Is IELTS required for a UK student visa?

IELTS examinations

In the educational journey of life, examinations are inevitable battles. And one such examination is IELTS. This is a language proficiency exam that tests the mastery students have in the language of English. This language assessment test is considered essential for admission to an international university. However, giving the exam to secure a seat in a UK university is NOT mandatory. You can pass the exam and enhance your opportunity to get admission to a UK university. However, you won’t have to take the exam to secure your seat. Also, it is not just the UK where you can study without submitting IELTS examinations results; it is also possible to check in the USA without IELTS. 

So, when exploring English language requirements for your dream university in the UK, IELTS can be scratched off from the list of necessities. It is just another option and not a mandatory requirement. 

Before we move on to elucidate the fact that you do not require the results of IELTS to get admission in the UK, we shall get a sneak view of what IELTS is. 

What is IELTS? 

IELTS is the abbreviated form used for International English Language Testing System. It is a standardised English language evaluation examination used by various universities across the globe to evaluate international students’ language competencies. 

English-language nations like the UK evaluate your language skills through examinations during the application phase. Nevertheless, this is only sometimes the case. You can also study in the UK without IELTS. 

And now, we will address two questions that international students seem to oscillate between:

  • Is it possible to study in the UK without sitting for the IELTS examination?
  • What are the admission criteria to look in the UK without taking the IELTS test? 

Most students who wish to pursue their majors at a UK university perceive that taking the IELTS test is mandatory. However, only some students know that many universities enable students to take admission without asking for the IELTS results. 

Of course, taking the IELTS test is essential as your stay in the UK depends on it. However, with new rules being rolled out, you do not need to take IELTS exams in universities that offer admission without asking for IELTS exam scores. Nevertheless, the university may require students to follow other criteria to secure access to a UK university. For example, the university may ask you to prove your proficiency in English not with the standardised IELTS test but in a different way. Therefore, you will be required to check with the university by visiting its website about how it is measuring students’ English proficiency. 

So, let us look at the criteria to study in UK universities without IELTS  

Generally, the IELTS is considered to secure the stay and studying abroad in the UK for international students. However, there are some alternate options available that you can consider to study in the UK without IELTS. 

  • If you have passed your higher secondary education from an English medium school, you will be allowed into UK universities. You will be required to get a Medium of Instruction certificate from a previous educational institute to prove your proficiency in English. 
  • Many UK universities that offer admission to international students without IELTS need those students’ class 12th English language scores. In the most exceptional circumstances, the universities will also require the English language marks you have achieved in the 10th grade. If you have completed a score over 70 per cent in English in the 10th and 12th classes, you will be well-versed in English. 
  • Very few universities may ask international students to appear for online interviews through Skype. The evaluators will assess the student’s proficiency in the English language through online consultation. 

However, you need to note that mastering the English language is one of the most critical requirements to issue the TIER 4 student visa, the most usual UK student visa. Nevertheless, suppose your chosen university is waiving the IELTS test results. In that case, you can ask them to sign a document stating that you can get a student visa to pursue your majors from a UK university. 

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Documents needed to study in the UK without IELTS test score

  • SSC mark sheet 
  • HSC mark sheet 
  • Bachelor’s semester marks sheet
  • Provisional certificate and consolidated marks memo
  • Medium of instruction certificate 
  • Passport
  • Letter of recommendation
  • Resume
  • Statement of purpose 
  • Offer letter 
  • Experience letter (if you have any) 

Now let us pour through the list of universities that accept international students without IELTS test score

  • University of Plymouth 
  • University of Portsmouth 
  • Swansea University 
  • University of Warwick 
  • University of Greenwich 
  • Aston University 
  • Robert Gordon University 
  • University of Bolton 
  • Birmingham City University
  • Northumbria University 

In conclusion

Your dream of studying in the UK can become true even if you want to avoid submitting the IELTS test score to your university. However, you need to note down the criteria from this blog and then consider taking the IELTS test to get admitted to a UK university.