IELTS Cut-Off: Check IELTS Minimum Score for Top Universities

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Rahul Singha

MOEC

Updated on Jul 24, 2016 12:57

 The IELTS exam for the International English Language Testing System is a widely recognised English language proficiency assessment for those considering studying, working or migrating to English-speaking countries.

 

The IELTS cut-off across universities is the minimum required IELTS band score, accepted in over 11,000 organisations worldwide, including institutions, universities and critical immigration authorities.

 

Qualifying for the IELTS cut-off will only make you eligible to apply to the university, it cannot guarantee your admission to those universities. However, you must aim for higher band scores than the IELTS cut-off to make your application stand out.

 

IELTS-CUT-OFF

 

Table Of Content
  1. IELTS Cut-Off for Top Universities 2024

  2. IELTS Cut-Off for Top Universities - by Country

  3. IELTS Exam Cut-off for Study Visa

  4. FAQs

 

IELTS Cut-Off for Top Universities 2024

The IELTS exam uses a scoring system ranging from 1 to 9 that evaluates your English proficiency across all of its four sections. World’s top-notch universities that accept IELTS scores often set predetermined cutoffs for overall and sectional scores. These predetermined cut-offs serve as a benchmark to evaluate your language skills.

 

IELTS exam cut-off can vary among universities and diverse programs. To understand the idea of cut-offs, you must understand IELTS band scores and their calculation before delving deeply into cut-off requirements.

 

You might encounter IELTS scores as a significant component of admissions to study abroad. This is because English-speaking universities seek proof of language proficiency and make sure that language barriers do not hinder them.

 

ielts-cut-off-for-top-universities

 

What are IELTS Band Scores?

The IELTS exam evaluates your English proficiency and assigns a Band Score ranging from 1 to 9. However, IELTS IDP, the conducting body in India, does not disclose specific IELTS cut-off score.

 

Instead, IDP releases the IELTS results in the Test Report Form (TRF), encompassing scores for Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening, along with an overall IELTS Band Score.

 

Each section and the overall IELTS band score are graded on a scale of 1-9. Here's a breakdown of the IELTS band scores and their corresponding skill levels, aiding in a better understanding of your results. Notably, top universities like Harvard and Stanford typically set the IELTS cut-off at 7 or 8, emphasising the high English language proficiency required for admission.

IELTS Band score

Skill Level

9

Expert user

8

Very good user

7

Good user

6

Competent user

5

Modest user

4

Limited user

3

Extremely limited user

2

Intermittent user

1

Non-user

0

Did not attempt the test

Starting here, we will break through the IELTS Exam Cut-off scores set by world-class universities in popular study-abroad destinations. Let’s walk through the IELTS Exam Passing Score for Top Universities according to QS World University Rankings 2024.

QS World University Rankings 2024

University

IELTS Cut-Off - Overall Score

1

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

7.0 - 7.5+

2

University of Cambridge

7.5+

3

University of Oxford

7.0 - 7.5+

4

Harvard University

6.5 - 7.5+

5

Stanford University

7.0+

6

Imperial College London

6.5 - 7.0+

7

ETH Zurich

7.0+

8

National University of Singapore (NUS)

6.0 - 8.0+

9

University College London (UCL)

6.5 - 7.5+

10

University of California, Berkeley (UCB)

6.5 - 7.0+

IELTS Cut-Off for US Universities

So, let’s begin examining the IELTS cut-off scores applicable to universities in the United States.

Top Universities in US

IELTS Cut-Off Scores for US Universities

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

7.0 - 7.5+

Harvard University

6.5 - 7.5+

Stanford University

7.0+

University of California, Berkeley Campus

6.5 - 7.0+

The University of Chicago

7.0+

University of Pennsylvania

7.0+

Cornell University

7.0 - 7.5+

California Institute of Technology (Caltech)

7.0+

Yale University

7.0+

Princeton University

6.5 - 7.0+

IELTS Cut-off Score for Canadian Universities

Here, we will focus on exploring the IELTS cut-off score established by Canadian universities.

Top Universities in Canada 

IELTS Cut-Off Scores for Canadian Universities

University of Toronto

6.5 - 7.5+

McGill University

6.5 - 7.0+

The University of British Columbia (UBC)

6.5 - 7.5+

University of Alberta (UofA)

6.5 - 7.0+

University of Waterloo

6.5 - 7.5+

Western University

6.5+

University of Montreal

6.5+

University of Calgary

6.5 - 7.5+

McMaster University

6.5 - 7.0+

University of Ottawa

6.5 - 7.0+

IELTS Cut-Off Score for UK Universities

Now, examine the IELTS cut-off score specific to the world’s top-notch universities in the UK.

Top Universities in UK

IELTS Cut-Off Scores for UK Universities

Cambridge University

7.5+

Oxford University

7.0 - 7.5+

Imperial College London

6.5 - 7.0+

University College London (UCL)

6.5 - 7.5+

The University of Edinburgh

6.5 - 7.0+

The University of Manchester (UoM)

6.0 - 7.5+

King's College London

6.0 - 7.0+

London School of Economics and Political Science

7.0+

University of Warwick

6.0 - 7.5+

IELTS Exam Passing Score for Australian Universities

Here, you will be going to look at the IELTS Exam Cut-off scores for Australian Universities.

IELTS Cut-Off for New Zealand Universities

In this section, our exploration will centre around the IELTS Cut-Off scores applicable to universities in New Zealand.

