The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) measures the language proficiency of people who want to study or work where English is used as a language of communication. The exam is taken by millions all across the world as it is one of the most widely accepted tests for English proficiency.
IELTS uses a 9-band scale to identify levels of proficiency, from non-user (band score 1) through to expert (band score 9). There are 2 types of tests:
IELTS Academic For candidates applying to study abroad for higher education or professional registration
IELTS General Training For candidates considering migration to countries such as Australia Canada and the UK, or applying for secondary education, training programmes and work experience in an English-speaking environment.
Both versions provide a valid and accurate assessment of the four language skills. In IELTS Academic and General Training, the Listening and Speaking are the same for both tests, but the subject matter of the Reading and Writing sections differs depending on which test you take.The Listening, Reading and Writing sections of all IELTS tests are completed on the same day, with no breaks in between them
The Speaking section, however, can be completed up to a week before or after the other tests. Your test centre will inform you about that.
Duration of the IELTS Exam: 2 hrs 45 minutes
IELTS Band Scale
In the IELTS exam, the scores range from 1 to 9 and can include whole and half bands (e.g. 5.0, 5.5, 6.0, 6.5). If the average band score for a candidate, across the four skills ends in .25, it is rounded up to the next half band, and if it ends in .75, it is rounded up to the next whole band.
Thus, a candidate achieving 7.0 for Listening, 6.5 for Reading, 5.0 for Writing and 6.5 for Speaking would be awarded an overall band score of 6.5 (25 ÷ 4 = 6.25 = Band 6.5).
Paper Based / Computer Delivered IELTS
Paper Based IELTS This test is a written test with the question papers and answer sheets provided for the Reading, Listening and Writing tests in an official IELTS test centre. Test takers will write their answers in either pen or HB-pencils. The Speaking test is carried out face-to-face with a trained IELTS examiner.
Computer Delivered IELTS This test is a computer based test and the Reading, Listening and Writing tests appear in front of a computer with the questions presented on the screen in an official IELTS test centre. The test takers then submit their answers through the use of a keyboard and a mouse. The Speaking test is not on the computer and is carried out face-to-face with a trained IELTS examiner.