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The Pros and Cons of Taking the IELTS Exam for International Students

The IELTS exam is an important requirement for each student or professional wanting to prove their level of English fluency in writing, reading, listening, and speaking.

Colleges and universities require international students to achieve certain scores. This is to make sure that every learner would benefit from the lessons delivered using the English language.

However, today’s situation has caused schools to waive such requirements, especially for Filipino students. Institutions are looking for ways to allow easy entry for students who choose to study abroad.

Now that IELTS has become less of a prerequisite, this might have got you thinking if the exam is still worth taking. In this article, we will examine the pros and cons of taking the IELTS exam with today's lenient school policies, immigration changes, and rise of new opportunities.

The Pros

  • Allows swift changes - international students are sometimes faced with scenarios that require them to take the IELTS exam. Some of these situations include change of program, permits, or residency status. As long as your IELTS is still valid, it becomes easier to do the changes when your requirements are all ready. Taking the language exam requires a good amount of preparation, and the concentration levels you get in your home town vs your life abroad will never be the same. If you are up for something better in less than two years, taking the IELTS exam will surely help.

  • Better opportunities - According to Studyportals, proving your proficiency by earning good scores in the IELTS Exam is a valuable asset career-wise. It's easy for employers to see which applicants have an edge in terms of communication skills. In any institution, effective communication is vital, and this can only be achieved if you have established a basic foundation of the English language.

pros cons ielts exam international students

  • Brush up on your English skills - Taking the exam would normally require a review. All the mock tests will help you prepare for your actual interaction in studying, working, and living abroad. Though this wouldn’t be the main reason for taking the exam, at least this would help you become fully confident in staying in a foreign place.

  • Lesser tuition fees - Certain combination programs allow international students to join the course without the need of taking the IELTS exam. The downside? it could become more costly as English units are included. If you’re interested, take a look at our previous article that talked about the Malta MBA combination program.

pros cons ielts exam international students

The Cons

  • Requires time and effort - The time you need to put into preparing for the big day depends on the level of your English knowledge. Though it is possible to only spend two weeks preparing, you’ll gain better scores if you give more time reviewing. Taking the exam can be stressful and an added burden to one’s pocket. It would be best to take the test self-assured rather than just for the sake of complying with the requirement. The last thing you’ll ever want to do is to have a retake and possibly miss your targeted school entry date.

pros cons ielts exam international students

  • It comes with an expiration date - The testing center declared two years from the time the test was taken as its validity period. Although, this can depend on the country’s immigration rules. Australia, for one, extended the validity of the exam results to 3 years for immigration and citizenship purposes. If you are planning to use your IELTS scores for another process, a strict timeline of goals must be followed.

  • Not a prerequisite for program admission - Gone are the days when students need to fulfill the IELTS requirement to gain entry to a college. This time, a lot of programs have removed the language exams especially for Filipinos who have been primarily taught using English. If you’re planning to go for further learning abroad, pick a course that waives any language qualification. It would be impractical to take the exam for the sake of admission requirements as Fil-Global offers various programs to choose from.

  • No impact on PGWP to PR pathway - International students in English-speaking countries are taught using the main language, this makes the exam negligible as the student has proved its capacity to communicate within the entire duration of its studies. In Canada, applicants get high marks through education and experience in their points-based system. If this is the case, skipping IELTS and taking a program with a guaranteed PGWP to PR pathway is a more viable option.

Curious about which programs exempt IELTS? Visit us now or message us through our web or Facebook page. We have numerous program choices in different industries and our agents will gladly assist you while considering your preferences.


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