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When you think about gaining entry to Canada by applying for a visa or using the Express Entry application, you may assume you only have to take the IELTS if you're a non-English speaking person from a foreign country whose primary language is not English. However, this is not an accurate assessment.

There are several native English-speaking countries around the world, as well as non-English-speaking countries, that have adopted English as a second language for business purposes or other reasons. Native English-speaking individuals seeking a visa to enter English-speaking countries are required to take and pass the IELTS test. In fact, in certain countries, the only accepted test format used by immigration agencies is the IELTS test and includes:

  • Canada

  • UK

  • Australia

  • New Zealand

Why do I have to take the IELTS if I'm already a native English speaker?

The reason you have to still take the IELTS exam is to demonstrate your proficiency of the English language. The IELTS test is taken by people who want to attend university in an English-speaking country, as well as for immigration purposes and career opportunities.

For instance, a native English speaking individual from the UK, who wants to apply for a visa to enter Canada, must sit for, take, and pass the IELTS exam, even though they are from another English speaking country. Even people from the United States have to take the IELTS if they are entering Canada on a Visa.

Do I Need to Prepare for My IELTS Test?

Person holding chalk board saying "are you ready?" against dark background

One of the biggest mistakes native speakers make is not preparing for the IELTS exam. They figure they will be able to breeze right through it since they already know English. Unfortunately, many native speakers actually discover the test is much harder than they originally anticipated and end up scoring much lower, without proper preparation, compared to non-English speaking people.

In addition, in some native speaking countries, individuals believe they are proficient in English because they are told so by their instructors, co-workers, friends, or family. However, while they might be considered proficient in their own country, they often quickly discover they are not as proficient as they were led to believe after the take the IELTS.

There are some rather complex questions that require writing or speaking concise answers on the exam. Not being prepared ahead of time could result in a low test score and failing your IELTS. Then, you would have to register and pay another exam fee to retake the test a second time.

It's far better to tap into the wide array of online resources offered here on our website to help you prepare for your IELTS. IDP Canada also offers paid-for content, which covers specific materials, lessons, and other IELTS-related topics, which can be beneficial if you are not proficient in specific areas or want to ensure you are well-prepared for your exam, so you can obtain a higher score.

Please feel free to explore our website further or contact your nearest IELTS Test Centre for further information on preparing for your exam.