I was just wondering why IELTS scores are valid for 2 years only? If a person has appeared for the exam and obtained an overall score of 8.0, is it like that his/her proficiency will decrease in the span of only 2 years? I understand that after 5/6 years a person's English skills may deteriorate due to lack of practice etc, but does this happen within 2 years?

Can someone please shed some light on that?

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I think a person's ability to use a language can change in as little as a couple of months or so, it depends. Just imagine you move to Germany and start learning German, and give up learning and practicing English completely (reading, speaking, everything). It won't take long before you find that you are not as fluent in English as you used to be. Of course you'll probably still know it and be good at it, but your fluency won't be the same.
Making tests valid for a limited amount of time makes their results more accurate. Of course this is often a pain in the butt, because it's often a waste of time and money.
yeah...a real pain in the ass....and doubt the inherent skills will depreciate so massively, esp if the test scre has been good, say 8. a few months back in an english speaking nation and u will be back to your old fluency, IMHO.
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Making test valid for a limited amount of time makes their IELTS results more accurate but what about those who holding GCE O Level English result. Why their result can determine their ability of use english for the rest of their live. Don't they also need to determine their ability of use english?
Why some universities just valid IELTS result for two years but GCE O Level english result can meet the requirement of english proficiency of universities? Can anyone give a comment on this?
1. You can forget the language
2. This way you have to pay to take the test again Emotion: smile
Simple, money! Many English-speaking countries, especially the UK, make huge profits with English students. Of course, everytime you sit the test you want to have a bit of preparation and you need to buy IELTS preparation stuff, and pay for the test.

I don't agree at all with the idea that the validity of test should expire. It's true that you may lose your skills over time if you don't practice. However, if you had 8 points in the past and yoy have no use the language for years, it'll take you just some few weeks for catch up. If the purpose of taking IELTS is to work or study in an English-speaking country, you should be able to go back to your 8-point level in 1 month or so. So, in my opinion, it's not a big issue. I don't really see the point of having an assessment which is recent. Cambridge University, the guys who created IELTS, also created the CAE test. The latter lasts forever, so I see a bit of a contradiction there as well.

It's a pain in the ass, IELTS is not only about English language, it's also about having specific training to answer the questions in the time-frame which is given. If I had to do the writing section in real life, it would take at least twice the time allowed. I also spend the same amount of time if I do in my own language. Well, I guess you have to do the stupid preparation and give them some money and you'll be alright. Good luck.
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I disagree. Maybe for some of the lower levels this is possible, but if your writing and speaking comes across well enough to acheive a band 7 or 8, it is highly unlikely that your English will have deteriorated so much after 2 years.. Maybe a cheaper "top-up" test would be better i.e. something that takes less time and concentrates on speaking and writing, and oh yes, costs less!

I quiet agree with Kooyen that after few years of not practicing in English there is tendency for the skill to diminish, but on the other hand if there is continous professional development in terms of studies in English or working in a country whwre English is an official language, there will be more improvement. I will therefore suggest that there should not be retake of the test, but a sort of evidence(s) to be required to demonstrate that the candidate ineracts and communicates well in the present role or situation.

IELTS should please review their policy on this as many able candidates are affected after being unable to achieve required grades most especially with the PLAb examination which is medically orientated.

It is business. They earn a lot of money for taking IELTS.

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