International English Language Testing System or in short IELTS 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. The most popular countries where IELTS is accepted for university admissions are the UK, Australia, New Zealand, USA, and Canada. The exam mainly measures the ability of test-takers to communicate in the four basic English language skills – listening, reading, speaking, and writing.
IELTS exam is jointly owned and conducted by IDP Education Australia, British Council, and Cambridge English Language Assessment. With the number of IELTS tests grew to a record of 3.5 million in the year 2018, it has become a leader in the area of international higher education. It is accepted in 100% of universities in the UK and Australia. Also, it is accepted in more than 3,400 institutions in the US and thousands of institutions in English-speaking countries.
Recent updates in IELTS
IDP to administer IELTS Exam in India: IELTS Tests in India will be administered by IDP after it acquires 100% stakes from British Council recently. It is expected that the distribution of IELTS through IDP in India would simplify the process and improve customer’s experience. The entire process of acquiring these stakes and final settlements would most probably wrap up by August 2021.
IELST Test Fee Update: You can check out the updated information on fees of the IELTS Test which is being revised.
CORONAVIRUS ALERT: IELTS Partners has also launched the IELTS Indicator, an online English language test for students who are affected by the COVID-19 and are not able to attend the IELTS test center. IELTS Indicator will assess the student’s English language skills in Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking. Students can take the test online from their homes.
Why IELTS Exam is required?
IELTS exam is required for migration as well as academic purposes abroad in English-speaking countries like Australia, UK, New Zealand, USA, and Canada. It is the only English Language Test approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) for visa applicants applying both outside and inside the UK. A lot of students get confused about why are the IELTS scores required. The simple answer to this is that foreign universities and visa granting authorities need to be sure that you will not have communication issues while staying in the country. You need to show a good understanding and strong command of the English language and that is why your overall IELTS scores are so important.
Another common doubt students have is whether IELTS is a compulsory exam or not. No, IELTS isn’t compulsory in all university admissions. Many universities might not even require IELTS scores for admission purposes. But remember that if you don’t give IELTS, your chances of getting the student visa might suffer as the visa officers may not be convinced about your English proficiency without IELTS scores. So it is safer to appear for IELTS and aim to score at least 6 bands overall.
You 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.
Types of IELTS
There are two types of IELTS exams: IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training. Listening and speaking sections are the same for both these tests, however, the subject matter for the writing and reading sections are different depending on which test one takes. The Reading, Writing, and Listening sections of the IELTS exams are completed on the same day of the test with no breaks between them. However, the Speaking section can be completed either a week before or after the other tests date. This information test can be taken from your test center.
Academic IELTS exam is taken by those who apply for higher education or professional registration abroad.
General IELTS exam is taken by those who wish to migrate to major English-speaking countries like Canada, Australia, and the UK. This test is also taken by those who want to enroll in training programs or secondary education or want to gain work experience in a country where English is the main language used for communication.
|IELTS full form||International English Language Testing System|
|Most popular for||Study, work, and migration to English speaking countries like Australia, New Zealand, and the UK|
|Also accepted by||Canada and USA|
|Conducted by||British Council and IDP Education Ltd|
|Mode of Exam||Computer and Paper – delivered test|
|IELTS Fee||Rs. 14,700 for registrations as on 25th-July-2021|
|Score Range||On a scale of 1 (the lowest) to 9 (the highest)|
|IELTS Contact||British Council|
0120-4569000 / 0120-6684353,
Mon-Sat 09.00 to 18.00
IDP Head Office
IELTS vs TOEFL
Often international students are confused between choosing IELTS or TOEFL, as universities abroad ask for either exam score. It is up to you as a test taker to decide which of the two exams to take, but remember that IELTS is more preferred in the UK, Australia, and New Zealand, while TOEFL is popular among applicants to universities in US and Canada.
- Eligibility of IELTS Exam
- Registration fees, Rescheduling fees, and Cancelation fees of the IELTS Exam
One of the biggest drawbacks about studying abroad is having to pay tuition fees in foreign currency clubbed with high living expenses. Due to such reasons, a lot of times, many sections of students are unavailable to go abroad and end up settling down for other alternatives. However, with the availability of various IELTS Scholarships and education loans, students can finally make their dream come true. Scholarships are available on the official website of every college along with other fellowships and grants that are awarded to deserving students on a regular basis. Students can also opt for education loans from financial institutions for studying abroad.
