IELTS Exam Eligibility - Check Minimum Age Limit, Qualification & Score

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Aarushi Jain
Jul 02, 2022 12:23 PM IST

Overview of the IELTS Eligibility Criteria

IDP and British Council, the conducting bodies for the IELTS exam, have not set any minimum eligibility criteria. The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is a standardized test conducted to check the language proficiency of the candidates who wish to take admission to foreign universities or work/receive professional training in a number of English-speaking countries including the USA, UK, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and more. Almost all top universities such as Middlesex University Dubai, Auburn University, Harvard University, and Arizona State University accept IELTS scores.

Each university that accepts IELTS scores has its own set of admission requirements including a specific IELTS score that candidates must meet in order to get admission in their course of choice.

Having a good command of the English language can be a huge benefit when you're studying or working in an English-speaking country where the majority of colleges, universities, and educational institutions prefer the English language as a medium of communication. Understanding the language will go a long way in helping you pursue your higher studies successfully.

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IELTS Eligibility Criteria 2022

For those looking to apply for the IELTS Examination, here are some of the key highlights of IELTS Eligibility criteria:

  • There is no specific educational qualification required for a person to appear for IELTS. However, depending on the course a student wishes to pursue and the purpose of travelling abroad, students must choose to either take the IELTS Academics or IELTS General Training.

  • An applicant will be able to take the IELTS test any number of times. However, for each time that one takes the test, they will have to register and make the payment every time.

  • Candidates must be proficient in the English language in all aspects such as reading, writing, listening, and speaking. 

  • Candidates must also have a valid passport to appear in the IELTS test.

IELTS Age Limit Criteria

IELTS can be attempted by any candidate worldwide regardless of their nationality, gender, race, religion or age. There is no upper age limit to appear in the test. However, it is not recommended to be taken by any person under the age of 16 years at the time of the test.

Eligibility for IELTS Academic and IELTS General

As previously said, IELTS can be taken by anyone, regardless of age, gender, colour, nationality, or religion; however, the IELTS test is not suggested for people under the age of 16. The type of IELTS exam you must take will differ depending on your purpose of travel/goal:

Purpose of Travel/Goal

The Version of IELTS Eligible

To enrol in an academic program in a country where English is the medium of instruction and communication

IELTS Academic

For work/work-related training or to relocate to an English-speaking nation

IELTS General Training

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Minimum IELTS Score Required by Top Universities

Now that you are all familiar with the IELTS eligibility criteria for 2022, let us quickly tell you about the minimum IELTS score that aspirants need to seek admission into top universities in countries like Australia, Canada, the UK, the USA, New Zealand and more. 

Having said that, each university has its own set of requirements as well as its own set of admissions guidelines. Furthermore, each university has various IELTS eligibility standards that candidates must meet in order to be admitted. In addition, candidates must meet the additional eligibility standards established by the university or educational organization where they intend to enrol.

Before acceptance, candidates must also meet some general prerequisites. Most prestigious colleges will require a total score of at least 7.0. They also require a section or band score of at least 6.5 in each of the four sections.

IELTS Special Requirements

As previously followed, the IELTS tests can also be taken by candidates with special requirements. Students under the IELTS 2022 special requirement criteria are allowed to take the test under fair opportunities for everyone who wants to study abroad and pursue a career. People under this special category include:

  • People with difficulties in learning

  • People with a hearing impairment

  • People having a visual impairment

  • People with specific medical conditions

Those who fall under any of the conditions mentioned above are eligible to receive special arrangements at the IELTS test centres provided they inform the authorities at least three months before taking the test. The same must be approved by the authorities as well.

IELTS Indicator (Online Home Test) Requirements

IELTS Indicator is the new online IELTS test format that can be taken at home by all applicants. It was introduced due to the COVID-19 pandemic in a bid to bring some relief to students applying for admissions abroad, especially if they are not able to take the in-person IELTS test. 

Applicable for candidates from India, the candidates appearing for IELTS Indicator are needed to meet certain requirements before taking the test, which have been defined below:

  • Candidates must have a laptop or desktop computer.

  • The space or room where candidates will be attempting the test must be quiet and comfortable to avoid interruption during the test.

