About the IELTS test

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About the IELTS test

What is IELTS?

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IELTS is the acronym for the International English Language Testing System. It is a test of English language ability. It is increasing in popularity against other English standard tests such as the TOEFL test.

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Who accepts IELTS?

The majority of universities and colleges in the UK, USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and the Republic of Ireland accept IELTS.

Who should take IELTS?

There are three groups of people that commonly need to sit IELTS

  1. People from non-English speaking countries looking for professional registration in an English speaking country. This includes doctors, nurses, dentists etc.
  2. People from non-English speaking countries looking to study at tertiary (university) level in an English speaking country. The exact IELTS result needed depends on the institution and the course required.
  3. People from non-English speaking countries looking to migrate to an English speaking country.

Who owns IELTS?

IELTS is jointly owned by the British Council, the University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations and IDP Education Australia.

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Where can I get any IELTS practice material?

We have free practice material on this site (click the links on the left hand side) or we have a complete online IELTS preparation course at http://www.IELTStestONLINE.com. The complete course has exercises, videos and practice tests, as well as lessons on other essential IELTS skills like vocabulary, grammar and academic skills (punctuation etc).

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How many types of test are there?

There are two types of IELTS test – the Academic Module and General Training module. It is commonly accepted that the Academic Module is slightly more difficult.

What’s the difference?

Both tests cover all four skills but there are a few important differences as shown in the table below.

General Training Module:

 

Listening

Speaking

Writing

Reading

4 sections, 40 questions, 4 recordings 3 parts, 11 to 14 minutes in length 2 tasks – a letter (150 words) and an essay (250 words). Both tasks must be completed within 60 minutes. 3 sections with up to 6 different texts. Section 1 focuses on ‘survival’ English, Section 2 on workplace situations and Section 3 is general reading. A total of 40 questions which must be completed within 60 minutes.

 

Academic Module

Listening

Speaking

Writing

Reading

[The same as the General Training] [The same as the General Training] 2 tasks – writing about a graph, chart, diagram or table (150 words) and an essay (250 words). Both tasks must be completed within 60 minutes. Each of the 3 sections has a single reading text of between 700 and 100 words. A total of 40 questions which must be completed within 60 minutes.

 

Which one should I take?

The Academic Module is taken by candidates

  • looking for professional registration (e.g. nurse, dentist, lawyer) in an English speaking country
  • aiming to study at university level in an English speaking country.

The General Training Module is taken by candidates

  • moving to live in an English speaking country
  • aiming to study at secondary school level in an English speaking country
  • doing non-academic work experience or training in an English speaking country.

What is the TRF? How long is it valid for?

The TRF is the Test Report Form. It is the certificate that you receive with your test scores on. The report is valid for two years after you have taken the test.

What is the scoring system in IELTS?

You can get a result of between 0 and 9.0 for the test, rising in increments of 0.5. Each of the sub skills (writing, reading, listening and speaking) are measured on this scale, then added together and divided by 4 for the total band. Here are some examples:

Example student 1

Example student 2

Example student 3

Writing

6.0 5.0 7.5

Listening

6.0 6.0 6.0

Reading

6.0 6.5 6.5

Speaking

6.5 6.0 6.0

OVERALL BAND:

6.0 6.0 6.5

 

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