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International English Language Testing System 2021

By British Council, London (UK) and IDP:IELTS Australia, Melbourne and Cambridge Assessment English, Cambridge (UK)

Exam Mode

Online/Offline

Application Process

Online/Offline

Exam Level

Undergraduate

Host Country

International

Priority

Regular

Overview
  • IELTS is conducted jointly by the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge Assessment English.
  • As internationally focused organisations, they are committed to academic excellence and cultural understanding – ideal providers of international English testing.
  • British Council connects people worldwide with the learning opportunities and creative ideas from the UK and builds lasting relationships between the UK and other countries.
  • British Council is the UK`s international organisation for educational opportunity and cultural relations and is represented in more than 140 countries worldwide.
  • IDP: IELTS Australia is a subsidiary of IDP Education, one of the world`s leading international education organisations offering student placement in Australia, USA, Canada, New Zealand and UK.
  • IDP Education is an ASX listed company that is 50% owned by 38 Australian universities and has more than 45 years` experience in international higher education.
  • IDP: IELTS Australia manages a network of more than 100 IELTS test centres in over 60 countries. 
  • Cambridge Assessment English is part of the University of Cambridge.
  • They develop and produce the most valuable range of qualifications for learners and teachers of English in the world.
  • Over 5 million people in 130 countries take the exams every year.
  • Around the world over 20,000 universities, employers, government ministries and other organisations rely on their exams and qualifications as proof of English language ability.
  • Cambridge English exams are backed by the work of the largest dedicated research team of any English language test provider.
  • Most popular countries where IELTS is accepted for university admissions are the UK, Australia, New Zealand, USA, and Canada.
  • It is accepted in 100% of universities in the UK and Australia.
  • The exam mainly measures the ability of test-takers to communicate in the four Basic English language skills – listening, reading, speaking, and writing.
  • IELTS was one of the pioneers of four skills English language testing over 25 years ago, and continues to set the standard for English language testing today.
  • It is the only English Language Test approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) for visa applicants applying both outside and inside the UK.
  • Candidates can take the IELTS exam with the British Council or IDP up to once a week (four times a month).
  • The British Council and IDP global schedule for test dates are 48 days per year.

 

Significance of IELTS Exam

  • IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is an English language exam that is required to be taken by international candidates considering studying or working in a country where English is the main language of communication.
  • It is required for migration as well as academic purpose abroad in English speaking countries like Australia, UK, New Zealand, USA, and Canada.
  • Foreign universities and visa granting authorities need to be sure that candidates will not have any communication issues while staying in the country.

 

Types of IELTS

  • There are two types of IELTS exam: IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training.
    • IELTS Academic Test:
      • The IELTS Academic test is for candidates applying for higher education or professional registration in an English speaking environment.
      • It reflects some of the features of academic language and assesses whether candidates are ready to begin studying or training.
    • IELTS General Test:
      • IELTS General Test is taken by those who wish to migrate to major English speaking countries like Canada, Australia, and UK.
      • This test is also taken by those who want to enroll in training programs or secondary education or wants to gain work experience in a country where English is the main language used for communication.

 

Exam Highlights

Exam Level     

International

Medium of Instruction

English

Accepting Countries

More than 140 countries

Most Popular Accepting Countries

UK, Australia, New Zealand, USA, and Canada

Exam Duration

2 hours 45 minutes

  • Listening: 30 minutes
  • Academic / General Training Reading: 1 hour
  • Academic / General Training Writing: 1 hour
  • Speaking: 11-14 minutes

Exam Mode

Online and Offline

Type of Questions

  • Multiple Choice Questions
  • Descriptive Questions
  • Verbal Questions

Exam Frequency

48 times a year (four times a month)

Official Website

https://www.ielts.org/

 

Pattern
  • There are two types of IELTS:  Academic and General Training.
  • Candidates should check the requirement of the college/university they are applying to and then prepare accordingly.
  • IELTS Academic is accepted by universities in more than 140 countries, where candidates apply for pursuing undergraduate or postgraduate courses.
  • Whereas, IELTS General Training is given by those who are planning to migrate to a major English speaking nation.
  • It can also be given by those who are shifting to a different country for work-related training. 
  • IELTS exam pattern for both tests comprise of four sections viz., Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking.
  • Listening and Speaking are the same for both tests, but the subject matter of the Reading and Writing sections differs depending on which test is chosen by the candidates.
  • 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.
  • Candidates can get proper advice from the concerned test centres.
  • The total test time is 2 hours and 45 minutes.
  1. Listening:
    • Highlights:
      • Time: Approximately 30 minutes (plus 10 minutes transfer time).
      • of Questions: 40
      • Marks: Each question is worth 1 mark.
    • Candidates will listen to four recordings of native English speakers and then write their answers to a series of questions.
      • Recording 1 – a conversation between two people set in an everyday social context.
      • Recording 2 - a monologue set in an everyday social context, e.g. a speech about local facilities.
      • Recording 3 – a conversation between up to four people set in an educational or training context, e.g. a university tutor and a student discussing an assignment.
      • Recording 4 - a monologue on an academic subject, e.g. a university lecture.
    • The recordings are heard only once. They include a range of accents, including British, Australian, New Zealand, American and Canadian.
    • Assessors will be looking for evidence of candidate’s ability to understand the main ideas and detailed factual information, the opinions and attitudes of speakers, the purpose of an utterance and evidence of their ability to follow the development of ideas.

