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Is There an IELTS Exam Age Limit?

is there an IELTS exam age limit?

Are you old enough to take the IELTS? Or are you too old to take the IELTS? Never fear–I’ve dug up the facts on the IELTS exam age limit.

Is 16 the Minimum IELTS Exam Age Limit?

If you Google “IELTS exam age limit,” a lot of the top results seem to say that you can’t take the IELTS if you’re under 16. This is wrong, wrong, WRONG! But I don’t mean to be too harsh on the people that say this. The supposed 16 age limit is a pretty common misconception, actually.

So why do people think you can’t take the IELTS under the age of 16? Where does this weird idea come from? Well, the truth is, it’s not such a weird idea. And it’s not far from the truth. The official makers of the IELTS do recommend against taking the IELTS if you’re younger than 16. But they absolutely do allow younger test-takers to register for the test without restriction.

Don’t believe me? Let’s look at the IELTS minimum age policy, right from one of their own official websites. According to the official terms and conditions for IELTS test registration:

  • IELTS is made available worldwide to all persons, regardless of age, gender, race, nationality or religion but it is not recommended to persons under 16 years of age.

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Why does the IELTS recommend against taking the test before you’re 16?

So, if you’re under 16 and are thinking of taking the IELTS, should you worry? Why do the test-makers say this is usually a bad idea?

One of the biggest reasons is that IELTS scores expire after two years. So how is that a problem for younger test-takers? Well, the main reason people take the IELTS is to get into university or get a skilled migration visa to an English-speaking country. Generally, people don’t start uni or go overseas for work unless they’re at least 18.

With some simple math, you can see the problem. For any test-taker under the age of 16, IELTS scores will almost certainly be expired by the time they start university or go abroad for work.

If you’re under the age of 16, is there any reason to take the IELTS?

Absolutely! Some high school foreign exchange programs, bilingual high schools, and international schools ask for IELTS scores. In addition, some countries like to see IELTS scores even for younger immigrants. Canada, for example, will consider IELTS scores for international migrants as young as 14.

And of course, if you’re one of those ambitious and talented students who start high school at 17 or younger, it makes sense to take the IELTS before your sixteenth birthday.

Are you ever too old to take the IELTS?

The IELTS has no rules for maximum age and doesn’t even recommend a maximum age. Just as you’re never too old to have fun, you’re never too old to take the IELTS. (This is an especially apt comparison, as I’ve actually tutored elderly pensioners who are studying English and taking the IELTS just for fun!)

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50 Responses to Is There an IELTS Exam Age Limit?

  1. Sejal das May 26, 2017 at 8:27 am #

    I am 15th years of age so what can I do

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert May 27, 2017 at 2:05 am #

      Hi Sejal,

      As we mention in the post, you can take the IELTS! Now, whether or not to prepare for the IELTS or another English exam will depend on your personal situation and academic goals. If you want to study in an English-speaking country, I recommend researching different schools/programs to find out more about which exam or exams are required or recommended. 🙂

      I hope this helps, at least a little!

      • Ash June 22, 2018 at 6:20 am #

        After 10 can we do ielts

        • David Recine
          David Recine June 26, 2018 at 12:31 pm #

          Yes, you can. As I’ve said before, you can technically register for the IELTS at any age. After 10 is probably better than younger than 10, actually. And of course, close to 18, or older is best. (So your IELTS scores won’t be expired by the time you can start university or migrate abroad.)

  2. Prajina Gauli June 2, 2017 at 4:49 am #

    i am 14 years old so can i apply ??? 🙂

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert June 2, 2017 at 11:04 am #

      Yes, you can sign up for and take the IELTS 🙂

  3. Bhumita July 24, 2017 at 3:59 am #

    my sister want go abroad for further study but her age is only 15 years. so she is eligible for IELTS test?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert July 31, 2017 at 5:29 pm #

      Hi Bhumita,

      According to the IELTS makers themselves, “IELTS is made available worldwide to all persons, regardless of age, gender, race, nationality or religion but it is not recommended to persons under 16 years of age.” So your sister absolutely can take it. 🙂

    • Afra April 17, 2018 at 5:26 am #

      Sir after 2 yr can we write the ielts exam

      • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
        Magoosh Test Prep Expert April 20, 2018 at 3:55 pm #

        Hi Afra,

        I’m afraid I don’t understand your question. Two years after what? You can take the exam at any age, though it’s only recommended for those over 16.

