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Wednesday 5 January 2022


 Can Proof of Proficiency in English Language Replace IELTS?

There are questions emigration hopefuls ask about their documents and the kind of visa they are looking to get—especially the academic admission seekers; questions ranging from: how, if possible, to extend the lifespan of their IELTS to make it be useful still after the normal two years it’s usually valid for? Is WES evaluation necessary for all admission seekers in the Americas? Short answers to these questions are: yes, there are ways the lifespan of your IELTS can be extended to remain useful after two years; and no, WES evaluation is not a compulsion, only few schools in the Americas ask for WES evaluation. On another publication on this web, I will be writing comprehensively on the extension of the lifespan of IELTS, and on when you need or do not need WES evaluation. But on this one, I only intend to make some clarifications on the need for Proof of Proficiency in English Language (POPEL) and the need for IELTS, as well as when you need either of the two as a foreign admission seeker.

You should know that for a student seeking admission abroad, POPEL covers a very large portion of the function of IELTS for you; this would mean, although IELTS could be compulsory to other kinds of visas for people trying to work and reside abroad, but for a student visa, IELTS is not compulsory at all, only few schools compulsorily request for IELTS for them to be able to consider you for the admission that would allow you get the student visa, most of the schools—in the Americas especially—only need to be convinced that your previous educational qualification—which you are using as the criteria for the admission you are seeking for in the school abroad—was done in English Language, and that the kind of English Language used matches the kind they want. In this sense, this would mean if you are looking for scholarships or admissions abroad with a degree qualification you already have in Nigeria, what you would need to have to convince your aspired school abroad that the qualification was done in English Language is for you to get a Proof of Proficiency in English Language (POPEL) from your school you got the qualification you are using to apply from. Your school would state in the POPEL that the programme was done in English Language, and they would state the kind of English Language used.

You would rarely need IELTS in seeking for admission abroad as only a very small number of schools would ask an admission seeker for that. So, the answer to if you can replace IELTS with POPEL is a no, because the two are different things with one doing a small part of the job of the other. But despite the fact that the answer is no, that doesn’t mean IELTS is compulsory for all admission seekers, it only means there are some cases where you must have your IELTS, but there are so many cases where POPEL is what you need and not IELTS at all. So make your enquiries before wasting money on IELTS when all you need is a POPEL. I wish you luck in your emigration endeavours.

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