Note: From 4 January 2020, some small changes are being introduced to the instructions and layout of the paper-based Listening test. The exam authority will be:

  • Changing the word ‘Sections’ to ‘Parts’ – The paper-based test will now be divided into Part 1, 2, 3, 4.
  • Removing the Part 1 example.
  • Removing the page number references.
    • Answering:
      • Test takers write their answers on the question paper as they listen and at the end of the test are given 10 minutes to transfer their answers to an answer sheet.
      • Care should be taken when writing answers on the answer sheet as poor spelling and grammar are penalized.
    • Marking Scheme:
      • The Listening test is marked by certificated markers, who are regularly monitored to ensure their reliability.
      • All answer sheets, after being marked, are further analyzed by Cambridge Assessment English.
      • A Band Score conversion table is produced for each version of the Listening test which translates scores out of 40 into the IELTS 9-band scale.
      • Scores are reported in whole bands and half bands.
      • One mark is awarded for each correct answer in the 40-item test.
      • Care should be taken when writing answers on the answer sheet as poor spelling and grammar are penalized.
    • Task Types: A variety of question types are used, chosen from the following:
      • Task 1 - multiple choices
      • Task 2 – matching
      • Task 3 - plan/map/diagram labeling
      • Task 4 - form/note/table/flow-chart/summary completion
      • Task 5 - sentence completion
      • Task 6 - short answer questions
    • The number of questions under each task varies.

Task type 1 – Multiple choices

  • In multiple choice tasks, there is a question followed by three possible answers or the beginning of a sentence followed by three possible ways to complete the sentence.
  • Sometimes, test takers are given a longer list of possible answers and told that they have to choose more than one.
  • In this case, they should read the question carefully to check how many answers are required.

Task type 2 – Matching

  • Test takers are required to match a numbered list of items from the listening text to a set of options on the question paper.
  • The set of options may be criteria of some kind.

Task type 3 – Plan, map, diagram labeling

  • Test takers are required to complete labels on a plan (e.g.: of a building), map (e.g.: of part of a town) or diagram (e.g.: of a piece of equipment).
  • The answers are usually selected from a list on the question paper.

Task type 4 – Form, note, table, flow-chart, summary completion

  • Test takers are required to fill in the gaps in an outline of part or of all of the listening text.
  • The outline will focus on the main ideas/facts in the text. It may be:
  • a form
  • a set of notes
  • a table
  • a flow-chart
  • Test takers may have to select their answers from a list on the question paper or identify the missing words from the recording, keeping to the word limit stated in the instructions.
  • Test takers do not have to change the words from the recording in any way.
  • A word limit is given, for example, ‘NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER’.
  • Test takers are penalized for writing more than the stated number of words, and test takers should check this word limit carefully for each task.
  • Contracted words will not be tested. Hyphenated words count as single words.

Task type 5 – Sentence completion

  • Test takers are required to read a set of sentences summarising key information from all the listening text or from one part of it.
  • They then fill a gap in each sentence using information from the listening text.
  • A word limit is given, for example, ‘NO MORE THAN ONE WORD AND/OR A NUMBER’.
  • Test takers are penalized for writing more than the stated number of words. (Test takers should check this word limit carefully for each task: the limit is either ONE, TWO or THREE words).
  • Contracted words will not be tested. Hyphenated words count as single words.

Task type 6 – Short-answer questions

  • Test takers are required to read a question and then write a short answer using information from the listening text.
  • A word limit is given, for example, ‘NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER’.
  • Test takers are penalized for writing more than the stated number of words. (Test takers should check this word limit carefully for each task.)
  • Contracted words will not be tested. Hyphenated words count as single words.
  • Sometimes test takers are given a question which asks them to list two or three points.

 

  1. Reading Section:
    • Highlights:
      • Time: 60 minutes
      • of Questions: 40
      • Marks: Each question is worth 1 mark.
    • The Reading section consists of 40 questions, designed to test a wide range of reading skills.
    • These include reading for gist, main ideas, detail, skimming, understanding logical argument and recognizing writers` opinions, attitudes and purpose.
    • Reading Section - pattern varies according to the type of test chosen by the candidate.

