can I take the ielts test online?, ielts indicator, where can I take the ielts test, why is the ielts indicator test not accepted?

Can I take the IELTS test online?

By Keith Pilkington

What is the IELTS test?

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is one of the world’s most popular English language proficiency tests. It prepares you for working in the UK in your dream healthcare role, and measures your listening, writing, speaking and reading abilities for the English language, whilst also assessing your general communication skills.

To register as a doctor with the General Medical Council (GMC) you must complete and pass the IELTS Academic, achieving a score of at least:

  • 7.0 within the listening and reading sections

  • 7.0 within the writing and speaking sections

This must equate to an overall score of 7.5 (out of a possible 9).

If you trained as a nurse in a non-native English-speaking country, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) requires evidence of an IELTS score of at least 7.0 in all areas and a recent pre-registration nursing qualification that was taught and examined in English.

Where can I take the IELTS test?

You must take your IELTS exam at a certified test centre. Due to restrictions caused by the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, many people have been wondering if it’s possible to take the IELTS test online. The simple answer is no. It has now been confirmed that the new online version of the test – the IELTS Indicator – is not accepted by certain regulatory bodies, including the NMC.

The IELTS Indicator was developed to minimise disruption to people who are ready and waiting to take their IELTS tests. It was online and assessed a person’s English language skills in a timed test. To ensure that the test focused on real-life conversation skills, students would conduct their speaking test face-to-face with a trained IELTS examiner via video call.

So, why is the IELTS Indicator test not accepted anymore?

The test has the same high-quality standards, format and timing as the in-person version, and is also marked by official IELTS examiners. However, after careful consideration, the NMC has confirmed that it cannot accept the IELTS Indicator test. This is because the security measures for the indicator test are not comparable to those in place for the face-to-face test and don’t meet the standards it requires for registration.

For more information about IELTS testing, please get in touch with Keith Pilkington, our Head of Operations (International).