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 3.5 million tests taken in 2018.
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 10,000 organizations 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.
Whatever your reason for taking IELTS, make the most of your language skills.
Which tests are available?
There are two versions of the IELTS test format:
- IELTS Academic measures whether your level of English language proficiency is suitable for an academic environment. It reflects aspects of academic language and evaluates whether you’re ready to begin training or studying.
- IELTS General Training measures English language proficiency in a practical, everyday context. The tasks and tests reflect both workplace and social situations.
Before registering for your test, make sure you know which test you require, based on what you are looking to do with the results (i.e. emigration, visa applications, post secondary or postgraduate opportunities).
What is the test format?
The IELTS test assesses your abilities in all four skills - listening, reading, writing and speaking. The IELTS test format is tried and trusted by organizations and test takers worldwide, and has not changed significantly for over 20 years. You will take the Listening, Reading and Writing tests all on the same day one after the other, with no breaks in between them. They are always taken in this order. Your Speaking test will either be after a break on the same day as the other three tests, or up to seven days before or after.
Everyone takes the same Listening and Speaking tests, regardless of which version they take. The Reading and Writing tests differ in content, depending on whether you are taking IELTS Academic or IELTS General Training. IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training are assessed at exactly the same levels.
How are IELTS tests scored?
You cannot fail the test. IELTS is designed to assess English language skills at all levels. You will receive IELTS scores based on each for the four skills on a scale of 1 – 9, and you will also be awarded an overall band score. You can score whole (e.g., 5.0, 6.0, 7.0) or half (e.g., 5.5., 6.5, 7.5) bands in each part of the test.Your overall band score may be crucial if you intend to emigrate, apply for university or take up a job in an English-speaking country.
IELTS is jointly owned by British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge English Language Assessment.
Ready to register?
Visit our How to Register page for more information on the IELTS registration process.