IELTS characteristics: The IELTS incorporates the following features

  • A variety of accents and writing styles have presented in text materials in order to minimize linguistic bias.

IELTS tests the ability to listen, read, write and speak in English.

Band scores are used for each language sub-skill (Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking). The Band Scale is from 0 ("Did not attempt the test") to 9 ("Expert User").

The speaking module is a key component of IELTS. This is conducted in the form of a one-to-one interview with an examiner. The examiner assesses the candidate as he or she is speaking, but the speaking session is also recorded for monitoring as well as re-marking in case of an appeal against the banding given.

IELTS is developed with input from item writers from around the world. Teams are located in the USA, Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and other English speaking nations.


IELTS test structure

All candidates must complete four Modules - Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking to obtain a band score, which is shown on the IELTS Test Report Form (TRF). All candidates take the same Listening and Speaking Modules, while the Reading and Writing Modules differ depending on whether the candidate is taking the Academic or General Training Versions of the Test.


Listening

The listening module comprises four sections. Each section begins with a short introduction telling the candidates about the situation and the speakers. They then have some time look through the questions. The first three sections have a break in the middle allowing candidates to look at the remaining questions. Each section is heard only once.


Reading

In the academic module the reading test comprises three sections, with 3 texts normally followed by 13 or 14 questions for a total of 40 questions overall. The General test also has 3 sections. However the texts are shorter, so there can be up to 5 texts to read.


Writing

This consists of two sections with the second section taking the form of an essay.


Speaking

The speaking test contains three sections. The first section takes the form of an interview during which candidates may be asked about their hobbies, interests, reasons for taking IELTS exam as well as other general topics such as clothing, free time, computers and the internet or family. In the second section candidates are given a topic card and then have one minute to prepare after which they must speak about the given topic. The third section involves a discussion between the examiner and the candidate, generally on questions relating to the theme.


Duration

The total test duration is around 2 hours and 45 minutes for Listening, Reading and Writing modules.

  • Listening: 40 minutes, 30 minutes for which a recording is played centrally and additional 10 minutes for transferring answers onto the OMR answer sheet.
  • Reading: 60 minutes.
  • Writing: 60 minutes.
  • Speaking: 10-14 minutes.

No additional time is given for transfer of answers in Reading and Writing modules). The first three modules - Listening, Reading and Writing (always in that order) - are completed in one day, and in fact are taken with no break in between. The Speaking Module may be taken, at the discretion of the test centre, in the period seven days before or after the other Modules. The tests are designed to cover the full range of ability from non-user to expert user.

IELTS or 'International English Language Testing System’ is an international standardized test of English language proficiency. It is jointly managed by University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations, the British Council and IDP Education Pty Ltd. There are two versions of the IELTS. The Academic Version and the General Training Version. The Academic Version is intended for those who want to enroll in universities and other institutions of higher education and for professionals such as medical doctors and nurses who want to study or practice in an English-speaking country. The General Training Version is intended for those planning to undertake non-academic training or to gain work experience, or for immigration purposes. It is generally acknowledged that the reading and writing tests for the Academic Version are more difficult than those for the General Training Version, due to the differences in the level of intellectual and academic rigor between the two versions. IELTS is accepted by most Australian, British, Canadian, Irish, New Zealand and South African academic institutions, over 3,000 academic institutions in the United States, and various professional organizations. It is also a requirement for immigration to Australia, New Zealand and Canada. Some facts about IELTS:


  • An IELTS result or Test Report Form (TRF) is valid for two years.
  • In 2007, IELTS tested over a million candidates in a single 12-month period for the first time ever.
  • In 2009, 1.4 million candidates took the IELTS test in over 130 countries.

Band Score

9.0

8.5

8.0

7.5

7.0

6.5

6.0

5.5

5.0

4.5

4.0

3.5

3.0

2.5

2.0

1.5

1.0

0.0

Raw score

40

37 - 39

35 - 36

33 - 34

28 - 32

26 - 27

23 - 25

21 - 22

18 - 20

15 - 17

12 - 14

10 - 11

8 - 9

6 - 7

4 - 5

2 - 3

1

0