IELTSis the International English Language Testing System, the world’s proven English language test.
IELTSwas one of the pioneers of four skills English language testing over 25 years ago, and continues to set the standard for English language testing today.
IELTSis accepted as evidence of English language proficiency by over 9000 organizations worldwide. Last year, more than 2.2 million were taken globally. IELTS is recognized as a secure, valid and reliable indicator of true-to-life ability to communicate in English for education, immigration and professional accreditation.
IELTSis jointly owned by British Council, IDP IELTS Australia and Cambridge English Language Assessment through more than 1000 test centres and locations in over 140 countries.
The IELTStest you take – and the score you need – will depend on both your visa requirements and/or the requirements of the institution where you plan to study or work.
There are two types of IELTS test
- IELTS Academic
- IELTS General Training
IELTS Academicmeasures English language proficiency needed for an academic, higher learning environment.
You may choose IELTS Academicif you want to
- Study or train at a university or college at undergraduate or postgraduate level.
- Gain registration in a professional organization (e.g. medical, nursing, accounting, engineering)
IELTS General Trainingmeasures English language proficiency in a practical, everyday context.
You may choose IELTSGeneral Training if you want to
- Study or train in secondary education or a training program.
- This version of the test is also often a visa requirement if you are planning to migrate to English speaking countries including Australia, the UK, Canada and New Zealand.
IELTS test contains four sections
Timing 30 minutes You will listen to four recorded texts, monologues and conversations by a range of native speakers, and write your answers to a series of questions.
These include questions which test your ability to understand main ideas and detailed factual information, ability to understand the opinions and attitudes of speakers, ability to understand the purpose of an utterance and the ability to follow the development of ideas.
A variety of voices and native-speaker accents are used and each section is heard only once.
A conversation between two people set in an everyday social context.
A monologues set in an everyday social context (e.g.) a speech about local facilities.
Timing 60 minutes
The Reading component consists of 40 questions. A variety of question types is used in order to test a wide range of reading skills. These including reading for gist, reading for main ideas, reading for detail, skimming, understanding logical argument, recognizing writers’ opinions, attitudes and purpose.
The Academic version includes three long texts which range from the descriptive and factual to the discursive and analytical. The texts are authentic and are taken from books, journals, magazines and newspapers. These have been selected for a non-specialist audience but are appropriate for candidates entering university courses or seeking professional registration.
IELTS General Training
The General Training version requires candidates to read extracts from books, magazines, newspapers, notices, advertisements, company handbooks and guidelines. These are materials you are likely to encounter on a daily basis in an English speaking environment.
Timing 60 minutes
The Writing component of IELTS Academic includes two tasks. Topics are of general interest to, and suitable for candidates entering undergraduate and postgraduate studies or seeking professional registration.
You will be presented with a graph, table, chart or diagram and asked to describe, summarize or explain the information in your own words. You may be asked to describe and explain data, describe the stages of a process, how something works or describe an object or event.
You will be asked to write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem. Responses to both tasks must be in a formal style.
IELTS General Training
The Writing component of IELTSGeneral Training includes two tasks which are based on topics of general interest.
You will be presented with a situation and asked to write a letter requesting information, or explaining the situation. The letter may be personal, semi-formal or formal in style.
Timing 11 to 14 minutes
The Speaking component assesses your use of spoken English, and takes between 11 and 14 minutes to complete. Every test is recorded. The Speaking component is delivered in such a way that it does not allow candidates to rehearse set responses beforehand.
The Examiner will ask you general questions about yourself and a range of familiar topics, such as home, family, work, studies and interests. This part lasts between four and five minutes.
You will be given a card which asks you to talk about a particular topic. You will have one minute to prepare before speaking for up to two minutes. The examiner will then ask one or two questions on the same topic to finish this part of the test.
You will be asked further questions connected to the topic in Part 2. These questions will give you the opportunity to discuss more abstract ideas and issue. The part of the test lasts between four and five minutes.
The IELTS Band Scores
IELTSis a multi-level exam. You get a score between 1 and 9 for each section. Half scores such as 6.5 are possible. Universities often demand an IELTS score of 6 or 7. They may also demand a minimum score in each of the 4 sections.
IELTS Writing marking schemes The two writing questions are marked out of 9 according to the following criteria
- Task Achievement
- Coherence and Cohesion
- Lexical Resource
- Grammatical Range and Accuracy
IELTSSpeaking marking schemes
The speaking test is also marked out of 9 according to the following criteria
- Fluency and coherence
- Lexical resource
- Grammatical range and accuracy
IELTSprovides a profile of a candidate’s ability to use English.
Candidates receive scores on a Band score from 1 (Non User) to 9 (Expert User). Candidates 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.