Monday, April 14, 2008

IELTS, A Money Making Scam?

I cannot comprehend why the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) has a validity period even if you have passed it already. All I reckon is that it is just a money making scheme which preys on poor migrants like us. I took the IELTS December 2005 and got a very decent result. I used it for my visa application and used it for my assessment for the Australian Medical Council MCQ examination.

Last week, I applied for a "part time" Paediatric Registrar position. The Department's head notified me that my IELTS is not acceptable anymore because it is three months over the validity period and I cannot be given a temporary registration by the New South Wales Medical Board. I understand the reason why they need people like us to present a proof of english proficiency because english is not our first language, but what I am saying is that the IELTS should not have a validity period. It doesn't mean that after two years, when the IELTS' validity lapses, you do not know how to speak and understand the language anymore. That's silly isn't it? What proof do they still need, I am working for two months now and naturally speaking english in communicating with patients and co-workers as well. Its very frustrating!

Somebody must voice out in protest to this stupid idea, to this hidden form of discrimination! I know that we migrants do not have english as our first language, I accept that fact. But I think an IELTS result with a high rating is enough to prove that one can communicate well in english. It doesn't need to have a validity period simply because the person who took and passed it will continue to understand, speak, write and read the english language long after the validity period is over.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You said it!!!

Obviously a money making ploy. Why don't we make them take the test and let us see what scores they get.

9:10 PM  
Blogger MerryCherry, MD said...

I was thinking of that very same things just few weeks back. Why in the world does it expire?

Anyway, hope you sort it out.

Btw, please join the TBR 6th ed: Philippine Healthcare System. Details here.
Would love to hear views coming from an MD who practised in that part of the world :)

8:06 PM  
Blogger Abner M. Hornedo, M.D. said...

@ merrycherry, md

hi! thanks for the invite. im not practsing here yet but i am planning to... i'll take the amc mcq hopefully by july.


9:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I totally agree. I was brought up in South Afica ; I am fully bilingual. English is /was one of our official languages . I am certainly more understandable than some of the scots, irish or certain english accents.

Easy money , easy to milk desperate people who really have little choice.

4:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

even they are doing fruad all over
First time they sent me a TER with good scores and I went ahead with immigration paid all the fees.
Guess what IELTS sent me another test report with less scores becuase of thier fault which cuased a lot anxity and frustration and so much money for us
and i cant find any attorney to get the advice.

Now i have only choice is to goto media to get the justice

8:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I took the IELTS test in 2006 and scored 8 band in the ACADEMIC module. Now, I write the GENERAL module and end up with a score of 7.5 (6.5 in writing)and ineligible for residency. Absolute savagery!

1:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think its jst one of the money making mechanism, ive seen a lot of people scoring 7 in all but have 6,5 in one

8:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi! We are on the same boat, my IELTS was over two years which I used to obtain a PR visa to Oz. I am a lucky dog to enter the TEN program of NSW Health and finished it this year, only to find out that just this January those educated overseas who did the program would have to sit the IELTS. I lost my permanent job offer as an enrolled nurse from two reputable public hospitals due to this unfair, money-making scheme of the Nursing and Midwifery Board and IELTS org. More so, my scholarship grant for a Nursing degree didn't materialise since I am just doing casual work at the moment (one of the criteria is a permanent position in a public hospital). My life was turned upside down because of this ridiculous new policy on English suitability assessment. I made an appeal to them and sent all my documents including my previous IELTS which met their specified band scores for Nurses but they just ignored my explanations and the certifications sent by my training hospital.

With regard to the IELTS validity period, since they set it as a non-permanent way of testing one's English fluency because of its expiry date, then, it should not be considered and accepted as a reliable means of gauging and testing English communication skills. It's a rubbish system.

2:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Despite its flaws, IELTS is quite possibly the most thoroughly researched language test ever to have existed.

Test Report Forms more than two years old can "be accepted as evidence of present level of language ability if it is accompanied by proof that a candidate has actively maintained or tried to improve their English language proficiency. This recommendation is based upon what we know about the phenomenon of second language loss or 'attrition', a topic which is well-researched and documented in the literature."

