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Understanding IELTS Eligibility: Criteria, Requirements, and More

For IELTS 2024, the conducting exam bodies like IDP and the British Council have not laid out any change in the IELTS eligibility criteria. To keep you informed, IELTS is a popular English proficiency exam that is attempted by students willing to move abroad for multiple reasons. There are 3 types of IELTS exams: Academic, General Training, and Life Skills. Moreover, the exam is divided amongst four sections; reading, writing, speaking, and listening. 

Read more to explore the details of IELTS eligibility criteria. 

General IELTS Eligibility Criteria 

There are no specific eligibility criteria for the IELTS exam as kept clear by its conducting bodies. You only need a valid passport to register for IELTS 2024. Once you submit your passport and register for the IELTS exam, you will be able to utilize the result as valid proof of English proficiency to study, work, or migrate abroad. This IELTS certificate will be valid in all English-speaking countries like the USA, the UK, Canada, Australia, and more. 

However, minimum score requirements for each country and institution can vary significantly. Read our blog on minimum score requirements for different countries. 

IELTS Exam Age Limit

The IELTS exam age limit is the only criterion that exists for candidates. The candidate should be at least 16 years of age at the time of IELTS registration. Rest assured, there is no other specification for the candidate’s gender, background, or nationality. Moreover, while the suggested minimum IELTS exam age limit is 16 years of age, there is no maximum IELTS exam age limit.

However, please note that it is not necessary for the candidate to be 16 years of age. It is only recommended that students below 16 years of age should not appear for the IELTS exam. 

Minimum Educational Qualification for IELTS

Since the IELTS exam is designed to only test a candidate’s English proficiency, it does not have any set standards for the minimum educational qualification for IELTS. Anyone is welcome to take the IELTS test irrespective of their educational background or qualification. The decision can be based on multiple factors including the aim to study, work, or migrate abroad. To understand which IELTS exam to take for different purposes, read our blog on IELTS Academic vs General Training Exam. 

Minimum IELTS Score Requirement 

Everyone takes IELTS for varied reasons. While one candidate could take IELTS to pursue a bachelor’s program in the USA, another candidate might be aiming to get into a master’s program in the UK. Since every country’s and every institution’s requirements for minimum IELTS score are different, a candidate is advised to check with their respective school for the same.

However, to ensure you have an IELTS score that fulfills the minimum IELTS eligibility criteria for most schools, you should aim for an IELTS score as high as possible. Note that you can also attempt the IELTS exam again in case you have not secured your desired score. 

Minimum IELTS Score Requirement for Different Countries


Minimum IELTS Score Requirement 






5-7 (Depending on the purpose)



New Zealand


Countries that Consider IELTS Eligibility 

IELTS scores are valid across 140 nations worldwide. Some of the most preferred countries by candidates who take the IELTS exam are as follows: 

  • USA 
  • UK 
  • Canada 
  • Ireland 
  • New Zealand 
  • Australia 
  • Germany
    and many more. 

IELTS Eligibility for Special Cases 

IELTS is recognized to be the fairest English proficiency exam. It gives a fair chance to everyone to test their English skills. Following the same, in case a person has a special request to make in terms of visual, speaking, or listening problems, IELTS considers that. 

One needs to report to their IELTS exam center six weeks in advance in such cases. Special arrangements like extra time or a different IELTS test version can be arranged as per the candidate’s request. 


We hope to have provided all the necessary information on IELTS eligibility criteria. If you wish to go for IELTS training, you can contact VIS to get in touch with our expert IELTS counselors.  


Who is eligible for the IELTS exam?

There are no specific eligibility criteria for the IELTS exam as kept clear by its conducting bodies. You can be of any age, or educational background, or have any 10th or 12th percentile to appear for the IELTS exam. While 16 years is a recommended age to take the IELTS exam, it is not a necessity. 

What is the requirement for IELTS? 

There is no particular requirement for the IELTS exam. A person of any age, background, or nation can appear for IELTS. You only need a valid passport to register for the exam. Other than that, none of the IELTS conducting bodies has laid out any mandatory IELTS eligibility. 

How much percentage is required in 12th for IELTS? 

There are no IELTS eligibility criteria with the 12th percentage required for IELTS. People with any score in the 12th standard can attempt the IELTS exam. 

I am in 10th standard. Can I apply for IELTS? 

Yes. As mentioned above, students of any age can apply for IELTS. So. students in the 10th standard can also apply for IELTS. 

When can you retake your IELTS test? 

After you get the results of your IELTS test, you can immediately take another attempt. There is no minimum duration advised between two IELTS attempts. 

For how long is your IELTS test valid? 

The IELTS test is valid for 2 years after you get your results.

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