What is the IELTS eligibility criteria 2024?

Updated on: May 20, 2024

The IELTS is a standard test to assess a candidate's English proficiency. The test is designed to assess the linguistic ability of a non-native English language speaker. Candidates planning to study, work or migrate to the UK, USA, Canada, New Zealand, Ireland, and Australia take the IELTS exam. Here we cover all the rules and regulations you should know about IELTS eligibility.

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IELTS exam: An overview

IELTS full formInternational English Language Testing System
Conducted byBritish Council, IDP Education and Cambridge Assessment English
Types of IELTS exam

IELTS Academic

IELTS General Training

No. of sections4
Total duration2 hours 45 minutes
IELTS exam sections





Data updated as of July 2023

Types of IELTS exam

The IELTS is conducted by the IDP, British Council, and Cambridge Assessment English.

There are two versions of the test. 

  • IELTS Academic
  • IELTS General Training

International students planning to pursue higher education abroad will take the IELTS academic exam. People planning to migrate for their professions will take the General Training test. The eligibility criteria for both versions are the same.

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IELTS exam types

Candidate's purpose for visiting abroadIELTS version required
Study abroadIELTS Academic
Work or migrateIELTS General Training

IELTS eligibility criteria

The IELTS does not follow strict regulations for the candidate’s eligibility qualifications. Here are the essential eligibility criteria that a candidate must meet to take the exam.

IELTS eligibility requirements

Minimum age16 
PassportValid and non-expired passport for application validation
Purpose of visit
  • To study in the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and other countries abroad.
  • To migrate and settle or work in countries like the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
  • For medical training in the UK, USA, and Australia.

Data updated as of July 2023

What is the minimum age requirement for taking the IELTS exam?

The candidate must be at least 16 years old to take the IELTS exam. There is no maximum age limit.

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Countries that require the IELTS exam

Several countries across the world accept the IELTS as proof of English proficiency for academic and career purposes. Here are some of the top countries that require the IELTS.

  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Canada 
  • New Zealand 
  • Ireland
  • Australia
  • France

Minimum IELTS score required by the top universities

Here are the IELTS minimum score requirements for top universities abroad.

UniversityIELTS minimum score for Bachelor’s coursesIELTS minimum score for Master’s courses
Massachusetts Institute of Technology7.07.0
University of Oxford7.07.5
Stanford University7.07.0
University of Cambridge7.07.0
Harvard University7.07.0
California Institute of Technology7.07.0
Imperial College London7.07.0
University College London6.56.5
University of Chicago7.07.0
University of Pennsylvania7.07.0

Data updated as of July 2023

IELTS academic requirements in the UK

UK universities require candidates to submit their English proficiency scores as an entry requirement to determine their fluency in the language. Here are the IELTS eligibility criteria for top UK institutions.

UK IELTS band requirements 2024

UniversityMinimum IELTS score 
University of Edinburgh5.5
University of Bath6.5
Coventry University7.0
University of Bolton7.0
University of Brighton7.0
University of Liverpool6.5
The University of Manchester5.5
King’s College London6.5

Data updated as of July 2023

Also read: UK universities with high acceptance rate for international students

IELTS Eligibility in the USA

The IELTS minimum score for universities in the US is 5.5, and the grades are valid for two years. The IELTS academic requirements vary with every university, so check the eligibility requirements before applying for any course. Here are some top US universities that require IELTS.

USA IELTS band requirements 2024

UniversityIELTS minimum score
University of California, Berkeley6.5
University of California, Los Angeles7
Yale University7
University of West Alabama6.5
Marquette University6.5
Columbia University7.5
John Hopkins University7.0
Princeton University7.0
University of Illinois6.5
Washington State University6.5

Data updated as of July 2023

Also read: The different types of universities in the US

IELTS Eligibility in Canada

The Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) score for the country’s visa is 7, which is equivalent to an IELTS General Training score of 6.0. Remember that the Canadian government does not accept the Academic version for work visa processing.

