All You Need To Know About The IELTS


Interested in appearing for the IELTS exam? Read on to know all the information you need!

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) measures the language proficiency of those who wish to study or work in a region where English is used as a language of communication.

Which version to choose?

IELTS is available in two test versions; Academic – for all those applying for higher education or professional registration, and General Training for those migrating to the UK, Canada, Australia, or applying for secondary education, training programmes and work experience in an English-speaking location. Both versions offer a valid and accurate assessment of four language skills namely Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking.

Do you know how the IELTS is formatted?

There are four sections that make up the IELTS: Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking. The total duration of the test is 2 hours and 45 minutes.

The Listening and Speaking sections are the same for the Academic IELTS and the General IELTS both, but the Reading and Writing sections vary depending on the version you take.

Listening: You will have 30 minutes to listen to four recordings of native English speakers and write your answers to a series of questions.

Reading: You will have 60 minutes to answer 40 questions on a series of passages. The Academic IELTS tests one on the passages from books, journals, and newspapers. The General IELTS tests one on excerpts from newspapers, books, magazines, guidelines, notices, advertisements and company handbooks.

Writing: You will have 60 minutes to complete two writing tasks. You will have to summarize the information given by a graph or chart in your own words in Academic IELTS Task 1. Academic IELTS Task 2 will ask to write an essay as a response to an argument. General IELTS Task 1 will ask to write a letter requesting information or explaining a given situation. General IELTS Task 2 will ask to write an essay in response to an argument.

Speaking: You will have 11-14 minutes to answer general questions about yourself and other topics, speak on a single topic that you will be given, and answer questions regarding that topic. Everything will be recorded for proper evaluation.

When taking either IELTS test, you will complete the Listening, Reading and Writing sections one after another, without any breaks. However, you can complete the Speaking section a week before or after you take the main section of the test.

How is the IELTS scored?

All IELTS scores are between 0 and 9, in increments of 0.5. You will get a score known as a band score for each section of the IELTS. Since each section is different, each section score is calculated differently, but the four band scores will be averaged to give you an overall IELTS score.

How can you register for the IELTS?

IELTS is offered at more than 1,100 test locations in over 140 countries. If you wish to register for IELTS, you will need to find the testing location close to you.

Once done, you can register online or download an application form to print, complete, and submit to your testing centre.

Remember to carry the valid ID that you used for registration when you go for your test.

When are the IELTS test dates?

IELTS test dates are available on 48 fixed dates every year, three Saturdays a month and one Thursday a month.

As the Academic IELTS and General IELTS tests are conducted on different days, make sure you sign up for the right test date. The Academic IELTS is offered more frequently than the General IELTS.

How much does the IELTS cost?

The IELTS fees are set by each individual test centre, and vary from country to country. However, you can expect to pay around $200 USD. You can receive a full refund in case you postpone or cancel your application more than five weeks before the test.

And, if you decide to cancel within five weeks for the IELTS, you will not be able to get a refund, unless you provide a medical proof within five days of the test date. So if you are unwell on your test day, make sure to get in touch with your test centre as soon as possible to get your money back!

Hope you found this article handy! All the best 🙂 !


Last modified: May 16, 2018

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