What is IELTS?


IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is a language test conducted by Cambridge University in partnership with IDP Australia and British Council.  It is designed to test your skill in four areas: listening, reading, writing, and speaking. If you wish to work, study or migrate to a country like Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and USA, you are usually asked to take the IELTS test and produce a certificate. Tests are conducted every month (3-4 tests a month) and you can take paper-based or computer-based versions.

IELTS Test format

There are four separate tests in IELTS.

Listening test – 30 minutes
Reading test – one hour
Writing test – one hour
Speaking test – 11-14 minutes

Read about each test in detail in the following entries.

Academic and General Training IELTS
There are two versions of IELTS – Academic IELTS and General Training IELTS. The IELTS Academic test is for students who want to study at a university abroad. The IELTS General Training is for migration purposes.

 What is the difference in the actual test?
The difference is in Reading and writing tests.  Listening and speaking tests are the same for Academic and General Training.  See the details below.

– Academic Reading test – 1 hour

There will be three long passages. They will be excerpts from books, magazines or newspapers. You will need to answer questions relating to the passages.

– General Training Reading test – 1 hour

Here you will get passages from brochures and advertisements.  You will need to answer questions based on them.

– Academic Writing Test – 1 hour

Writing Task 1: You are given a chart, graph or diagram. You need to write a report.
Writing Task 2: Write an essay.

– General Training Writing Test – 1 hour

Writing Task 1:  Write a letter
Writing Task 2: Write an essay.

How long is the validity of the IELTS test score?
The test certificate (Test Report Form (TRF) is valid for two years.

Note: You must produce your original passport (not nearing expiry date) at the time of examination to take IELTS.