What You Need to Know
exam is the I
and is an international test.
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It is recognized by academic institutions, corporations and immigration
In 2010, more than 1.5 million IELTS tests were taken, making it the most popular English language
exam in the world
There are two forms of the IELTS exam:
- The general training version
- The academic training version
Each version covers the 4 skills:
All papers are taken on the same day, although there are breaks between
There is no pass or fail with the IELTS exam.
All candidates are awarded a grade from 1 (no knowledge of the
language) to 9 (an expert user).
Grades are given for each individual module: speaking, listening,
reading and writing.
An overall grade is then given, averaging these individual results.
Your results will be mailed to you approximately two weeks after you
take the test.
For reference purposes, a 6.5
is between B2
on the CEFR
ramework of R
Some institutions do not recognize an IELTS grade more than two years
Academic or General?
If you want to take the IELTS exam to get into a university then you
need to take the academic training
The IELTS is accepted by most universities in Australia, New Zealand,
Great Britain, Ireland, Canada, and South Africa, as well as in around
3,000 colleges in the USA.
The grades universities ask for range from 5.5 to 8.5, although most
universities require a grade between 6 and 7.
The general training version of the IELTS exam is either an immigration
requirement, or evidence of ability for immigration, in countries such
as the UK, New Zealand, Australia and Canada.
It covers more general topics than the academic version but requires
the same level of English ability overall.
The IELTS test can be taken in over 800 locations around the world. It
needs to be booked in advance.
Many of the examination centers are language schools or universities,
and they have strict guidelines that must be followed.
For example, you are not allowed to take personal possessions,
particularly cell phones, into the examination room.
Preparing for the exam
If you plan to take the IELTS exam, you need to register and pay for it
It is very useful to follow an exam preparation course, as specific
examination techniques, as well as English skills, will be taught.
If you are taking the academic IELTS in particular, you will need to
know specific vocabulary for describing graphs, charts and diagrams, as
this is one of the writing tasks on the exam paper.
In addition to taking an exam preparation course, there are a number of
websites on the internet that offer practice IELTS tasks.
Some of them are free, but there are other sites where you can purchase
past examination papers. These are very useful, as the more practice
you can get at answering exam questions, the better you will be.
Whatever your reason for taking the IELTS exam, practice, prepare,
don't worry, and good luck!
See also: Academic IELTS TEST – Tips and Mistakes to Avoid