  4. Chetan patel July 31, 2017 at 5:04 am #

    Hi
    I am 32 year old so what can i do. May i give ielts examination.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert July 31, 2017 at 5:25 pm #

      Hi Chetan,

      Yes, of course you can take the IELTS! Just make sure you are adequately prepared for the exam (both content and format) and you can ace it. 🙂

  5. sandeep kumar August 14, 2017 at 1:32 am #

    My age is 25 . I can take admission in academic ielts

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert August 14, 2017 at 10:51 am #

      Yes! 🙂

  6. Bhupinder singh September 5, 2017 at 6:33 am #

    My mom is 47 yrs old.Can she apply for ielts?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert September 7, 2017 at 10:13 am #

      She definitely can! You’re never too old for the IELTS. According to the official rules, at least. 😉

  7. Eva September 6, 2017 at 12:59 pm #

    Hi i’m french , i’m 15 years old it’s young and i’m interested by the IELTS exam but i don’t know How can i have lessons ? Where i can find the program ? And if it’s really accessible?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert September 7, 2017 at 10:08 am #

      You’re 15 years old and already starting to study for the IELTS? Wow! With that much advance preparation, you’ve got a good chance of scoring well!

      IELTS lessons are available through many sources. Magoosh IELTS offers video lessons. You may also be able to get face-to-face tutoring or IELTS classes where you live. To look at those options, I recommend talking to your high school English teacher or guidance counselor. Those people should be able to give you some advice on where to find local IELTS instruction.

      IELTS tutoring is also very accessible online. Offhand, I can recommend IELTS-UK. They’re a private IELTS tutoring service that offers IELTS prep over webcam. The directors of IELTS-UK are bilingual and speak French as well as English, which should be helpful in your case. But there are many other online IELTS tutors and schools out there too. So feel free to search the web and “shop around.”

  8. gwiyomi September 9, 2017 at 9:56 pm #

    I’m 17 and my aunt plans to bring me to Australia to study and work. Should i take the ielts?

    • David Recine
      David Recine September 10, 2017 at 6:46 pm #

      I would say so. You’re very close to the age where you can get an Australian work visa or start at an Australian university, so now is a good time to take the test. Or perhaps take the testS. I’m using plural here, because Australia requires the IELTS Academic test for university, but wants to see an IELTS General Training test score for immigration. If you’re not sure whether you want to work or study, taking both exams will keep your options open.

  9. Govil monga September 10, 2017 at 7:31 am #

    Hey! Can I apply for IELTS exam, my age is just 12 years.

    • David Recine
      David Recine September 10, 2017 at 6:43 pm #

      What ambitious young student you are! You certainly can take the IELTS at age 12. However, if you do this, you’d probably only be able to use the experience for practice. IELTS scores expire after two years. It’s probably more than two years before you could start at an international high school. And it’s definitely going to be more than two years before you could enter an overseas university or immigrate to an English-language country for a job. So if you take the IELTS now, your scores will probably expire before you can actually use them.

      Again though, experiencing a real IELTS could be good practice, and you’re certainly allowed to take the test, even if you’re only 12 right now.

  10. Sharon Benny October 24, 2017 at 4:58 am #

    I’m 17 years old…..
    Can I write IELTS ?

    • David Recine
      David Recine October 24, 2017 at 11:59 am #

      Absolutely. Not only that, but you’re at a very good age to take the IELTS. You’ll be old enough for university or overseas employment by next year. It can be good to start trying for a qualifying IELTS score now!

  11. Ali November 14, 2017 at 1:54 am #

    I am inter pass(12tg class) can i apply for IELTS

    • David Recine
      David Recine November 15, 2017 at 11:39 am #

      You absolutely can take the IELTS. While the IELTS is available to all age groups, you’re at an especially good time in your life for taking the exam. 🙂

  12. Nicky November 25, 2017 at 8:16 am #

    My son is 7 and for him to apply for the Northwestern University Center for Talent Development’s programs an IELTS is required… Of course, even though he is gifted, he’s still only 7-years-old. I have undergone the Cambridge examinations and for them a lot of general culture is needed. As I do not really know IELTS, is it the same for it?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert November 28, 2017 at 10:26 am #

      Some general cultural information is definitely helpful on the IELTS. I’m a little surprised that they’re asking a 7 year old to do the IELTS at all though. Some of the vocabulary in IELTS, especially in the longer reading passages, is way above anything that even a gifted native English speaking 7 year old would know. And pretty much the whole exam is really designed for older test-takers with higher attention spans, high school students or adults.

      I recommend looking at IELTS sample tests to get a feel for the culture and language knowledge your son will need for the exam. If I may ask, what are the score requirements for your son, if any? (It’s very interesting to hear about the IELTS exam being used in a child learning program!)

  13. Tamanna sharma December 10, 2017 at 2:02 am #

    M 28 can i give ielts acdemic test ????

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert December 10, 2017 at 1:50 pm #

      Hi Tamanna, there is no upper age limit for the IELTS–you can take it at 28 or 108 🙂

  14. Sajanpreet Singh December 22, 2017 at 5:55 pm #

    Do one of my parent can go with me if I do Ilets before 12th and can one of my parent can do work there.pls. tell me.

