Study in UK without IELTS in 2021

If you’re interested in procuring UK Student visa without IELTS and I believe - most are exploring different avenues during uncertain Covid-19 times, you would like to read precisely about what this post has to say. Then, even discover - what has come up with new Points-based Immigration system in 2021 with English language requirement..
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UK is globally known for its world-class education, research-focused approach and practical learning opportunities however, there is ONE thing – which troubles and even cause doldrums for several international aspirants, majorly from Non-native English countries like India: when planning to study abroad.

That is none other than giving English language test. But why is it so?

Because, this hasn’t been your native language!

Then, to topple your dreams of studying abroad – you might have got stuck in a state of confusion – originating from the COVID-19 situation, and could be thinking about :

  • How you should give your English tests when there are several travelling disruptions in view of containing “Covid-19 widespread” ?
  • And then, Paper-based IELTS with limited test dates and slots are getting cancelled already for several venues…

Although, Let me reinstate again which I had informed earlier too – that Online English Tests are the future to Immigration Pathways as per ground reality and current uncertain times. So, there’s always an option open to give English proficiency tests on the computer.

But you might be thinking now:

How can I simply skip the whole English test thing and JUST get my Student visa application moving by getting a Confirmation letter (CAS) from university/college and then,

Complete other formalities of student visa alike –

  • Financial requirements
  • Documentation and drafting of Personal statement, LORs
  • Getting statutory medical checks etc

which is again a “complex and lengthy affair.”

Now, if you are aiming to achieve your dream of studying abroad with no impediments or caveats obstructing your immigration pathways- at least to get beyond the first stepping stone i.e.providing Evidence of English with the required band score…

There’s a way and that is none other than applying for UK student visa to get past first “stepping stone” by not even giving IELTS.

Yes, because, UK immigration still remains quite relaxed with this aspect – at least till date…

In this blog, I will talk about the following topics :

How student visa gets accessed for evidence of english language with UK?

Let me give a quick glimpse with the aid of walkthrough here:

As of currently, UK immigration – unlike study abroad destinations like Canada or Australia, is STILL liberal with proving your knowledge of the English language. 

Here’s how :

You can simply exhibit by way of attaining Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) level B2 if you are going for Higher education institution (HEI) i.e degree level or above

In simple words, you are required to show your English levels – par with 5.5 IELTS or above…

UK Visas and Immigration has passed on this discretionary power for assessing English levels in the narrow sense to UK college/universities.

HEIs can choose how to assess a student’s knowledge of English.

They must still be at – CEFR level B2 if you’re studying at a degree level or higher

So, certainly – To interpret the last statement quoted from the official source, you would still require to meet up some “specific criteria” as required by UK university or college in order to get an IELTS waiver.

This is what I will talk about now in the next point…so keep reading further:

IELTS waiver requirement


Before even starting, I would want to make you vary of this: The condition to go towards fulfilling IELTS waiver for securing admission could vary from institution to institution and even, ranging from course to course being opted.

You can seek an IELTS waiver in three usual conditions:

  1. Medium of instruction: Basically, You will require to show that English had been a medium of instruction in higher secondary, by getting this letter from the concerned authority in your school.
  2. Marks minimum threshold: Your scores in 10th and 12th should be at least above 60% and above. Some institutes may even ask for marks to be above 70% for major subjects.
    Note – If you did your high school from state board, marks requirement could increase further!
  3. Interview: Finally, You may be asked for a short interview to prove your command on the English language. This gets conducted with a telephonic/online or Skype interview with the admission representative from the specific university where you have got your offer letter from…

Top universities to apply without IELTS

I won’t be going much into the nitty-gritty as there has been an exhaustive list already provided by leverage edu that you can refer to and know more in-depth.

Other Alternatives to IELTS


Wondering what to do because your marks have been below 65%? Feeling struck as you aren’t able to secure admissions without IELTS. And then, you don’t want to give IELTS. Fear not!

There are other English tests options, apart from IELTS…

UK universities again have the most LIBERAL approach when it comes to acceptance for English entry requirements for undergraduate studies in the UK

You have not one..two.. but THREE tests.. and even more apart from widely recognized IELTS, with IELTS indicator and Duolingo introduced amidst Covid-19.

