What is the IELTS?
The IELTS is an English language proficiency test designed to assess the language ability of candidates aspiring to study or work in a country where English used as a medium of communication. More than 25 countries across the world accept IELTS scores for admission to higher educational institutes, training programs as well as for immigration purposes. In countries like Australia, the IELTS is mandatory. You will not be given a student visa without your IELTS score.
Who administers the IELTS?
- The IELTS is jointly owned and administered by the University of Cambridge- Local Examination Syndicate, The British Council and the IDP Education Australia. The IELTS is available world-wide in more than 110 countries.
- You may collect the IELTS handbook along with the application form from your local British Council office or your nearest IDP Education Australia office.
- For detailed information on test dates and centers you may log on to www.ielts.org.
What are the different sections of the IELTS?
The different sections of the IELTS are the following:
- A 30-minute Listening Section
- A 60-minute Reading Section
- A 60-minute Writing Section
- A 11-14 minute Speaking Section
- Depending on the requirements of the universities you’re applying to you must select either the Academic or General Training Reading and Writing modules.
- The Academic modules evaluate the ability of the candidate to use the level of language necessary to follow a course of study- example following discussions, complex arguments and dealing with information effectively.
- The General Training modules are mostly for those seeking work-related training in English speaking countries. They assess a broader range of language skills.
- The listening and speaking modules are mandatory. The speaking module is conducted through a face-to-face interview.
- Total test time is 2 hours 45 minutes.
What is the scoring pattern in the IELTS?
In the IELTS, for each of the four sections you will get a band score. The four band scores will then be added and averaged for an Overall Band Score. Each band gives an indication of the standard of English at that level. There are in total nine bands. Band one stands for non-user while band nine stands for expert user.
Usually, most institutes demand an IELTS score of 6 to 6.5. However, score requirements may vary from institute to institute.
You will receive your scores within two weeks of taking the test.
Retaking the IELTS
Your IELTS score is valid for 2 years. In case you score less than what you expected or your score falls short of the minimum requirements of the universities you’re applying to, you may retake the exam. However, you cannot retake it before three months of the first test date.