Understanding IELTS Exam Eligibility Criteria | PrepareIELTSExam

IELTS Exam Eligibility Criteria 2024

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In today's interconnected world, communicating effectively in English has become an essential skill for individuals aspiring to pursue higher education or career prospects abroad. The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is a globally recognised test that assesses the English language proficiency of non-native speakers. Whether you are aiming to study, work, or settle in an English-speaking country, understanding the IELTS eligibility criteria for 2024 is crucial.

In this context, this comprehensive guide will walk you through the various aspects of IELTS eligibility Criteria, helping you pave the way for a successful international journey.

IELTS Eligibility Criteria 2024

The IELTS exam is designed for candidates over 16 years of age who wish to demonstrate their English language proficiency. Moreover, no specific educational prerequisites or qualifications are required to take the test. Regardless of your academic background, IELTS can open doors to countless opportunities across the globe. Thus, whether you're a student, professional, or immigrant, IELTS can be tailored to suit your individual goals.

IELTS Exam Formats

IELTS offers two main formats: Academic and General Training. The Academic module is intended for those seeking higher education or professional registration in an English-speaking environment. On the other hand, the General Training module is suitable for individuals who wish to study or work in English-speaking countries or immigrate to such nations.

Minimum IELTS Eligibility Score Required by Top Abroad Universities

Top universities around the world often have specific IELTS score requirements for admission. The required score may vary based on the course and level of study.

Here's a glimpse of the minimum IELTS Eligibility scores required by universities in different countries:

University ELTS Eligibility Score

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

7.0 - 7.5+

Cambridge University


Oxford University

7.0 - 7.5+

Harvard University

6.5 - 7.5+

Stanford University


Imperial College London

6.5 - 7.0+

ETH Zurich


National University of Singapore (NUS)

6.0 - 8.0+

University College London (UCL)

6.5 - 7.5+

University of California, Berkeley Campus

6.5 - 7.0+

Please note that these scores are indicative and can vary based on the university and program.

IELTS Exam Eligibility Criteria for All Countries

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is a widely recognised English language proficiency test accepted by various countries for immigration, study, and work purposes. The IELTS exam eligibility criteria can vary from country to country. Below is an overview of the IELTS eligibility requirements for different countries.


IELTS Eligibility for USA

There is no specific eligibility requirement set by the United States for taking the IELTS exam. However, individuals planning to study or work in the USA may require to submit IELTS scores as part of their application process.

The average minimum IELTS band score to enter most universities nationwide is 6.0 to 6.5; however, the criteria for IELTS Exam scores vary based on the institution or employer.


IELTS Eligibility for UK

The eligibility criteria for IELTS in UK depends on the purpose of the application. Applicants often need to demonstrate their English proficiency through IELTS Academic scores for student visas. However, the required score can vary based on the course and institution. Further, for work visas or immigration, IELTS General Training scores are accepted. Below, you can check the IELTS Exam Eligibility Criteria to study in UK.

Program of Study Minimum Qualification for IELTS

Master's Diploma

A master's degree may take 12 to 24 months to finish in the UK. You must complete a bachelor's degree to be accepted into a master's course. A minimum IELTS score of 6.0 or higher is required for a master's program. However, admittance to prestigious colleges calls for a score of 6.5 or above.


Before enrolling in a master's program, students who wish to improve their communication and language skills should take Pre-master’s course. Moreover, a pre-master’s program requires an IELTS band score of 5.0 or higher for admission.

Undergraduate Degree

A 6.5 IELTS score or above is required for admission to an undergraduate program. Further, registering at a top UK university requires an IELTS band score of 7.0 or above.


IELTS Eligibility for Australia

Australia accepts IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training scores for different purposes. Student visa applicants usually need to show their English proficiency through IELTS Academic scores, while General Training scores can be used for work visas and immigration. The required scores vary based on the visa type and application.

Program of Study Minimum IELTS Exam Qualification

Postgraduate Degree

6.5 with no band less than 6.0

Undergraduate Degree



IELTS Eligibility for New Zealand

IELTS scores for academic and general training are commonly accepted in New Zealand. Applicants for student visas frequently need to achieve specific IELTS Academic score criteria, and the score varies depending on the course level. Other than this, scores from General Training are also acceptable for immigration and employment permits.

