Last updated on June 14, 2020 by The Counselor
The page answers: what IELTS exam is all about The eligibility for IELTS, types of IELTS, who accepts IELTS and why choose IELTS exam
What IELTS exam is all about
The international English language testing system (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 international English language testing system (IELTS) is the world’s most popular English language proficiency test for higher education and global migration, with over 2 million tests taken through more than 800 test centres and locations in over 130 countries every year.
Most popular countries where IELTS is accepted for university admissions are UK, Australia, New Zealand, US, Canada. The exam mainly measures the ability of test-takers to communicate in the four basic language skills – listening, reading, speaking, and writing. That is, IELTS assesses all of your English skills — Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking, and is designed to reflect how you will use English at study, at work, and at play, in your new life abroad.
IELTS is one of the two major English-language tests in the world, the other being the TOEFL. Often international students are confused between choosing IELTS or TOEFL. It is up to you to decide which of the two exams to take, but remember that IELTS is more preferred in UK, Australia, and New Zealand, while TOEFL is popular among applicants to universities in US and Canada. So knowing the required average scores for US universities and average scores for Canadian universities is an important start.
Eligibility for IELTS
IELTS or International English Language Testing System assesses the student’s abilities in all four skills – listening, reading, writing and speaking of the English language in under three hours. Students are required to be above 16 years of age to be able to appear for the IELTS Exam. Students who are applying to study in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia are required to appear for the exam.
Medical professionals who are planning to work or pursue further studies in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia are required to take the test. Candidates who are planning to settle down permanently in Canada, Australia or New Zealand are also required to take the test.
Types of IELTS
The Academic Version is intended for those who want to enrol in universities and other institutions of higher education and for professionals such as medical doctors and nurses who want to study or practice in an English-speaking country.
The General Training Version is intended for those planning to undertake non-academic training or to gain work experience, or for immigration purposes.
You can take either IELTS Academic or IELTS General Training – depending on the organization you are applying to and your plans for the future. Both versions of the test are made up of four parts – Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. IELTS results are graded on the unique IELTS 9-band scale.
Who Accepts IELTS
The IELTS test is developed by some of the world’s leading experts in language assessment. It has an excellent international reputation and is accepted by over 8,000 organizations worldwide, including schools, universities, employers, immigration authorities and professional bodies.
IELTS is the most widely accepted English language test that uses a one-on-one speaking test to assess your English communication skills. This means that you are assessed by having a real-life conversation with a real person. This is the most effective and natural way of testing your English conversation skills.
Why Choose IELTS Exam
IELTS scores are accepted by over 9,000 organizations worldwide, including universities, employers, immigration authorities and professional bodies.
IELTS is designed by experts to fairly assess the language ability of candidates who want to study or work where English is the language of communication
Get meaningful international result: The IELTS scoring system is recognized globally, giving you a truly international result. You will receive a score of 0–9, with 0 being for those who did not attempt the test and 9 being for those with a high level of English. Most universities accept scores between 6 –7 as being suitable for undergraduate study in English.
- International English: IELTS recognizes both British and American English in terms of spelling, grammar and choice of words. It also incorporates a mix of native speaker accents from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and US in the Listening component.
- International Content: The IELTS approach is recognized as being fair, reliable and valid to all candidates, whatever their nationality, cultural background, gender or special needs. The test questions are developed by a network known as the IELTS item writers in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK and the US. They are based on real-life sources (for example, advertisements, books, newspapers and company policies), so ensuring that they are always fit for purpose.
- International Consultation: IELTS has been developed in close consultation with academics, professional bodies and immigration authorities from around the world.
Choosing IELTS enables you to:
Prove your English Language Skills: Educational institutions, employers and government immigration agencies require proof of English language skills as part of their recruitment or admission procedures. Increasingly, these organizations are choosing IELTS.
Gain worldwide recognition for Study, Work and Immigration: IELTS is jointly managed by British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge English Language Assessment. Last year, over 2 million candidates used IELTS to open doors to the English-speaking world and beyond. IELTS is recognized by more than 8,000 organizations worldwide.
Decide on a module that matches your goal: You will take a Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking test. You can choose between two IELTS modules in the Reading and Writing tests:
Academic – if you want to study in English at an undergraduate or postgraduate level, or seek professional registration.
General Training – if you want to migrate to an English-speaking country (e.g. Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK), or wish to train or study in English at below degree level.
All candidates take the same Listening and speaking tests.