International English Language Competency Assessment (IELCA)

International English Language Competency Assessment (IELCA) assesses four aspects of the English language including READING, LISTENING, SPEAKING, and WRITING, and offers two routes: ACADEMIC and GENERAL TRAINING (IMMIGRATION).

CEFR level

B1 to C2

Test format

Computer or paper-based

Qualification Accreditation Number

601/5041/5, and

Total Qualification Time (TQT)

327 Hours
a. Guided learning hours (GLH): 250 hours
b. Self-study (SS): 70 hours
c. Formative assessment: 3 hours 59 minutes
d. Summative Assessment: 3 hours 01 minutes

What you'll learn

ESOL International Qualifications

ESOL International qualifications cater to non-native English speakers who seek a high-quality, internationally recognized English qualification that is accessible and acknowledged worldwide, covering the entire range up to the highest level (NQF level 3 / CEF C2). These qualifications are suitable for those preparing for higher education or professional employment in the UK or elsewhere. ESOL International qualifications align with the language proficiency descriptions in the Common European Framework Reference for Languages (CEF) and are mapped to the levels in the National Qualifications Framework for England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

Course Description

The International English Language Competency Assessment (IELCA) evaluates four aspects of English language proficiency: reading, listening, speaking, and writing. It offers two pathways: Academic and General Training. The Academic module assesses candidates’ abilities to access undergraduate or postgraduate courses in educational institutions, colleges, and universities in English-speaking countries. The General Training module evaluates English language skills in various contexts and is suitable for individuals requiring English for secondary education, immigration purposes, work experience, and other training purposes.

Both pathways assess the four language components: reading, listening, speaking, and writing. Unlike other standardized exams, IELCA test results are communicated within a maximum of ten (10) days. For information about exam preparation fees, please contact us at


The International English Language Competency Assessment (IELCA) qualification carries various titles, including the LRN Entry Level 3 Certificate in ESOL International (IELCA CEF B1), LRN Level 1 Certificate in ESOL International (IELCA CEF B2), LRN Level 2 Certificate in ESOL International (IELCA CEF C1), and LRN Level 3 Certificate in ESOL International (IELCA CEF C2). LRN ensures accurate and correct information about the qualification’s title is provided to centers, candidates, and other users.


This specification document offers an overview and orientation to IELCA for candidates, centers, administrators, teachers, and examiners. It outlines the key features and administrative procedures required for this test.


IELCA is designed for all non-native English speakers who need to improve their English language skills at CEFR levels B1 to C2. Candidates must demonstrate their ability to handle familiar and routine communication in the areas of reading, listening, writing, and speaking at levels B1, B2, C1, or C2 on the Common European Framework (CEFR).

Candidate Category

Candidates interested in taking IELCA may include those who:

       Require access to higher education.

       Are working or seeking work in an English-speaking environment.

       Live and work in a country where the native and official language is English.

IELCA learners represent a variety of national and cultural backgrounds.

Entry Requirements

There are no entry requirements for candidates taking this qualification, and prior English qualifications are not necessary. However, LRN recommends that candidates be well-prepared before attempting the test. Downloadable sample materials are available on the LRN website, where candidates can access sample assessment materials. LRN-approved centers ensure candidates are fully prepared for IELCA through fully trained teachers and appropriate resources outlined in the center agreement with LRN.


IELCA is designed to accommodate the diverse backgrounds, education levels, and career goals of candidates. Depending on the qualification level achieved, candidates may progress to vocational qualifications, access to higher education, or work/employment.        

Recognition of Prior Learning

Please refer to the LRN Recognition of Prior Learning Policy, available on the LRN website.

Language of Assessment

LRN aims to use plain, clear, unbiased English that is appropriate for all candidates. LRN ensures that assessment materials, stimuli, and the assessment itself are conducted in English.

Qualification Overview

IELCA is based on the CEFR, reflecting the levels of language ability as defined by the framework. IELCA is a single-unit qualification, assessing candidates in all four components of reading, listening, writing, and speaking. The total qualification time for this qualification is 327 hours.

Qualification Features

IELCA assesses four English language sub-skills: reading, listening, speaking, and writing through either the Academic or General Training pathway. The IELCA Mark Scheme references the CEFR to demonstrate the linkage between the qualification and the framework. The information below provides a breakdown of IELCA qualification features.


LRN-trained examiners are permitted to mark the writing and speaking components of the IELCA. Marks are allocated to each candidate in accordance with the IELCA mark scheme for writing and speaking. LRN will issue results within 10 days of receiving the candidate results from the test center.

Reading and Listening

The marking of Reading and Listening components is completed by clerical markers using answer keys for each question paper. To ensure standardization, Reading and Listening clerical markers undergo induction training followed by standardization exercises before each paper (where required). Results are then moderated by the moderation team following LRN’s moderation policy. Moderated results are forwarded to the Lead Moderator for final approval.

Speaking and Writing

The speaking examination is conducted by one LRN-trained examiner and recorded on a dictaphone. Marks are allocated for speaking and writing skills to each candidate in accordance with the IELCA mark scheme. IELCA is 100% externally assessed by an LRN examiner. Results are then moderated by the moderation team following LRN’s moderation policy. Moderated results are forwarded to the Lead Moderator for final approval.


The receptive components for IELCA Reading and Listening contain 40 items per sub-skill, with each correct item awarded one mark. The maximum raw score a candidate can achieve on either paper is 40. Scores ranging from 10 to 50 are awarded to candidates based on their raw scores.