IELTS Requirement for the UK

IELTS is a test which checks your command over the English language by testing four skills: listening, reading, writing and speaking. Based on your performance in each section, you’re assigned scores between 0 to 9. The overall score is an average of the scores from the four sections.

 

Category of IELTS

There are many different versions of IELTS. You can go for IELTS Academic or IELTS UKVI Academic. Check the table below to see which IELTS would be best for you.

 

IELTS Registration

The following two bodies conduct the IELTS test:

  1. Australian Education Office (AEO).
  2. British Council.

Both of the above are equally acceptable for PLAB, GMC registration and CMT. There’s a common perception in Pakistan that AEO is more generous with IELTS scores. Because AEO has local examiners in the speaking part of the test, while British Council has British Speakers. However, this should not affect the scoring criteria.

IELTS is generally conducted twice a month.

 

IELTS Requirement

To Qualify For PLAB 1

You need IELTS Academic or IELTS UKVI Academic with at least 7.0 in each of the four areas and an overall score of at least 7.5

To Qualify For PLAB 2

Not required.

To Qualify For PLAB Visa

You do not need IELTS for the PLAB visa.

To Qualify For GMC Registration

You need IELTS Academic or IELTS UKVI Academic with at least 7.0 in each of the four areas and an overall score of at least 7.5

To Qualify For Tier 2 (General) Visa

You need IELTS UKVI with at least 4.0 in each of the four areas and an overall score of at least 4.0

To Qualify For Foundation Training Programme

You need IELTS Academic or IELTS UKVI Academic with at least 7.5 in each of the four areas and an overall score of at least 7.5

To Qualify For Core Medical Training

You need IELTS Academic or IELTS UKVI Academic with at least 7.0 in each of the four areas and an overall score of at least 7.5 or you can get this form signed by your NHS consultant.

To Qualify for Non-Training Jobs

You do not need IELTS for non-training jobs.

 

Summary of IELTS Requirement

IELTS Criteria 2
If all of the above is confusing, just know that if you take IELTS UKVI Academic, with a score of 7.0 in each section and 7.5 overall, you’ve cleared IELTS for everything, except for Foundation Program entry, which asks for 7.5 in each section and 7.5 overall.

All version of IELTS are only valid for 2 years.

 

Useful Links

 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Should I take IELTS Academic or IELTS UKVI Academic?

This is a personal choice. If you take IELTS UKVI Academic, you will not have to take IELTS again. If you take IELTS Academic, you will have to take IELTS UKVI Academic later on as well.

2. What is the difference between IELTS Academic and IELTS UKVI Academic?

The pattern of the exam is exactly the same. The only differences are that the UKVI version costs a little more, it has increased camera surveillance and is held less often.

3. Should I take IELTS from British Council or Australian Education Office?

This is a personal choice. IELTS is accepted from both of these bodies. There’s a common perception in Pakistan that AEO is more generous with IELTS scores. Because AEO has local examiners in the speaking part of the test, while British Council has British Speakers. However, this should not affect the scoring criteria.

4. Can I take IELTS before graduating from medical school?

Yes, you can.

5. Is IELTS easy to pass?

It depends on how good your English is. The only way to find out is to go through practice tests from the IELTS Cambridge series.

6. Can I improve my English language skills if I study for IELTS?

Studying for IELTS only makes us familiar with the test. It does not improve our English language skills.

7. How can I improve my English language skills?

The only way to improve your language would be to increase your exposure to English. You can do this by reading books, watching movies and shows and talking to people in English.

8. How can I improve my IELTS scores?

You can improve your scores by practicing as much as you can. If your scores still do not improve, then you might need to increase your exposure to the English language. You can do this by reading books, watching movies and shows and talking to people in English.

139 thoughts on “IELTS Requirement for the UK

  1. Assalamu A’laikum good day dr nasir.
    I’m planning for plab..
    Sir I have a query..
    I did my house job with 6 months gap.
    Which makes it invalid according to GMC criteria, so can I apply for Foundation year 1, and for that I need 7.5 band in each module.. right..?
    Waiting for the answers plz.. thanku.
    Regards

    1. The GMC has accepted House Jobs with three years gaps between two rotations. So you should be fine. Getting into FY1 in the UK is almost impossible.

  2. I have ielts ukvi L 7.5 R 7 W 6 S7 B 7.5

    I an short of 0.5 and writing

    If I take ielts academic and score the required score is it possible for me to get GMC registration and visa both

  3. Hello Dr i heard that gmc is accepting oet for doctors.
    Do we need to ukvi for work permit in uk or oet is enough kindly please give your advice ,thank you

  4. As we are told to state our IELTS score in the most recent sitting of the test but I appeared in both IELTS conducted by British Council and AEO with the difference of just 7 days i have the desired score of IELTS by British council but the result of IELTS AEO is not still out as i appeared in AEO 7 days latter.

    Should i apply for PLAB 1 with my IELTS British Council score? Would it be a problem as AEO IELTS is basically my most recent sitting?

  5. Hi Dr Nasser,
    A quick question with relation to IELTS timeline. I took my IELTS in 2016 November and passed PLAB 1 exam in March 2018, well with the two year gap. My two year period for IELTS has expired in November of this year.

    Would I need to retake the ietls for PLAB 2 visa due to this?

    Thanks,
    Dr. S

    1. You do not need IELTS for PLAB 2 or PLAB 2 visa. You will need IELTS for GMC registration.

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