The International English Test System or IELTS is the world’s most popular advanced English language proficiency test for study, work and immigration. Over 3 million tests have been conducted in the past year. IELTS test scores are recognized by more than 10,000 organizations in 140 countries, including educational institutions, employers, professional associations and governments. You can choose to take the IELTS test on paper or on a computer according to your convenience. There is no difference in the content, format or difficulty of the two choices. The most popular uses of IELTS include:
- Study Purpose: Many prestigious universities require prospective students to be fluent in English. IELTS Academic score is required because universities need to know that you will be able to understand lectures, write essays, take exams and conduct research.
- Work Purpose and Secondary Education: English proficiency is also crucial to the company and the professional environment. Employers want candidates to take IELTS General Training because they can communicate with clients in the most professional way. In addition, English proficiency is required for registration in many fields (such as pharmacy, nursing, law, accounting, engineering, teaching, etc.).
- Migration: Some governments require all applicants for permanent residency to speak fluent English.
However, to study in the UK, you must take the IELTS test approved by the UK Visa and Immigration Agency (UKVI). IELTS is accepted in academic institutions throughout the world; most British, Australian, Canadian, Irish, New Zealand and South African academic institutions require prospective candidates to take IELTS and it is also a requirement for immigration to Australia, New Zealand and Canada.
Types of IELTS
There are two standardized versions of the test: Academic Version and General Training Version. The version of the test required will depend on the intended use and the area in which you want to demonstrate your proficiency in the English language. It is worth noting that even as a student, you may need to sit in the General Training Version as well as the Academic Version or instead.
- The “Academic Edition” is made for candidates who wish to study in universities, colleges and other higher education institutions. Professionals (doctors, nurses, etc.) who wish to study and practice in English-speaking countries also need this document.
- The general training version is suitable for those who wish to gain work experience or who wish to receive non-academic training. This version of the test is also for immigration purposes.
Since the two types of IELTS and their purpose are slightly different, it depends on where you study. Although you do depend on the learning institution you are applying to, you may have to take and pass two exams. IELTS has 48 fixed test dates each year. Develop a timetable to ensure high safety and quality. Generally, the academic version of the exam is available on all 48 exam dates, while the general training version is only available on 24 IELTS Exam Dates.
IELTS Test Procedure
There are four sections of IELTS- listening, reading, writing and speaking. The listening and speaking modules of the two types of IELTS are the same, while the reading and writing sections of the academic and general training versions are different. All modules need to be completed to get mixed points. The score is displayed on the IELTS Test Report Form (TRF).
IELTS Listening test: For IELTS Listening, candidates need to answer 40 questions in 30 minutes. Audios are played once for the candidates.
IELTS Reading test: The IELTS reading requires you to answer 40 questions and is designed to test you through a range of reading skills. You must read the main points, main ideas, details, logical arguments, skim, and figure out the author’s attitude, viewpoints, and intentions.
IELTS Writing test: IELTS writing contains 2 tasks, which are different from the academic and general training versions of the test. In the academic version, the first task requires candidates to describe diagrams, diagrams, graphs or processes. In the second task, the candidate responds to an argument. In the general training version, the first task is to ask the candidate to write a letter explaining the situation. In the second task, the candidate writes a paper.
IELTS Speaking test: The IELTS Speaking Test assesses your oral English ability. Record and test in three parts.
Time Duration for IELTS
The total test time for listening, reading and writing modules is approximately 2 hours and 50 minutes. Listening takes about 40 minutes. Candidates listen to the recording for 30 minutes, and they have 10 minutes to transfer their answers to the answer sheet. The read and write time is 60 minutes respectively. The speaking module requires an additional 11 to 14 minutes. The first three modules were completed in one day without interruption. The oral module can be conducted within seven days before or after the other modules.
IELTS Scores and Band Scale
The IELTS band score is scaled on a 9-point scale, with each item corresponding to a specific English proficiency. The band score is reported to the nearest half of the band.
|9||Expert User||Have complete operational requirements for language: appropriate, accurate, fluent, and have a complete understanding.|
|8||Very Good User||There are comprehensive operational requirements for the language, only occasional system errors and improprieties. Misunderstandings may occur in unfamiliar situations. Handle complex and detailed arguments well.|
|7||Good User||Has operational command of the language, though with occasional inaccuracies, inappropriateness and misunderstandings in some situations. Generally handles complex language well and understands detailed reasoning.|
|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.|
|5||Modest user||Although some languages may make many mistakes, they have partial control over the language and in most cases can deal with the overall meaning. Should be able to handle basic communications in your own field.|
|4||Limited User||Basic abilities are limited to familiar situations. I often encounter problems when using complex languages.|
|3||Extremely Limited User||Only convey and understand general meanings in very familiar situations.|
|2||Intermittent User||Except for the most common information, it is impossible to use isolated words or short formulas to meet immediate needs in familiar situations.|
|1||Non User||In essence, except for a few isolated words, there is no ability to use the language at all.|
|0||Did not attempt the test||No evaluable information was provided at all.|
The content of the IELTS test is developed by an international team of experts and has undergone extensive research to ensure that the test is fair and impartial to any candidate regardless of nationality, background, gender, lifestyle or location.