What is IELTS?
The international English language testing system (IELTS) is the world’s most popular English language proficiency test for higher education and global migration, with over 2 million tests taken in the last year.
IELTS assesses all of your English skills — reading, writing, listening and speaking, and is designed to reflect how you will use English at study, at work, and at play, in your new life abroad.
The IELTS test is developed by some of the world’s leading experts in language assessment. It has an excellent international reputation, and is accepted by over 9,000 organisations worldwide, including schools, universities, employers, immigration authorities and professional bodies.
IELTS is the most widely accepted English language test that uses a one-on-one speaking test to assess your English communication skills. This means that you are assessed by having a real-life conversation with a real person. This is the most effective and natural way of testing your English conversation skills.
You can take IELTS Academic or IELTS General Training – depending on the organisation you are applying to and your plans for the future.
Whatever your reason for taking IELTS, make the most of your language skills.
Where can I find information about registering for the test
You can contact your nearest examination center or visit the official IELTS website for more information about application procedures and the location of a test center near you.
The Test Format
There are four sub-tests, or modules, to the IELTS test: Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking. Students must sit all four sub-tests. While all students take the same Listening and Speaking tests, they sit different Reading and Writing tests, depending on whether they have selected the Academic IELTS test or the General Training IELTS test.
On the day of the test, the four subsections will be taken in the following order:
Total Test Time
2 hours 45 minutes
The Speaking test may even take place a day or two later at some centres.
IELTS Listening test lasts for about 30 minutes. It consists of four sections, played on cassette tape, in order of increasing difficulty. Each section might be a dialogue or a monologue. The test is played once only, and the questions for each section must be answered while listening, although time is given for students to check their answers.
IELTS Reading test lasts for 60 minutes. Students are given an Academic Reading test, or a General Training Reading test. Both tests consist of three sections, and in both tests the sections are in order of increasing difficulty.
IELTS Writing test also lasts for 60 minutes. Again, students take either an Academic test, or a General Training test. Students must perform two writing tasks, which require different styles of writing. There is no choice of question topics.
IELTS Speaking test consists of a one-to-one interview with a specially trained examiner. The examiner will lead the candidate through the three parts of the test:
An introduction and interview, an individual long turn where the candidate speaks for one or two minutes on a particular topic, and a two-way discussion thematically linked to the individual long turn. This interview will last for approximately 11-14 minutes.