If you’ve already made up your mind to take the IELTS exam, you’ve probably read that the IELTS is no longer valid after 2 years. This is obviously bad news for you. This article will explain what it means when a test expires, when it applies, and whether there are permanent alternatives that are acceptable if you are thinking about taking another test. Let’s take a look!

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Getting to Know IELTS Validity

To comprehend the rationale behind the expiration, it is critical to comprehend the IELTS’s history. The IELTS was developed to ensure that a foreign student may enroll in and successfully complete a university course in the United Kingdom. For this reason, the test’s creator and owner states on its website that the results are valid for a period of two years. It makes sense to assume that after two years, they are not in charge of certifying your skills. The IELTS cannot guarantee that you have kept up with your level of English proficiency.

Do the Other Exams Also Expire?

The other validation tests, TOEFL and Duolingo English Test, use the same method for verifying your level over time. They determine your level for a two-year period, just like with the IELTS. The Cambridge tests are slightly more difficult. Your Cambridge qualifications and grades do not expire, but each individual institution (universities, governments, companies, etc.) decides for how long they recognize their validity, according to what they state on their website. Since the limitations are set by educational institutions and governments, you can see that practically speaking, all the exams act in the same way.


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Who Will Request My IELTS Score?

As we’ve already mentioned, English speaking institutions originally used the IELTS exam to confirm that a candidate had the essential proficiency in English to enroll in their courses. The IELTS’s application areas have grown throughout time, and governments and businesses now frequently employ it as well. To help you better grasp IELTS expiry, let’s examine each area separately:

  • Educational institutions: The IELTS academics is the test that is most widely accepted by these establishments globally. While each institution determines the requirements for the IELTS, no university has ever accepted an English degree that is older than two years, according to EPIC. In other words, if you took the IELTS, TOEFL, Duolingo English Test, or Cambridge exams more than two years ago, it will not be accepted.
  • Governments: You may need to provide proof of a particular level of English proficiency to apply for a visa in some nations. Every government will impose its own rules, much like with academic institutions. The differences between policies are striking, so be sure to research the one of the nations for which you wish to apply for a visa.
  • Companies: It’s crucial to show that you speak English well if you want to prepare your resume. Typically, businesses refer to the CEFR scale. The equivalent tables for all prestigious tests and credentials include these levels. In contrast to, for instance, Cambridge credentials, the IELTS is a fairly quick process. It is used to validate your English language proficiency. You don’t need to be concerned about the expiration date as much for this kind of use. Human resources will typically solely consider if you meet the language requirements and will speak directly to you in English during the interview to confirm that you are at the required level.


  1. Your IELTS score expires after two years, just like TOEFL and Duolingo English Test scores do.
  2. It doesn’t make much sense to compare the IELTS and Cambridge examinations’ expiration dates. Practically speaking, the needs of the application will define how long your score will be valid, therefore their requirements will ultimately determine when it will expire.
  3. All examinations are valid for the same amount of time if you are getting ready to submit an application to a school. Choose your exam based on additional factors (speed, price, accessibility, difficulty, …).
  4. If you are using your English Exam score on your curriculum, try not to stress too much over the passing date of your grade. If you provide the level they request, you will probably move on in the process, and you will need to show off your current English proficiency during the interview.

Hopefully this blog post has resolved all your doubts. However, if you have questions in regards to your IELTS preparation, get in touch and we will let you know how EPIC PREP can help you achieve your goals. Differently, if you preffer to continue reading here is the link to our IELTS courses page.

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