After recently returning from a number of overseas trips, our international business development manager has some useful information regarding IELTs and English proficiency.

I’ve been asked a number of times by doctors that are planning to work in the UK, what is IELTS? Why do I need to prove my English language? Where can I register and take my IELTS test? And also how can I prepare for this test?

I’ve decided to write a post to assist and to raise awareness to those doctors that are planning to work in the UK, and provide you with the answers to the above questions, and also offer my support getting you through this process.

Why do I need to prove my English proficiency? 

When you apply for registration with the GMC for a licence to practise, the GMC needs to know you have the necessary knowledge of English to communicate effectively so you don’t put the safety of your patients at risk. Communicating includes speaking, reading, writing and listening.

What do I need to achieve to meet the requirements set by the GMC?

You need to take an IELTS test. For the GMC to accept your IELTS certificate, it must show:

  • that you got a score of at least 7.0 in each testing area (speaking, listening, reading and writing), and an overall score of 7.5
  • that you got these scores in the same test
  • that you took the academic version of the test
  • the original stamp and test report form (TRF) number (GMC use this to validate all certificates)

How do I register?

Here are seven simple steps on how to register with IELTS

How do I prepare for my IELTS test?

There’s a range of materials to help you prepare. First, download the free Information for candidates booklet, which provides an explanation of the test.

Sample questions online

Try some free sample questions online.

These sample questions will give you an idea of what to expect in the reading, writing and speaking modules.

Are there any IELTS preparation courses available?

Yes, some IELTS centres have workshops to help you prepare for your test. Talk to your local IELTS test centre for details. Preparation courses may also be offered by language schools in your country.


For frequently asked questions about IELTs, please visit

If you’re interested in working in the UK, but would like further assistance with registering with the GMC, or you’re just looking for further advice with regards to improving your English proficiency, then please contact or call 01277 217777.