Thinking of pursuing your graduate or master’s degree in UK? Then plan for taking the IELTS exam as well as the international subject test. The International English Language Testing System tests for English language proficiency. IELTS exam tests candidates for reading, writing, listening and speaking skills in English. There are two types of IELTS exam, one is the general IELTS and the other is the academic IELTS.

If you are going to UK for further studies, it is best to apply for a student visa. Almost all recognized institutes of UK have their cut off scores for English proficiency. All or most of the UK varsities accept IELTS score. If you are going to UK on a student visa you need to attach your IELTS result along with the application form for getting admission in your chosen university. If you have chosen to get admission directly in a Tier 4 sponsored university you would need to apply for a Tier 4 student visa. There are two levels of Tier 4 student visa the B1 level and the B2 level.

Though criteria set for clearing English proficiency may depend on the university yet for the following types of student visa, a good IELTS score constitutes the following:

IELTS score for B1 level Tier 4 student visa

Students who are applying for direct admission to a graduate-level program in accredited UK varsity should apply for B1 level tier 4 UK student visa. The candidate would need to appear for the IELTS academic type test and take tests for all the sections namely RWLS or reading, writing, speaking and listening. The RWL sections need to be taken at one-time interval without break, the test of speaking can be completed within a week after taking the RWL sections test.

No university in UK accepts less than 4 IELTS overall score as well as less than 4 scoring in each of the sections. This means that a candidate for graduate course program admission would need to score at least 4 in each of the reading, writing, listening and speaking sections. Thereby the overall score would be 4. If candidate scores more than 4 in any section and 4 in others then overall score will be more than 4. If candidate scores less than 4 in any section and high scores in another, the overall score can be more than 4 but candidate would not qualify. 

IELTS score for B2 level Tier 4 student visa

B2 level tier 4 UK student visa is applicable for students who are seeking direct admission to post-graduate level programs in recognized UK institutes and universities. You will need to score at least 5.5 in each section of IELTS and your overall score should be minimum 5.5. No recognized UK University accepts an IELTS score below this level for admission to its post-graduate programs. Apart from IELTS results student would have to attach graduation mark sheet and certificate and international subject test (TOEFL, GMAT, GRE) results. Getting the cut off scores is necessary though not sufficient criteria to get admission in UK University. Subject test scores, graduation level CGP and other criteria specific to the college also holds consideration. 

IELTS scores required by top universities

Top universities of UK namely the Oxford and Cambridge require high scores in IELTS exam. If you can score a minimum 6.5 in each IELTS section and minimum 7 overall then you have a chance of getting selected at Oxford for graduate degree courses. You also need to score well at class 12 level and international subject test. For each program oxford specifies cut off IELTS scores. Yet an overall score of 7 is considered good enough.

At Cambridge University the IELTS scores cut off requirement is highest among all other top-ranking UK universities. For pursuing undergraduate courses in Cambridge, the candidate needs to get a minimum IELTS score of 7 in each section and an overall score of 7.5. Cambridge also specifies different IELTS score cut off for its various types of programs. However overall score of 7.5 with 7 or above in each section is a prerequisite.