Introduction to IELTS

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) measures the language proficiency of people who want to study or work where English is used as a language of communication. It uses a nine-band scale to clearly identify levels of proficiency, from non-user (band score 1) through to expert (band score 9).

IELTS Academic or IELTS General Training

IELTS is available in two test versions: Academic – for people applying for higher education or professional registration, and General Training for those migrating to Australia, Canada and the UK, or applying for secondary education, training programmes and work experience in an English-speaking environment. Both versions provide a valid and accurate assessment of the four language skills: listening, reading, writing and speaking.

Which IELTS test is right for me?

There are two types of the IELTS test: IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training.

IELTS Academic

The IELTS Academic test is for people applying for higher education or professional registration in an English speaking environment. It reflects some of the features of academic language and assesses whether you are ready to begin studying or training.

This approach is widely supported by the institutions that recognise IELTS.

IELTS General Training

The IELTS General Training test is for those who are going to English speaking countries for secondary education, work experience or training programs. It is also a requirement for migration to Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK. The test focuses on basic survival skills in broad social and workplace contexts.

Individual organisations have different requirements. Make sure you check which IELTS test the organisation you are applying to recognises.

Click here if you are applying for IELTS to go or stay in the UK.

Listening and Speaking are the same for both tests, but the subject matter of the Reading and Writing components differs depending on which test you take.

The Listening, Reading and Writing components of all IELTS tests are completed on the same day, with no breaks in between them.

The Speaking component, however, can be completed up to a week before or after the other tests. Your test centre will advise.

The total test time is 2 hours and 45 minutes.

Fair to all

IELTS treats all test takers with the utmost fairness and respect by actively avoiding cultural bias, and  accepting all standard varieties of native-speaker English, including North American, British, Australian and New Zealand English.

Widely available

IELTS is available at more than 1,100 locations worldwide, including more than 50 locations in the USA, and there are 48 test dates a year.

Source: IELTS.org Website