I strongly presume that most of the aspirants are already familar with IELTS. Henceforth, without talking precisely about IELTS, I would quickly bring your attention to English tests such as Duolingo and Pearson test of English – which have been introduced quite recently for UK study amidst Covid-19


Introduced during Covid-19 lockdown juncture – and undoubtedly, it has gained much admiration due to several reasons like being easier, shorter duration test and you get quick result turnaround etc.

More than 70 UK universities are already accepting Duolingo!

In fact, the test has gained more momentum especially now as an alternative to IELTS due to the unprecedented times brought up by COVID-19. 

Pearson test of English – PTE 

98% of UK universities already are accepting PTE for international students.

And then, for the computer-savvy candidates – you have this as the most viable test option to score higher if we compare the test levels with IELTS…

These above trustworthy words are coming from a test taker, none other than me, having extensive experience in Information technology domain and gave all 3 distinguished popular English Proficiency tests (CD-IELTS, PTE and Duolingo)— and got 7+ band score (Proficiency English level scores) in all of them!

Coming back to advantages which are being mentioned to affirm standpoint as to why PTE becomes one of the favourite English tests to score and achieve desired band score :

✔️Superfast exam results – 2-3 days (even within 48 hours) = Enabling you to have faster Visa process
✔️ Listening and reading ON EASIER SIDE

Therefore – It has become the FAVORITE test for people who are familiar with the basic functioning of working on computers!

So, Certainly in light of wide acceptance by UK institutes and specific test being easier to SCORE – if IELTS and Duolingo don’t work for you, PTE should!

What UK’s new Points-Based Immigration System says for studying in 2021 for English language requirement?

Before I get on to let you know as to how studying in the UK is being accessed through new Points-based system from 2021:

Let me quickly bring some facts across through reliable sources showing why it will IMMENSELY benefit Indian skilled migrants, the most!

There have been strong optimistic words coming from all spheres saying that “UK Point-based system will immensely benefit Indians planning to study, work or live in UK” as even said by UK India British Council

Likened to the Australian system, the Home Office say it will prioritise the brightest and best from around the world to support the needs of the UK economy.

The scheme should benefit Indians by effectively eliminating the discrepancy between those applying to work in the UK from within and outside of the EU.

And then, to support the point cited above – Points based system for General skilled migration in Australia has always attracted Indian skilled migrants with Indians now being third largest group of migrants in Australia”

So, if we take it in further with what history has to say – The above thesis could be a ground breaker here for the UK with a points-based system.

UK Points system – 2021 for study purposes

Points table for 2021 intake

Going back to talk precisely about the points system which was introduced recently, it will now be altered with the total points required criteria, if you want to get a successful Student Visa grant for the UK. This is what it covers now:

  1. Students will have to get 70 points as per the table above
  2. English language requirement has also been added with the new points-based assessment

Now, There’s a lot of confusion with experts in the education sector refuting statements of each other – put across.

The confusion is around – “Whether English language requirement has become compulsory?” to gain required points with new points system or, will UK still continue with the earlier policy of letting English levels be accessed by colleges and universities?

But…But..But.. if you will see it while being “hawk-eyed”, there is something else on the face of records –

  1. Firstly, you will see that the new point system doesn’t squarely reveal or mention any English tests along with minimum score level which is similar to the earlier policy. There had been CEFR levels earlier which could be compared for required IELTS band scores!
  2. Secondly, the English language requirement is still mentioned at a broader level in the current official document.

So, It can be concluded at least for now – that UK immigration could carry forward the similar assessment criteria, keeping in view – the similar CEFR levels as seen currently.

And yes – there’s GOOD news

UK Immigration has decided to carry forward similar CEFR levels in the new points-based system at least for now! So, Universities and colleges are accepting admissions without IELTS even in 2021.

How can we help with Student Visa applications for UK?

There should be absolutely no doubt in your mind by now – about the benefits of studying in the UK as an international student and how you can get past the major roadblock and still get a confirmation letter from your desired university with the UK having the most relaxed norms for proving English levels.

But, if you are worried about how to take the next course of action, fret not.

Fly2Victory can guide you through a step-by-step process to eliminate the chances of student visa refusal, meet immigration formalities and secure admissions in the UK university of your choice.

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Amandeep Singh

Amandeep Singh

Having worked for several years in information technology domain and handled key roles and responsibilities as global moderator and technical writer for renowned template clubs such as Rockettheme LLC and Joomlart - He is extending his experience now to immigration industry with the crucial ingredients of "online" and "legal" mix..

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