What is IELTS?

IELTS stands for the International English Language Testing System. With 30 years of English language testing to its credit, completing an IELTS exam is the first step towards living in an English-speaking country.

Renowned as being the world’s most popular English language test, it is trusted by over 10,000 organisations in over 140 countries including educational institutions, governments and employers. Depending upon your convenience, you can choose to take the test on a computer or on paper.

About the Test

The IELTS Academic exam is broken down into four parts and will assess the full range of language skills you’ll need in order to study abroad.

Scores
  • Some colleges, universities or Government agencies may require a minimum pass grade
  • You will receive an overall grade which is reported in full and half bands from 1 (the lowest) to 9 (the highest). There is no such thing as a pass or fail
  • At least an IELTS grade-6 (competent user), with a minimum 5.5 in all sections is normally required to study abroad
  • Results are available 13 days after the test, which are valid for about 2 years, from the date you took the test There are no restrictions on re-taking IELTS – take the test again, whenever your are ready to do so

Test formats

You will complete your listening, reading and writing in one day in the form of a single, continuous examination.

Section

Details

Duration

Listening

There are 40 questions. Question formats may appear from the following:

  • Multiple choice
  • Matching
  • Labelling
  • Form completion
  • Note completion
  • Table completion
  • Flow-chart completion
  • Summary completion
  • Sentence completion
  • Short-answer questions

Approximately 30 minutes (plus 10 minutes’ transfer time)

Reading

There are 40 questions. Question types will be chosen randomly from the following possibilities:

  • Multiple choice
  • True/False/Not given questions
  • Matching information
  • Headings
  • Features or sentence endings
  • Completion of sentences
  • Notes
  • Tables
  • Diagrams or Charts
  • Short-answer questions

60 minutes (no additional transfer time)

Writing

There are 2 tasks.

  • Task 1 requires an answer of at least 150 words
  • Task 2 requires an answer of at least 250 words.

60 minutes

Your speaking test will be held within 7 days either side of your other tests, or maybe even on the same day.

Speaking

There are 3 parts.

  • An introduction and interview
  • An individual long answer on a particular topic
  • A two-way discussion

The total duration of this section is about 50 minutes

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