A. IELTS Academic Test

      • This test includes three reading passageswith a variety of questions using a number of task types.
      • These passages range from the descriptive and factual to the discursive and analytical. The passages may be written in a variety of styles, for example narrative, descriptive or discursive/argumentative.
      • They are taken from books, journals, magazines and newspapers.  All the topics are of general interest.
      • They deal with issues which are interesting, recognizably appropriate and accessible to test takers entering undergraduate or postgraduate courses or seeking professional registration.
      • At least one text contains detailed logical argument. Texts may contain non-verbal materials such as diagrams, graphs or illustrations.
      • If texts contain technical terms a simple glossary is provided.
      • These texts have been selected for a non-specialist audience but are appropriate for people entering university courses or seeking professional registration.
      • Answering:
        • Test takers are required to transfer their answers to an answer sheet during the time allowed for the test.
        • No extra time is allowed for transfer.
        • Care should be taken when writing answers on the answer sheet as poor spelling and grammar are penalised.
      • Marking Scheme:
        • The Academic Reading test is marked by certificated markers, who are regularly monitored to ensure reliability.
        • All answer sheets, after being marked, are further analyzed by Cambridge Assessment English.
        • A Band Score conversion table is produced for each version of the Academic Reading test, which translates scores out of 40 into the IELTS 9-band scale.
        • Scores are reported in whole bands and half bands.
        • One mark is awarded for each correct answer in the 40-item test.
      • Task Types: A variety of question / tasks are used as under:
        • Task 1 - Multiple choice
        • Task 2 - Identifying information
        • Task 3 - Identifying the writer’s views/claims
        • Task 4 - Matching information
        • Task 5 - Matching headings
        • Task 6 - Matching features
        • Task 7 - Matching sentence endings
        • Task 8 - Sentence completion
        • Task 9 – Summary / note / table / flow-chart completion
        • Task 10 - Diagram label completion
        • Task 11 - Short-answer questions
      • The number of questions under each task varies.

Task type 1 – Multiple choices

      • Test takers are required to choose the best answer from four alternatives (A, B, C or D), or the best two answers from five alternatives (A, B, C, D or E), or the best three answers from seven alternatives (A, B, C, D, E, F or G).
      • Test takers write the letter of the answer they have chosen on the answer sheet.

Task type 2 – Identifying information

      • Test takers will be given a number of statements and are then required to write ‘true’, ‘false’ or ‘not given’ in the boxes on their answer sheets.
      • It is important to understand the difference between `false` and `not given`.
      • `False` means that the passage states the opposite of the statement in question; `not given` means that the statement is neither confirmed nor contradicted.

Task type 3 – Identifying writer’s views/claims

      • Test takers will be given a number of statements and they are required to write ‘yes’, ‘no’ or ‘not given’.
      • It is important to understand the difference between `no` and `not given`.
      • `No` means that the views or claims of the writer explicitly disagree with the statement; `not given` means that the view or claim is neither confirmed nor contradicted.

Task type 4 – Matching information

      • Test takers are required to locate specific information within the lettered paragraphs/sections of a text, and to write the letters of the correct paragraphs/sections.
      • They may be asked to find: specific details, an example, a reason, a description, a comparison, a summary, an explanation.

Task type 5 – Matching headings

      • Test takers are given a list of headings, usually identified with lower-case Roman numerals (i, ii, iii, etc,).
      • Test takers must match the heading to the correct paragraphs or sections, which are marked alphabetically. Test takers write the appropriate Roman numerals.

Task type 6 – Matching features

      • Test takers are required to match a set of statements or pieces of information to a list of options.
      • Test takers may be required to match different research findings to a list of researchers, or characteristics to age groups, events to historical periods, etc.
      • Test takers may consider if options may be used more than once.

Task type 7 – Matching sentence endings

      • Test takers are given the first half of a sentence based on the text and asked to choose the best.
      • Test takers must write the chosen letter.

Task type 8 – Sentence completion

      • Test takers complete sentences in a given number of words.
      • It is clear how many words/numbers test takers should use in their answers. If not, they lose marks.
      • Numbers can be written using figures or words. Contracted words will not be tested. Hyphenated words count as single words.

Task type 9 – Summary, note, table, flow-chart completion

      • Test takers are given a summary of a section of the text, and are required to complete it.
      • The given information may be in the form of: several connected sentences of text (summary), several notes (notes), a table with some of its cells empty or partially empty (table), a series of boxes or steps linked by arrows to show a sequence of events, with some of the boxes or steps empty or partially empty (flow-chart).
      • There are two variations of this task type. Test takers may be asked either to select words from the text or to select from a list of answers.
        • In the first variation, it is clear how many words/numbers test takers should use. In case they use more words, they will lose marks.
        • Numbers can be written using figures or words. Contracted words are not tested. Hyphenated words count as single words.
        • In the second variation, where a list of answers is provided, they most frequently consist of a single word.
        • This task type often relates to precise factual information, often used with descriptive.

Task type 10 – Diagram label completion

      • Test takers are required to complete labels on a diagram, which relates to a description contained in the text.
      • The instructions will make it clear how many words/numbers test takers should use in their answers. In case they use more words, they will lose marks.
      • Numbers can be written using figures or words. Contracted words will not be tested. Hyphenated words count as single words.
      • The diagram may be of some type of machine, or of parts of a building or of any other element with descriptive texts.

Task type 11 – Short-answer questions

      • Test takers answer questions, which usually relate to factual information about details.
      • Test takers must write their answers in words or numbers.
      • The instructions will make it clear how many words/numbers test takers should use in their answers. In case they use more words, they will lose marks.
      • Numbers can be written using figures or words. Contracted words are not tested. Hyphenated words count as single words.

