IELTS Introduction
International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is one of the most widely accepted test aimed at checking English proficiency of people who aspire for higher education or migration (work/emigration) to nearly all of English speaking countries. There are more than 1,100 test locations to choose from worldwide with more than 42 locations within India and 48 test dates per year.

There are two versions of the test -
Academic - for people applying for higher education or professional registration
General Training for those who wish to migrate to Australia, Canada and the UK, or apply for secondary education, training programmes and work experience in an English-speaking country.

The test covers all four language skills i.e. Listening (30 minutes), Reading (60 minutes), Writing (60 minutes) and Speaking (11–14 minutes). The total test time is 2 hours and 45 minutes.
Test results are reported as band scores on a scale from 1 (the lowest) to 9 (the highest) and the score is valid for upto 2 years.

Official Websites:
https://www.ielts.org/
https://www.britishcouncil.in/exam/ielts
www.cambridgeenglish.org/exams/ielts/

Book a test:
takeielts.britishcouncil.org/book
All about IELTS IELTS is jointly owned by British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge English Language Assessment through more than 1,100 test centres and locations in over 140 countries.
Each organisation sets its own entry requirements. In some cases both Academic or General Training may be accepted. In order to decide which test to take the organisation you are applying to may be contacted in order to check their requirements.
IELTS Exam Fees
The registration fee for IELTS is Rs. 11,300
Test Format
The test covers all four aspects of a language: listening, reading, writing and speaking unless you have an exemption due to a disability. Listening and speaking tests are same for both versions academic and general while reading and writing tests depend on what test version you opt for.
Listening, Reading and Writing tests are completed on the same day, with no breaks in between them. The Speaking test, however, can be completed up to a week before or after the other tests.
Listening
Test Duration - 30 minutes
Format-
You will be required to listen to four recordings of native English speakers and will be required to answer 40 questions from wide variety of question types from multiple choice to matching the following, to plan/ map/diagram labelling, to form, note, table, flow-chart, summary and sentence completion to short-answer questions. All questions are equally divided amongst all sections.

There are four sections corresponding to each recording -
Section 1 - conversation between two people from everyday life like conversation with an employment agency.
Section 2 - a monologue from everyday life like a speech or someone giving instructions
Section 3 - a conversation between up to four people from educational or training environment like discussion between students related to assignment.
Section 4 - a monologue on an academic subject like a university lecture.
Conversations can be heard only once. The test assesses you understanding of the underlying idea of conversations, understanding of facts, purpose, attitude and opinion of the speaker, etc.
Each correct answer carries 1 mark and there is no negative marking. The score out of 40 is converted to a band scale of 1-9.
Reading
Test Duration - 60 minutes
Format-
Like listening test this also consists of 40 questions, designed to test a wide range of reading skills. The type of questions are similar to those of listening test.

There are 3 sections in the test. Each section contains one long text taken from books, journals, magazines and newspapers. They are authentic and have been written for a non-specialist audience and are on academic topics of general interest. Texts could be descriptive and factual or indirect and analytical and may contain diagrams, graphs or illustrations.
Section 1 - two or three short factual texts, one of which may be composite (consisting of 6-8 short related texts like hotel advertisements). Topics are relevant to everyday life in an English-speaking country.
Section 2 - two short factual texts based on work related issues (e.g. applying for jobs, company policies, pay and conditions, workplace facilities, staff development and training).
Section 3 contains one longer, more complex text on a topic of general interest.
Reading test assesses you on understanding of the gist of the text, reading for main ideas and detail, skimming, understanding logical argument and recognising writers' opinions, attitudes and purpose.
Each correct answer carries 1 mark and there is no negative marking. The score out of 40 is converted to a band scale of 1-9.

