IELTS

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is the world’s most popular high-stakes English language proficiency test for study, work and migration with more than two million tests taken in the past year. IELTS results are recognized by more than 9,000 organizations, including educational institutions, employers, professional associations and governments, in 135 countries around the world.

IELTS is a test of all four language skills: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. You will take the Listening, Reading and Writing tests all on the same day one after the other, with no breaks in between. Depending on your test center, your Speaking test may be on the same day as the other three tests, or up to seven days before or after that. The total test time is under three hours.


Listening

You will listen to four recorded texts, monologues and conversations by a range of native speakers, and write their answers to a series of questions. These include questions which test the ability to understand main ideas and detailed factual information, ability to understand the opinions and attitudes of speakers, ability to understand the purpose of what is said and ability to follow the development of ideas. A variety of voices and native-speaker accents is used and you will hear each section only once.


*The Listening component is the same for both Academic and General Training versions.
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Section 1

A conversation between two people set in an everyday social context, e.g. a conversation in an accommodation agency.
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Section 2

A monologue set in an everyday social context, e.g. a speech about local facilities.
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Section 3

A conversation between up to four people set in an educational or training context, e.g. a university tutor and a student discussing an assignment.
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Section 4

A monologue on an academic subject, e.g. a university lecture.

Reading

The Reading component consists of 40 questions. A variety of question types is used in order to test a wide range of reading skills. These include reading for gist, reading for main ideas, reading for detail, skimming, understanding logical argument, recognising writers’ opinions, attitudes and purpose.

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Reading - Academic version

The Academic version includes three long texts which range from the descriptive and factual to the discursive and analytical. The texts are authentic and are taken from books, journals, magazines and newspapers. These have been selected for a non-specialist audience but are recognisably appropriate for anyone entering undergraduate or postgraduate courses or seeking professional registration.

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Reading - General Training version

The General Training version requires you to read extracts from books, magazines, newspapers, notices, advertisements, company handbooks and guidelines. These are materials you are likely to encounter on a daily basis in an English speaking environment.


Writing
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Writing - Academic version

The Writing component of the Academic version includes two tasks. Topics are of general interest to, and suitable for anyone entering undergraduate or postgraduate studies or seeking professional registration.

  • You will be presented with a graph, table, chart or diagram and are asked to describe, summarise or explain the information in your own words. You may be asked to describe and explain data, describe the stages of a process, how something works or describe an object or event.
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  • Task 2 You will be asked to write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem. Responses to both tasks must be written in a formal style.
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General Training version

The Writing component of the General Training version includes two tasks which are based on topics of general interest.

  • Task 1 You will be presented with a situation and asked to write a letter requesting information or explaining the situation. The letter may be personal, semi-formal or formal in style.
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  • Task 2 You will be asked to write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem. The essay can be slightly more personal in style than the Academic Writing Task 2 essay.
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Speaking

The Speaking component assesses your use of spoken English, and takes between 11 and 14 minutes to complete. Every test is recorded. *The Speaking component is the same for both Academic and General Training versions.

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Part 1

You will be asked to answer general questions about yourself and a range of familiar topics, such as your home, family, work, studies and interests. This part lasts between 4 and 5 minutes.

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Part 2

You will be given a card which asks you to talk about a particular topic. You will have one minute to prepare before speaking for up to two minutes. The examiner then asks you one or two questions on the same topic to finish this part of the test.

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Part 3

You will be asked further questions connected to the topic in Part 2. These questions give you an opportunity to discuss more abstract issues and ideas. This part lasts between four and five minutes. The Speaking component is delivered in such a way that does not allow you to rehearse set responses beforehand. You can take IELTS Academic or IELTS General Training; depending on the organization you are applying to and your plans for the future.

FAQ's


 What if I need to postpone or cancel my application?

Please contact the test centre where you booked your test.   If you postpone or cancel your application more than 5 weeks before the test date, you will receive a refund minus an ad administration charge.      If you postpone or cancel within 5 weeks of the test date, you will be charged the full fee unless you have a medical reason.   If you provide a medical certificate within 5 days of the test date, you will receive a refund minus the local administrative cost.


What if I am absent or sick on the day of my test?

If you are away on the test day with no prior notice, you will lose your full fee. However, if you are unable to attend due to a serious medical condition and provide a medical certificate within 5 days of the test date, you will receive a refund minus the local administrative cost.


Can I reschedule/cancel the gmat test date?

If you reschedule your GMAT appointment seven or more days before the test date, you will have to pay USD 50. However, if it is less than seven days, you will have to pay an additional USD 250. If you cancel your test appointment seven or more days before the test date, you will get USD 80 as refund. However, there is no refund if the test is cancelled less than 7 days before scheduled.


How soon can I re-sit the test?

There is no limit on sitting the test. However, IELTS recommends you do additional study before taking the test again. Some test centers offer preparatory courses and language classes. Contact your local test center for more information.Download your IELTS Essentials preparation kit.


Do I take all parts of the test on the same day?

The Listening, Reading and Writing components of the test are always completed immediately after each other and with no break. You will take the Speaking test up to 7 days either before or after the test date, depending on the test center.

What if I am delayed by circumstances beyond my control (e.g. a transport strike)?

The test centre may offer you a test on the next available test date.

What can I take into the examination room?

Only pens, pencils and erasers. You must bring the passport/national identity card you used on the IELTS Application Form to the test. You must leave everything else outside the examination room. Mobile phones and pagers must be switched off and placed with personal belongings in the area designated by the supervisor. If you do not switch off your phone/pager or if you keep it with you, you will be disqualified. Find out more about test day.

Which part do I take first?

You do the Listening component first followed by the Reading and Writing components of the test. Depending on the test centre, the Speaking test may be taken up to 7 days either before or after the test date.

What is the Speaking test?

The Speaking test is a discussion with a certified and highly qualified IELTS Examiner. The Speaking test is made up of three sections. It is recorded on an audiocassette or a digital recorder. See a sample of the Speaking test. Read more.

What do I need for the Speaking test?

You must bring the same identification documents (ID) you supplied on your IELTS Application Form and continue to use the same ID for each part of the test. Your ID will be checked before you enter the interview room.

What kinds of accents can be heard in the Listening and Speaking tests?

As IELTS is an international test, a variety of English accents are used in both of these tests.

Can I write in capital letters?

Yes, you can use all capital letters in the IELTS Reading and Listening components and also in the Writing component.

Can I write in pencil?

You must write in pencil for the Listening and Reading components. In the Writing test, a pen or pencil may be used.

Can I make notes on the Listening and Reading question papers?

Yes. The IELTS Examiner will not see your question paper.

What if I am not happy with my result?

You can apply for an Enquiry on Results procedure at your test centre within six weeks of the test date. You must pay an enquiry fee, which is fully refunded if your band score changes. Note that IELTS Examiners and markers follow strict assessment guidelines and are regularly monitored. The IELTS testing process has the highest quality control procedures.

When will I receive my test results?

Your Test Report Form will be available to you 13 calendar days after your test date. You will only receive one copy of your Test Report Form, unless you are applying to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), or United Kingdom Border Agency (UKBA) – in this case, you can receive two. Proof of application to CIC and UKBA must be provided.

How are the tests marked?

IELTS uses a 9-band scoring system to measure and report test scores in a consistent manner. You receive individual band scores for Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking and an Overall Band Score on a band scale from one to nine. Find out more about how IELTS is marked.

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