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English Language Abilities

Proficiency in both spoken and written English is essential for further education and training in the UK. If you are planning to come and work in the UK, you would be well advised to pass the IELTS before you arrive.

Dentists must pass an English test, known as the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).  The GDC does not consider any other English language test.

The GDC requirements before sitting the ORE or applying for a post on temporary registration are as follows

An academic IELTS test reports which must:

  • Be no more than two years old from the date of issue;
  • Show a minimum overall band score of 7.0;
  • Score no lower than 6.5 in any section.

Hospitals, universities, and health authorities all require to be satisfied that a dentist is able to communicate satisfactorily in both written and spoken English with patients and staff. The IELTS organised by the British Council is useful in determining proficiency. An IELTS Grade higher than that required by the GDC may be requested in the person specification and the job description.

One of the big advantages of the IELTS is that it can be taken in so many different countries before you arrive in the UK. If you have difficulties in passing the IELTS consider what language you speak at home, consider reading an English newspaper every day, listen to an English speaking radio programme, e.g. BBC radio 4, and consider enrolling on an English course.  Speaking English at home with a family member or partner or friend can also be very beneficial before sitting the IELTS

View the IELTS website.

How to prepare for IELTS is a useful book written by The British Council.
Individual set: ISBN 0 86355 175 0
Copies can be obtained from:
Keltic International Order Dept.
39 Alexandra Road
Surrey KT15 2PQ
Tel: +44(0) 1932 820485

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