IELTS | Media Centre 2 million IELTS tests last


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2 million IELTS tests last year 

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) reinforces its position as the world’s most popular high-stakes English proficiency test for higher education and global migration, with a record of two million tests taken around the world in the last 12 months.

The two million test figure represents 11% growth in the number of tests taken in the last 12 months and marks the eighteenth year of consecutive growth in IELTS test numbers.

The growth in test numbers also reflects the strong growth in the number of organizations turning to IELTS to meet their needs for language proficiency assessment. IELTS is now accepted by more than 8,000 educational institutions, employers, professional associations and governments in 135 countries around the world – including over 3,000 institutions and programs in the USA.

Making the announcement from the IELTS booth at the NAFSA conference in St. Louis, Missouri – Zach Johnson, CEO of IELTS USA said “of the two million tests, the numbers of people taking IELTS to go to the US continues to grow and all of the Top 25 US universities accepting foreign students accept IELTS as proof of English proficiency.”

Globally, the demand for IELTS in countries such as China, India, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Turkey has remained high, with students taking the test for entry to educational institutions in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and USA, among many other destinations.

John Gildea, Head of IELTS at the British Council said “the phenomenal growth we’ve seen around the world is testament to the popularity of the test with test takers – and the organizations that trust IELTS scores as an accurate indicator of a person’s ability to communicate in English.”

John Belleville, Head of IELTS at IDP IELTS added “IELTS is maintaining its position as the most popular high-stakes English proficiency test available, and is available to people in more than 900 locations around the world.” IELTS is jointly owned by the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge English Language Assessment.

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English proficiency rises in India

English proficiency in India is increasing according to new data from the world’s most popular high stakes English language test, IELTS (the International English Language Testing System).

The results achieved by Indian IELTS test takers in 2011 show that proficiency in three of four areas of English language – writing, speaking and listening – has increased since 2010.

The IELTS partners said the data reinforced IELTS as the world’s premier English language test.

“Results from 2011 show Indian test takers are committed to English studies and improving their proficiency in the language,” British Council’s Sarah Deverall said.

“More and more people each year across India are choosing to sit IELTS and increase their global education and employment opportunities. IELTS results can open doors for people to study in the USA, UK or Australia, or obtain a visa to live and work in places such as Canada or Australia,” John Belleville, IDP: IELTS Australia, added.

“We undergo an extensive range of test research and test development so candidates and recognising organisations alike can be confident all results are accurate and reliable. IELTS is designed to encourage test takers to enhance their real world English effectively,” Cambridge ESOL’s Mike Milanovic concluded.

The average IELTS score in India increased from 6 to 6.1 (on the IELTS scale from 1 to 9) in 2011 while the biggest improvement was in speaking skills, which increased to 6.2. Listening was the strongest competency amongst Indian people taking the test in 2011. Data is taken from test takers who sat the IELTS Academic test.

There are 64 IELTS test centres located across India including Jaipur, Trivandrum and Amritsar.

IELTS test results are requested by more than 7,000 education institutions, governments and employers around the globe to provide accurate and reliable measurement of English language proficiency.

More than 1.7 million IELTS tests were sat in 2011, a 12% increase compared to 2010.

View the full analysis of 2011 test data.

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Demand for IELTS increases around the world

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) reinforces its position as the world’s most popular high stakes English proficiency test, hitting a new record of more than 1.7 million tests sat around the world in 2011.

In the face of changing economic and migration conditions, IELTS has enjoyed 12% growth in number of tests sat in 2011 as compared to 2010. The latest figures marked the seventeenth year of continual growth in test numbers, with the number of tests taken tripling since 2005.

USA was the fastest growing market worldwide in 2011 with more than 50 test centres now open to candidates, while Canada also observed a significant rise in the number of tests taken in the past twelve months. The East Asia region of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka was the second most significant growth market for IELTS in 2011. Demand in China, India and Australia remained strong with these countries again administering the highest number of tests. IELTS also noted a significant increase across United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia and Turkey. IELTS is now recognised by more than 7,000 organisations including educational institutions, employers, professional associations and governments, in 135 countries around the world.

Director of IELTS for IDP: IELTS Australia John Belleville said that reasons cited by test takers for taking the IELTS test were entry into an academic institution, followed by migration purposes. “For many, IELTS is a requirement for migration to Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United Kingdom and the test can be taken in any one of 800 locations worldwide,” Mr Belleville said.

“Demand for IELTS in China remains very impressive, with students taking the test for entry to educational institutions in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and USA amongst many other destinations,” explained John Gildea, Head of IELTS at British Council. IELTS test content is developed by an international team of experts and undergoes extensive research to ensure the test remains fair and unbiased for any candidate regardless of nationality, background, gender, lifestyle or location.

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English proficiency increases in France

English proficiency in France is increasing according to new data from the world’s most popular high stakes English language test, IELTS (the International English Language Testing System).

The results achieved by French IELTS test takers in 2011 show that proficiency in two areas of English language – writing and speaking – has increased since 2010.

The IELTS partners said the results reinforced IELTS as the world’s premier English language test.

“Results from 2011 show French test takers are committed to English studies and improving their proficiency in the language,” British Council’s Helga Stellmacher said.

“More and more people each year in France are choosing to sit IELTS and increase their global education and employment opportunities. IELTS results can open doors for people to study in the USA, UK or Australia, or obtain a visa to live and work in places such as Canada or Australia,” John Belleville, IDP: IELTS Australia, added.

“We undergo an extensive range of test research and test development so candidates and recognising organisations alike can be confident all results are accurate and reliable. IELTS is designed to encourage test takers to enhance their real world English effectively,” Cambridge ESOL’s Mike Milanovic concluded.

The average IELTS score in France increased from 6.7 to 6.8 on the IELTS scale from 1 to 9 in 2011. The biggest improvement was in speaking skills, which increased to an average score of 6.8, and was the strongest competency amongst people in France taking the test in 2011. Data is taken from test takers who sat the IELTS Academic test.

There are eight IELTS test centres located across France including Bordeaux, Lyon and Strasbourg.

IELTS test results are requested by more than 7,000 education institutions, governments and employers around the globe to provide accurate and reliable measurement of English language proficiency.

More than 1.7 million IELTS tests were sat in 2011, a 12% increase compared to 2010.

View the full analysis of 2011 test data.Close  Use Refresh Icon to Reload

Caroline Clapham IELTS Masters Award announced

The IELTS Research Committee, comprising representatives of the British Council, IDP Australia, and University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations, is pleased to announce the awarding of the 2012 Caroline Clapham IELTS Masters Award to Veronika Timpe, for her dissertation submitted to Lancaster University entitled “Strategic decoding of sociopragmatic utterances: A think-aloud validation study.” The dissertation was supervised by Luke Harding. In addition, the Committee issued a certificate of commendation to Anne-France Pinget for the high quality of her dissertation on fluency and accent in L2 speech.

The award, which carries a prize of £1000, will be formally presented to the winner at the annual Language Testing Research Colloquium (LTRC) in July 2013.

The Caroline Clapham IELTS Masters Award is presented annually to the Master’s-level dissertation or thesis in English which makes the most significant contribution to the field of language testing. Qualified individuals who would like to join the 2013 competition are invited to visithttp://ielts.org/researchers/grants_and_awards/ielts_masters_award.aspx for details of the competition and submission guidelines.

Congratulations to Ms Timpe and Ms Pinget!

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New U.S. CEO for world-leading language test

The world’s No.1 test of English for international higher education and migration is set for a major boost in the USA following the appointment of a new CEO to head up its operation in the United States.

Online education specialist Zachary Johnson has taken on the role of Chief Executive Officer at IELTS USA, which promotes and delivers the IELTS International English Language Testing System, taken by over 1.7 million people in 2011 in over 130 countries.

Zach has over twenty years of leadership and management experience, including senior roles in global education companies, most recently at Blackboard Inc. where he held various leadership positions across the U.K. and Europe, Asia Pacific and the U.S. over the past 7 years. He will be responsible for increasing the number of institutions across the U.S. which recognize the test as proof of English language skills, and for working with the growing network of test centers in the country to increase opportunities to take the test. Already over 3,000 institutions and programs recognize IELTS in the U.S. and candidates can choose from regular test dates at over 50 locations in 29 states.

Johnson explains the special appeal of IELTS “It is a truly international test, covering all the main varieties of English so that students coming to study in the U.S. are accustomed to a wide variety of accents and ways of speaking English. The test covers four language skills – speaking, listening, reading and writing – in different contexts, meaning learners aren’t just ready for American English in the classroom but have the flexibility to deal with English in all kinds of contexts.”

IELTS is jointly owned by the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations.

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IDP: IELTS Australia awards research grants for 2012

IDP: IELTS Australia has announced the 2012 grant recipients of its independent academic research program which continues to build the evidence base that underpins IELTS.

The IDP: IELTS Australia funded research program is part of a wider joint-funded scheme involving all three IELTS partners; IDP: IELTS Australia, British Council and the University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations, and is part of a comprehensive and coherent framework for research and validation of IELTS.

John Belleville, Director of IELTS for IDP: IELTS Australia, said: “The research program reflects our commitment to be at theResearch Grants 2012 forefront of English language testing.”

“Outcomes from the research studies will ensure the test maintains its relevance and usefulness for all organisations around the world requesting IELTS results as proof of English language skills,” Mr Belleville said.

This year a total of AUD $215,000 was made available in funding for IELTS-related research projects. 

The first IDP: IELTS Australia funded research study, Stakeholder perceptions of IELTS as a gateway to the professional workplace: the case of employers of overseas trained teachers, will aim to enhance understanding of the use and interpretation of IELTS scores by examining perceptions of employers in Australia and New Zealand.

The project will be undertaken by Dr Jill Murray (Dept of Linguistics, Faculty of Human Sciences, Macquarie University), Associate Professor Ken Cruickshank (Faculty of Education and Social Work, Sydney University) and Dr. Judie Cross (Languages, Randwick TAFE NSW Sydney Institute) in agreement with Macquarie University in New South Wales, Australia.
 
The second grant was awarded to Dr Tim Moore (Faculty of Higher Education, Swinburne University of Technology), Janne Morton (School of Language and Linguistics, The University of Melbourne) and Chris Wallis (Swinburne College) through an agreement with Swinburne University of Technology in Victoria, Australia.

The project, Literacy practices in the professional workplace: Implications for the IELTS General Training Reading and Writing tests, will investigate literacy practices in a range of professional workplace settings, and consider the implications these have for the design of the IELTS General Training Reading and Writing tests.
 
Researchers and institutions with expertise in language learning and assessment are invited to apply for funding to undertake IELTS-related research projects by 30 June each year. Further information is available on the IELTS website.

Proposals for 2012 were received by researchers from around the world including Australia, USA, Germany, Russia, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Iran, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Egypt.  

The findings of these funded projects are published in IELTS Research Reports which is available both in print and online, with the latest research (Volume 13) released in March 2012.

IELTS has cemented its position as the world’s most popular high stakes English language test by providing a reliable measure of a candidate’s ability across the four skills of listening, reading, writing and speaking.

Representing more than 15 consecutive years of global growth, the number of tests taken has increased year-on-year annually since 1995. Latest figures reveal a record 1.7 million tests were taken around the world.

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