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What is IELTS ? | All you need to know about IELTS

What is IELTS ? | All you need to know about IELTS

by Kishwar Chahal

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What is IELTS?

The International English Language Testing System, or more commonly known as IELTS, is a among the world’s most accepted and undertaken English language proficiency test. The test is designed so as to assess the language ability of the candidate. This is mostly undertaken by candidates who need to study or work in a country where the major language of communication is English.

The test is jointly managed and conducted by British Council, University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations and IDP: IELTS Australia. IELTS is adhered to by most of the universities and employers in many countries, which includes, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, USA, and UK. Most professional bodies, immigration authorities and other such government agencies also give great preference and importance to this language proficiency test.

The IELTS test opens doors to many things global. The test not only checks your proficiency in the English Language but also helps you study, live and work around the world. The test was taken by more than two million students in the last year.

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IELTS test structure

The IELTS is conducted on four modules; reading, writing, listening and speaking. All four modules are compulsory for the candidate undertaking the test. The Listening and Speaking test are same for all students taking the examination, whereas the Reading and Writing modules differ for the candidates depending on the selected choice between General Training IELTS test and Academic IELTS test.

IELTS Test Structure

Total Test Time
2 hours 45 minutes

IELTS listening test lasts for about 30 minutes. It consists of four sections, played on cassette tape, in order of increasing difficulty. Each section might be a dialogue or a monologue. The test is played once only, and the questions for each section must be answered while listening, although time is given for students to check their answers.

IELTS Reading test lasts for 60 minutes. Students are given an Academic Reading test, or a General Training Reading test. Both tests consist of three sections, and in both tests the sections are in order of increasing difficulty.

IELTS Writing test also lasts for 60 minutes. Again, students take either an Academic test, or a General Training test. Students must perform two writing tasks, which require different styles of writing. There is no choice of question topics.

IELTS Speaking test consists of a one-to-one interview with a specially trained examiner. The examiner will lead the candidate through the three parts of the test:

An introduction and interview, an individual long turn where the candidate speaks for one or two minutes on a particular topic, and a two-way discussion thematically linked to the individual long turn. This interview will last for approximately 11-14 minutes. The Speaking test may even take place a day or two later at some centres.

How is IELTS marked? | IELTS Band Score


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