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.