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. It uses a nine-band scale to clearly identify levels of proficiency, from non-user (band score 1) through to expert (band score 9(.
Test Types: IELTS Academic or IELTS General Training
IELTS is available in two test versions:
- IELTS Academic
The IELTS Academic test is for people applying for higher education or professional registration in an English speaking environment. It reflects some of the features of academic language and assesses whether you are ready to begin studying or training. This approach is widely supported by the institutions that recognise IELTS.
- IELTS General Training
The IELTS General Training test is for those who are going to English speaking countries for secondary education, work experience or training programs. It is also a requirement for migration to Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK. The test focuses on basic survival skills in broad social and workplace contexts.
The Listening, Reading and Writing components of all IELTS tests are completed on the same day, with no breaks in between them.
The Speaking component, however, can be completed up to a week before or after the other tests. Your test centre will advise.
The total test time is 2 hours and 45 minutes.
You will listen to four recordings of native English speakers and then write your answers to a series of questions.
Assessors will be looking for evidence of your ability to understand the main ideas and detailed factual information, the opinions and attitudes of speakers, the purpose of an utterance and evidence of your ability to follow the development of ideas.
The Reading component consists of 40 questions, designed to test a wide range of reading skills. These include reading for gist, reading for main ideas, reading for detail, skimming, understanding logical argument and recognising writers' opinions, attitudes and purpose.
- Academic Writing
There are two tasks:
Task 1 - you will be presented with a graph, table, chart or diagram and asked to describe, summarise or explain the information in your own words.
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 in a formal style.
The speaking component assesses your use of spoken English. Every test is recorded.
For more information about the test in detail:
Sample test questions:
For more information about IELTS scoring in detail: