IELTS has been trusted around the world by people, organisations, and governments for 35 years.
We’re happy we've been able to support tens of millions of people who have taken IELTS tests since we first began in 1989; and to remain at the forefront of language assessment best practice.
As we look back on an exciting last year, we want to celebrate and congratulate the many people who continue to put their trust in IELTS. If you are taking an IELTS test, using the results, teaching English, or researching language assessment, thank you. Here's what we've achieved together in the last year:
More popular than ever before
Last year, more people than ever put their trust in IELTS. More than 4 million tests were taken around the world. Before you’ve finished reading this article, on average, another 40 people will have taken a test!
IELTS is a test for everyone
Our test takers took their tests with us:
- in more than 100 countries around the world
- speaking more than 140 languages (in addition to English)
- with passports from virtually every nation in the world! IELTS truly is a global test.
Trusted by governments
All four immigration authorities that require an English Language Test trust IELTS.
In 2023 IELTS remained the only test accepted by all four:
Trusted and accepted worldwide
An IELTS test result helps to open doors worldwide. IELTS makes it possible, and wherever you want to go, it’s likely that an IELTS result can help you get there.
IELTS results are trusted by more than 12,000 institutions globally, including the world’s leading academic institutions and:
- 100% of the U15 universities in Canada
- 100% of UK universities
- 100% of the top 100 international student enrolling universities in the USA
- 100% of Australian universities.
Prepare and succeed
IELTS is a partnership of leading education, academic, and language organisations.
If you are planning your IELTS test, we can help you prepare – with videos, apps, practice tests, and more.
- Last year, the average overall IELTS band score was more than 6.0
- 85% of people scored at least a 5.5 in their IELTS test
- Almost a third of people score a 7.0 or higher.
Solutions and support
IELTS continues to innovate and support, around the world.
Last year we continued to expand availability of IELTS Online if you would like to do a test in your own environment, not at a test centre. And we still have the world’s largest range of test locations in well over 100 countries!
We’ve introduced IELTS One Skill Retake around the world: you now have the option to retake any one section of the test (Listening, Reading, Writing, or Speaking) if you need to improve on one area (instead of retaking all four sections). We know that most people get the scores they need first time, but if you feel you have not performed to your best in all areas, IELTS One Skill Retake can help.
As always, we ensure our tests are accessible – we provide support for challenges with vision, speaking, hearing, or learning. (Find out how we support Special Requirements. Every test goes through a rigorous process to ensure it’s fair to everyone).
Supporting learning and opportunities globally
English is the world’s most commonly spoken language. Although fewer than 400 million people have English as their first language, 1.5 billion people worldwide speak English. (Source: Ethnologue.) With English, you are likely to find friends or colleagues somewhere in the world!
For study and work, English matters:
- 5 million students look to study abroad (UNESCO)
- 72% of prospective international students are interested in studying in English (QS)
- 80% of major academic journals (more than 25,000!) are published in English (van Weijen, Daphne Dr )
- 85% of international organisations use English as one of their working languages. (Cambridge English 2016, British Council 2000)
Investment in language assessment, teaching, and learning
Our teams work with some of the brightest minds in the world of language assessment.
We actively invest in multiple ongoing research areas including topics related to test development, test preparation practices, contexts of test use, test impact, and evolving use of technologies.
Our work generally, and the IELTS test specifically, keep in mind a core model of relevance and effectiveness: the VRIPQ model (Validity, Reliability, Impact, Practicality, and Quality)
2024 is no different! We will continue to see ongoing emergence of digital technologies, a changing world of education, and new and innovative ways to communicate. The IELTS test, and our continued investment in assessment research, ensures we will be able to support global ambitions for many decades to come.
International Research Grants
Annually we fund up to five international research grants. If you’d like to work with us on one of these, the deadline for applications is April each year. (See how to apply for research funding)
We support teachers worldwide with resources, ideas, and funding. The Morgan Terry memorial IATEFL scholarship is one great example. In the video below you can hear from recent winners, Anestin Chi and Natalia Larchenko. Their creative and innovative classroom ideas have helped IELTS students improve their English language skills in preparation for the test.
If you’d like to share your teaching ideas and apply for this scholarship, please do find out more.
Where do you want to go in 2024?
As we wrap up 2023, and look forward to this New Year, we’re here to help, as always.
Wherever you are in the world, and whatever your ambitions, let IELTS help you get there.
How can IELTS help you today?
If you are preparing for your English language test, our unparalleled preparation resources are always available.
Learn more about IELTS, access resources to help you with test preparation, and find out about professional development opportunities.
Find out more about accepting IELTS results, getting started, setting score requirements, and more.