International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

The Impact of IELTS on the Test Preparation Industry of Pakistan
Natasha Memon, Sumera Umrani

This study examines the impact of International English Language Testing System (IELTS) on the growth of private English language institutes offering preparation for IELTS in Pakistan. In Pakistan, as elsewhere, IELTS has assumed great significance on account of its gate-keeping function in emigration, higher education abroad and professional registration. There is a growth in IELTS candidature, resulting in an expansion of IELTS preparation courses. The current study conducts a qualitative face-to-face survey of 35 IELTS preparation institutes of Pakistan. The results of survey showed a radical expansion of IELTS preparation courses. Courses, although relatively expensive, are very short and most test-preparers enter them with lower English proficiency than is appropriate for IELTS. We argue that because public education is not meeting the demand for English, IELTS is now perceived as a route of English education and general certification, and a badge of middle class status if not actual material gain.

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