IELTS Important Dates
British Council and IDP IELTS are the two official conducting bodies of the IELTS Exam. The IELTS test is available multiple times throughout the year. Candidates are advised to book an IELTS Test Date that is most convenient to them, keeping in mind the university admission timeline. Students looking to appear for the IELTS test are advised to choose an exam date 3-4 months before their application deadline, to avoid any last-minute error. The IELTS test is available across various major cities in India.
- IELTS eligibility, minimum Age, and pattern
How is IELTS Scored?
IELTS is designed to assess English language skills at all levels. Your total IELTS score will be a combination of the band scores from the four sections. You will receive IELTS scores based on each of the four skills on a band of 1 – 9, and you will also be awarded an overall band score. One can score whole (example 5.0, 6.0, 7.0) or half (example 5.5, 6.5, 7.5) bands in each part of the test. You need to have some idea about how the scoring pattern works to better understand how your IELTS score will be calculated.
How to get your IELTS Exam Result?
Once you are done with the IELTS, then comes your wait for the result. The good thing about these exams is that the results are usually declared within a fortnight. In this case, if you have given the computer-based exam, your results will be declared within 5-7 days or within a week.
- Offline Mode: For offline or paper-based tests, you will receive your results within 13 calendar days from the day of your exam.
- Online Mode: On the day of your result, you will receive an intimation from your Test Centre about the results. You can simply login with your ID, password, passport number, and test date information to view your result. From the time of declaration of result, your results will be available online for the next 28 days
IELTS Score validity period
From the time you obtain your IELTS results, your IELTS score is valid for two years.
You do not have long to wait for your results as IELTS exam test results are released within a week (online) or 13 calendar days (offline) after you sit for the test. Will receive an email when your scores are available. You can log into your IELTS account on the IELTS Results website to see your scores.
IELTS has been designed to assess the English language skills of students at all levels. Hence, students can never fail the test. The IELTS score is based on each of the four skills on a scale of 1 – 9, and students would also be awarded an overall band score. Candidates are reminded that the IELTS exam cut-off score varies for different colleges and programs that students are interested in and not all universities and programs require candidates to qualify for the IELTS exam. Your overall IELTS band score is important if you intend to apply for university, take up a job or immigrate to an English-speaking country.
Countries Accepting IELTS Score
IELTS exam score is accepted in more than 140 countries including UK, Australia, New Zealand, USA, and Canada. Whether it is for study, work or immigration, you can sit for IELTS and with a good score apply to your favorite country. It is advisable to check the university/country requirements for IELTS before sitting for the exam.
IELTS 2021 Preparation Tips
There are two ways to prepare for IELTS: one was is self-study and another is attending coaching classes. Which way you will choose depends on your language proficiency and comfort level. If you are already fluent in English, you need not attend coaching classes, you can prepare for the exam on your own. You just need to figure out when to start preparing for IELTS.
Also, if money is an important consideration, then self-study is a better option. However, remember that in order to study on your own, you need the latest preparation tips dedicated for each section of the IELTS exam.
On the other hand, if you do not have enough time and you need professional supervision for the exam preparation then coaching classes are a good option. Since regularly attending classes will become part of your routine, your time will be better managed.
IELTS Exam day tips
Each exam has its own preparation technique, which also changes the treatment of exam day. Planning your exam day and preparing for strategies to crack the question paper is equally essential as studying for the exam is. Therefore, it is as important to be exam-day ready as it is to be prepared with its syllabus.
IELTS Exam Question/ Sample Paper
While preparing for the exam, you would need to know how far you have reached. Knowing where you stand would help you move further with your preparation. Hence, it is suggested that you keep on taking up the IELTS exam practice tests every now and then. It would also help in preparing you for facing and handling the question paper well, without panicking on the day of the exam.
It is suggested that put the highlighted heading for exam day tips after this paragraph.
IELTS Test Centers in India
IELTS has its exam centers all over India. The test can be taken by you in 78 locations across India. You should choose your location wisely considering that your travel on the day of the exam should not be exhausting. Choose a center with minimal commuting time so that you can remain fresh for attempting the exam. With so many locations, it would be easy to find a test center near your residential place. Remember, you need to book the test center in advance according to your suitable time.