- The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is designed to assess the language ability of candidates who need to study or work where English is the language of communication and instruction.
- It is a compulsory exam for admission into universities and training programs in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. Professional bodies, government agencies and immigration authorities also of these countries recognize the test.
- IELTS is managed by three reputable, international organizations – British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and the University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations (Cambridge ESOL).
- It covers four basic language skills – listening, reading, writing and speaking.
- Administered at centers throughout the world
Did you know that it has become a must if you wish to get a student visa to Australia?
Formats of the IELTS Test
There are two formats of the test – Academic and General Training.
Academic – Institutions of Higher and Further Education
- The Academic format is, broadly speaking, for those who want to study or train in an English-speaking university or Institutions of Higher and Further Education. Admission to undergraduate and postgraduate courses is based on the results of the Academic test.
General Training – for school, work or migration
- The General Training format focuses on basic survival skills in broad social and workplace contexts. It is typically for those who are going to English-speaking countries to do secondary education, work experience or training programs
- It should be noted that certain professions require an Academic test result for registration and migration purposes.
The Listening and Speaking modules remain the same in both the formats but have different Reading and Writing modules.
|Academic Training||General Training|
|Listening: 4 Sections, 40 questions and 30 minutes||Listening: 4 Sections, 40 questions and 30 minutes|
|Reading: 3 sections, 40 questions and 60 minutes||Reading: 3 sections, 40 questions, 60 minutes|
|Writing: 2 tasks, 60 minutes||Writing: 2 tasks, 60 minutes|
|Speaking: 11-14 minutes||Speaking: 11-14 minutes|
- There is no pass or fail in IELTS. You will be graded on your performance using scores from 1 to 9 for each part of the test – Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. Your results from the four parts then produce an Overall Band Score.
- This unique 9-band system measures scores in a consistent manner – wherever and whenever the test is taken. It is internationally recognized and understood, giving you a reliable international currency.
The IELTS 9-band scale
- Each band corresponds to a level of English competence. All parts of the test and the Overall Band Score can be reported in whole and half bands, e.g. 6.5, 7.0, 7.5, 8.0.
|Band 9||Expert User||Has fully operational command of the language: appropriate, accurate and fluent with complete understanding.|
|Band 8||Very Good User||Has fully operational command of the language with only occasional unsystematic inaccuracies. Misunderstandings may occur in unfamiliar situations. Handles complex detailed argumentation well|
|Band 7||Good User||Has operational command of the language, though with occasional inaccuracies, inappropriacies and misunderstandings in some situations. Generally handles complex language well and understands detailed reasoning.|
|Band 6||Competent User||Has generally effective command of the language despite some inaccuracies, inappropriacies and misunderstandings. Can use and understand fairly complex language, particularly in familiar situations.|
|Band 5||Modest User||Has partial command of the language, coping with overall meaning in most situations, though is likely to make many mistakes. Should be able to handle basic communication in own field.|
|Band 4||Limited User||Basic competence is limited to familiar situations. Has frequent problems in understanding and expression. Is not able to use complex language.|
|Band 3||Extremely Limited User||Conveys and understands only general meaning in very familiar situations. Frequent breakdowns in communication occur.|
|Band 2||Intermittent User||No real communication is possible except for the most basic information using isolated words or short formulae in familiar situations and to meet immediate needs. Has great difficulty understanding spoken and written English|
|Band 1||Non-User||Essentially has no ability to use the language beyond possibly a few isolated words.|
|Band 0||Did not attempt the test||No assessable information provided|
SOME IELTS FACTS
Why do we have two formats of IELTS?
- IELTS has two versions – Academic and General Training. The Academic test is for those who want to study at a tertiary level in an English-speaking country. The General Training test is for those who want to do work experience or training programs, secondary school or migrate to an English-speaking country. All candidates take the same Listening and Speaking tests but different Reading and Writing tests
How do I know which should I take?
- Read the explanation of the Academic and General Training tests and contact the organization or institution to which you are applying to find out what it requires. Note that you must know which version to take when you complete the IELTS Application Form.
How long is the test?
- The total duration is 2 hours 45 minutes. The Listening, Reading and Writing tests are done in one sitting. The Speaking test may be on the same day or up to seven days before or after the other tests.
How much does the test cost?
- The registration fee for the IELTS stands at INR 12,650* with effect from 01 April, 2018.
When will I receive my test results?
- Your Test Report Form will be posted to you 13 calendar days after your test date. All test centers will post your Test Report Form to you. Keep your Test Report Form in a secure place as you only receive one copy. Some test centers provide SMS alerts and an online results service.
How long are IELTS scores valid?
- IELTS scores are valid for 2 years.