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IELTS Alternative Exams for Scholarships or Admissions Applications

English Exams Other than IELTS - IELTS Alternates

Wondering if you can study without IELTS abroad for free?

Yes, that is possible! You need to take any of the globally accepted IELTS alternative exams which are accepted in International Universities for admissions and scholarships.

IELTS General or IELTS Academic exam is a tough English language proficiency exam with quite a high price tag! So, why take that when you can get any other IELTS alternative exam at a much lower price tag with a much easier exam.

No wonder getting admission into any reputable international university for higher education is not as easy as it seems. Every country and its universities have distinct regulations and mandatory eligibility standards. To become a part of such prestigious universities, candidates must abide by the mentioned language and entry requirements.

On the other hand, most of the degrees and courses in international universities are taught in English medium. It makes it easier for overseas candidates to enroll in these programs due to the English language as a medium of instruction. But while applying for admission, candidates are requested to submit their English Language Proficiency Test scores. Such Language test scores show the proficiency of candidates in the English language.

Thousands of fully-funded scholarships without IELTS are also available for international students to study abroad for free each year. Most of these are British scholarships without IELTS.

Talking about the English Language Tests needed to secure admission into any globally recognized university is too many to count. But, among these, IELTS is the most prominent and internationally standardized and recognized language test. Almost all global universities accepted the IELTS test scores to fulfill language requirements.

Many people think IELTS is solely a way to study overseas, but that is not true. Dozens of other alternatives of IELTS exam options are available; that are widely accepted as English Language Assessment tests to obtain a study visa. In this article, we will discuss all the acceptable IELTS alternative language tests. So, let’s get started.

What Is Meant by English Language Proficiency Tests?

It is a test conducted by the Department of Linguistics for international students to evaluate the applicant’s command of the English language. These English Language Proficiency Tests measure such skills as Reading, Speaking, Writing, & Listening.

IELTS Alternative Exams Acceptable for Scholarships or Admissions

As stated above, it is a long list of such alternate standardized language tests. The information regarding all IELTS alternative tests with their test fees is discussed in this post.

Following are the IELTS alternative English Language Proficiency Tests that are accepted for admissions and scholarships applications all around the World:

  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
  • Pearson English Language Tests (PTE)
  • Duolingo English Test (DET)
  • Cambridge Advanced English Test (CAE)
  • Cambridge Advanced Professional English Test (CPE)
  • Password English Language Test
  • Computer-based English Test for Admission in Graduate Management (CAT)
  • American College Testing (ACT)
  • English Language and Composition Exam (AP)

Fees of English Language Proficiency Tests

  • IELTS fees US$200 – US$300 (As per country)
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) fees Up to US$240
  • Pearson English Language Tests (PTE) fees Up to US$220
  • Duolingo English Test (DET) fees Up to US$50
  • Cambridge Advanced English Test (CAE) fees $750 for nonmembers and $500 for ASAE members
  • Cambridge Advanced Professional English Test (CPE) fees Up to US$195
  • Password English Language Test fees $42
  • Computer-based English Test for Admission in Graduate Management (CAT) fees Up to US$25
  • American College Testing (ACT) fees Up to US$200
  • English Language and Composition Exam (AP) fees Up to US$130


On number one, we have TOEFL, also known as the Test of English as a Foreign Language. After IELTS, mostly this test has significant importance and is used to check language proficiency in the UK, USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, etc.

Here, the candidates have the choice to opt for TOEFL (PBT= Paper Based Test) or TOEFL (iBT= Internet Based Test).

Exam Duration: 4 hrs.
TOEFL Exam Fee: USD 205

#2 PTE:

The next on our list is PTE, also known as Pearson Academic Test. That test has worldwide acceptance, and it takes place in three different parts; Speaking & Writing, Listening, and Reading. In New Zealand and Australia, this test is even valid for visa purposes.

Exam Duration: 2 hrs.
PTE Exam Fee: USD 200

#3 DET:

Moving onto the other alternative of IELTS is Duolingo English Test. The intriguing fact about this test is that it can be conducted anywhere and anytime online. Like the other tests, it also measures the above-mentioned four skills and consists of short questions. But it is an adaptive test that checks the candidate’s potency based on the previous correct answers.

Exam Duration: Less than an hour.
DET Exam Fee: USD 49

#4 CAE:

It stands for Cambridge Advanced Exam. The good thing about this test is that its scores will remain valid forever. And yes, this one also measures Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening skills. To pass this CAE exam, candidates have to attain 60% in Reading, 20% in Speaking, and 40% in Writing & Listening.

Exam Duration: 1 hour 30 mins.
CAE Exam Fee: 165- 195 USD

#5 CPE:

It is the most advanced test of all, also known as the Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English. Most UK-based universities need CPE scores to secure admission and check language proficiency. Another or current name for this test is the C2 Proficiency Exam.

Exam Duration: 4 hrs.
CPE Exam Fee: USD 170

#6 Password English Language Test:

It is a unique online test designed by CRUELLA for checking the language potency of candidates. That language assessment test consists of two parts. The first part will evaluate the Reading and Writing skills, and its results will appear immediately. However, in the second part, an evaluation of Speaking and Listening skills will take place.

English Password Exam Duration:

  • 1st part: 2 hrs.
  • 2nd Part: 80 mins

Exam Fee: USD 42

#7 ACT:

That American College Testing is another alternative option to evaluate the candidates’ proficiency in the English Language. Unlike the other tests, it is so quick and a bit different from the others as it focuses on Sentence structure, Grammar, Pronunciation, Style, etc. Generally, this test conducts nearly 5 times a year.

Exam Duration: 45 mins
ACT Exam Fee: USD $150

#8 SAT:

SAT, also known as the Scholastic Aptitude Test, measures the students’ Mathematics skills with critical Reading & Writing skills. Mostly, the universities of the USA accept this test. Every year, approximately 7 times, this test takes place.

Exam Duration: 3 hours and 50 mins
SAT Exam fee: USD $26

#9 AP:

The Advancement Placement is the test that consists of the AP Language & Composition Exam to measure the English Language skills of applied candidates. Also, AP English Literature and Composition Exam serve the same purpose.

Exam Duration: 3 hours and 15 mins
AP Exam Fee: USD 96.00

Dr. Youasf Saeed

I am Dr. Engr. Yousaf Saeed, the creator of this Fully Funded Scholarship platform. My academic journey has been marked by securing three significant international scholarships for my undergraduate and postgraduate studies, including the esteemed Australia Awards, CSC, and HKPFS. I am an affiliate of IChemE and have lent my engineering skills to renowned companies such as Aramco and BYCO oil refinery. My scholarly work is published in leading SCI journals, a fact that underscores my academic excellence, visible on my Researchgate Profile. Motivated by my deep-seated passion for education and dedication to fostering emerging scholars, i established this website to serve as a guiding light for international students aspiring to pursue their education abroad. As a distinguished educationist and mentor, i am specialized in steering students through the complexities of research and the journey towards achieving patents. Through this platform, I offer invaluable insights and mentorship, shining a light on pathways to fully funded scholarships, exchange programs, internships, and rewarding research career trajectories. My mission is to help students navigate the vast educational opportunities abroad, ensuring they grasp the chances that will shape their promising futures. Whereas you can also choose to follow me on my social media: - Facebook - Linkedin - Youtube