Taken from:

The test itself is well designed. How it is used by institutions and governments is another matter. It does seem to be one of the floodgates put in place to stop a flood of incomprehensible immigrants. Do you think the citizens of a country want to be surrounded by people they can't understand?

If you don't like it there is a simple solution: stay home and make your own country a better place.

7:57 AM  
Blogger Abner M. Hornedo, M.D. said...


Thanks for the reaction. Well said, especially written by an English tongue like yours. I have to agree with you that the IELTS is one of the better if not the best language test ever assembled by geniuses. I have no questions about that.

What I wrote before is simply a disgust on why it should have a validity period. What is the importance of the IELTS certificate if after two years you will need to prove your worth again? Obviously those who took and passed those batteries of examinations will continue to be proficient with the English language if not better than those using the language since birth. I think there is no way down only up unless you suffer massive brain injuries causing brain atrophy, only then will you deteriorate.

Sometimes you just have to put yourself in other's shoes for you to feel other people's predicament. Good on you mate, you don't have to look for greener pastures because yours are already green from the beginning. If only I have the capacity to make my home a better place, I'll definitely do it, but circumstances dictated otherwise so I have to look for a better niche to stay. Easy for you to say "love it or leave it" because you never experienced having the need to look for a better place. Don't worry mate, I am already contributing to my new home's economy. I work hard and pay due taxes here as I did back home.

Again thanks for reading my rants.

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11:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Demanding an IELTS score of 7 and above with a 2 year validity period is:

1)racial profiling,

2)racial discrimination,

3)a money-making scheme,

4)the ultimate weapon used to quash whatever degree candidates earned.

5)whoever formulated and set the score requirement of 7 for the IELTS are retards.

" IELTS is well-researched and documented"...
> In my opinion, demanding an IELTS score beyond 5.5 will do massive damage to those countries than good. The equilibrium of professionals necessary to fire up every sector of their economy is BEING RESTRAINED. That is stubborn ignorance at the highest level and SURE economic suicide.

Let's all hope that the money you earned from the IELTS is enough for you to save your economies.

Nowadays, not even English-speaking "anonymous" up there ^ can pass the damn "test" to up to 7. It's not like you own the country(?) We also have the right to a piece of it! Why the hell not? And you're stopping us because you don't want to admit the painful fact that we are "educationally superior".

In the 21st Century, its hard to believe that we, as humans, still behave like savages to our own kind.


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7:27 PM  
Blogger Saurabh Mistry said...

With due respect to all comments, I think IELTS is Evil.

Listening Section:

The objective of an English Test is to check whether or not conversations are comprehensible or not.

Yet, in most IELTS Tests, they have a popular listening module of giving Directions in a University, Street Designs etc.

I repeat the objective is to gauge comprehesibility and not to confuse people.


By & large most people on this planet are aware of the popular TRUE or FALSE section, but I simply do not understand, what is the purpose behind NOT GIVEN.

Hey, either it's True or False & the NOT GIVEN option is simply an EVIL PLOY hatched by the IELTS team.

I can't imagine that native speakers from the United States & Canada have to still give an IELTS to immigrate to Australia & NZ. This is absolute NUTS!!

Is anyone even LISTENING??!!!

11:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11:30 PM  
Blogger J OS said...

I am almost certain that IELTS is a HUGE SCAM. English is my main language but I undertook my medicine training in Spain. I am also a wrtiter and translator, so I have excelent skills in writting. Well... in IELTS... I am constantly scored speaking 9/ listening 9/ reading 7.5 and 6.5 in writting... I have asked for an explanation after 4 exams... and they say nothing... I told them this may be considered some sort of harrasment and was told "please do not use such word to refer to us"... Absolutely disgusting.

7:35 PM  
Blogger The Free School said...


I find these types of forums very interesting and generous to the global community.

My research project looks at all issues involving IELTS.

My home page is at:

I welcome confidential feedback, from any person who wishes to share any aspects of their IELTS experiences with me.

My research aims to empower international students and international migrants.



Dr Jay Jericho
Independent Research Scholar: IELTS

4:46 PM  
Blogger The Free School said...

I welcome people to visit my YouTube on English language testing - research and investigations.


6:58 AM  

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