Who should take IELTS and what the test is like?

The International English Language Testing System or IELTS is an international standardized test of English language proficiency for non-native English language speakers. It is jointly managed by the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge English Language Assessment.

IELTS is one of the major English-language tests in the world, others being the TOEFL.

Most of the universities from countries including the United States, Australia, Britain, Canada and New Zealand and various other institutions across the world accept IELTS scores.

IELTS is the only Secure English Language Test approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) for visa customers applying both outside and inside the UK. It is also a requirement for immigration to Australia and New Zealand.

IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is the world’s most popular English language test. More than 3 million IELTS tests are taken each year.

Taking IELTS opens doors – it can help you live, study and work around the world. More than 10,000 organizations in 140 countries accept IELTS, including schools, universities, employers, immigration authorities and professional bodies.

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.

  • IELTS tests the ability to listen, read, write and speak in English.
  • The speaking module is a key component of IELTS. It is conducted in the form of a one-to-one interview with an examiner. The examiner assesses the test taker as he or she is speaking. The speaking session is also recorded for monitoring and for re-marking in case of an appeal against the score given.
  • Band scores are used for each language sub-skill (Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking). The Band Scale ranges from 0 (“Did not attempt the test”) to 9 (“Expert User”).


IELTS is divided into two modules:

  1. Academic Module – As the name suggests, IELTS Academic is intended for those who want to enroll in universities and other institutions of higher education and for professionals such as medical doctors and nurses who want to study or practice in an English-speaking country.
  2. General Training Module – IELTS General Training is intended for those planning to undertake non-academic training or to gain work experience, or for immigration purposes.

The IELTS Test is formed by four parts

  1. Listening

This part consists of four sections with 10 questions each. The time duration for the listening section is 30 mins for testing, plus 10 mins for transferring the answers to an answer sheet.

  1. Reading

The reading part is divided into three sections. The time duration for reading part is 60 mins.

There will be a variety of question types, such as multiple choice, short-answer questions, identifying information, identifying writer’s views, labeling diagrams, completing a summary using words taken from the text and matching information/headings/features in the text/sentence endings.

Marks will be deducted for spelling and grammatical mistakes.

  1. Writing

The Writing paper has two tasks. In task 1 test takers write at least 150 words in about 20 minutes. In task 2 test takers write at least 250 words in about 40 minutes.

  1. Speaking

The speaking test is a face-to-face interview between the test taker and an examiner. This test contains three sections. The time duration for the test is 11 – 14 mins.

Band Scale

The nine bands are described as follows

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      

Now that you know that IELTS test can open doors for you, start preparing well and feel free to contact USA UnivQuest for guidance. We offer preparation for TOEFL, SAT, SAT Subjects and AP tests as well. Keep checking our blogs to stay updated with relevant topics regarding studying abroad!

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