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About IELTS

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is a test of English Language proficiency of non-native English speakers. The test scores are a pre-requisite for getting addmission in UK, Australian, New Zealand and Canadian colleges and universities. Of late American universities too have started accepting IELTS scores. This test is an important step forward for those seeking to study or work in a foreign country.

Who administers IELTS?

The three main institutions that manage IELTS are the British Council, IDP IELTS Australia and the University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations (Cambridge ESOL).

IELTS Test Format

There are two versions of the IELTS exam - Academic and General. Students must know in which category they are supposed to take the test.

The first three parts of the tests i.e. Listening, Reading, Writing have to be taken on the first day without any break. While the Speaking test can be taken either on the same day, or 7 days before or after the Listening, Reading, Writing test.

Listening and Speaking tests are same in both the versions of the test.

IELTS

IELTS Academic

This test is for those who plan to study English in a university to test their understanding and use of complex academic language. IELTS Academic is divided into four sections.

Listening

The test is of 30 minutes and 10 minutes are given extra for transfering answers to the answer sheet. The candidates are tested on monologues and conversations.

Reading

The test is of 60 minutes in which students are tested on reading passages with tasks, text from descriptive and factual to discursive and analytical, diagrams, graph, text from books , journals, and newspapers.

Writing

The test is of 60 minutes, which comprises of writing task of 150 words, descibing tables, graphs, charts, diagrams and a short essay of 250 words.

Speaking

Speaking test is of 11 to 14 minutes. In this test, candidates are put through face to face interview, short questions, speaking on a familiar topic and a discussion.



IELTS General Traning

This test is meant for those who require a more general level of English for college, high school, employment or immigration purposes. IELTS General Training is also divided into four sections.

Listening

The test is of 30 minutes and 10 minutes are given extra for transfering answers to the answer sheet. The candidates are tested on monologues and conversations.

Reading

The duration of this test is 60 minutes in which three reading passages with tasks will be given.
Section 1 will be based on two or three short factual texts.
Section 2 will be based on two short factual texts.
Section 3 will be based on one long text on general topic.
(The extracts will be authentic as it will be taken from books, newspaper etc.)

Writing

Writing section will be of 60 minutes in which candidates will be asked to write a letter of 150 words and short essay of 250 words.

Speaking

Speaking test is of 11 to 14 minutes. In this test, candidates are put through face to face interview, short questions, speaking on a familiar topic and a discussion.



Marking scheme for IELTS

There is no pass or fail system in IELTS test. Candidates are judged on a band scale of 1 to 9 in each part of the test. These bands clearly demarcates a candidate's ability to use and understand English. IELTS results are valid only for two years.

The bands are categorised as hereunder:

Band 9 - Expert User
Band 8 - Very Good User
Band 7 - Good User
Band 6 - Competent User
Band 5 - Modest User
Band 4 - Limited User
Band 3 - Extremely Limited User
Band 2 - Intermittent User
Band 1 - Non User
Band 0 - No Original English Used