What Are The Needed IELTS Scores For Different Countries?

Oct 23, 2023 | IELTS Test

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS), is a standardised measure of an individual’s English language proficiency. When a person is wanting to study, work or just migrate to English-speaking countries, an IELTS score will often be a critical requirement as part of obtaining a visa. For non-English speaking countries–perhaps your own, certain IELTS scores can make your skills more marketable and help secure a good job. 

The specific score prerequisites can vary widely depending on the destination country and the purpose of migration, such as pursuing an Undergraduate or Postgraduate degree or being able to work in different professions. Most commonly, the countries candidates of the IELTS exam are aiming to migrate to are the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. 

In addition to anglophone nations, other countries might require specific scores to work in some jobs. For instance, to work as a teacher of English in the UAE, you will need at least 7 in the Academic IELTS test. For those who teach other subjects whose medium of instruction is in English, they should have 6 in Academic IELTS.  

If you aim to study in an English-speaking country, there are a number of factors which should be considered when you target certain IELTS scores. One of them is the ranking of your targeted institution and the discipline you will study and the level of the degree. 

High-ranked universities tend to require higher scores because they receive a deluge of applications and they need to filter out the applicants. For example, Oxford University, Cambridge University, and UCL have their own IELTS requirements, which are higher than most UK institutions. This is also true for top universities in other anglophone universities, such as Ivy league schools in the USA, Melbourne University in Australia, and Toronto University in Canada. In the UK, Apart from Oxbridge, Russell group universities have their own IELTS scores that might be challenging for some students.

Another factor you need to consider is your discipline. Some certain subjects may need higher scores in IELTS and might have their own required band score in certain skills such as writing. 

Finally, the level of your programme is crucial in determining the required IELTS scores. While undergraduate programmes will demand a lower mark, postgraduate research degrees will ask for the highest marks.

In addition to the aforementioned countries and institutions, bear in mind that international campuses of these universities will require decent IELTS scores. Currently, there are many American and British universities operating overseas in the Middle East and Asian countries. For instance, Nottingham University has two campuses in China and Malaysia, Birmingham University has a new campus in Dubai. Texas A&M and Georgetown Universities have their own campuses in Qatar. Therefore, a good IELTS score  not only opens the doors of top institutions in English-speaking countries, it also can guarantee you a place in a high-ranked university in your country. 

As mentioned above, some countries aim to hire people who are proficient in English, particularly in the education sector. Nothing can prove your proficiency more than IELTS. Currently, it is difficult to be hired as a teacher in some GCC countries (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and UAE), without holding a good IELTS band score. 

Why IELTS Scores Matter For Different Countries

As mentioned at the very start of this article, the IELTS exam in its most simple form is a standardised measure of an individual’s English language proficiency. But, in reality, it serves as much more than that. It acts as a key, unlocking doors to opportunities and experiences in new lands or even your own. Whether it’s the dream of studying at a top university, working in a professional field, or even starting anew in a different part of the world, the IELTS score is often the first box on the checklist. 

There are many IELTS band requirements for different countries, shaping the landscape of possibilities for prospective students, workers, and immigrants. For example, the IELTS band requirement for all countries can vary significantly, depending on factors like the educational institution or the sector of employment. In some instances, such as in the field of healthcare, the IELTS score for nurses in different countries might be higher than for other professions. Therefore, it is essential to comprehend the varying IELTS country scores to plan a successful migration or educational journey effectively.

One may wonder why IELTS band scores for different countries are so crucial for migrating. The answer is multifaceted but centres around effective communication and integration into society. Governments and institutions want to ensure that individuals possess sufficient language skills to function effectively in an English-speaking environment. This encompasses everything from understanding lectures at a university to communicating effectively in a professional workplace, or even interacting in day-to-day social settings.

Additionally, a standardised measure like the IELTS exam allows countries to maintain a consistent level of language proficiency among incoming immigrants, ensuring a smoother assimilation process.

IELTS Scores Required In The United Kingdom (UK)

image of Westminster palace

The UK remains a highly sought-after destination for international students and professionals. Renowned for its prestigious educational institutions and diverse job opportunities, the UK offers a rich cultural experience alongside a strong academic foundation. The country’s educational system is research-oriented and its top universities are often at the forefront of new discoveries in their specialisms. The NHS too, is world-renowned as a leader in universal healthcare, and is often the biggest employer of foreign nationals – using the international talent market to ensure it has enough well-trained doctors and nurses.