    • David Recine
      David Recine December 23, 2017 at 1:39 pm #

      It sounds like you’re asking if one of your parents can enter the exam room with you and help you with the exam? Unfortunately, the answer to that is no. However, a parent could accompany you to the test center and meet you just outside the testing room after you finish. And with or without a parent, you can take the IELTS, no matter how young you are.

  15. Harmandeep sinhj February 7, 2018 at 9:21 pm #

    I am inter pass(10 class) can i apply for IELTS

    • David Recine
      David Recine February 9, 2018 at 7:40 am #

      Absolutely. Anyone at any age can register for and take the test. 🙂

  16. Khushi February 15, 2018 at 2:04 am #

    I am 17,i know i can do ilets,but can i apply immediately for visa after ilets exam?

    • David Recine
      David Recine February 15, 2018 at 12:45 pm #

      That depends a lot on which country you’re emigrating to, and what kind of visa you’re going for. I would check with an immigration office if you are applying for a work visa. If you’re applying for a student visa, check with the school or schools that you’re applying for.

  17. Manpreetkaur March 28, 2018 at 7:02 pm #

    Am in 10 th standard and i want to do ielts to study in america further is my age right to do ielts in this as am going to be of full fifteen on 15 dec 2018

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert March 30, 2018 at 1:52 pm #

      Hi there,

      Thanks for reaching out to Magoosh! Our expertise is in test prep, so I’m not sure if I can answer your question fully. In the US, students are usually 18 years old before they enter university, and they must complete 12 years of schooling for admission. There are programs like EF High School Exchange Year that allow secondary students to study in the US, but you would have to research their requirements and see if you qualify. Good luck!

  18. Jyothi March 30, 2018 at 2:40 am #

    Without ielts exam can I go to abroad for studies, and can I participate in ielts exam through online

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert March 30, 2018 at 1:58 pm #

      Hi Jyothi,

      An English Language Test like the TOEFL or IELTS is required by most universities for admissions. You will have to look up the specific requirements for the schools where you wish to study.

      The IELTS is a paper-based test. Some people who are applying for a visa in the UK can take the IETLS on a computer, but you still must go to a specific testing center. You can see a complete list of places to take the IELTS here.

  19. Robert April 11, 2018 at 9:47 am #

    Hi ! I am 13 years old can i apply for IELTS because i am very intersted in it.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert April 15, 2018 at 4:12 pm #

      Hi Robert,

      Yes, you can take the IELTS as a 13-year-old, but it’s generally not recommended for people under 16. You should think about why you want to take the IELTS and whether it is something you plan to pursue in the next few years. Many schools, for example, require that you take your English language test within 2 years of applying. So, if you take your test now, you will have to apply by 15 in order to use your scores! It might be helpful to take the test in order to be able to practice and understand what the test is all about, but you should think about your goal and make a plan that works for you. Good luck 🙂

      • Amaan July 21, 2018 at 11:23 am #

        I can do ielts after 10th?a

        • David Recine
          David Recine July 22, 2018 at 12:33 pm #

          I think you’re asking if you can do IELTS after 10th grade? Yes, you can. Like I said, people of any age are permitted to akae the test. But remember, your scores are treated as expired after two years. So if you take the IELTS when you still have about 2 years of high school remaining, your scores may be seen as invalid by the time you actually send them to universities. For those reasons, I recommend taking the IELTS during or after the 11th grade.

  20. Pritamsing May 11, 2018 at 10:56 pm #

    Hey!
    I’m 27 can i give it? And what score should i must obtain to get in to a reputed University. Is there any chance of scholarship?

    • David Recine
      David Recine May 14, 2018 at 7:15 am #

      You can definitely take the IELTS at age 27, or at any age. Generally, you need at least a 6.5 to get into a good school, although some respectable schools will accept as low as a 6. There are a variety of scholarships you can get based on your IELTS score, as well as scholarships that aren’t dependent on IELTS score. Scholarship opportunities vary a good deal from uni to uni, so double check the websites of your target schools to see what scholarships might be available to you.

  21. Niraj Nayak May 15, 2018 at 7:27 pm #

    I am 16 years old I want to give this examination so for this what can I do

    • David Recine
      David Recine May 16, 2018 at 7:13 pm #

      As a 16 year old, you can take the IELTS, since the test is open to anyone at any age. All you’d need to do is go to the IELTS registration website and book an exam at your nearest test center.

      But be careful. IELTS scores are considered to be expired two years after the test date. So you may need to retake the IELTS at the end of high school, once your applying for schooling or work that requires the IELTS.

  22. Rijan Baniya May 20, 2018 at 7:02 am #

    I’m 17 yrs old .Can I give ielts test?Is there any age limit for this?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert May 24, 2018 at 5:29 pm #

      Hi Rijan,

      There is no age limit or minimujm age for the IELTS; you can take it at any age!


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