B. IELTS General Training Test

      • This section includes extracts from books, magazines, newspapers, notices, advertisements, company handbooks and guidelines.
      • Candidates are most likely to encounter these materials on a daily basis in an English-speaking environment.
      • There are three sections: Section 1 contains two or three or more short texts. Section 2 comprises two texts. In Section 3, there is one long text.
        • The first section, ‘Social Survival’, contains texts relevant to basic linguistic survival in English with tasks mainly about retrieving and providing general factual information.
        • The second section, ‘Workplace Survival’, focuses on the workplace context.
        • The third section, ‘General Reading’, involves reading more extended prose with a more complex structure.
      • The emphasis is on descriptive and instructive rather than argumentative texts, in a general context relevant to the wide range of test takers involved.
      • Answering:
        • Test takers are required to transfer their answers to an answer sheet within the time stipulated for the test.
        • No extra time is allowed for transfer.
        • Care should be taken when writing answers as poor spelling and grammar are penalised.
      • Marking Scheme:
        • The General Training Reading test is marked by certificated markers.
        • After being marked, all answer sheets, are further analyzed by Cambridge Assessment English.
        • A band score conversion table is produced for each version of the General Training Reading test which translates scores out of 40 into the IELTS 9-band scale.
        • Scores are reported in whole bands and half bands.
      • Task Types: A variety of question types are used, chosen from the following:
        • Task 1 - Multiple choice
        • Task 2 - Identifying information
        • Task 3 - Identifying the writer’s views/claims
        • Task 4 - Matching information
        • Task 5 - Matching headings
        • Task 6 - Matching features
        • Task 7 - Matching sentence endings
        • Task 8 - Sentence completion
        • Task 9 – Summary / note / table / flow-chart completion
        • Task 10 - Diagram label completion
        • Task 11 - Short-answer questions
      • The number of questions under each task varies.

Task type 1 – Multiple choices

      • In this task type, test takers choose the best answer from four alternatives A, B, C or D, or the best two answers from five alternatives (A, B, C, D or E), or the best three answers from seven alternatives (A, B, C, D, E, F or G).
      • The questions may involve completing a sentence, in which the ‘stem’ gives the first part of a sentence and test takers choose the best way to complete it from the options, or could involve complete questions, choosing the option which best answers them.

Task type 2 – Identifying information

      • The test taker will be given a number of statements with ‘true’, ‘false’ or ‘not given’ options.
      • It is important to understand the difference between `false` and `not given`. `False` means that the passage states the opposite of the statement in question; `not given` means that the statement is neither confirmed nor contradicted.

Task type 3 – Identifying writer’s views/claims

      • The test taker will be given a number of statements and they answer ‘yes’, ‘no’ or ‘not given’.
      • It is important to understand the difference between `no` and `not given`. `No` means that the views or claims of the writer explicitly disagree with the statement; `not given` means that the view or claim is neither confirmed nor contradicted.

Task type 4 – Matching information

      • Test takers locate specific information in the lettered paragraphs/sections of a text, and write the letters of the correct paragraphs/sections.
      • They may be asked to find; specific details, an example, a reason, a description, a comparison, a summary, an explanation.
      • When this is the case, test takers will be told that they can use any letter more than once.

Task type 5 – Matching headings

      • Test takers are given a list of headings, usually identified with lower-case Roman numerals (i, ii, iii, etc.), referring to the main idea of the paragraph or section of the text.
      • They must match the heading to the correct paragraphs or sections, which are marked alphabetically, and write the appropriate Roman numerals.
      • One or more paragraphs or sections may already be matched with a heading.
      • This task type is used with texts that contain paragraphs or sections with clearly defined themes.

Task type 6 – Matching features

      • Test takers match a set of statements or pieces of information to a list of options.
      • These are a group of features from the text, and are identified by letters.
      • Test takers may be required to match different characteristics to age groups or events to historical periods, etc.
      • It is possible that some options will not be used, and that others may be used more than once.

Task type 7 – Matching sentence endings

      • Test takers are given the first half of a sentence based on the text and choose the best way to complete it from a list of possible options.
      • They will have more options to choose from than there are questions.

Task type 8 – Sentence completion

      • Test takers complete sentences in a given number of words taken.
      • The instructions will make it clear how many words/numbers should be in the answers, failing which they will lose marks.
      • Numbers can be written using figures or words. Contracted words will not be tested. Hyphenated words count as single words.

Task type 9 – Summary, note, table, flow-chart completion

      • Test takers are given a summary of a section of the text, and are required to complete it.
      • The given information may be in the form of; several connected sentences (summary), several notes (notes), a table with some of its cells empty or partially empty (table), a series of boxes or steps linked by arrows to show a sequence of events, with some of the boxes or steps empty or partially empty (flow-chart).
      • There are two variations of this task type. Test takers may be asked either to select words from the text or to select from a list of answers.
        • In the first variation, it is clear how many words/numbers test takers should use in their answers. In case they write more words, they will lose marks.
        • Numbers can be written using figures or words. Contracted words are not tested. Hyphenated words count as single words.
        • In the second variation, where a list of answers is provided, they most frequently consist of a single word.
        • This task type often relates to precise factual information and often used with descriptive texts.

