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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 International English Language Testing System (IELTS) before you arrive.

All dentists must meet the GDC's English language requirements.

The standard method to demonstrate proficiency in the English language is to provide 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.

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 IELTS.

It is strongly advised that you pass academic IELTS to the required standard before travelling to the UK.

View the IELTS website.

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