Regulating doctors, ensuring good medical practice


Minimum IELTS scores are changing

Web News

14 Jul 2010

The minimum IELTS scores we accept as evidence of English proficiency are changing on 1 October 2010. This page sets out the arrangements for the change.

From 1 October 2010 the minimum IELTS scores we accept as evidence of English proficiency for the purposes of registration will be 7.0 in each of the areas tested (speaking, listening, reading and writing), and 7.0 overall.

Doctors required to pass the academic version of IELTS are those who are international medical graduates who take the PLAB test or apply for registration. To find out if you are an international medical graduate and required to pass IELTS, please read our English language requirements page (opens in a new window).

We will continue to accept the current IELTS scores from all doctors who have, before 1 October this year, already done one of the following:

  • booked a PLAB Part 1 test place
  • passed PLAB Part 1
  • booked a PLAB Part 2 test place
  • passed Part 2
  • applied for registration.

The only provisos will be these:

  • if a candidate books a PLAB Part 1 test place for after 1 October 2010, but on or after 1 October wishes to change that booking, they will be required to achieve the new IELTS scores before booking again.
  • if a candidate fails PLAB Part 1 on or after 1 October 2010, they will be required to achieve the new IELTS scores before booking to re-sit the test.
  • candidates who have failed PLAB Part 2 four times, and who must therefore re-sit Part 1, will be required to achieve the new IELTS scores before booking their re-sit.
  • doctors who apply for registration more than three years after having passed PLAB 2 will also need to achieve the new IELTS scores.

We have consulted on the change with the GMC’s black and minority ethnic doctors’ forum and the GMC’s reference community and taken their feedback into account.