Program of Study Minimum Qualification for IELTS

Postgraduate Degree

6.5 with no band less than 6.0

Undergraduate Degree



IELTS Eligibility for Canada

Canada accepts IELTS Academic and General Training scores, depending on the immigration or visa category. For Express Entry immigration, IELTS General Training scores are often required. However, Provincial Nominee Programs and other immigration streams might have different requirements.

Program of Study Minimum IELTS Requirement

Student Direct Stream (SDS)

Minimum Overall of 6.0
No less than 6.0

Postgraduate Courses in Canada
[PG Diploma/Masters]

Minimum of Overall 6.5 IELTS
No less than 5.5 or 6.0, depending on the institution

Undergraduate Courses in Canada
[Bachelor’s, Diploma, or Short-term]

Minimum Overall 6 IELTS
No less than 5.5


IELTS Eligibility for Europe

Many European countries use IELTS scores for admission to universities or as proof of English proficiency. The required scores can vary, so checking the country's and institution's specific requirements is essential.

Program of Study Minimum IELTS Exam Qualification

Postgraduate Degree

4.5 to 6.5, depending on the university

Undergraduate Degree

5.5 to 6.0, depending on the university

IELTS Exam Age Limit

As of 2024, the minimum age to take the IELTS exam is generally 16 years. This age requirement ensures that candidates have a certain level of maturity and language exposure to undertake the test effectively. Moreover, it is important to note that there is no IELTS Exam Maximum Age Limit to take the test.

IELTS Exam Qualification - Percentage Required in Class 12th

Unlike other standardised tests, IELTS doesn't have a strict 12th-grade percentage requirement. The test assesses your language skills rather than proficiency in academic subjects, while some institutions may recommend a minimum percentage; it's not a universal rule. Overall, you should focus on improving your English language proficiency to achieve the best IELTS score possible.

IELTS Test Pattern 2024

The IELTS exam consists of four main sections - Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking. The Listening and Speaking sections are the same for both the Academic and General Training modules, while the Reading and Writing sections differ.

  • The Listening section evaluates your ability to understand spoken English in various contexts. 

  • The Reading section assesses your comprehension skills through a range of texts. 

  • The Writing section requires you to express your thoughts clearly in written form. 

  • The Speaking section is a one-on-one interview where you discuss various topics with an examiner.

The total test duration is approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes. The test is designed to assess your ability to communicate effectively in real-life situations, making it a valuable tool for success in academic and professional settings.

Sections with Duration  IELTS Academic Test Description Total Questions

 Listening Test

(30 minutes)

There are four recorded monologues and chats included in it.


 Reading Test

(60 minutes)

Three lengthy reading assignments are included in it.

Texts can be discursive, analytical, or descriptive and may include nonverbal elements such as diagrams, graphs, and illustrations; texts are authentic (those derived from books, periodicals, and newspapers).


 Writing Test

(60 minutes)

A candidate must produce at least 150 words for Writing Task 1's summary, explanation, or justification of a table, graph, chart, or diagram. 

A candidate must compose a brief essay of at least 250 words for Writing Task 2.


 Speaking Test

(11-14 minutes)

An introduction of the applicant, a cue card, and a thorough conversation are all part of a speaking test face-to-face interview.



In an increasingly globalised world, the IELTS exam serves as a bridge that connects individuals with their dreams of studying, working, or settling in English-speaking countries.

The eligibility criteria for IELTS exam 2024 are designed to be inclusive, ensuring that candidates from diverse backgrounds can showcase their English language proficiency. Therefore, you can confidently embark on your IELTS journey by understanding the various formats of the exam, minimum score requirements by top universities, eligibility by country, and the test pattern.

We hope we have provided helpful insight into the IELTS Exam Eligibility Criteria. If you need further guidance, please contact Prepare IELTS (PI) expert counsellors. Our team of education experts is dedicated to providing you with the best guidance in the IELTS exam.

You can get on a one-to-one free counselling session online via our platform. Contact us at info@prepareieltsexam.com or call us at +91 9773398388.


You can take the IELTS test as many times as you wish. However, improving your English skills between attempts is essential to achieve a better score.

While the minimum age requirement is generally 16, there is no upper age limit for taking the IELTS test.

No, the order of test sections (Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking) is fixed and cannot be changed.

IELTS scores are valid for two years from the test date; after that period, the scores expire and are no longer considered valid.

No, you are not allowed to use a dictionary, electronic devices, or any other aids during the test.


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