IELTS, International English Language Testing System

What is IELTS?

IELTS is an English Language Proficiency test that is required to be taken by non-native English speaking students for study in countries where the medium of instruction is English. It managed three organizations: The British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge English Language Assessment. It is more popular than TOEFL (it has more test takers as compared to TOEFL).

IELTS is accepted by universities in UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. It has become a mandatory test for study in Australia. It is getting popular in the US also. Almost all major US Universities accept IELTS.

You cannot be granted an Australian student visa without an IELTS score (or TOEFL).

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All other study destinations either require you to take the TOEFL or IELTS. IELTS is becoming popular in the USA. In many Canadian Universities, either of IELTS/TOEFL would work.


IELTS is accepted by most Australian, British, Canadian and New Zealand academic institutions. American academic institutions are increasingly accepting IELTS for admissions purposes.
IELTS evaluates your English language ability (reading, writing, and listening). A good score (usually 6.0 and above) is an entry requirement for many colleges and universities worldwide.
You can repeat the test as often as you like, but only at intervals of at least 90 days between test dates.

What is the format of the test?

The test has four parts:

Listening 4 Sections, 40 Items 30 minutes
Reading 3 Sections, 40 Items 1 hour
Writing 2 Tasks (150-250 words) 1 hour
Speaking 3 Parts 11 to 14 minutes

There are two modules to choose from – Academic and General Training.
The Academic module is for candidates planning to study abroad (Undergrad or graduate studies).
General Training is used by candidates to show English proficiency (below degree level), It is also used as a scorecard to show English proficiency by immigration authorities (from Canada/Australia).

Each Organization may have their rules, they may accept both of them.
Retaking IELTS
There are no restrictions on re-taking IELTS. If you do not get the result you wanted; you can register for another test as soon as you feel you are ready to do so.

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IELTS scoring

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

IELTS score is valid for 2 years.
On an average most test takers score better in Listening and worst in writing.
55% of the test takers score more than 6.0 (academic test taken for higher education courses with a duration of more than 3 months).

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