The International English Language Testing System (IELTS), is an international standardised test of English language proficiency for non-native English language speakers.

For entry directly into Durham School Sixth Form, international students for whom English is not their first language, need a minimum academic IELTS score of 5.5. It’s our aim that by the time they graduate, they will be at IELTS level 7.0. The standard required by British Universities for international students to study in the UK is 6.0 but more selective universities set a score of 7.0 as a minimum for application.

If the prospective pupils are under the age of 16, they will take the Durham School English Examination. This is set under strict examination conditions in the pupil’s home countries, scanned and emailed to the school, and then marked by the EAL department.

For those who are applying at the age 17 and older, there are two strands of the IELTS: Academic (for those wanting to enrol in university undergraduate or postgraduate courses) and General Training (for those who would like to complete their secondary education in an English-speaking country). 

Pupils wanting to study at Durham School should take the General Training IELTS.

Although we offer expert tuition in English as an Additional Language, some ability to communicate in English is needed if the applicant is to cope with the demands of full-time education in this country. 

If, during routine re-testing, a student does not achieve the minimum requirement, their place at Durham School could be revoked, or we may require the student to re-sit the year.

Discover more information about the IELTS and a testing centre in your home country online