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IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is the world’s most popular English language test. Last year, more than 2.9 million IELTS tests were taken globally.

Taking IELTS opens doors – it can help you live, study and work around the world. More than 10,000 organisations worldwide accept IELTS, including government, academic and employment institutions. In fact, IELTS is the only English language test accepted for immigration purposes by all countries that require one.

The IELTS test is designed to help you use English in your new life abroad. In less than three hours, it will assess all of your English skills: listening, reading, writing and speaking.

The most effective way of testing your English conversation skills is face-to-face. IELTS is the most widely accepted English language test with a one-on-one speaking test to assess your English language communication skills. 

Designed by experts in English language assessment and trusted around the world, you can be sure that IELTS will give a fair and consistent assessment of your English skills.   

On 6 April 2015, the UK Home Office made changes to the Secure English Language Tests (SELT) required by some Tier 4 visa applicants. We encourage you to check the full text and FAQ here

If you are applying for a visa to move to or remain in the UK,  there’s an IELTS test for you. You can find more information in our IELTS for UK Visas and Immigration section.


Why take IELTS with the British Council?

The British Council has more than 75 years’ experience teaching and testing English. We have helped people in more than 130 countries gain English language qualifications that help them make the most of their chances in life. That’s a lot of experience, and it means that if you take an English language test with us, you can be confident that you’ll be well looked after.

Here are just a few reasons why millions of people have taken IELTS with the British Council:  

  • Expert support: from videos and books to online interactive courses, you have access to the best preparation materials to help you do well in your test
  • Free resources: Road to IELTS is the British Council’s popular online preparation course. When you register for an IELTS test with us you also get access to up to 30 hours of free training.
  • Convenient dates and locations: we have more test locations nationwide. This means that you have a huge range of options for where and when you can take your test. 
  • Easy booking: You can book your IELTS test online and take advantage of flexible payment options.
  • Fast results: We guarantee you will be able to see your results online within just 13 days of the date you take your test.

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