Top Countries to Study Bachelors, Masters, and MBA Abroad Without IELTS

By Mrunmayai Bobade Updated On - Jul 04, 2022 10:47 PM

Planning to study abroad without taking IELTS? Certain universities give admissions to international students without taking IELTS test scores into account. Read on to discover top countries where you can study without IELTS and also read about the alternatives for the IELTS exam.

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If you search the web about studying abroad, the first and foremost requirement that pops up is the IELTS scores. In contrast, you may have heard of students who were accepted into institutions without having taken the IELTS exam. Thus, many students begin to wonder: is it possible for students to study abroad without IELTS scores?

The major English-speaking countries like the US, the UK, Australia, and Canada generally do not compromise on IELTS scores requirement. Again, the score requirement and cut-off for each country and institution vary. While some universities and institutes ask for high scores in the IELTS exam for certain courses, on the other hand, the score requirements are much lesser in other institutes. 

Although language proficiency test results are considered the most important criterion for admission to premium universities, certain institutions give admission without taking language proficiency test scores into account. If students want to study abroad without taking the IELTS exam, they should research the requirements of universities in different countries.

Is It Possible to Study Abroad without IELTS? 

Yes, it is possible to study abroad without an IELTS score! Students wanting to study at an international university are usually required to take language proficiency tests. These tests assess their ability to read, write, speak, and understand the English language, with a passing score being the bare minimum. Each school or institution has its own predetermined set of acceptable scores that must be submitted with the application. 

It can be challenging for non-native English speakers to achieve satisfactory grades. Taking these assessments regularly not only impacts the student's motivation but also adds to the study abroad budget.

While many universities use language competency tests as a criterion for admission, many others allow international students to study without taking them. For such cases, another route for students is Pathway programmes.

Our well-versed study abroad consultants have assisted numerous Indian students to study abroad without taking the IELTS exam. As of now, many of our counselee students are studying at prestigious universities abroad.

Unable to Decide an Ideal Country to Study Abroad Without IELTS?  

What are Pathway Programmes? 

Pathway programmes are educational programmes designed to help international students obtain specific skills, knowledge, and qualifications to gain entry into their desired course. These programmes assist students who lack the essential requirements to enrol in a bachelor's or master's programme. Pathway programmes are available in many countries, including Canada and Australia, to help international students meet course requirements.

These programmes are one year long but no separate diploma or certificate is awarded in the end. Pathway programmes provide the opportunity to study English as a second language at a university without the need to take language tests. The focus is mostly on academic language, which will assist students in developing good English language abilities.

If a student does not want to enrol in a Pathway programme, they can enrol in an institution that does not require any language competence scores. Let us have a look at several countries where international students can study without having to take the IELTS exam.

Study in US Without IELTS

Several universities in the US allow international students without requiring them to take English proficiency tests. Students who have completed a full year of full-time study at any US university are excluded from submitting the IELTS scores. The State University of New York, for example, admits students who have completed the Intensive English Language Program (IELP).

Students who do not meet the English language requirements can also enrol in Pace University's Pathways Program. Apart from that, students can apply to the New York Institute of Technology without having to pass the IELTS, but they must meet the admission criteria required by the university. Check out how to study in the USA without IELTS for more information.

Study in UK Without IELTS

If students want to study abroad without taking IELTS, they must have a twelfth-grade score of 70% or higher. They should be able to communicate effectively in English, both verbally and in writing. Leading universities such as Sheffield Hallam University, Birmingham City University, and the University of Warwick accept students without regard to their IELTS scores.

UK universities accept applicants without an IELTS score if they have scored 90-95% in core English in Class 12. For this, they also require a signed letter/affidavit from the education institution (school).

For postgraduate applicants as well, the college/university should issue a letter stating that the student has studied in English during the entire course duration or that the course was administered in the English language.

For more information on this, check out study in the UK without IELTS and its alternatives.

Study in Australia Without IELTS

If you meet specific qualifications, such as English as a secondary school subject, most universities in Australia will disregard IELTS requirements. However, it may differ according to which a candidate is applying. If you do not have IELTS, some universities would demand you to take alternative tests like PTE or CAE.

Students can also enrol in English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS). It is a programme designed for international students who require English language instruction before beginning higher-level courses in Australia. In terms of options, you can study anywhere in the country, from Queensland to New South Wales, so finding a suitable institution should not be difficult.

Learn about how to apply to Australian universities without IELTS.

Study in Canada Without IELTS

Many universities in Canada have their own rules for accepting international students who do not have an IELTS score. For example, if a student attended a school or resided in an area where English is the major language of teaching for the past four or more years, they do not need to provide proof of language competency.