Task type 10 – Diagram label completion

      • Test takers complete labels on a diagram which relates to a description.
      • The instructions will make it clear how many words/numbers test takers should use in their answers. If they write more than the number of words asked for, they will lose the mark.
      • Numbers can be written using figures or words. Contracted words will not be tested. Hyphenated words count as single words.
      • The diagram may be of some type of machine, or of parts of a building or of any other element.

Task type 11 – Short-answer questions

      • Test takers answer questions about factual details in the text.
      • Test takers must write their answers in words or numbers.
      • The instructions will make it clear how many words/numbers test takers should use in their answers. If they write more than the number of words asked for, they will lose the mark.
      • Numbers can be written using figures or words. Contracted words are not tested. Hyphenated words count as single words.

 

  1. Writing Section:
    • Highlights:
      • Time: 60 minutes
      • No. of Questions: 2
    • There are two Writing tasks and both must be completed.
    • Writing Section - pattern varies according to the type of test chosen by the candidate.

A. IELTS Academic Writing 

      • Topics are of general interest to, and suitable for, test takers entering undergraduate and postgraduate studies or seeking professional registration. There are two tasks:
        • Task 1 - candidates will be presented with a graph, table, chart or diagram and asked to describe, summarise or explain the information in their own words.
        • Task 2 - candidates will be asked to write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem in a formal style.
      • Answering:
        • Answers must be given on the answer sheet and must be written in full.
        • Notes or bullet points are not acceptable.
        • Test takers may write on the question paper but this cannot be taken from the examination room and will not be seen by the examiner.
      • Marking Scheme:
        • Each task is assessed independently. The assessment of Task 2 carries more weight in marking than Task 1.
        • Responses are assessed by certificated IELTS examiners.
        • Scores are reported in whole and half bands.
        • Detailed performance descriptors have been developed which describe written performance at the nine IELTS bands. 
      • Task Types:
        • In Task 1, test takers are asked to describe some visual information (graph/table/chart/diagram) in their own words. They need to write 150 words in about 20 minutes.
        • In Task 2, they respond to a point of view or argument or problem. They need to write 250 words in about 40 minutes.

Task 1

      • In Writing Task 1, test takers may be asked to describe facts or figures presented in one or more graphs, charts or tables on a related topic; or they may be given a diagram of a machine, a device or a process and asked to explain how it works.
      • They should write in an academic or semi-formal/neutral style and include the most important and relevant points in the diagram. Some minor points or details may be left out.
      • Test takers should spend no more than 20 minutes on this task. They are asked to write at least 150 words and will be penalised if their answer is too short.
      • While test takers will not be penalised for writing more than 150 words, they should remember that a longer Task 1 answer may mean that they have less time to spend on Task 2, which contributes twice as much to the Writing band score.
      • Test takers should also note that they will be penalised for irrelevance if the response is off-topic or is not written as full, connected text (e.g. using bullet points in any part of the response, or note form, etc.).
      • They will be severely penalised for plagiarism (i.e. copying from another source).

Task 2

      • In Writing Task 2, test takers are given a topic to write about an academic or semi-formal/neutral style.
      • Answers should be a discursive consideration of the relevant issues.
      • Test takers should make sure that they read the task carefully and provide a full and relevant response.
      • Test takers should spend no more than 40 minutes on this task. They are asked to write at least 250 words and will be penalised if their answer is too short.
      • While test takers will not be penalised for writing more than 250 words, if they write a very long answer they may not have time for checking and correcting at the end and some ideas may not be directly relevant to the question.
      • Task 2 contributes twice as much to the final Writing band score as Task 1.
      • Therefore, test takers who fail to attempt to answer this task will greatly reduce their chance of achieving a good band.
      • Test takers will be penalised for irrelevance if the response is off-topic or is not written as full, connected text (e.g. using bullet points in any part of the response, or note form, etc.).
      • They will be severely penalised for plagiarism (i.e. copying from another source).

 B. IELTS General Training Writing 

      • Topics are of general interest. There are two tasks:
        • Task 1 - you will be presented with a situation and asked to write a letter requesting information, or explaining the situation. The letter may be personal, semi-formal or formal in style.
        • Task 2 - you will be asked to write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem. The essay can be fairly personal in style.
      • Answering:
        • Notes or bullet points in whole or in part are not acceptable as answers.
        • Test takers may write on the question paper but this cannot be taken from the test room and will not be seen by the examiner.
      • Marking Scheme:
        • Writing responses are assessed by certificated IELTS examiners.
        • Each task is assessed independently. The assessment of Task 2 carries more weight in marking than Task 1.
        • Scores are reported in whole and half bands.
        • Detailed performance descriptors have been developed which describe written performance at the nine IELTS bands. 
      • Task Types:
        • In Task 1, test takers are asked to respond to a situation, for example, by writing letter requesting information or explaining a situation.
        • In Task 2, test takers write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem.

