10 Apr 20233 min read

Study In the US: Is It Possible Without IELTS?


The English proficiency test is mandatory wherever you plan to study in the US. However, there are other test options besides IELTS.

So, studying in the US without taking the IELTS test is possible. But, you must opt for some other English language proficiency tests like PTE, Duolingo, or TOEFL. The English proficiency tests are mandatory while applying to the US if you are not from an English-speaking country to prove that you are skillful in that language.

Check out the details below to learn in-depth why IELTS is not a mandatory test and what alternatives you can get.

When Is IELTS Not Needed?

As we stated before, it is feasible to study in the US without taking the IELTS test until and unless you are taking any other alternatives. Yes, quite a few universities accept your application even without any of the English proficiency tests; however, they are not always the best (or even good) option.

Such universities often ask for a letter from your all-English medium institution to prove your English proficiency level. Likewise, some also ask you to enroll in the Intensive English Language Program (IELP).

Here are some other conditions on how you can apply for the US without IELTS.

  • If you have pursued an English course as an undergraduate.
  • If you come from an English-speaking nation.
  • If you have accomplished Cambridge’s A-level course.

Other Tests Accepted By Universities

IELTS is not the only accepted English language proficiency test, but you can move to some other alternatives, such as Duolingo, PTE, or TOEFL. All these tests are created for the sole reason of understanding your English language proficiency. So, let’s try and understand how these tests work.

Duolingo is a computer-based English test, and below are some reasons why it may be suitable for you.

  • It is a computer-based proficiency test that you can take while sitting in the comfort space of your own home as well.
  • As the technology itself operates the test, it has no human biases involved.
  • Compared to other tests, it is also a cheaper option.
  • Likewise, Duolingo is a fast option if you have limited time. This is because you can get your test result in just 48 hours.

Moving on, PTE is also an entirely computer-based test with the following characteristics.

  • Several universities across the US widely accept it.
  • Also, it is entirely computer-based and is quite helpful for students with good computer skills.
  • Compared to other tests, it is less complex and much shorter.
  • Likewise, its reading and speaking sections are much easier to score.

Lastly, TOEFL can be taken as either paper-based or computer-based.

  • It is one of the oldest test forms and is deemed one of the most reliable tests.
  • Most universities in the US widely accept it.

Now as you have understood the alternative choices for IELTS, below are the universities and the alternate options they are ready to accept.

Universities IELTS Alternatives
Arkansas State University PTE, TOEFL
American National University TOEFL
Bradley University PTE, TOEFL
Clark University PTE, TOEFL, Duolingo
Concord University PTE, TOEFL, Duolingo
Illinois University TOEFL, Duolingo
Iowa State University PTE, TOEFL, Duolingo
Midwestern State University TOEFL
Morehead State University PTE, TOEFL, Duolingo
Royal Roads University PTE, TOEFL, Duolingo

Are There Universities That Do Not Require English Proficiency Test For Application?

Yes, some rare universities do not ask for English language proficiency tests at all. As mentioned above, universities may waive the test if you have had English as one of your courses or if you have accomplished Cambridge’s A-level course.

Having said so, some other universities do not have English proficiency tests in their requirement; however, at UniPort, we do not recommend you to apply without taking the test. This is because the English language proficiency test is not only an admission requirement but also a communication skill. Passing the language proficiency test will prove that you will be able to have a better understanding of the surrounding you are kept into.

Are you looking for a perfect place to sharpen your English language skill?

Contact us at +977 9801043738

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