Some universities, including Concordia University, Brock University, and Memorial University, admit students without IELTS scores. However, students must meet certain criteria set by the university to fulfil language requirements. Check out the process to apply to Canadian universities without IELTS.

Study in Germany Without IELTS

To study in Germany, a student usually does not need IELTS to apply to universities if their school can offer an MOI certificate. A Medium of Instruction Certificate (MOI) is a document that specifies the language in which a student has received their bachelor's degree. This document proves that the class is taught in English (which is sometimes required for master's degree students).

In a general sense, a student does not need an IELTS score to study in German, but they must demonstrate a solid command of the German language. German language proficiency is important for admission to German universities. Students can submit language test scores for DSH, GDH, DSD, or TestDaF to fulfil this criterion.

Check this article to know about studying in Germany without IELTS scores.

Study in New Zealand Without IELTS

Many institutes in New Zealand do not require IELTS from international students. However, students may be required to provide a letter from their school stating that English was their primary study language.

Several Universities in New Zealand accept English Proficiency Tests like TOFEL, PTE, Duolingo, etc. apart from IELTS. Thus, international students can submit these test scores to their prefered university and meet the admission requirements. Browse through New Zealand universities that offer admission without IELTS for more information.

Alternatives to Study Abroad Without IELTS

Universities abroad provide a variety of options for evaluating English proficiency for students who want to study abroad without taking the IELTS exam. Here is a full list of possibilities to pick from:

  • Some universities waive English language competence assessments for students whose first language is English or who have lived or studied in a country where English is the official language

  • Students who have studied in an institution where the major language of instruction was English for at least four years of studies.

  • Students with strong communication and soft skills are also excluded from giving IELTS results. To determine this, universities may ask for a separate assessment.

  • Apart from IELTS, a majority of universities accept these alternative English proficiency test scores:

  • Duolingo English Test (DET)

  • Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT)

  • Pearson Test of English (PET)

  • American College Testing (ACT)

  • Cambridge Advanced Exam (CAE)

  • Advanced Placement (AP) subject test

You might also want to learn about the other popular study destinations that offer admissions to international applicants without IELTS. Refer to such options below:

Study in France Without IELTS

Study in Ireland Without IELTS

Study in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Without IELTS

MBA from Abroad Without IELTS

One of the most popular courses for earning a master's degree abroad is MBA, whether a student is from management, engineering, event management, media, or any other sector. 

English proficiency test score is one of the major requirements for admission to top B-schools. Apart from work experience, the majority of the top universities abroad require a high overall band score in IELTS. However, there are a few universities that accept students without an IELTS score. 

MBA programmes without IELTS are available in countries such as Canada, the UK, and the US.

Study MBA in Canada Without IELTS

Canada offers students a wide range of possibilities when it comes to earning an MBA degree. Canada also offers a diverse environment, a straightforward immigration process, high-paying job possibilities, and a straightforward road to permanent residency (PR) and citizenship. The following are the Canadian universities that allow international students to study MBA without taking the IELTS exam.

Study MBA in UK Without IELTS

Quality education, world-class infrastructure, a century of tradition, and a global reputation are just a few of the compelling reasons to study for your MBA in the UK. A student’s CV stands out from the crowd if they receive an MBA award from the UK. The following are the universities in the UK that allow international students to study MBA without taking the IELTS exam.

  • University of Warwick

  • University of Bolton

  • Birmingham City University

  • Northumbria University

  • University of Bristol

Study MBA in the US Without IELTS

Practical industry experience is one of the most compelling reasons to pursue an MBA. US colleges place a strong focus on experiential learning through internships, co-ops, and other training programmes that allow students to connect with industry leaders and prepare them for future problems. The following are the universities in the US that allow international students to study MBA without taking the IELTS exam.

Application Tips Before Applying Without IELTS

Before applying to a particular university, it is critical to conduct a thorough study of admission requirements as well as English Proficiency tests. Here are a few things to consider if you are planning to study abroad without IELTS.

  • Before applying to universities, make sure you have all of the documents necessary to meet the language requirements and pass the admissions process. 

  • College or school transcripts declaring that English is the medium of instruction are required.

  • Candidates who do not have an IELTS score but want to study abroad must show proof of school certificates confirming that they studied English as a core subject from Grade 8 to Grade 12.

  • Some universities may ask students to complete an Intensive English Language Programme (IELP).

It is possible to get into a university without taking the IELTS. There are various universities throughout the world that offer alternatives to English proficiency test scores. Also, there are a bundle of IELTS alternatives to study abroad where candidates can apply to and say sayonara to the IELTS exam.

As a non-native speaker of English, if you are finding it difficult to prepare for your IELTS exam or other exams like TOEFL, SAT, or ACT then our study abroad experts can help you with your preparation. Reach out to us at

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