The Academic IELTS minimum score varies with each university, so verify the requirements before sending the application. Here are some of the top Canadian institutions and their IELTS academic requirements.

IELTS minimum score in Canadian universities

UniversityMinimum IELTS score 
University of Toronto6.5
Trent University6.5
McGill University6.5
Conestoga College6.5
St. Francis Xavier University6.5
University of British Columbia6.5
Universite de Montreal6.5
University of Alberta6.5
University of Prince Edward Island7.0
Georgian College of Applied Arts and Technology6.5

Data updated as of July 2023

Also read: What is the minimum IELTS score for Canada?

IELTS eligibility in New Zealand

The New Zealand government requires an IELTS score of at least 5.5 for your visa. Here is a list of top New Zealand universities and their IELTS eligibility requirements.

IELTS academic requirements in New Zealand 2024

UniversityIELTS minimum score
University of Auckland6.0
University of Otago6.0
Massey University6.5
Victoria University of Wellington6.5
Ara Institute of Canterbury6.0
University of Canterbury6.5
Lincoln University6.0
University of Waikato6.5
Southern Institute of Technology6.5
Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology6.0

Data updated as of July 2023

Also read: IELTS score for New Zealand

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IELTS eligibility in Australia

Candidates should have a minimum band score of 6.0 to study at the top-ranked universities in Australia. It is important to remember that the scores may vary with every university, so endure to check the eligibility requirements before sending your application. Here's a list of top Australian universities and their IELTS eligibility.

IELTS academic requirements for Australian universities

UniversityIELTS minimum score
Australian National University6.5
University of Sydney6.5
University of Melbourne6.5
University of New South Wales6.0
University of Queensland6.5
The University of Western Australia6.5
Australian Institute of Technical Training5.5
University of Southern Queensland5.5
Australia Institute of Business & Technology5.5
Melbourne City Institute of Education5.5

Data updated as of July 2023

IELTS rules and regulations 2024

The IELTS rules did not witness any changes recently, so there are no major changes in the exam candidates should take note of. Here are the basic rules and regulations you should remember while taking the IELTS exam.

  • Ensure to arrive at the test centre ahead of time. The IELTS centre may only allow you to enter the test venue if you arrive on time.
  • Check if you provide the same ID you applied for identification. The centre will not allow you to take the test if the ID documents do not match.
  • Switch off your electronic devices and place them along with your personal belongings outside the exam room.
  • You cannot take any breaks during the IELTS exam.
  • Candidates taking the IELTS online exam should have a mobile phone or tablet for the room scan. The exam restricts you from using the device for any other purpose.

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Frequently asked questions

Can I go to Canada without IELTS?

Few Canadian universities offer admissions without the need for IELTS. You can also take alternate tests like TOEFL, Duolingo English Test, and PTE for proof of English proficiency.

Are there any pass marks for the IELTS exam?

There are no pass marks for IELTS. However, educational institutions abroad have IELTS minimum scores to select students during the application process.

Is 6.5 a good score in IELTS?

An IELTS band score of 6.5 out of 9 is considered competent and matches the entry requirements of many universities worldwide.

What is the minimum score for IELTS in Canada?

The minimum IELTS academic requirement for international students to pursue higher education in Canada is 6.5.

What is the IELTS passing score for UK caregiver 2024?

The IELTS minimum score set for international students for UK caregiver roles in 2024 is between 4.0-5.0.

What is the score for IELTS 2024?

IELTS did not make any changes to the band score requirements or other assessment factors recently. Here is the guide for IELTS scores 2024.

IELTS band scoreScore description
9.0Expert user
8.0Very good user
7.0Good user
6.0Competent user
5.0Modest user
4.0Limited user
3.0Extremely limited user
2.0Intermittent user
0Did not attempt the test

What is the minimum IELTS score for a UK work visa in 2024?

The IELTS minimum score required for a UK work visa in 2024 is 5.5. International students should obtain an IELTS band score of at least 5.5 to apply for a work visa in the UK.