IELTS Exam - An English Proficiency Test

What is the IELTS Test?

The test of IELTS is a test for the students, who wish to study in a place, where English is the medium of instruction. It is also useful for those who wish to work or want to migrate to a place where English is the medium of communication. The test is attempted by candidates from different parts of the world. This is because the test encourages different accents and styles. It is created by a group of experts who belong to different parts of the world. The main feature of the test is its scoring system; it does not grade a person as pass or fail. The scoring system is based on a 9-band scale, which classifies a person attempting the exam into a category which starts from an expert user to a non-user.

It is owned by three organizations which provide the students with a reliable and secure testing environment. The three organizations include IELTS Australia along with IDP, British Council and the University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations. The test is conducted across the world in about 500 centers, 4 times a month or 48 times in a year. The scores are widely accepted by different organizations that include government departments, universities, multinational companies etc.

IELTS and its Modules

IELTS or International English Language Testing System consists of two modules: the Academic module and the General Training module. The IELTS Global Recognition System will guide you with the selection of the correct module; for this you can refer the official website ( The Academic module is for educational purposes and the General Training module is for work and migration purposes. Each module consists of tests based on four different skills- listening, reading, writing and speaking.

  • Listening test section consists of four sections, where you are supposed to listen to four audio tapes. Each section contains questions which need to be answered based on what you heard in the audio tape. You have to be very alert while listening to the tape, as you will be hearing the tape only once. The duration of this section is 40 minutes.

  • Reading test section is different for the two modules. Academic module has three texts to read, followed by a set of 13-14 questions, making a total of 40 questions in all. General Training module usually has smaller texts, about 3-5, but the number of overall questions remains the same as in Academic module. The duration of this section is 60 minutes for both the modules.

  • Writing test section is also different for the Academic and General Training modules. Academic module requires you to write two essays: one based on a diagram, graph, chart or describing a process, in about 150 words. The second essay is about expressing yourself based on the given argument in about 250 words. General Training module requires you to write a letter in response to a situation and an essay based on a given topic. This section has duration of 60 minutes for both the modules.

  • Speaking test section format is the same for both the modules and contains three rounds. First round is an interview between the candidate and the examiner, usually related to the candidate's background, his personal details, hobbies etc. The second round requires preparing and speaking about a topic that is given and the third round is again an interview, related to the topic spoken in the second round. Speaking section lasts for 11-14 minutes.

The listening, reading and writing test sections are usually completed on the same day. The speaking test section may be completed on the same day or may be taken up 7 days before or after the test day, depending upon the convenience of the test center.

The test's scores are available after 13 days of appearing for the test. The Test Report Form contains your band scores for each test section, your overall band score, whether you took the Academic or General Training module and personal details including your nationality, date of birth, first language and includes a photograph of yours. Your scores can be sent to at least five different institutions for which you had requested at the time of registration. These scores are valid for a period of two years.

IELTS gives you an opportunity to brighten up your future, so, prepare well and explore it to the maximum.

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