Needed UK IELTS Scores 

Undergraduate Degree: Minimum Band Score of 6.5 

Postgraduate Degree: Minimum Band Score of 7.0 

IELTS Band Score Requirements For Top UK Universities

Cambridge University – Minimum Band Score of 7.0

Oxford University – Minimum Band Score of 7.0

London School of Economics – Minimum Band Score of 7.0

University of St Andrews – Minimum Band Score of 6.5

King’s College London – Minimum Band Score of 7.0

University Rankings From: Times Higher Education

IELTS Scores Required In Canada

image of Canadian flag

Canada is another top choice for individuals looking to study or work abroad, known for its high quality of life and excellent educational system. The country is home to a variety of top-ranking universities and vocational training institutions. Canada’s diverse society offers an inclusive environment for immigrants from all backgrounds, and this has only been bolstered in recent years as the country has grown its net migration figures to some of the highest in the world. However, with the different provinces having their own specific immigration policies, it’s vital to understand the IELTS requirements pertinent to one’s chosen destination within Canada.

Needed Canadian IELTS Scores

Undergraduate Degree: Minimum Band Score of 5.5 

Postgraduate Degree: Minimum Band Score of 6.0

IELTS Band Score Requirements For Top Canadian Universities

University of Toronto – Minimum Band Score of 6.5

University of British Columbia – Minimum Band Score of 6.5

McGill University – Minimum Band Score of 6.5

McMaster University – Minimum Band Score of 6.5

University of Montreal – Minimum Band Score of 6.5

University Rankings From: Times Higher Education

IELTS Scores Required In Australia

image of Sydney skyline & Opera House

Naturally, the stunning scenery of the Gold Coast is attractive to any aspiring student. However, Australia also stands as a global leader in education, attracting students and professionals from around the world with its wide range of courses, world-class universities, along with the vibrant lifestyle. The educational system here provides flexible pathways for all levels of study, from vocational training to advanced research programs. Right to remain visas can be a bit trickier to attain here, but for those that do, the job market is robust, with particular demand in sectors like healthcare, engineering, and information technology.

Needed Australian IELTS Scores

Undergraduate Degree: Minimum Band Score of 6.0

Post Graduate Degree: Minimum Band Score of 6.5

IELTS Band Score Requirements For Top Australian Universities

University of Melbourne – Minimum Band Score of 6.5

Monash University – Minimum Band Score of 6.5

The University of Queensland – Minimum Band Score of 6.5

University of Sydney – Minimum Band Score of 6.5

Australian National University – Minimum Band Score of 7.0

University Rankings From: Times Higher Education

IELTS Scores Required In New Zealand

image of some mountains in New Zealand

New Zealand is a country that offers a unique blend of high-quality education and unparalleled natural beauty, making it an attractive destination for students and professionals alike. The country’s educational system is research-focused and provides a wide range of courses that are internationally recognised. Culturally, New Zealand is also known for its friendly, laid-back atmosphere and strong sense of community, making it an ideal place for social integration. Industries such as tourism, agriculture, and healthcare drive the job market in New Zealand, and understanding the IELTS prerequisites can pave the way for a successful move to this island nation.

Needed New Zealand IELTS Scores

Undergraduate Degree: Minimum Band Score of 6.0

Postgraduate Degree: Minimum Band Score of 6.0

IELTS Band Score Requirements For Top New Zealand Universities

University of Auckland – Minimum Band Score of 6.5

Auckland University of Technology – Minimum Band Score of 6.0

University of Otago – Minimum Band Score of 6.0

University of Waikato – Minimum Band Score of 6.5

University Rankings From: Times Higher Education

IELTS Scores Matter In Non-English Speaking Countries Too 

A common perception among IELTS exam takers is that it is only key to studying in English speaking countries. 

This was true a decade ago, but the dominance of English as a lingua franca, and the increasing demands on schools and universities to teach in English, have changed the scene. Nowadays, you should expect that IELTS might be required in many non-English speaking countries too. 

Improve Your IELTS Score With Us

Working out exactly what is needed when it comes to IELTS scores for different countries can be difficult. Add into this the fact that different courses and workplaces can have even more requirements, the band score you need can quickly be higher than the minimums we’ve stated above. Luckily, at English With An Expert, we can help tailor a learning experience that helps you meet and even exceed the IELTS band requirements of your target country, be it the UK, Canada, Australia, or New Zealand. 

Through one-to-one coaching with a personal IELTS tutor ,alongside equipping you with test-taking strategies, we ensure that your IELTS score is more than just a number; it becomes your ticket to a new chapter of life. So why not ensure that your journey starts on the right foot? Follow this link to book a demo lesson with one of our experienced IELTS tutors.