IELTS Score Validity | A Comprehensive Guide


Written by Alifya Khambati

Having earned a Masters degree in Advertising, Alifya has had her fair share of opportunities in the commerce sector, only to figure out that writing is her calling. Giving wings to this passion, she pens content for UniScholarz.

April 28, 2022

It is common knowledge that students looking to pursue higher education abroad have to take the IELTS which is a common English language Proficiency Test as a primary requirement. There are tons of articles flooding the internet explaining how you can better prep for your test, the material you require, what the test comprises, what each section of the test entails in great detail, and much more. In this article, we aim not to add to the clutter and get straight to the point discussing what the IELTS score validity is in different countries throughout the world. 


Overview Of The Exam | IELTS Score Validity

The International English Language Testing System, more commonly known as IELTS, aims to test a person on their written, spoken, reading and listening skills in the English language. English being a global language, it is a prerequisite for students to have an average ability to communicate and comprehend the language wherever they choose to go across the globe. After having cleared the test, different countries have a differing IELTS score validity. The different aspects on which a candidate is assessed in the test are as follows:

  • Writing: In the writing section, students are assessed based on four criteria; coherence and cohesion, lexical resource, grammar accuracy and range, achievement and response. To put it simply, the writing section of the test includes sentence structures, spellings, using various paragraphs and words, highlighting features, punctuation and others.
  • Speaking: The speaking bit of the test takes into account how fluently a candidate can hold a general conversation in English. The speaking part of the test assesses the test taker on fluency, coherence, pronunciation, accuracy, lexical resource and grammatical range. 
  • Reading: Unlike the reading and speaking sections of the test, the reading part of the test leaves no room for error and can be either fully right or wrong because the question types are multiple-choice. The 40 questions in this bit include true or false, matching and sentence completion. 
  • Listening: This section also comprises 40 questions with the questions being all audio samples.


IELTS Score Validity

The IELTS score validity is basically how long how your test scores are applicable for you to submit them before you need to retake the test in case the valid time has lapsed. Upon completion of the test, the results are usually released within five to seven days. 

Generally, the IELTS score validity in many countries lasts up to two years. The reason for this is that the originality of the test can stay intact. Also, there might be a possibility that the candidate’s language skills might have become rusty over the past two years and he may not be deemed proficient enough anymore. 

Let us take a look at the IELTS score validity in different countries:

  • United States of America: The IELTS result validity in the USA is for two years. More than 3,400 educational institutions in the States accept IELTS scores. Universities usually expect a minimum overall band score of 7 but many colleges accept a 6 as well.
  • Australia: The validity of IELTS bands for the Australian General Skilled Migrants was for up to two years. Due to a variety of changes in the General Skilled Migrants visa programme, an extension of one year was added. So currently, the IELTS score validity in Australia for GSM is for three years. Universities usually accept a minimum 6 overall score but competitive colleges and medical courses demand a minimum IELTS overall band score of 7. 
  • United Kingdom: All British colleges and universities accept IELTS scores. The validity of the test score is for two years. Generally, educational institutions in the UK accept a minimum score of 6.5 But some reputed universities demand an overall band score between 7.0 and 7.5.
  • Canada: The validity of IELTS test scores in Canada is for two years. Colleges and universities in the country accept a minimum score of 6. But competitive courses and colleges sometimes demand a higher score of 7 to help gain a footing in the admission process. 
  • New Zealand: The validity of IELTS test scores in New Zealand is no more than two years. A minimum overall score of 6.5 is required by educational institutions in New Zealand. Certain top-tier universities may ask for a higher score of 7.
  • France: The test score validity in France is for up to two years. As for minimum overall scores, the country is not too pressed about that. IELTS is not a prerequisite for many colleges in the country and for those that do accept IELTS scores, they expect a minimum overall score between 6.0 – 6.5.
  • Ireland: Universities in Ireland accept a minimum overall score between 5.5 and 6.0. As for the test score validity, the scores are valid for no more than two years.


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