Task 1

      • In Writing Task 1, test takers are presented with a situation and required to write a personal response in the form of an informal, semi-formal or formal letter of at least 150 words in the answer booklet provided.
      • The situations they are asked to write about are common, everyday ones such as: writing to a college accommodation officer about problems with accommodation, writing to a new employer about time management problems they are having, writing to a local newspaper about a plan to develop a local airport, writing to a renting agency to sort out problems with the heating system in their house.
      • Test takers are told what kind of information (in the form of three bullet points) they must include in their response.
      • They may be required to request or give information and/or explain a situation.
      • To do this, they may need to do some of the following: ask for and/or provide general factual information, express needs, wants, likes or dislikes, express opinions or complaints, make requests or make suggestions/recommendations.
      • The style of writing that test takers use depends who they are asked to write to (i.e. the audience) and how well they are supposed to know them.
      • They need to write in a style that is appropriate for their audience and that will help them to achieve their purpose for writing, e.g. writing to a friend (informal) or writing to a manager (semi-formal or formal). Test takers do not need to include any addresses at the head of their letters.
      • Test takers should spend no more than 20 minutes on this task. They are asked to write at least 150 words and will be penalised if their answer is too short.
      • While test takers will not be penalised for writing more than 150 words, they should remember that a longer Task 1 answer may mean that they have less time to spend on Task 2, which contributes twice as much to the Writing band score.
      • Test takers should also note that they will be penalised for irrelevance, if the response is off-topic or is not written as full, connected text (e.g. using bullet points in any part of the response, or note form, etc.).
      • They will be severely penalised for plagiarism (i.e. copying from another source).

Task 2

      • In Writing Task 2, test takers write a semi-formal/neutral discursive essay of at least 250 words in the answer book provided.
      • The task instructions give information about a point of view, argument or problem.
      • They then tell test takers how to discuss this, which may involve providing general factual information, outlining and/or presenting a solution, justifying an opinion, evaluating evidence and ideas.
      • Topics are of general interest - such as: whether children’s leisure activities should be educational, why families are not so close as they used to be and how they could be brought closer, how environmental problems can be solved, who should pay for the care of old people, whether smoking should be banned in public places.
      • Test takers should make sure that they complete the task carefully and provide a full and relevant response.
      • They should organize their ideas clearly and make sure to support their argument with relevant examples (including from their own experience where relevant) or evidence.
      • For this task, test takers need to be able to communicate more abstract and complex ideas and use a range of vocabulary and grammatical structures.
      • Task 2 contributes twice as much to the final Writing band score as Task 1.
      • Therefore, test takers who fail to attempt to answer this task will greatly reduce their chance of achieving a good score.
      • Test takers are asked to write at least 250 words and will be penalised if their answer is too short. They should spend no more than 40 minutes on this task.
      • Test takers should also note that they will be penalised for irrelevance if the response is off-topic or is not written as full, connected text (e.g. using bullet points in any part of the response, or note form, etc.).
      • They will be severely penalised for plagiarism (i.e. copying from another source).

 

  1. Speaking Section:
    • Highlights:
      • Time: 11–14 minutes
      • of Questions: Variable
    • The Speaking test consists of an oral interview between the test takers` and an examiner. All Speaking tests are recorded.
    • The speaking section assesses your use of spoken English. There are 3 parts:
      • Part 1 - the examiner will ask you general questions about yourself and a range of familiar topics, such as home, family, work, studies and interests. This part lasts between four and five minutes.
      • Part 2 - you will be given a card which asks you to talk about a particular topic. You will have one minute to prepare before speaking for up to two minutes. The examiner will then ask one or two questions on the same topic.
      • Part 3 - you will be asked further questions about the topic in Part 2. These will give you the opportunity to discuss more abstract ideas and issues. This part of the test lasts between four and five minutes.
    • Marking Scheme:
      • Speaking performances are assessed by certificated IELTS examiners.
      • Scores are reported in whole and half bands.
      • Detailed performance descriptors have been developed which describe spoken performance at the nine IELTS bands.
    • Task Types: There are three parts to the test and each part fulfills a specific function in terms of interaction pattern, task input and test takers output.
      • Part 1 – Introduction and Interview
      • Part 2 – Long turn
      • Part 3 – Discussion
    • The number of questions under each task varies.

Part 1 – Introduction and Interview

    • In this part, the examiner introduces him/her and checks the test takers` identity.
    • They then ask the test takers general questions on some familiar topics such as home, family, work, studies and interests.
    • To ensure consistency, questions are taken from a script.
    • Part 1 lasts for 4 – 5 minutes.

Part 2 – Long turn

    • Part 2 is the individual long turn. The examiner gives the test takers a task card which asks the test takers to talk about a particular topic, includes points to cover in their talk and instructs the test takers to explain one aspect of the topic.
    • Test takers are given one minute to prepare their talk, and are given a pencil and paper to make notes.
    • The examiner asks the test takers to talk for 1 to 2 minutes, stops the test takers after 2 minutes, and asks one or two questions on the same topic.
    • Using the points on the task card effectively, and making notes during the preparation time, will help the test takers think of appropriate things to say, structure their talk, and keep talking for 2 minutes.
    • Part 2 lasts 3–4 minutes, including the preparation time.

