsidiary of IDP Education, is one of the world’s leading international education organizations offering student placement in Australia, the USA and the UK. IDP Education has 40 years’ experience in international higher education, placing more than 32,000 students every year.

Cambridge English Language Assessment is the world's leading provider of exams for learners of English. Each year the exams are taken by more than 4 million people, in 135 countries.

IELTS USA is the U.S. division of IELTS located in Los Angeles, CA, responsible for U.S. stakeholder relations, as well as the management and delivery of the IELTS test centre network throughout the USA.

About the test

Candidates are tested in listening, reading, writing and speaking. All tests are scored on a banded system from 1 (the lowest) through to 9 (the highest possible band score).

IELTS offers a choice of two versions, to serve both academic and non-academic purposes. IELTS Academic measures English language proficiency needed for an academic, higher learning environment. The tasks and texts are accessible to all test-takers, irrespective of their subject focus. IELTS General Training measures English language proficiency in a practical, everyday context. The tasks and texts reflect both workplace and social situations. General Training is suitable for immigration purposes to Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

A sample of government and professional associations who recognize or require applicants to hold an IELTS test result include:

  • Citizenship and Immigration Canada
  • Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC)
  • UK Home Office – Border Agency (UKBA)
  • Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools and National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN), USA
  • International Monetary Fund

About the British Council

The British Council creates international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and builds trust between them worldwide. We are a Royal Charter charity, established as the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations.

We work in more than 100 countries, and our 7000 staff – including 2000 teachers – work with thousands of professionals and policy makers and millions of young people every year through English, arts, education and society programmes.

We earn over 75% of our annual turnover of £739 million from services which customers pay for, education and development contracts we bid for and from partnerships. A UK Government grant provides the remaining 25%.  We match every £1 of core public funding with over £3 earned in pursuit of our charitable purpose.

For more information, please visit: http://www.britishcouncil.org/. You can also keep in touch with the British Council through http://twitter.com/britishcouncil and http://blog.britishcouncil.org