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6th Oct 2021

IELTS to launch new online test in early 2022

Short on time? Here are the highlights:
  • IELTS will launch IELTS Online in early 2022 to give students the ability to take the test at their homes or other suitable location
  • The new online test will be delivered through a purpose-built platform loaded with security features to ensure test integrity
  • Institutions can book into webinars beginning this month to get more information about IELTS Online

Students around the world will soon have the ability to take IELTS Academic, a leading test of English for international higher education, from the comfort of their homes or another suitable location.

IELTS Online will launch early in 2022. It will have the same content and format as the current pen-and-paper and computer-delivered IELTS tests, but it will be hosted on a purpose-built secure remote proctoring test platform.

The new online IELTS has a couple of significant advantages, including that it will (1) expand access to the test by making it available to students who can’t make it to testing centres, (2) allow students to obtain test results even faster.

Students taking IELTS Online will have their English proficiency tested in the four skills of IELTS Academic: listening, reading, writing and speaking.

The upcoming launch is of particular interest to colleges and universities in the major English-speaking destinations – including the US, Canada, and the UK – because IELTS is a highly respected test and one that was severely disrupted (along with all major English-language tests) when the pandemic took hold, impacting thousands of students and educators the world over.

Security and integrity are priorities

The platform will feature video call speaking software to “deliver secure English language tests to streamline the experience for test takers, examiners and proctors.” In addition, IELTS’ own proctors will be trained specifically for the new platform and will further ensure test integrity for IELTS Online. These examiners will deliver the real-time face-to-face speaking component of the test online and IELTS’ in-house staff will also mark students’ tests. On top of human oversight, AI monitoring is built into the platform “to flag any malpractice.”

Expanding access

Christine Nuttall, Managing Director of IELTS at Cambridge Assessment English, said,

“IELTS Online is the next step in enhancing the test taker experience around the world. It will give test takers greater flexibility in taking the IELTS test. It will also mean faster results for test takers, as validated results will be available as soon as three days after the test. By making the world’s leading test available online, we aim to empower even more people to take IELTS and follow their ambitions.”

Online webinars are scheduled as early as this month to provide additional detail on the new online test.

For additional background please see:

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