Why Is the IELTS Exam Required?

After hours of studying for the IELTS exam, it can be easy to get frustrated and wonder why you have to go through all of this. Why is the IELTS exam required, anyway? Why do you have to take an English exam, even if you’re going to study math or engineering?

Schools and businesses require the IELTS exam so that they know you will have a basic understanding of English before they meet you. By knowing that you already have a certain level of English proficiency, they know what to expect, and can rest assured that language will not be a problem. The IELTS helps you, as well, because it prevents you from diving into situations where you will need better English skills than what you already have.

Why Schools Require You to Take the IELTS

When a school takes in new students, it needs to know how well they will understand English.

Even though classes might be about science or engineering, they are all taught in English, and everyone will have to talk in English to the professor and to each other in class. If your English skills aren’t up to par, you may find it more difficult to understand what is going on.

Not fully understanding what is going on in class can frustrate you and make it more challenging for you to succeed. Schools don’t want to see you struggle, and requiring you to get above a certain score on the IELTS is a way to prevent it from happening. That way, you can focus all of your mental energy on learning the subjects being taught in class, rather than understanding the language they’re being taught in.

Why Businesses Also Require You to Take the IELTS

Schools aren’t the only ones interested in receiving IELTS scores. Sometimes, businesses require you to take the IELTS, if you’re not a native English speaker.

Like schools, though, businesses just need to know that all of their workers can understand instructions. Making a mistake on the job because there has been a miscommunication can be costly to a business. Requiring all of their workers to show that they have good English skills prevents this from happening.

How the IELTS Helps You, Too

Taking the IELTS might seem like a hassle. However, it can also prevent you from making a mistake, and getting involved in a school or a job that needs more language skills than you have. While the IELTS can prevent you from going to a school that you want to go to, it can also prevent you from being where you won’t understand what is going on, which can make you frustrated. If you were able to enroll in a school without knowing enough English to succeed, you would just end up where you started, after losing time, energy, and money.

Further, having passing IELTS scores make it more likely that schools will consider your application. Imagine if there were no standardized exam for English proficiency – many schools might reject qualified candidates out of fear that they won’t be able to perform in an English-speaking university setting. The exam can actually level the playing field for international students with solid English proficiency.

Studying for an exam like the IELTS is hard. However, doing well on the exam is an opportunity to prove that you have the necessary English skills that it takes to get a job or go to school in an English-speaking country.


By the way, improve your IELTS score with Magoosh!

Most Popular Resources


  • Sean

    Sean is a former IELTS administrator and an IELTS blogger for Magoosh. He has a degree in English literature from the University of New Hampshire, and a law degree from the University of Cincinnati. He has also studied abroad in Cambridge, England and in Botswana. In his spare time, he plays ultimate Frisbee, reads, plays guitar, and writes novels, though not all at the same time.

No comments yet.

Magoosh blog comment policy: To create the best experience for our readers, we will only approve comments that are relevant to the article, general enough to be helpful to other students, concise, and well-written! 😄 Due to the high volume of comments across all of our blogs, we cannot promise that all comments will receive responses from our instructors.

We highly encourage students to help each other out and respond to other students' comments if you can!

If you are a Premium Magoosh student and would like more personalized service from our instructors, you can use the Help tab on the Magoosh dashboard. Thanks!

Leave a Reply