IELTS for visa applications
The 2 main reasons students take the IELTS test are to study or to work abroad, usually in an English-speaking country. The IELTS test is a very useful and efficient way to test candidates’ level of English for both purposes in order to issue a visa.
It is a good idea to check all the requirements first, then do a level test and finally start preparing for your IELTS test. Remember that ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’ so don’t expect to go from band 4 to 7 in a week so you can move to the UK next month.
A lot of our students want to study in the UK, Australia, the US or Canada and to do that, they need to get the right IELTS score. To do a degree, universities often ask for band 5.5 or above, which is a low B2 level. And many want you to have 5.5-6 in each skill so if your writing is weak and you only get band 4.5, you might have to take the test again. There are some universities that may only ask for band 5 or possibly lower but not many, and they may not be as good as ones that want 5.5 or 6. Always check the university rankings.
If you fail to get band 5-6, another option is to do a 1-year foundation course or university preparation course. You may get accepted with just band 4 but then you will spend a year getting ready for your degree and hopefully get the required IELTS band at the end.
For post-graduate courses such as Masters degrees or Research programmes, the IELTS requirements will be higher - around 6.5 overall and often with a minimum of 6 in each skill. Again, it is very important to consult the university where you want to study to find out what the exact requirement is.
Visa requirements are either B1 (IELTS 4-5) or C1 (IELTS 7-8). It depends on why you need it and/or which profession you work in. The more demanding the reason, the higher the level you need. For example, you will need B1 for a general visa, a graduate visa, an entrepreneur visa or an exceptional talent visa. However, governments ask for C1 for the top level general visa.
Always check. Contact the university or the company you are applying to. Ask them what level they demand and then find out from your nearest IELTS test centre when you can take the test. Also be realistic about how long it will take to prepare for the test so that you can get your desired results the first or second time. Many of our students come to us after failing IELTS 4 or 5 times or even more because they did not have the right training and then miss out on a year or two of university or work. Study with iPass IELTS to avoid wasting time and money and to get the band scores you need faster.