English language

English language

We are aware that a large number of English language test centres around the world are currently closed, and that many candidates will not be able to take a test before July.

Therefore, the Chevening English language requirement has been removed for applicants applying to study in 2020/2021. You will not need to provide evidence that you meet the Chevening English language requirement to be eligible for an award.

Candidates will still need to meet the requirements of their chosen university and secure an unconditional offer from one of their three course choices by the Chevening deadline.

You can find answers to other frequently asked questions about how coronavirus is affecting Chevening applications here.

Below you will find information about the Chevening English Language requirement that will be relevant for those applying to study in 2021/2022.

English language tests

You are free to take tests as many times as necessary to meet Chevening’s 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 (paper or computer-based)
• Pearson PTE Academic
• TOEFL iBT
• C1 Advanced (formerly Cambridge English: Advanced [CAE])
• Trinity ISE II (B2)

The English language test must have been taken from one of these providers on or after 1 October 2019. 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 Chevening’s English language requirement. You will be required to take one of the approved English language tests unless you fall into one of the exempt categories.

Applicants are not permitted to enrol on pre-sessional courses to fulfil their university’s English language requirement or any other conditions of a university offer. Any offer from a university with a requirement to undertake a pre-sessional course will be considered conditional.

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 58 with a minimum score in each component of:
Listening 42
Reading 42
Speaking 42
Writing 42

TOEFL iBT

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

(Chevening will only accept Toefl scores that meet the Chevening requirements and not ‘MyBest’ scores.)

C1 Advanced

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

(Should an applicant take the test and score between 176 and 180, and achieve only a B2 certificate, the Secretariat would accept that result providing the 162 score in each category is met.)

Trinity ISE II (B2)

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Overall pass and minimum pass in each skill across both modules:
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 in approximately ten days.
• C1 Advanced results will be available in two weeks for computer-based tests or seven to nine weeks for paper-based tests.
• Trinity results will be available in 21 days.

English language test results are sometimes withheld or delayed due to standard auditing procedures carried out by the test provider. Please note that extensions to the 15 July 2021 deadline will not be granted in any circumstances and applicants should, therefore, ensure that they take their test well in advance of the deadline.

Remember to prepare for your English language test in advance. Tips on how to prepare for the tests and practise 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 Scholarship:

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

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
  • British Overseas Territories
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Ireland
  • Jamaica
  • New Zealand
  • Singapore
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • The United Kingdom
  • The United States
* The exemption from the Chevening English language requirement will not be granted for distance-learning courses or studying at the overseas campus of a university-based in an exempt country. However, evidence of studying abroad in one of the exempt countries for at least one academic year as part of an accredited degree course will be granted the English language exemption.

English language requirements for UK universities

As well as meeting Chevening’s 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, even when you fall into one of Chevening’s exempt categories above.

Learn more

Learn more about Chevening's eligibility requirements

Apply for an award

Applications for Chevening Scholarships and Fellowships are now closed. Please check back soon for open awards you may be eligible for.