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Accepted English language tests

IELTS Indicator

We’re aware that the British Council have introduced an online IELTS test (IELTS Indicator) as an interim measure during the Covid-19 emergency and temporary closure of many test centres.

However we cannot accept this test as evidence of English language as it does not meet the requirements in our published guidance. We are continuing to monitor this situation.

We accept two language tests as evidence of your ability to communicate effectively in English: the International English Language Test System (IELTS) and the Occupational English Test (OET).

You must achieve the required score in each of the four areas of reading, writing, listening and speaking. Test scores are valid for two years.

International English Language Test System (IELTS)

We'll accept an IELTS Academic examination certificate that confirms you achieved:

  • an overall score of at least 7
  • at least 6.5 in the writing section and at least 7 in the reading, listening and speaking sections.

We updated this requirement on Wednesday 5 December 2018.

Combining IELTS test scores

You can achieve the required mark across two test sittings if:

  • you sit the tests within six months of each other
  • you’re tested in all four sections at the same time
  • all scores in both sittings are above 6.5, and
  • you achieve at least 6.5 in the writing section and at least 7 in the reading, listening and speaking sections in either of the two test sittings.
Examples of combining IELTS scores

Combined IELTS scores: Accepted

 ListeningReadingWritingSpeaking
Test 1 7 6.5 6.5 7
Test 2 6.5 7 7.5 8

This combination would be accepted. The applicant has scored at least 7 in the listening, speaking and reading sections and at least 6.5 in the writing section in either of the two test sittings, and no score is lower than 6.5.

Combined IELTS scores: Not accepted

 ListeningReadingWritingSpeaking
Test 1 6 7.5 6.5 7
Test 2 6.5 7 7.5 7.5

This application would not be accepted. The applicant has a score lower than 6.5.

Occupational English Test (OET)

We’ll accept an OET examination certificate that confirms you achieved:

  • at least a grade C+ in the writing section 
  • at least a grade B in the reading, listening and speaking sections.

We updated this requirement on Tuesday 28 January 2020.

Combining OET test scores

You can achieve the required mark across two test sittings if:

  • you sit the tests within six months of each other
  • you’re tested in all four sections at the same time
  • all grades in both sittings are above grade C+, and
  • you achieve at least a grade C+ in the writing section and at least a grade B in the reading, listening and speaking sections in either of the two test sittings.
Examples of combining OET scores

Combined OET scores: Accepted

 ListeningReadingWritingSpeaking
Test 1 B B C+ B
Test 2 B C+ B B

The applicant has scored at least grade B in the listening, speaking and reading sections and at least grade C+ in the writing section in either of the two test sittings, and no score is lower than grade C+.

Combined OET scores: Not accepted

 ListeningReadingWritingSpeaking
Test 1 B B C+ B
Test 2 C C+ B B

This application would not be accepted. The applicant has scored lower than grade C+.

Submitting your evidence

If you’re submitting an OET certificate as part of your application, you'll need to give us permission to verify your results through your myOET account. 

Find out how to give a verification institution access to your results on the OET website.