Part 3 – Discussion

    • In Part 3, the examiner and the test takers discuss issues related to the topic in Part 2 in a more general and abstract way and, where appropriate, in greater depth.
    • Part 3 lasts 4–5 minutes.

 

Breakdown

Section

Duration

No. of Questions

Marks

Listening

30 minutes

40

1 mark each

Reading (Academic / General Training)

60 minutes

40

1 mark each

Writing (Academic / General Training)

60 minutes

2

Variable

Speaking

11 to 14 minutes

3

Variable

 

Application Details
  • Candidates are advised to read through all the information they receive with the application form carefully.
  • Complete the paper application form or online registration and submit it to the nearest test centre.
  • They will need to enclose the voucher of test fee or make the payment online.
  • Make sure test takers enter the number of their identity document (passport or national identity card) and attach a clear color photocopy or scanned copy of identity document to the application form.
  • The identity document must be valid at the time of registration and the same ID document must be presented on the day of the test.

 

How to register?

  • Step 1 - find nearest IELTS test location
    • With more than 1,600 IELTS test locations in over 140 countries which may be close to the test taker’s location. 
  • Step 2 - register for IELTS test
    • They can register and pay online or download an application form to print, complete and submit to the local test centre in person.
    • Candidates are advised to refer the fee structure table given below and remit / pay the prescribed fee in the mode convenient to them.
    • Don’t forget to provide a copy of valid identity document.  They will also need to present the same identity document on the day of the test.
  • Step 3 - IELTS test is booked
    • Once the application has been processed, the centre will send a written confirmation of the date and time of the test.
    • The Speaking and Writing tests typically take place on the same day. 
    • If this is not possible, the tests will take place within seven days of each other.
    • For further information, contact the local IELTS test centre or download Information for Candidates booklet.

Fee Structure

  • Candidates are required to remit the fee for IELTS as per the exchange rate prevalent in their country.
  • IELTS for transportation is only optional.

IELTS Academic and General Training

From £162-£180 depending on location

IELTS for UK Visas and Immigration (Academic and General Training) 

£200 

IELTS Life Skills (A1, A2 and B1) 

£150 

IELTS for Transportation for London (TFL)

£200

 

Dates
  • Computer-delivered IELTS is available up to 3 times a day and 7 days a week.
  • Candidates can get results in 2-5 days.
  • So, they can appear for IELTS test as per their convenience.
  • Paper-based IELTS tests up to four times a month.
Eligibility
  • For taking the IELTS Exam, the minimum age of the candidates should be at least 16 years & they must have a valid passport.
  • Anyone over the age of 16 can give the IELTS Test irrespective of nationality or background.
  • Exceptions can be made where the school requires IELTS Scores for admission. 
  • Candidates will be eligible to take the exam for one of the below categories:
    • Planning to study in UK/Australia/Canada/New Zealand/USA
    • Being a medical professional, planning to work or study further in UK/Australia/USA
    • Planning to emigrate to Canada/Australia/New Zealand.
Cut-Off

IELTS results are reported on a 9-band scale

  • IELTS results are designed to be simple and easy to understand.
  • They are reported as band scores on a scale from 1 (the lowest) to 9 (the highest).

 

The IELTS scale:

Band score

Skill level

Description

9

Expert user

The test taker has fully operational command of the language. Their use of English is appropriate, accurate and fluent, and shows complete understanding.

8

Very good user

The test taker has fully operational command of the language with only occasional unsystematic inaccuracies and inappropriate usage. They may misunderstand some things in unfamiliar situations. They handle complex and detailed argumentation well.

7

Good user

The test taker has operational command of the language, though with occasional inaccuracies, inappropriate usage and misunderstandings in some situations. They generally handle complex language well and understand detailed reasoning.

6

Competent user

The test taker has an effective command of the language despite some inaccuracies, inappropriate usage and misunderstandings. They can use and understand fairly complex language, particularly in familiar situations.

5

Modest user

The test taker has a partial command of the language and copes with overall meaning in most situations, although they are likely to make many mistakes. They should be able to handle basic communication in their own field.

4

Limited user

The test taker`s basic competence is limited to familiar situations. They frequently show problems in understanding and expression. They are not able to use complex language.

3

Extremely limited user

The test taker conveys and understands only general meaning in very familiar situations. There are frequent breakdowns in communication.

2

Intermittent user

The test taker has great difficulty understanding spoken and written English.

1

Non-user

The test taker has no ability to use the language except a few isolated words.

0

Did not attempt the test

The test taker did not answer the questions.

 

Calculating the overall band score

  • A score is given for each test component – Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking.
  • These individual scores are then averaged and rounded to produce an overall band score.
Results
  • Paper-based test: If test takers have taken a paper-based test, their Test Report Form will be available 13 days after they complete the test. 
  • Computer-delivered IELTS: If they have taken a computer-delivered test, their results will be available between 5 and 7 days after the test.
  • IELTS for UKVI: If they have taken IELTS for UK Visas and Immigration, they can view their results 13 days after the test.
  • IELTS for Life Skills: If they have taken IELTS for Life Skills, results are available within 7 days after the test. 
  • Test takers will receive one copy of the form or two copies if they are applying to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
  • They can arrange for their test centre to post this to them, or they can pick it up in person.

