MELBOURNE, Australia, March 9, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- IELTS has cemented its position as the world's most popular high stakes English language test with latest figures revealing a record 1.5 million tests were taken around the world in 2010.
Representing over 15 consecutive years of global growth, the number of tests taken has increased year-on-year annually since 1995.
North America followed by the Philippines and Hong Kong experienced the largest growth over the year, whilst China, Australia and India continue to retain their positions as the largest markets for IELTS.
Tony Pollock, Chief Executive of IDP: IELTS Australia, speaking on behalf of the three IELTS partners said, "We believe the increase in the number of IELTS tests taken can be attributed to two key factors. Firstly, we have seen greater test accessibility with 800 locations in 130 countries now available.
"There are also over 6,000 institutions globally that rely on the rigour and reliability of the IELTS test to make informed decisions where English language skills are a key requirement, including universities, employers, professional bodies and immigration authorities," he continued.
IELTS provides a reliable measure of a candidate's ability across the four skills of listening, reading, writing and speaking.
Candidates cited the number one reason for taking the test in 2010 was in pursuit of entry into an academic institution, followed by migration purposes.
"IELTS continues to help change people's lives as they look for opportunities around the world – whether that be in education, for migration or employment. That's why IELTS is a high stakes test and also why it's so critical that the test continue to be a robust and rigorous measure of English language proficiency.
"With 1.5 million tests delivered last year, it is clear that the effectiveness of IELTS in this regard is acknowledged by both candidates and those who use and rely on the test alike," Mr. Pollock concluded.
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. 6,000 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 close to three 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 module 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 module measures English language proficiency in a practical, everyday context. The tasks and texts reflect both workplace and social situations. The General Training module 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 report form 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