IELTS is an English language exam that is required to be taken by international candidates considering studying or working in a country where English is the main language of communication. Most popular countries where IELTS is accepted for university admissions are the UK, Australia, New Zealand, USA, and Canada. The exam mainly measures the ability of test-takers to communicate in the four basic English language skills – listening, reading, speaking, and writing. IELTS exam is jointly owned and conducted by IDP Education Australia, British Council, and Cambridge English Language Assessment. With the number of IELTS tests grew to a record of 3.5 million in the year 2018, it has become a leader in the area of international higher education. It is accepted in 100% of universities in the UK and Australia. Also, it is accepted in more than 3,400 institutions in the US and thousands of institutions in English speaking countries.
Why IELTS Exam is required?
IELTS 2020 exam is required for migration as well as academic purposes abroad in English speaking countries like Australia, UK, New Zealand, USA, and Canada. It is the only English Language Test approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) for visa applicants applying both outside and inside the UK. A lot of students get confused about why are the IELTS scores required. The simple answer to this is that foreign universities and visa granting authorities need to be sure that you will not have communication issues while staying in the country. You need to show a good understanding and strong command of the English language and that is why your overall IELTS scores are so important. Another common doubt students have is whether IELTS is a compulsory exam or not. No, IELTS isn’t compulsory in all university admissions. Many universities might not even require IELTS scores for admission purposes. But remember that if you don’t give IELTS, your chances of getting the student visa might suffer as the visa officers may not be convinced about your English proficiency without IELTS scores. So it is safer to appear for IELTS and aim to score at least 6 bands overall.
You can take the IELTS exam with the British Council or IDP up to once a week (four times a month).
Types of IELTS
There are two types of IELTS exams: IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training. Listening and speaking sections are the same for both these tests, however, the subject matter for the writing and reading sections are different depending on which test one takes. The Reading, Writing, and Listening sections of the IELTS tests are completed on the same day of the test with no breaks between them. However, the Speaking section can be completed either a week before or after the other tests date. This information test can be taken from your test centre. Read: Which exam to give for which course to study abroad
IELTS Academic Test
IELTS Academic is taken by those who apply for higher education or professional registration abroad.
IELTS General Test
IELTS General Test is taken by those who wish to migrate to major English speaking countries like Canada, Australia, and the UK. This test is also taken by those who want to enroll in training programs or secondary education or wants to gain work experience in a country where English is the main language used for communication.
Exam Name IELTS
IELTS full form International English Language Testing System
Official Website https://www.ielts.org/
Most popular for Study, work, and migration to English speaking countries like Australia, New Zealand, and the UK
Also accepted by Canada and USA
Conducted by British Council and IDP Education Ltd
Mode of Exam Computer and Paper – delivered test
IELTS Fee Rs. 14,000 for registrations from 1st-Apr-2020
Score Range On a scale of 1 (the lowest) to 9 (the highest)
IELTS Contact British Council
0120-4569000 / 0120-6684353, Mon-Sat 09.00 to 18.00
IDP Head Office
How does IELTS work?
IELTS test has been developed to assess the English language skills of an individual. The individuals are assessed on the bases of their Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking skills.
• IELTS for Study: Choosing IELTS for study can be of huge advantage for candidates as IELTS is accepted by more than 10,000 education institutions globally.
• IELTS for Work: Various professional organizations, and employers across the world accept IELTS to select the right candidate. The importance of communication felt at the time of working. There are many industries which accept the IELTS test for testing the language proficiency of the candidates.
• IELTS for immigration: Every country has its own set of guidelines for IELTS. Like in Australia it is accepted for permanent residency and various Visa categories. Those applying to Canada for a work visa, permanent residency or professional purpose are required to take IELTS General Test.
Who conducts IELTS?
IELTS test is jointly owned by:
• British Council
• IDP IELTS Australia (International Development Program)
• Cambridge ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages)
Candidates have this doubt about who is best for IELTS, British Council or IDP? Where they should take the IELTS test? However, there is no difference between both the agencies, whether you take IELTS from British Council or IDP. So, you can take the IELTS exam conducted by any of the agency.
Make sure to keep your passport handy at the time of registration as you need passport number at the time of registration. Apart from this, you also need to carry your passport on the test day. IELTS Registration can be done in easy steps:
• First, you need to visit the official British Council registration page.
• Create an account with the British Council.
• Find your nearest test center.
• Register for the IELTS test and pay online.
IELTS Exam Pattern and Syllabus
It is important for candidates looking to score well in their IELTS Test to understand the IELTS Exam Pattern and Syllabus in detail. IELTS Syllabus includes four sections, Reading, Listening, Speaking and Writing. You get marked on these four sections and you get the IELTS total score as well. The total score is the sum of the scores in the four skill areas. The total test duration is 2 hours and 45 minutes.
Here is the IELTS paper pattern – At a Glance
The IELTS Exam consists of four sections:
• IELTS Listening section
• IELTS Reading section
• IELTS Writing section
• IELTS Speaking section
IELTS Band Scale
The table mentioned below shows how the IELTS Band Scale reads
Band Skill Level Meaning
Band 9 Expert user Has fully operational command of the language
Band 8 Very good user Fully operational command of the language with only occasional unsystematic inaccuracies
Band 7 Good user Has operational command of the language, though with occasional inaccuracies and misunderstandings in some situations
Band 6 Competent user Can use and understand fairly complex language, particularly in familiar situations
Band 5 Modest user Has partial command of the language, coping with overall meaning in most situations, though is likely to make many mistakes
Band 4 Limited user Have frequent problems in understanding and expression. Is not able to use complex language
Band 3 Extremely limited user Conveys and understands only general meaning in very familiar situations. Frequent breakdowns occur in communication
Band 2 Intermittent user Has great difficulty understanding spoken and written English
Band 1 Non-user Essentially has no ability to use the language beyond possibly a few isolated words
Band 0 Did not attempt the test No assessable information provided
IELTS Score validity period
From the time you obtain your IELTS results, your IELTS score is valid for two years.