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Tests that unlock the future

Students start thinking more seriously about their future studies and careers in secondary school. Those who can prove their English language level with an accredited test have a big advantage – both at university and in the workplace.

The British Council’s Upper-Secondary English Tests helps young adults showcase their English skills.

How students can prove their English level

Our English language qualifications can help students on the path to a successful and fulfilling future. 

Our tests include:

  • IELTS Academic exams – for abilities from A2 to C2.
  • Aptis ESOL exams – for abilities from A1 to C2.

Why take IELTS Academic

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is one of the world’s most popular tests – in fact, more than one million people take IELTS exams every year. IELTS Academic helps students gain entry to undergraduate and postgraduate courses in many of the academic institutions of their choice.

Choose how

Take the test using computers – online or offline – or using pen and paper.

Choose where

You can take IELTS with the British Council in over 50 locations in Italy.

Highly regarded

Organisations in 150 countries accept official IELTS test scores.

More about IELTS Academic

Developed by some of the world’s leading language assessment experts to test the full range of skills needed to study or work successfully in an English speaking country.

Globally recognised Highly accessible Fit for purpose Comprehensive preparation support
More than 12,000 organisations – academic, employer and governments – accept IELTS. Flexible delivery: Take IELTS on paper, computer and online. Suitable for Academic requirements. Access practice tests, apps, videos, webinars and more.

Read more about IELTS exams

Aptis ESOL: Forward-thinking English Testing

Aimed at CEFR A1–C2 level English language learners, Aptis ESOL is a globally trusted test, that ensures students meet the English proficiency requirements of the local job market.

Why take Aptis ESOL

Aptis ESOL is developed by British Council language assessment experts and regulated by the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual), which means the test is well respected around the world and in Italy is approved by AICLU, the Association of Italian University Language Centres. Students are tested on language in a familiar context. This helps them feel confident, engaged and more relaxed during the test.  

On top of this, Aptis ESOL offers flexible test dates and locations, as well as affordable pricing. 


  • Aptis ESOL is a four-skills, computer-based English test, developed by the British Council and delivered in supervised face-to-face test sessions. It’s regulated by the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual).

Independently verified and globally recognised

  • Aptis ESOL is based on the Aptis testing methodology, which has been validated in studies by independent researchers, and is trusted by governments, educational institutions, employers and organisations in more than 85 countries.

Backed by research

  • We have a comprehensive programme of research and continually monitor testing and scoring standards to support the reliability and accuracy of Aptis ESOL.

Accurate and reliable scoring

  • Aptis ESOL test specifications, tasks and rating scales follow the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR).


  • Aptis ESOL is delivered in invigilated face-to-face sessions following strict security regulations. We also guarantee the reliability of test takers’ results. Our online marking system has an inbuilt quality assurance system to ensure examiners mark accurately.

Read more about Aptis ESOL exams