If you want to study in an English speaking university, it's vital that you have a good grounding in the English language.
Without this you will struggle through lectures and seminars, and find writing essays near impossible.
One of the credentials for many courses involves spoken presentations which means that you will need to be able to write and speak English well to get your points across and to achieve good results.
In order to prove your ability to speak, write and read academic English to a high enough degree for study at a university, you will need to take and pass an IELTS course.
Depending on the course you take you will need different levels of proficiency, but obviously the higher your result the better, and the more courses will be open to you.
IELTS courses are not for everyone
If you don't have a basis in the English language you will really struggle to get anywhere, and an IELTS course will be a waste of time and money for you. You won't be able to pass the examination unless you have got a good grounding in the language.
These examinations aren't for general use. This is not a qualification which will help you with getting a job or proving your understanding of the language for a visa application. There is no point taking the course or the examinations unless you want to study in an English speaking university.
What you need to know
IELTS courses are internationally recognised and therefore you're able to study in any English speaking university regardless of whether that is in the UK or elsewhere.
Each course has different requirements, and if you're trying to get onto a particular course it might be useful to speak to the person running the course about what you're trying to get from it.
If you wish to study a linguistic course, obviously your degree of English will need very high results. This is because of the course you'll be studying, and the chances are you will already have a very good understanding, it will just be a case of refining your academic language.
Other courses, in particular those which are maths or science based, will not need quite such a high standard.
English is the universal language of science and therefore anything which you've learn to that point is likely to reflect this, so again you will just need to work on the language slightly more to bridge the gap.
Consider IELTS courses like a foundation degree. They are designed to help you make the transition between your higher education so far, and the course which you want to be on.
The courses will prepare you thoroughly for the exams, to make sure you're able to get on the courses you want to be on.
Frankie works for New College Manchester and has a passion for teaching and education.
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