The International English Language Testing System which is abbreviated as IELTS is owned and jointly managed by Cambridge English Language Assessment, the British Council and IDP Education Pvt Ltd is one of the major English language tests in the world. IELTS exam is designed to assess the candidates' ability to handle English and their proficiency of their language. Though the native English speakers can take this test, it is primarily designed for the non-native English language speakers who want to enrol in a college/ university or want to migrate to a country where English is necessary.
More than 2 million test takers sit for the IELTS in more than 130 different countries and the number is rapidly increasing. IELTS is recognised worldwide and your IELTS score is important to get admitted in a foreign country where English is used for academic or immigration purposes.
There are 2 different test format in IELTS: Academic IELTS and General Training (GT) IELTS. Academic IELTS is recommended for students who want to get admitted in foreign colleges and universities. General Training IELTS is mainly designed for people who are planning to undertake non-academic training or to gain work experience, or for immigration purposes.
The IELTS test can be taken either in Computer Based version or in pen-and-paper based version. The computer-based version of IELTS is taken in a computer whereas the pen-and-paper based IELTS requires the candidate to use the Pen/ pencil and papers to complete the test. The speaking part of the IELTS is not taken on the computer; rather that is conducted by a human examiner who takes the interview face-to-face. Computer-based IELTS are not available in all of the test centres and you need to check with your nearby test centres if you are planning to sit for the computer-based version of the IELTS. The test usually costs GBP 140 currently and this cost varies depending on the test centre location and country.
IELTS test has 4 sections (also known as modules): Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. The Academic and GT IELTS have the same listening and speaking formats whereas the reading and writing (only task1) modules of the IELTS vary depending on whether a candidate is taking GT IELTS or Academic IELTS.
The IELTS exam lasts for 2 hours and 45 minutes (the speaking test duration may vary but usually lasts for 11-15 minutes). After the test, the result is published in two weeks and the result (also called Test Report Form or TRF) comes with a score from band 1 to band 9. Band score is given for individual modules as well as an average score.
If you are planning to take IELTS or prepare for it, you are advised to learn details of each module of the IELTS from the following links.
Click on the corresponding section or module to learn details about this module.