Bangkok/Mumbai: IELTS is the International English Language Testing System, the world’s proven English language test. IELTS was one of the pioneers of four skills English language testing over 25 years ago, while it is trusted and accepted by more than 9,000 institutions worldwide (140 destinations around the world). The latest IELTS scores taken from 40 countries globally showed that test takers from Malaysia and the Philippines tied for first place in Asia, with an overall average score of 6.8 (Academic Module). Students from India scored an average of 5.9 in 2015 (the mean overall and individual IELTS band scores).
The students from China scored an average of 5.9 while test takers from Thailand and Japan scored 6.0 and 5.8, respectively. Test takers from Sri Lanka and Nepal scored an average of 6.4 and 6.0, respectively in 2015. Students in India scored 6.1 in Listening skills, 5.7 in Reading, 5.6 in Writing and 5.8 in Speaking.
The British Council IELTS has conducted a survey with over 3,000 former IELTS candidates who took the test between 2011 to 2013 across nine countries in East Asia, including mainland China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. The survey results show the different ways in which test takers feel that preparing for and taking IELTS have had a positive impact on their professional, educational and daily lives:
52% reported that IELTS empowered them to participate successfully in English-based academic activities such as lectures and written assignments.
63% noted that the experience of preparing for IELTS helped them perform better once they started their academic courses.
60% said that their English proficiency, as evidenced by their IELTS score, helped them along in their career paths and in applying for jobs.
63% expressed how the experience of preparing for and taking IELTS helped them survive in English in their everyday lives.
IELTS is a gateway to educational opportunities worldwide. This recent survey shows that 67% of respondents in East Asia believe that IELTS scores, as a consistently proven representation of English language proficiency, have helped them enter an educational institution overseas, and for 68% of the respondents, IELTS has served as a passage into a candidate’s preferred school, college or university.
The empowering nature of the test, which allows candidates to access opportunities and dreams, resonates with many individuals who have taken the test and have pursued studies in 32 countries within and beyond the East Asia region, with the UK, Australia, Canada and USA listed as the four most popular study destinations. 75% of IELTS test takers from Thailand used the results for study purposes, with UK being the most popular destination (54%), followed by Australia (12%).
Many test takers report that IELTS prepares learners to play an active role in their academic studies by fostering effective spoken and written communication, as well as by developing the important skills of reading and listening in a natural and reliable way. Fifty-two per cent of survey respondents expressed that IELTS empowered them to participate successfully in English-based academic activities such as lectures and written assignments.
Furthermore, 63% of respondents noted that the experience of preparing for IELTS helped them perform better on their course. This shows the value of IELTS as both a globally recognised test and a tool to cultivate the skills necessary to excel in the academic environment.
In the professional arena, respondents noted that the wide recognition of IELTS by employers helped kick-start and boost their careers both domestically and overseas. Sixty per cent of test takers said that their IELTS score helped them begin their career paths and apply for jobs. Japan recorded the highest proportion (24%) of IELTS test takers taking IELTS for personal career purposes, followed by Vietnam (18%), Singapore (12%) and the Philippines (12%).
The Philippines recorded the highest number of candidates using IELTS in Asia for immigration entry to work overseas (64%). IELTS has been proven to be a good choice to demonstrate a test taker’s English proficiency in the job market. “It is well recognised by numerous employers.” (Hoi Yee Yau, IELTS score 7.5).
Greg Selby, Director Examinations, East Asia (IELTS) said “The number of IELTS tests taken has increased year-on-year annually, with 2.7 million tests taken in 2015, and in addition to the usual study destinations such as the UK, USA, Canada and Australia, the percentage of domestic usage of IELTS is increasing sharply in some East Asian countries.” He added “The survey reflects that IELTS is constantly fulfilling its mission to create more life-changing opportunities and have a positive impact on peoples’ lives.”