IELTS Exam – Do law schools care about my English?

Here is a question that I was sent in recently.

First of all tell me about IELTS exam. Do university really care about that? I mean do they really care about my English whether it is fluent or not? If I request them can they waive it for me?

My answer:

To succeed at the Bar and the BPTC in general you need to be able to speak and write in good English, and it needs to be clear, coherent and of a relatively high standard. That is why they have these language tests in place.

I was helping at an open day for BPP last year for the BPTC and a woman (who when she spoke did speak with very poor English) asked why she hadn’t been accepted the previous year and they told her it was because of her spoken English, and that she should work on that before she applies again.

So I doubt they will let you be exempt from the IELTs and if your English is slightly weaker it may be worth your time working on improving it or perhaps getting a tutor to help you to bring your English up.

It is crucial that your tutors, examiners, class mates and pretend witnesses/clients understand you on the BPTC sessions – other wise it will hinder your performance but also potentially hinder the work undertaken in your small groups!

Plus when you are a Barrister,it is fundamental that both your written and spoken English is the best it can be in general for all the cases you work on but remember that you will be working on cases with people who might not have English as their first language, or helping people with disabilities and your English needs to be understood by them.

I personally have no experience of the IELTS exam and am therefore I am potentially not the best person to ask so why not check out their website or speak to your chosen BPTC provider about it.

Rebecca x

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