MELBOURNE, Australia, March 30, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- In the face of changing economic and migration conditions, IELTS has enjoyed 12% growth in number of tests taken in 2011 as compared to 2010. The latest figures marked the seventeenth year of continual growth in test numbers, with the number of tests taken tripling since 2005.
USA was the fastest growing market worldwide in 2011 with more than 50 test centres now open to candidates, while Canada also observed a significant rise in the number of tests taken in the past twelve months.
The East Asia region of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka was the second most significant growth market for IELTS in 2011.
Demand in China, India and Australia remained strong with these countries again administering the highest number of tests. IELTS also noted a significant increase across United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia and Turkey.
IELTS is now recognised by more than 7,000 organisations including educational institutions, employers, professional associations and governments, in 135 countries around the world.
Director of IELTS for IDP: IELTS Australia John Belleville said that reasons cited by test takers for taking the IELTS test were entry into an academic institution, followed by migration purposes.
"For many, IELTS is a requirement for migration to Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United Kingdom and the test can be taken in any one of 800 locations worldwide," Mr Belleville said.
"Demand for IELTS in China remains very impressive, with students taking the test for entry to educational institutions in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and USA amongst many other destinations," explained John Gildea, Head of IELTS at British Council.
IELTS test content is developed by an international team of experts and undergoes extensive research to ensure the test remains fair and unbiased for any candidate regardless of nationality, background, gender, lifestyle or location.
IELTS is jointly owned by British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and the University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations (Cambridge ESOL).
International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
IELTS is the International English Language Testing System, the world's most popular high stakes English language test. 7,000 organisations recognise IELTS as a secure, valid and reliable indicator of true to life ability to communicate in English for education, immigration and professional accreditation. IELTS is jointly owned by British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and the University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations (Cambridge ESOL).
British Council is the UK's international organisation for education and cultural relations. Dedicated to building trust through the exchange of knowledge between people worldwide, the British Council is represented in 107 countries.
IDP: IELTS Australia, a subsidiary of IDP Education, one of the world's leading international education organisations offering student placement in Australia, the USA and the UK. IDP Education has 40 years' experience in international higher education, placing more than 32,000 students every year.
University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations (Cambridge ESOL) is the world's leading provider of exams for learners of English. Each year the exams are taken by more than 3.5 million people, in 135 countries.
About the test
Candidates are tested in listening, reading, writing and speaking. All tests are scored on a banded system from 1 (the lowest) through to 9 (the highest possible band score).
IELTS offers a choice of two versions, to serve both academic and non-academic purposes. IELTS Academic measures English language proficiency needed for an academic, higher learning environment. The tasks and texts are accessible to all test-takers, irrespective of their subject focus. IELTS General Training measures English language proficiency in a practical, everyday context. The tasks and texts reflect both workplace and social situations. General Training is suitable for immigration purposes to Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
A sample of government and professional associations who recognise or require applicants to hold an IELTS test result include:
- Citizenship and Immigration Canada
- Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC)
- UK Home Office – Border Agency
- New Zealand Immigration Service
- Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools and National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN), USA
- International Monetary Fund
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