The number of US-bound Taiwanese students taking International English Language Testing System (IELTS) tests grew 20 percent last year from a year earlier, said the British Council, which helps promote the test.
“Many of the top schools recognize the effectiveness of IELTS, in particular its face-to-face speaking module, rigorous security processes and comprehensive assessment of all four language skills,” said Beryl Meiron, executive director of IELTS International in the US, said in a statement released by the British Council.
“The old idea that Test of English as a Foreign Language [TOEFL] is the test for the US and IELTS is for the UK, Australia and New Zealand just doesn't apply anymore,” Meiron said.
Some premier institutions, such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Yale School of Divinity and Concordia College, have gone further and made the IELTS their preferred language proficiency test, the council said.
More than 2,500 US institutions, including undergraduate, graduate and professional school programs, also recognize IELTS, and it is now accepted at the eight elite Ivy League schools and almost all of the top schools as ranked by the US News & World Report, the council added.
Along with the rise in the number of US institutions accepting IELTS, the number of test takers across the world increased to more than 1.4 million last year, an official with the British Council Taiwan said.
British Council IELTS teams delivered 25,000 more exams to US-bound students in East Asia last year, with Japan up 30 percent, Singapore up 25 percent, Taiwan up 20 percent, and China showing strong double-digit growth, the council said.