  • Candidates must ensure that their internet connection must be reliable.

  • The candidate must have good-quality headphones.

  • The laptop or the desktop must also include a webcam, which should be properly functional.

  • For the purpose of the test, candidates must instal Zoom applications to appear for the test.

  • Candidates must also download and install the Safe Exam Browser (SEB). 

Why Should You Take IELTS Indicator Test? 

There are many reasons why students should choose the IELTS indicator test, some of which have been mentioned below:

  • The IELTS Indicator test can be used for application purposes. Most universities and colleges abroad are allowing students to upload the IELTS Indicator score to apply for admissions in case they are not able to appear for the in-person IELTS test.

  • IELTS Indicator gives students an opportunity to analyse their abilities in English Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking section. 

  • It is an opportunity for students to take the test at home and apply for admissions abroad, especially at a time when a number of the assigned certain test centres are suspended, due to the pandemic.

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FAQs on IELTS Eligibility

Is there any educational qualification required to appear for the IELTS exam?

No, there is no educational qualification required to appear for the IELTS. However, depending upon the degree a student intends to get and the reason for visiting a foreign country, one must select between taking the IELTS Academic and the IELTS General Training or whether they wish to appear for computer-delivered test, paper-based IELTS test or IELTS Indicator (online).

What is the age limit to appear for the IELTS exam?

The administrators of the IELTS exam recommend the exam is for everyone above the age of 16. There is no age limit to appear for the IELTS examination enforced by British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge Assessment English. The IELTS examination is available to all applicants regardless of their age, gender, race, or country, however, candidates under the age of 16 are not encouraged.

What is the minimum age required to appear for the IELTS exam?

The minimum age required to appear for IELTS is 16 years. If you are attempting IELTS for immigration purposes, you must follow the guidelines related to the age defined by the respective countries. For IELTS Academic, there is no specific age defined to appear. However, only candidates above the age of 16 are recommended to appear in IELTS.

How many times can I take the IELTS?

You may retake the IELTS exam as many times as you like. You can utilise the preferred test result. However, we highly advise you to undertake more preparation before taking the exam again. It is always preferable to get expert advice on how to achieve the highest possible IELTS score. Register with us to connect with highly qualified study abroad counsellors who can help you improve your IELTS score with our individualised test-prep services.

Can a candidate with a visual impairment attempt the IELTS?

Yes, a candidate with a visual impairment can attempt IELTS. If you are blind, partially sighted, or have vision impairments, IELTS officials may assist you to take the IELTS. It may take up to six weeks for any special arrangements to be made for you. So, you should apply for such a requirement through your IELTS test centre as soon as possible.

Can a candidate with a hearing impairment appear for IELTS?

Yes, a candidate with a hearing impairment can appear for the IELTS exam. Such candidates are included under special requirements and special facilities are available for them at the IELTS test centres. Hearing-impaired people communicate in IELTS Reading using sign language.

Are there any university-specific eligibility criteria to appear for IELTS?

No, there are no university-specific eligibility criteria for candidates to appear for IELTS. For admissions, each university has its own set of prerequisites and guidelines. Furthermore, each university has its own set of IELTS Eligibility Criteria that applicants must meet in order to be considered for admission. Candidates must also meet the university's or educational institute's other qualifying conditions.

Is there an IELTS academic requirement?

No, there is no academic requirement for taking the IELTS exams. You can take any type of IELTS regardless of your overall grade point average (GPA) in 12th or equivalent. It is the test that is necessary to demonstrate your English competence in order to gain admission to a foreign university.

Which is more difficult, IELTS Academic or IELTS General?

The IELTS Academic exam examines a student's preparedness for academic English study or training. If you are migrating to an English-speaking nation, such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand, or the United Kingdom, you will have to take the IELTS General Training exam. However, IELTS Academic is known to be more difficult than the General Training version.

What percentage in Bachelors is necessary for IELTS?

There are no rules regarding the necessity of a candidate's age or percentage obtained in Bachelors. Anyone, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, nationality, or religion, is welcome to take the exam. However, it is not suggested for people under the age of 16. There is no such percentage criterion for appearing in the IELTS Exam.

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