IELTS  stands for International English Language Testing System. The IELTS test is jointly owned British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge English Language Assessment. IELTS test was introduced in 1989 and since then it has become the most popular English language proficiency testing system. IELTS provides a profile of a candidate's English proficiency which might be required by universities, colleges, employers, professional bodies and immigration authorities. Over 2.5 million candidates take IELTS exams each year.

The IELTS score profile contains not only an indication of a candidate's ability in a particular module (i.e. reading, writing, listening and speaking) but also provides an indication of an overall ability of a candidate to handle the language in an English speaking country.  IELTS is a very popular English language proficiency test for higher education & global migration both for students and professionals.

IELTS is recognised by universities and employers in many countries, including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the USA. It is also recognised by professional bodies, immigration authorities and other government agencies. The candidates sit for the IELTS exam to achieve a score as part of the proof of their English proficiency.

It does not matter what subject a candidate is going to study in the future - or had studied in the past - all students taking the desired module do the same test. An IELTS candidate will not be tested on his/ her specific knowledge of a subject; only his/her English language skills are assessed. The IELTS score a candidate achieves is valid for 2 years. There is no barrier on how many times you can take the IELTS test.

The original IELTS exam has 4 sections or modules: Listening, Reading, Writing & Speaking.

IELTS test is available in two test formats – Academic IELTS and General Training IELTS. All candidates take the same Listening and Speaking test, but Reading and Writing tests vary depending on whether a candidate is taking the Academic IELTS test or the General Training IELTS test. To find out which test format is suitable for you visit the Academic or General Training IELTS page.

IELTS test structure An IELTS exam has the following structure:





4 sections; 40 questions. 30 minutes

4 sections; 40 questions. 30 minutes


3 sections; 40 questions
3 long reading passages
1 hour

3 sections; 40 questions
3 reading passages
1 hour


2 tasks (Report writing & Essay Writing)
1 hour

2 tasks (Letter/ Application writing & Essay Writing)
1 hour


3 sections (Introduction, Cue card, Two-way discussion)
11 - 14 minutes

3 sections (Introduction, Cue card, Two-way discussion)
11 - 14 minutes

IELTS described In the original IELTS test, you'll sit for the listening module first, followed by the reading and then the writing test. As the final part of the IELTS, speaking/ interview will hold on the same day of the test or on a different day depending on the test centres and availability. However, the IELTS test centre will inform you about the test schedule.

The IELTS score for each section is reported on a band score of 0-9. The overall band score is calculated from the average of the four sections and then a score is given to the IELTS candidate. The overall band score indicated the candidate's English proficiency according to the following chart:

9  Expert User
8  Very Good User
7  Good User
6  Competent User
5  Modest User
4  Limited User
3  Extremely Limited User
2  Intermittent User
1  Non User
0: Did not Attempt the Test

Purpose of IELTS:

The purpose of the IELTS is to set a standard for the International English language testing system and to help people who need to demonstrate their English language proficiency for academic, training or migration purposes. College and Universities require the intended students to have a minimum English language proficiency to continue the courses and degree offered by them while the immigration rule requires the intended immigrants to be able to communicate in English where English is used for communication. The IELTS test is globally recognised and is a standardised exam that tests a candidate's ability to read, write, listen and speak in English and assigns a score (band score) based on their ability to handle the language. There are 2 test formats: Academic and General Training. You should take the General Training test if you want to work, study in a short course or live in a country where English is used for communication. The Academic IELTS is suitable for students who want to take an undergraduate or graduate program in a college or university where courses are offered in the English language.

Skills Tested:

IELTS exam tests a candidate's ability in 4 different modules of the English language: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. Note that a candidate's language skill is tested in the IELTS exam not the general knowledge or technical skill is tested. The academic and GT IELTS test the same skill sets except the reading and writing task 1. Based on how a candidate does in the different modules of the IELTS, a band score is assigned for individual modules and an overall band score is calculated based on the average of the score in the four modules. The score reflects the candidate's overall as well as particular proficiency in the English language.

IELTS is the most widely accepted  English Language Test in the world:

It is often asked by many "Why IELTS is the most widely accepted English Language Test in the world?"

Well, the IELTS test result is recognised and accepted by more than 10 thousand organisations, including colleges, universities, training institutes, immigration authorities, multinational companies and even by the government bodies in more than 140 countries- which basically covers the major parts of the world.   
Since IELTS is accepted as evidence of English language proficiency by so many organisations and educational institutes worldwide, more than 3.5 million test-takers take this test each year. Due to this, this test has become so easily accessible. You just need to visit an authorised test centre to register for the test and then choose one of the available test dates that suit you to take the test.

Now, you may ask why so many educational institutes, immigration authorities, training institutes and multinational companies accept it? Well, it is because it is strictly monitored, structured and has high-quality control criteria. The IELTS authorities make sure the test and evaluation criteria are of supreme quality, so organisations rely on this test and trust the test result.

The IELTS test is designed to assess different English language skills of a candidate – speaking, listening, writing and reading – including a live conversation with an expert examiner, which prepares you for real-life situations, whether it is to talk to your international colleagues at school, to your clients at work or even during a trip abroad. This makes this test really useful and important and no doubt is recognised worldwide.

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Syed Moin Haider
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Facilitating the accessibility of English knowledge to the world comes up By supporting IELTS. IELTS reading test presented in this website is quite helpful...