The basic things to know about IELTS

By Anusha

If you have planned to go abroad for higher studies or for employment, where English is the major language for communication, then you are required to take up one of the many such English assessments that are available based on the acceptance of the test scores in the place you wish to go. One such English language test is IELTS- The International English Language Testing System.

Following contains some of the common questions related to IELTS...

What is IELTS?


IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is a test that determines the knowledge of English in a candidate who has to study or work in an English speaking country.

IELTS is mutually managed by the University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations (Cambridge ESOL), British Council and IDP: IELTS Australia. IELTS follows the highest international standards of language evaluation.

Various universities and employers in many countries those including, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the USA acknowledge IELTS. Professional bodies, immigration authorities and other government agencies too recognise IELTS.

Where can I take IELTS?

IELTS can be taken at more than 400 test centers around the world. The British Council, IELTS Australia, or universities and language schools run most of the test centers. Off-site testing for large group by prior arrangement with IELTS is also offered by some testing centers. To find out the nearest test center contact your local examination center.

Where can I find details about registering for the test?

You can get the details by either contacting your local examination center or by visiting the official website of IELTS.

What is the test format?

The IELTS consists of four modules: Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking. Students must appear for all four modules. Listening and Speaking tests are the same for every student, however the Reading and Writing tests vary depending on whether the candidate has selected the Academic IELTS test or the General Training IELTS test.

 The basic things to know about IELTS

What is the order in which the test is conducted?

1) Listening: 4 sections- 40 items. Duration: 30 minutes.

2a) Academic Reading: 3 sections- 40 items. Duration 50 minutes.

2b) Academic Writing: 2 tasks - 150 and 250 words. Duration 60 minutes.

3) Speaking: Duration 11- 14 minutes.

4a) General Training Reading: 3 sections- 40 items. Duration: 60 minutes.

4b) General Training Writing: 2 tasks (150 and 250 words). Duration: 60 minutes.

Total test time is 2 hours and 45 minutes.

About IELTS Listening test:

It lasts for 30 minutes and contains 4 sections played on cassette tape, in increasing order of difficulty. Each section might be a monologue or a dialogue. The test will be played only once. The candidates are to answer each section while listening. Time will be given to check the answers.

About IELTS Reading test:

It lasts for 60 minutes. Candidates will be given either an Academic Reading test, or a General Training Reading test. Both these tests consists of 3 sections, in increasing order of difficulty.

About IELTS Writing test:

It lasts for 60 minutes. Candidates will be given either an Academic test, or a General Training test. There are 2 writing tasks to be performed which involves different styles of writing. There is no option to select question topics.

About IELTS Speaking test:

It is a one-to-one interview with a specially trained examiner. The candidates will be lead through 3 parts of the test:

*An introduction and interview.

*An individual long turn, where the candidate has to speak for one or two minutes on a specific topic.

*A two-way discussion thematically linked to the individual long turn.

The interview will last for 11 to 14 minutes.

You can read more IELTS Writing test and IELTS Speaking test here

You can read more education related news here

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