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IELTS gaining acceptance across the globe

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TEST OF SKILLS: A group of aspirants taking an IELTS pre-test.
TEST OF SKILLS: A group of aspirants taking an IELTS pre-test.

Staff Reporter

KOCHI: The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is gaining wide acceptance across the globe.

For the first time ever, in a 12-month period, more than one million people around the world (or two every minute) gained certification in the world’s most popular English language test for immigration and higher education.

While globally, the overall IELTS top score is from Germany with 7.16, Indians score an average of 5.97.

Within India, candidates whose first language is Hindi and Tamil have scored comparatively higher.

Women do better

Results also show that female candidates have a slight edge with an overall score of 5.94 for all papers compared with 5.74 for men, according to data provided by the British Council.

Worldwide, just over half of those taking the test (51 per cent) do so because they wish to pursue higher education in a foreign country.

An increasing number of these candidates are taking the test for studies in the United States, as more than 1,700 universities and colleges (including Harvard and Yale) accept IELTS scores.

Beryl Meiron, executive director of IELTS International in the U.S.A., said in a communication: “This is the first year that IELTS has reached the one million mark and the number of candidates taking the test has more than doubled in the last three years. We believe this is a direct reflection of the fact that it gives a well-rounded picture of how well a person really knows English.

“It covers the speaking, writing, reading and listening abilities in a way that is relevant to the real world. It’s not just about giving our students a piece of paper saying they can speak English but it’s about proving that they have the language skills they need to operate in a work or study environment in their country of choice.”

500 locations

British Council officials said that IELTS is offered in over 500 locations in 121 countries with the greatest number of tests taken in China, India, Australia, United Kingdom and Pakistan, making IELTS the most popular international English language test in the world.

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