What is an IELTS for UKVI test?

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) measures English language ability and uses a nine-band scale from low (band score 1) to high (band score 9).

There are a number of different IELTS tests available. Students wishing to use an IELTS test to demonstrate their English language ability need to use the IELTS Academic test. However, international students on some university courses will require a UK government-approved Secure English Language Test (SELT), and the IELTS for UKVI test is recognised as a SELT.

Do I need to take an IELTS for UKVI test?

If you meet all of the following criteria then you must take an IELTS for UKVI test:

  • You will be studying on a Tier 4 visa
  • You are studying a course that is below degree level. This includes:
    • Pre-sessional English courses
    • Foundation courses below RFQ/NQF 6

 If you are studying at degree level or above or are studying on a short-term student visa then you do not need an IELTS for UKVI test.

How does an IELTS for UKVI test differ from other IELTS Academic tests?

There are no differences in the test format or questions. The actual test taken is the same – same content, examiners, format, level of difficulty, scoring and so on.

The key difference is that there are a much smaller number of approved test centres for IELTS for UKVI compared to other IELTS Academic tests.

You IELTS Certificate will show a UKVI Number if you have taken an IELTS for UKVI test.

Where can I take an IELTS for UKVI test?

The tests are available throughout the world, in locations specified by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI). You must sit the test in an 'IELTS for UKVI' test session.

What is the pass mark for an IELTS for UKVI test?

Whilst certain courses require you to take an IELTS for UKVI test there is no universal pass mark. The score required will depend on the nature of the course you are undertaking. For details of the level required please refer to the entry requirements for your chosen course of study.

How often can I retake an IELTS for UKVI test?

There are no restrictions on retaking the IELTS test.