Top Universities in New Zealand

IELTS Cut-Off Scores for New Zealand Universities

University of Auckland

6.0 -7.0+

University of Otago

6.0 - 6.5+

Massey University

6.0 - 6.5+

Victoria University of Wellington

6.0+

University of Waikato

6.0 - 7.0+

University of Canterbury

6.0 - 6.5+

Lincoln University - New Zealand

6.0+

AUT University

6.0 - 7.0+

IELTS Exam Cut-Off for German Universities

Here, our attention turns to delving into the IELTS Cut-off Score specifically set by universities in Germany.

Top Universities in Germany

IELTS Cut-Off Scores for German Universities

Technical University of Munich (TUM)

6.5+

Ludwig Maximilians University Munich (LMU)

6.5 - 7.5+

Heidelberg University - Germany

6.0+

Free University of Berlin

6.0+

RWTH Aachen University

6.0+

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)

6.5+

Humboldt University of Berlin

6.5 - 7.0+

Technical University of Berlin (TUB)

6.0 - 7.0+

Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg

5.5 - 7.0+

University of Hamburg

6.0+

IELTS Exam Cut-off for Study Visa

Now that you have learnt about the IELTS Cut-off in admissions requirements, the IELTS exam is also a mandatory requirement for student visa processing in many countries. Diverse sets of countries need a specific IELTS score for issuing study visas that emphasises the importance of English proficiency in the visa application process.

 

IELTS Cut Off for USA Student Visa

When you attain a good band score between 6.0 to 6.5, you meet the minimum requirement criteria for admission to top-notch universities in the host country. There, it increases competition, and that’s the reason you should target a higher band score to secure your spot.

 

As part of the visa application process, it's vital for you to meet the specific IELTS requirements set by your chosen American universities.

 

IELTS Score Requirement for Canada Study Visa

To secure a Canadian study visa, you typically need a minimum IELTS score, which is an overall 6.0 band in IELTS with no less than 5.5 in any section for undergraduates. Likewise, when applying for postgraduation in Canada, you must attain an overall IELTS score of 6.5 bands, with no subsection scoring less than 6.0.

The exact score requirement may vary based on the chosen program and institution. It is crucial for prospective students to check and meet the specific IELTS score criteria outlined by Canadian immigration authorities for successful visa applications.

Program of Study

Minimum IELTS Requirement

Student Direct Stream (SDS)

Overall: Minimum of 6.0

Each Band: No less than 6.0

Postgraduate Courses in Canada

[PG Diploma/Masters]

Overall: Minimum of 6.5 IELTS

Each Band: No less than 5.5 or 6.0, depending on the institution

Undergraduate Courses in Canada

[Bachelor’s, Diploma, or Short-term]

Overall: Minimum 6 IELTS

Each Band: No less than 5.5

IELTS Cut Off for UK Student Visa

When you are applying for a UK Tier 4 Student Visa in order to pursue a bachelor's or master's, you must fulfil the English language criteria set by your desired university. For a Tier 4 (General) Student Visa at a degree level and above, you should achieve an IELTS score of 5.5 overall, along with a 5.5 band score minimum in each of the four language skills.

Program of Study

Minimum IELTS Requirement

Master's Diploma

Minimum IELTS score of 6.0 for admission. A score of 6.5 or above is required for top universities.

Pre-Masters

IELTS band score of 5.0 or above is required for admission.

Undergraduate Degree

Minimum IELTS score of 6.5 for admission. A score of 7.0 or higher is required for top UK universities.

IELTS Score Requirement for Australia Student Visa

In general, you must score a minimum of 6.5 overall IELTS band with no less band than 6.0 for your postgraduate degree to study in Australia. Or, if you are applying there for an undergraduate position,  you have to score higher than the 6.0 IELTS band.

Study Level

IELTS Requirement

Postgraduate

Minimum IELTS Band of 6.5 overall, with no band less than 6.0.

Undergraduate

Minimum IELTS Band of 6.0 overall.

IELTS Cut Off for New Zealand Study Visa

For international students aspiring to pursue a Bachelor's in New Zealand, a minimum overall IELTS Band Score of 6.0 is mandatory, with no individual band falling below 5.5. Similarly, those eyeing a Master's program should aim for a minimum overall IELTS Band Score of 6.5, ensuring no band is lower than 6.0.

Program of Study

Minimum IELTS Requirement

Diploma

6.0 with no band less than 5.5

Bachelors

6.0 with no band less than 5.5

Graduate Diploma

6.0 with no band less than 5.5

Post-graduate Diploma

6.5 with no band less than 6.0

Masters

6.5 with no band less than 6.0

FAQs

1. What is the IELTS score cutoff?

The minimum requirement for an IELTS score is an overall band of 6.5 or higher, with each module scoring at least 6.0.

 

2. Is IELTS 6.5 considered a pass or fail?

IELTS does not have a pass-or-fail system. Instead, you receive scores from 1 to 9 for each test part—Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking—with an overall band score derived from these parts.

 

3. How is the IELTS score calculated?

Scores ranging from 1 to 9 are assigned for each test part, and the average determines your overall band score. Scores can be whole (e.g., 5.0, 6.0, 7.0) or half (e.g., 5.5, 6.5, 7.5) bands.

 

4. Is a specific 12th percentile required for the IELTS exam?

There is no specific 12th percentile requirement for the IELTS exam. Individuals from any educational background can take the test, although some institutions may have specific percentile requirements.

 

5. What is the minimum IELTS score for UK universities?

Typically, UK universities require a minimum IELTS score between 6.0 and 7.0, with no section scoring below 5.5 (Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking).

 

6. Does the IELTS score impact visa applications?

For immigration purposes, achieving a certain IELTS score is crucial for visa approval. Score requirements vary by country and may be linked to the specific visa category you are applying for.

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