IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is the world’s most popular English language test. More than 3 million IELTS tests are taken each year. 

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. It effectively assesses all of your English skills, including 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 22 May, the UK Home Office issued guidance on secure English language test (SELT) providers. 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 140 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 30 hours of free training.
  • Convenient dates and locations: we organise test sessions three times a month in convenient locations. This gives you more options for when you can take your test.
  • Easy booking: you can book your IELTS test online easily.
  • Fast results: we guarantee you will be able to see your results online 13 days after your test date.
  • Special arrangements: your English language ability will be assessed objectively, regardless of any disability or special needs that you may have. Find out more about how we can facilitate your special arrangements. Please note, you will need a medical certificate issued within the last two years at the time of registration.

Recognition in Hong Kong

Being widely recognized both by private corporations and the Hong Kong government as proof of English proficiency, IELTS is very popular amongst secondary students who are about to enter local universities, as they use an IELTS score as a backup to their local public examination results for university applications.  Young graduates and job seekers also tend to take IELTS as additional proof of their English proficiency.     

See also