If you are a second language learner and you have your sights set on studying further in an English-speaking country like the USA or Australia, then you will probably have to take an English language proficiency exam like IELTS to prove your English language capabilities and that you have the necessary skills to cope in an English medium higher learning institute.
Each year thousands of students attempt the exam, including many from Singapore, for this very same purpose and a surprisingly large percentage of these test-takers end up failing to obtain the score necessary for their tertiary education applications.
It is quite normal for students to underestimate the difficulty of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam and this is the reason that most test-takers don’t get the score they need the first time.
In this article, we will outline one not-so-well-known option that is available to students if they have not scored well enough in the IELTS Academic exam. We will be talking about IELTS and Conditional Acceptance
What Is Conditional Acceptance
If you meet all other admissions requirements but have missed the required IELTS overall band score by just a marginal amount, you could try speaking to your university about conditional acceptance. This means that you will be allowed to study at the university until you retake the IELTS test.
Each university has its own set of requirements for conditional acceptance
There are some universities might require you to enroll in mandatory ESL courses and then retake the exam, while some just need you to retake the exam and get the necessary scores. There are also a few universities who have some leeway regarding their IELTS test requirements, might accept you despite your low score.
Why You Should Consider Conditional Acceptance
Students wonder if they should just retake the exam or ask for a rescore instead of consider conditional acceptance. Here’s why conditional acceptance is the better choice:
Accepting conditional admission offers has significant benefits for candidates, since they get to keep their admission spots and they don’t have to make many alterations to their study plans and timelines. If they just retook the test without conditional acceptance, all their future plans would effectively be put on hold.
Asking for a rescore instead of conditional acceptance is actually kind of a long shot, since the chances of seeing any change in your score is very slim. Even if there is a change it will not be very drastic, maybe the difference between a half-band or so.
How Can You Get Conditional Acceptance - What IELTS Score Do You Need For Conditional Acceptance?
The minimum scores needed for conditional acceptance depend on the universities or institutions you are applying to. This can even differ within the same university depending on the course you have enrolled in. For instance, some engineering programs require lower IELTS scores than arts programs within the same university. The required IELTS score for a specific course is always mentioned along with a course's admissions requirements. However, you might need to contact the university directly to find out if they offer conditional acceptance and which scores are required for that.
Conditional acceptance is a worst-case scenario, but one that is worthwhile to know about. If you happen to be in the unfortunate position of having to retake the IELTS exam, then I suggest that you invest in high-quality IELTS preparation resources and teachings, under the guided supervision of an IELTS professional. This is a much safer option than taking the exam multiple times and wasting your precious time and money.