Writing Test
Test Duration - 60 minutes
Format-
There are 2 sections in this test. Topics given will be of general interest which are easy to understand and substantiate.
Section 1 - A graph, table, chart or diagram will be given and you will be asked to describe/summarise it in your own words in minimum 150 words. You may be asked to describe and explain data or stages of a process or describe an object or event. This question judges you on your ability to organise, present and compare data; to describe the stages of a process or procedure; to describe an object or event or sequence of events; to explain how something works.
Section 2 - You have to write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem in minimum 250 words. This question judges you on your ability to present a solution to a problem; to present and justify an opinion; to compare and contrast evidence, opinions and implications; to evaluate and challenge ideas, evidence or an argument.
The performance in the test is marked by certified IELTS examiners according to the IELTS Writing test assessment criteria (Task Achievement/Response, Coherence and Cohesion, Lexical Resource, Grammatical Range and Accuracy). The public version of the assessment criteria can be found at www.ielts.org/criteria.
Section 2 carries double the weightage as compare to section 1.

Speaking Test
Test Duration - 11 - 14 minutes
Format-
There are 3 sections in this test and all the tests are recorded.
Section 1 (4-5 minutes) - This is the introduction section where the examiner introduces himself/herself and asks you to introduce yourself. You are asked questions about general topics like your family, home, study your interests, etc.
Section 2 (3-4 minutes) - this is an extempore section where you are given a topic card with few points you can include. You are given 1 min to prepare your talk. You can make notes while you prepare. You can talk for 1-2 min followed by few questions from the examiner.
Section 3 (4-5 minutes) - This section focuses on discussion of the topic given in section 2 with the examiner in detail.
Speaking test assesses you on your ability to communicate opinions and information by answering a range of questions, your ability to express your ideas on a topic and organise your thoughts properly, appropriate usage of language and ability to express and justify opinions and to analyse, discuss and speculate about issues.
The performance in the test is marked by certified IELTS examiners according to the IELTS Writing test assessment criteria (Task Achievement/Response, Coherence and Cohesion, Lexical Resource, Grammatical Range and Accuracy). The public version of the assessment criteria can be found at www.ielts.org/criteria.

IELTS FAQs


What is IELTS?

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is one of the most widely accepted test aimed at checking English proficiency of people who aspire for higher education or migration (work/emigration) to nearly all of English speaking countries.

Why IELTS?

IELTS is accepted by most Australian, British, Canadian and New Zealand academic institutions, by over 3,000 academic institutions in the United States, and by various professional organisations across the world.

Who owns IELTS and who writes the test?

IELTS is jointly owned by British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge English Language Assessment

Why are there two versions of the test?

There are two versions of the test - Academic - for people applying for higher education or professional registration General Training for those who wish to migrate to Australia, Canada and the UK, or apply for secondary education, training programmes and work experience in an English-speaking country.

What is the validity of the test score?

An IELTS Test Report Form (TRF) is valid for two (2) years.

What is the age limit for the test?

There is no age limit for the test, however it is recommended that you do not take the test before 16 years of age.

Which version should I do?

Each organisation sets its own entry requirements. In some cases both Academic or General Training may be accepted. In order to decide which test to take the organisation you are applying to may be contacted in order to check their requirements.

What is the test format and how long will it take?

The test covers all four aspects of a language: listening, reading, writing and speaking unless you have an exemption due to a disability. Listening and speaking tests are same for both versions academic and general while reading and writing tests depend on what test version you opt for.
Test Duration - Listening (30 minutes + 10 minutes transfer time), Reading (60 minutes), Writing (60 minutes) and Speaking (11–14 minutes). The total test time is 2 hours and 55 minutes. Listening, Reading and Writing tests are completed on the same day, with no breaks in between them. The Speaking test, however, can be completed up to a week before or after the other tests.

What help is available for disabled candidates?

IELTS provides a comprehensive service for test takers who have special requirements, including specific learning, hearing and visual difficulties. You can contact your test centre to discuss your requirements. 3 month notice period is required to be given for organising arrangements

When can I take IELTS?

IELTS is available on 48 fixed dates a year – up to four times a month, depending on local demand.
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