 

Viewing results online

  • Results will also be available to view online for 28 days. (This should not be used as an official confirmation of test taker’s performance).
  • Test taker’s IELTS test centre will provide them with a link to their results or they can view them via one of these websites:
    • British Council network of test centres
    • IDP IELTS Australia network of test centres
    • IELTS USA network of test centres
  • Candidates will need their passport or ID number (the same number they used when they registered for the test) and registration number of them.
  • Test takers may contact their test centre if they have any questions or problems.

 

Get IELTS Results through SMS

  • Test takers can also check their IELTS test score through SMS by sending the below-mentioned code to 9289892898 after 12.00 noon on the days of the result.

Sending results to nominated organisations

  • When candidates book their test, they can nominate up to five organisations to which their IELTS test results will be sent by the test centers on their behalf.
  • This service is free of charge. Results can be sent to further nominated organisations for a small administration fee.
  • If the centre has closed, test takers can ask for their IELTS result to be sent to the nominated organisations by agencies (by filling in the Application for additional TRFs (from closed centres) form.
  • This service is available for up to two years from the date of the IELTS test.

 

Requesting a Re-mark

  • If test takers are not happy with their result, they can apply for a review of their score(s) through a service called an Enquiry on Results (EOR).
  • During the review process:
    • Test papers are re-marked by senior Examiners/Markers, who are not aware of the original marks awarded for each of the test section (Listening, Reading, Writing or Speaking).
    • Test centre is then notified of the re-mark result and if the mark has changed, they issue a new Test Report Form (TRF).
  • The request for a re-mark must be made within six weeks of the date shown on the TRF at the concerned test centre.
  • Test takers may ask to re-mark the whole test or any sections of it (Listening, Reading, Writing or Speaking).
  • They must pay an enquiry fee, which is fully refunded if their band scores change.
  • They may contact their test centre for more information about fees.
  • Results will normally be available in 2 to 21 days, depending on several factors including the number of sections requested for re-mark.
  • If test takers have not received a response after 28 days, they may contact their concerned test centre.

 

Adding IELTS Overall Band Score on LinkedIn

  • IELTS score is a trusted indicator of test taker’s language skills which they can proudly showcase to potential employers around the world.  
  • Therefore by adding IELTS Overall Band Score to the LinkedIn profile, they can stand out against the rest. 
  • Here are some reasons to do this:
    • Test takers can demonstrate to employers that they have taken the world’s most trusted test, so the score is an accurate representation of their ability to communicate where English is primary mode of communication.
    • When they add their IELTS score to their profile, it will be posted on their LinkedIn feed so all the connections can see their achievement.
    • With a complete LinkedIn profile, they are more likely to be discovered by recruiters.

IELTS results validity period

  • While it is up to each organisation to set a validity period that works for their purposes, the IELTS partners recommend a 2-year validity period for IELTS test results based upon the well-documented phenomenon of second language loss or `attrition’.

 

Admit Card
  • The identity document must be valid at the time of registration and the same ID document must be presented on the day of the test.
  • The test centre will give the written confirmation of the date and time of the test.
  • The written confirmation and the ID document shall be carried to the exam center without fail.

Exam Day Guidelines

  • Test takers are advised to arrive on time and be prepared:
    • They can double-check the time and date of test and allow plenty of time to travel to the test centre.
    • If late, they may not be allowed to take the test.
    • Test takers must make sure that they have the right identification documents.
    • If they arrive with the wrong ID, they will not be allowed to take the test.
  • Try to be calm and relaxed
    • Try to remain calm at the test centre
    • If they have any questions - friendly centre staff are there to help
    • Read the IELTS rules and regulations before the test so they understand them. They will find these in the IELTS Application Form.
  • Follow the instructions
    • Switch off the mobile phone and any other electronic devices.
    • They will be asked to place these with other personal belongings outside the test room.
    • The Listening, Reading and Writing tests take 2 hours 40 minutes and there are no breaks between each component of the test.
    • Test takers must be prepared and have something to eat and drink beforehand.
    • They will not be allowed to take food into the test room. They will only be allowed to take a drink in a transparent bottle.
    • Listen to the supervisor carefully and follow the test day instructions.
    • When they get the test papers, they have to read the instructions on the cover page first before writing anything.
    • Test takers are advised not to commit any mistake. They will lose points for careless mistakes.
  • Stay aware of the time
    • Watches are not allowed in the test room. Every test room will have a clock on the wall. Stay aware of the time so test takers can attempt all questions.
    • The Listening, Reading and Writing tests have a number of sections. Allow enough time for each section.
    • Be aware that some questions have suggested time limits.
  • Advice to test takers to do best
    • If they start to feel worried, they can take some deep breaths which help them calm down
    • Works calmly, focus on the questions, don’t rush answers and do best.

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