What is IELTS?

IELTS , the International English Language Testing System, is designed to assess the language ability of people who want to study or work where English is the language of communication.

IELTS is recognised and accepted by over 9,000 organisations worldwide, including universities, employers, professional bodies, immigration authorities and other government agencies.

The level of the test

IELTS is designed to assess English language skills across a wide range of levels. There is no such thing as a pass or fail in IELTS . Results are reported as band scores on scale from 1 (the lowest) to 9 (the highest).

The IELTS band score scale
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

Test format

There are two modules to choose from – Academic and General Training.

IELTS Academic
IELTS Academic is for test takers wishing to study at undergraduate or postgraduate levels, and for those seeking professional registration.

IELTS General Training
IELTS General Training is for test takers wishing to migrate to an English-speaking country (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK), and for those wishing to train or study at below degree level.

There is no such thing as a pass or fail in IELTS but each organisation sets its own entry requirements. In some cases both Academic or General Training may be accepted. If you are in doubt as to which to take, you should contact the organisation you are applying to in order to check their requirements.

You are tested on all four language skills – listening, reading, writing and speaking, unless you have an exemption due to a disability (see section on special requirements). Everyone takes the same Listening and Speaking tests. There are different Reading and Writing tests for IELTS Academic and General Training.

The Listening, Reading and Writing tests must be completed on the same day. The order in which these tests are taken may vary. There are no breaks between these three tests. The Speaking test may be taken up to seven days before or after the other three tests.

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