English language requirement

In order to receive a Chevening Award, all applicants must demonstrate that they have fulfilled the Chevening English language requirement by 13 July 2017. We advise all applicants to ensure they have fulfilled the English language requirement as early as possible by either:

  • Taking an English language test
  • Claiming an exemption based on the UKVI exempt categories

If you fail to demonstrate that you have met the required English language level by 13 July 2017 or fail to prove that you qualify for an exemption, your application will not be successful.
 

English language tests

You are free to take tests more than once in order to meet the Chevening English language requirement. Please note that Chevening does not pay for costs associated with English language testing. You are responsible for booking and paying for costs associated with these tests.

Chevening accepts English language tests from five providers:

  • Academic IELTS
  • Pearson PTE Academic
  • TOEFL iBT
  • Cambridge English: Advanced (CEA)
  • Trinity ISE II (B2)

The English language test must be taken from one of these providers on or after 1 October 2015. If you do not already have an existing eligible test certificate, it is your responsibility to ensure that you have booked a test date so that you can obtain the required results.  

Applicants are not permitted to take pre-sessional courses to fulfil the English language requirement. You will be required to take one of the approved English language tests unless you meet one of the exempt categories.
 

Chevening English language requirement: breakdown of scores

Academic IELTS

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Overall score of 6.5 with a minimum score in each component of:  
Listening 5.5
Reading 5.5
Speaking 5.5
Writing 5.5

 

Pearson PTE Academic

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Overall score of 61 with a minimum score in each component of:  
Listening 46
Reading 46
Speaking 46
Writing 46

 

TOEFL iBT

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Overall score of 79 with a minumum score in each component of:   
Listening 17
Reading 18
Speaking 20
Writing 17

 

Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE)

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Overall score of 176 with a minimum score in each component of:   
Listening 162
Reading 162
Speaking 162
Writing 162

 

Trinity ISE II (B2)

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Standard and computer-based tests are both accepted. Overall score of 176 with a minimum score in each component of:   
Listening 2
Reading 15
Speaking 8
Writing 14

 

In some countries, the availability of test centres is limited so we recommend you organise a test at the earliest opportunity. If there are no English language test centres in your country, you may be required to travel to a neighbouring country to take a test. Please see your country page for further guidance.

Please note that the turnaround time for English language tests varies:

  • IELTS results will be available in 13 days
  • PTE Academic results will be available in five business days
  • TOEFL results will be available approximately ten days
  • CAE results will be available in two weeks
  • Trinity results will be available in 14 days

Remember to prepare for your English language test in advance. Tips on how to prepare for the tests and practice test papers are available on each of the test provider’s websites.
 

English language exemptions

Applicants who are nationals of one of the following countries are exempt from submitting an English language test for a Chevening Award, in line with Home Office policy:

Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, New Zealand, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, the United States of America, and British Overseas Territories.

Applicants who have been awarded a bachelor’s degree or higher that was taught in full in a university located and accredited in one of the following countries are also exempt from submitting an English language test for a Chevening Scholarship*:

Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Ireland, Jamaica, New Zealand, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Singapore, Trinidad and Tobago, the UK, and the United States of America.

*The exemption from the Chevening English language requirement will not be granted for distance learning courses or studying at an overseas campus. However, study on accredited courses in exempt countries with a study abroad element of no more than one year as part of the course will be granted the English language exemption.

 

English language requirements for UK universities

As well as meeting the Chevening English language requirement, you may also have to meet certain English language criteria to be eligible for your university course. Universities may only accept a certain type of test or ask for higher minimum test scores. Be sure to check with your university what test they require you to take.
 

English language for fellowships

Chevening Fellowships may have different English language requirements. Please refer to you country page for further details.