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The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is a test of English language proficiency designed to assess the language ability of non-native speakers of English who intend to study or work where English is the language of communication. Simply put, it is a test of the English language skills of international students who are planning to pursue studies abroad in UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, etc. institutions of higher learning or for immigration purposes. Even some Universities in non-English speaking countries require an IELTS score, where courses are taught in English. Established in 1989, IELTS is the world's most popular high-stakes English language proficiency test for study, work and migration with more than two million tests taken in the past year.
There are currently around 1,000 test locations in more than 140 countries, carrying out over two million tests each year. Over 9,000 organizations worldwide accept the certificate as a proof of proficiency in the English language. IELTS results are recognized by more than 10,000 organizations, including educational institutions, employers, professional associations and governments, in 135 countries all around the world.
The IELTS language certificate can open doors to international academic and professional opportunities in many institutions and places in the world where English is used including the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and many others. It certainly takes you a step closer to achieving your education, career or life goals.
"IELTS is a test of all four language skills: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speakin".
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 either be completed on the same day as the other three tests, or up to seven days before or after that.
The total test time is 2 hours and 45 minutes.
IELTS test materials are written by international teams of writers from different English-speaking countries, ensuring that the contents reflect real-life situations.
The best part is…the Speaking part of the IELTS test is a one-to-one assessment with a real person, not with a computer. You will thus have conversations with an examiner who can effectively evaluate your language skills, without being distracted by other candidates or technical problems.
You should take IELTS if
First and foremost, it is highly essential to check what test score you need before taking one of the IELTS exams because different Universities, colleges, governments and employers around the world require different levels of English proficiency, depending on their profile and objectives. Normally, a higher IELTS score is required for entry unto postgraduate programmes such as Masters or PhDs.
After the examination, you will be given a total score in whole or half bands, e.g. 6.5 or 8.0. It uses a nine-band scale to clearly identify levels of proficiency, from non-user (band score 1) through to expert (band score 9). Band 6 corresponds to a ’competent user’, who generally has an effective command of the English language.
"The IELTS Academic and General Training test scores are valid for two years from the day you receive your results".
Whether you are applying for study, work or a visa, the IELTS examination is the same in terms of content, examiners, format, level of difficulty and scoring. If your test results are not satisfactory, there is no limit on when and how often you can retake it, but it is advisable to take some time and study more before your next attempt. In most countries, test centres offer preparatory courses and language classes, but you can also find online learning resources that will help you refresh your knowledge and get tips on how best to prepare for the exam.
The Academic IELTS is required for university or college admission, while the General Training IELTS is intended for career and immigration purposes. The IELTS Life Skills is a new UK government-approved Secure English Language Test (SELT) to support your UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) application.
The IELTS test content is developed by an international team of experts and undergoes extensive research to ensure the test remains fair and unbiased for any candidate regardless of nationality, background, gender, lifestyle or location.
Everyone deserves a fair and equal chance to do his or her best. Hence, unlike other tests, IELTS gives you a quiet room for an individual Speaking test with absolutely no distractions or interruptions.
IELTS also recognizes the fact that not everyone has the same exact approach to answering questions. Therefore, with IELTS you can answer questions within the Reading test or within the Writing test in the order that suits you. You can even make changes to your Reading answers during the hour of the Reading test and revise your Writing responses during the hour of the Writing test.
**Though IELTS is accepted by nearly 10,000 organizations world-wide. However, there are some institutes that do not accept it such as
In such cases you should ideally go for TOEFLibt or PTE (whichever is accepted by the university).