As the international student market remains buoyant, Cambridge ESOL’s Pamela Baxter explains why it’s more important than ever to choose the right English language test.

The global recession has had an effect on every purchase decision we make. Whether we’re parting with our hard earned cash for leisure, travel or indeed education, it’s essential that we spend wisely. When looking at English language tests for higher education, you need to make sure you choose one that will help you get the best out of academic life and kit you out with the skills you need after graduation. Let me introduce you to IELTS.

IELTS, or the International English Language Testing System, can only be described as a global success story – one you can be part of. It was first developed over two decades ago is now taken by well over 1.5 million candidates each year with a record 1.7 million test taken last year. One of the key drivers behind its success is the benefit that it brings to each and every candidate, so let’s look at this in more detail.

Don’t I recognise you from somewhere?

IELTS is recognised by over 7,000 organisations worldwide , including over 3,000 programmes and institutions in the US. But what does this mean for you? Well, achieving the IELTS bandscore you require is like being handed a ticket for global mobility, and the international student market is a big part of this. For Higher Education in an English speaking environment, it’s the ideal choice as it’s recognised by universities around the world in countries including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK and the US. It’s also accepted by employers, immigration authorities and other organisations globally , so it can be a real advantage when you leave education. But let’s not graduate just yet, let’s look at the test itself in more detail.

We design IELTS so it assesses just the kind of real-life communication skills you need to follow high-level classroom instructions on degree courses. It assesses reading, writing, speaking and listening, so you’ll have no problem getting by in the classroom. We’ve constantly evolved the test over the last two decades through working with our research team to ensure IELTS continues to meet changing candidate needs around the world.

A global outlook…

One of the big advantages of IELTS is its international approach to testing. It’s jointly owned Cambridge ESOL, British Council and IDP: IELTS Australia providing us with a global outlook on student market, which I think is very important. The test is currently available in over 130 countries and can be taken up to 48 times a year, so no matter where you are in the world, access isn’t a problem. You’ll also be glad to hear that you can get your results just 13 days after taking the test, so we won’t leave you hanging around.

More than 7 million people have already taken IELTS, so there's a good chance you already know someone who’s taken the test – so why not follow in their footsteps?

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