International English Language Testing System(IELTS)
IELTS, the International English Language Testing System, is the world’s most popular high stakes English language test. It is designed to assess the language ability of people who need to study or work where English is the language of communication.
The IELTS test is accepted by over 10,000 organisations in 140 countries, and is recognised by universities and employers in many countries including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the US.
IELTS is can be taken for the following purposes:
- Study abroad: Students planning to study in English speaking countries such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK, the US, Ireland or wherever the medium of instruction is English need to take an English language test that approves their language proficiency.
- Work abroad: IELTS score is acknowledged by employers and professional bodies from English-speaking countries in various fields such as engineering, law, nursing, medicine, accountancy, teaching, and more.
- Immigration: If you are planning to immigrate to an English speaking country, it is mandatory for you to take IELTS. Migration authorities in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, US, and the United Kingdom use IELTS to process immigration.
Types of test
IELTS is delivered via two mediums:
|IELTS on computer||IELTS on paper|
|Take your IELTS Listening, Reading and Writing test on computer. Choose your own test date – up to 7 days a week and 3 times a day.||Take your IELTS Listening, Reading and Writing test on paper. Choose from up to 4 test dates a month or 48 dates available throughout the year.|
Test takers receive a score for each test component – Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. The individual scores are then averaged and rounded to produce an overall Band Score.
In IELTS, scores are graded on the 9-band system. Each educational university or school sets its own minimum IELTS scores to meet its individual requirements. Mostly, an average of 6.5, with a band score above or equal to 6 in each of the 4 sections, is welcomed in most universities and schools.
|Band score||Skill level||Description|
|9||Expert user||The test taker has fully operational command of the language. Their use of English is appropriate, accurate and fluent, and shows complete understanding.|
|8||Very good user||The test taker has fully operational command of the language with only occasional unsystematic inaccuracies and inappropriate usage. They may misunderstand some things in unfamiliar situations. They handle complex and detailed argumentation well.|
|7||Good user||The test taker has operational command of the language, though with occasional inaccuracies, inappropriate usage and misunderstandings in some situations. They generally handle complex language well and understand detailed reasoning.|
|6||Competent user||The test taker has an effective command of the language despite some inaccuracies, inappropriate usage and misunderstandings. They can use and understand fairly complex language, particularly in familiar situations.|
|5||Modest user||The test taker has a partial command of the language and copes with overall meaning in most situations, although they are likely to make many mistakes. They should be able to handle basic communication in their own field.|
|4||Limited user||The test taker’s basic competence is limited to familiar situations. They frequently show problems in understanding and expression. They are not able to use complex language.|
|3||Extremely limited user||The test taker conveys and understands only general meaning in very familiar situations. There are frequent breakdowns in communication.|
|2||Intermittent user||The test taker has great difficulty understanding spoken and written English.|
|1||Non-user||The test taker has no ability to use the language except a few isolated words.|
|0||Did not attempt the test||The test taker did not answer the questions.|
The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is the world’s most popular high-stakes English language proficiency test for study, work and migration, with more than three million tests taken in the past year. The IELTS results are recognised by more than 10,000 organisations, including educational institutions, employers, professional associations and governments, in 140 countries around the world.
You can choose to take your IELTS test either on paper or computer, depending on your convenience. There is no difference in the content, format or level of difficulty between the two options. Remember, you will have to carefully choose which module you wish to take – IELTS Academic or IELTS General Training, depending on the purpose of your taking the test. However, to study in the UK, you’ll have to take the IELTS test approved for UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI).
IELTS test format
IELTS is a test of all four language skills: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. You will take the Listening, Reading and Writing tests all on the same day one after the other, with no breaks in between. For the Speaking test, you can book a slot online on your preferred date and time. If you fail to choose a slot within the stated time period, a time slot will be automatically allocated to you. The total test time is under three hours.
|IELTS Listening test (30 minutes)||You will have to listen to four recordings and then answer the questions asked. The recordings are of native English speakers and the duration of the test is 30 minutes.|
|IELTS Reading test
|The IELTS Reading test requires you to answer 40 questions and is designed to test you on an array of reading skills. You would have to read for gist, main ideas, details, logical arguments, skimming, and figuring out the writers’ attitudes, opinions and intentions.|
|IELTS Writing test (60 minutes)||The IELTS writing test requires you to complete two tasks and covers topics of general interest based on the module you are taking.|
|IELTS Speaking Test (11-14 minutes)||The IELTS Speaking test assesses your spoken English skills. The test is recorded and conducted in three parts.|
The IELTS test dates in India are available four times a month or 48 times a year (for paper-based), and are generally held on Saturdays and Thursdays to provide flexibility and convenience to the test seekers. With the computer-delivered IELTS, you can choose from multiple dates and time slots in a day and get your results within 5-7 days. However, the availability of the IELTS dates may differ as per the test type and module you have opted for – Academic or General Training.
Why choose IELTS?
It is the test for study − thousands of the world’s most reputable universities and colleges will accept your IELTS results as evidence of your English language proficiency.
It is the test for professionals − professional registration bodies in many fields will accept an IELTS result, including accounting, engineering, law, medicine, nursing, pharmacy and teaching bodies in many countries. This means that after completing your studies, you may need to take the test in order to gain professional registration in an English-speaking country.
It is the test for migration – IELTS scores are required by governments in more countries than any other English language test as a requirement for permanent residency. Unlike other providers, the IELTS General Training test is the only non-academic test available for migration to Australia, New Zealand, Canada, The United Kingdom and The USA.
It’s the test that’s fairer to you – IELTS assesses you on your practical communication abilities and provides with an accurate assessment of the four skills being tested. It focusses on testing the language abilities rather than specialist knowledge of the candidate and offer two versions – Academic and General Training. Plus, it allows for a one-on-one Speaking test one with an examiner in a private room with no distractions.
The test content for IELTS is developed by an international team of experts and undergoes extensive research to ensure the test remains fair and unbiased for any candidate regardless of nationality, background, gender, lifestyle or location.
IELTS test centres in India
IELTS is available in more than 50 test locations in India. Computer-delivered IELTS is currently available in 19 locations, keep checking for new cities as new centres are added on a regular basis.