The IELTS exam is an English test, measuring candidates English speaking abilities. It can be a very difficult test for international students. After all, English is a difficult language to learn! Therefore, many individuals may think that once they have achieved a set of results, they are set up for life! However, this is not the case.
IELTS results do have an expiration date, meaning that the results from this exam do not last forever! In fact, they are only considered valid for two years. This means that the test must be taken again after the expiration date, if you want to have a credible set of results.
If you want to discover more about the expiration date and why there seems to be one, check out the rest of this article!
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Do results from the IELTS expire?
Unfortunately, results from the IELTS do expire. This normally occurs two years after you have taken the test.
As a result, after these two years, your results will not be seen as valid anymore. Consequently, different companies and institutions such as universities will not be able to accept them.
If you want to have valid IELTS results once more, you will have to take the test again! You can discover more about how long the IELTS results last for and more general information about the test if you check out this article from the British Council website.
Your IELTS results will only remain valid after two years if you can provide evidence that you have maintained your English language speaking abilities.
How can you provide evidence that you have maintained your English language abilities two years after taking the IELTS?
Providing evidence of your English-speaking capabilities differs depending on the company. However, this document from Pharmacy Regulation as an example, explains how candidates can show that they still have a high level of English-speaking abilities two years after taking the IELTS.
They can do this by showing that at least 75% of the interactions and conversations in their day-to-day life has been made up of English. You could also ask your employer to provide evidence by getting them to write a detailed reference about your knowledge of the English language.
Completing a qualification in English for your work could also provide useful evidence. However, you must bear in mind that these examples are specific for a pharmaceutical job, so you must research your specific career requirements.
Why do the results for the IELTS expire?
The results for the IELTS expire simply because humans are quite forgetful creatures! If someone doesn’t try to maintain their English or actively attempt to speak it every day, they are bound to forget how to use it!
As a result, they may not have an English-speaking ability which is equivalent to a pass after two years. This means that the results from the IELTS are always seen as invalid after two years.
This is regardless of whether you have maintained your English or not! Consequently, you would have to take the test again or provide evidence in another manner.
However, after two years have passed, your English-speaking skills may have improved even more, if you have immersed yourself in an English-speaking environment for that period of time. Despite this, your results will still have expired due to the previous reasons discussed.
Being able to speak English well is essential for nearly every job in an English-speaking environment! This is why keeping your IELTS results up to date is so essential. Even students who have English as their first language have to show that they can speak it well by taking a test at GCSE, as shown in this article from Think Student.
The IELTS results expire for everybody after two years also to accommodate for any changes in the test. This includes alterations to the content of the exam or even the format in which it is given to candidates.
If you want to discover more about why the IELTS results expire and more information about the expiration date, check out this article from the IELTS University website.
What are the next steps to take after your IELTS results have expired?
After your IELTS results have expired, you may have to take the IELTS test again. Your most recent score will then be used to show your capabilities in speaking the English language.
However, as already stated, if you can provide evidence that you have maintained your English-speaking ability, you may not have to take the test again. There are also other ways that you can show you can speak English sufficiently well if you don’t want to take the test again.
IELTS results are needed to prove your English-speaking abilities in order to get a visa for working or studying. However, there is a different way that you can get a student visa or a skilled work visa without taking the test!
You can do this by gaining English based qualifications in the UK which showcase your English-speaking abilities.
Which type of qualifications can be used instead of IELTS results?
If you want to be able to get a skilled worker visa or a student visa, having a GCSE, Scottish Higher qualification or A-Level in English will be sufficient.
You could also do a degree in English, which would definitely be enough to show that you are capable of speaking English. These qualifications also don’t expire, so you can always show that you have a solid grasp of the English language.
You can learn more about these alternatives to taking the IELTS and general FAQs about the test if you check out this article from Think Student.
How do you book an IELTS test once your results have expired?
If you do have to take the IELTS test again, either because you didn’t pass the first time, or your results have expired, it is relatively easy to do so!
You will need to visit the IELTS site or the British Council website and select your booking through there. Once you visit one of these websites, all you have to do is select your test date, create an account and then pay!
When you do book however, you need to make sure that you have a form of identification with you. Make sure that you also select the correct IELTS test! There are multiple different types for different purposes. You can discover what these different exams are if you check out this article from Think Student.
You can read more about how you book an IELTS test, if you check out this page from the British Council website.
Do you have to wait for your results to expire to take the IELTS test again?
If you don’t get the IELTS results you need in order to attend an English university or be employed in a specific company, you can retake the test. Therefore, you do not have to wait for your results to expire in order to take the test again.
There are actually no restrictions for the times you can book the test, as you can re-book as soon as you feel ready to! However, it is advised that you leave a gap after taking the test the first time before re-taking the test if you didn’t get a high enough score.
After all, your English ability will probably not improve drastically in a short period of time. More information about re-booking can be found on this page from the British Council website.
If you didn’t do as well as you wanted to on the test, the best thing to do is to prepare better for next time! There are plenty of preparation courses available to you online with an immense number of materials and resources.
You can discover more about how to prepare and find resources that will help you if you check out this article from the British Council.