What is IELTS?

For work, study, and migration, IELTS is the most common English language test. IELTS is trusted by over 10,000 organisations to measure real-world English proficiency. Listening, reading, writing, and speaking are tested in IELTS.

The only high-stakes language test accepted for migration in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the UK is IELTS. Over 30 years ago, IELTS pioneered four-skills English language assessment with a focus on real conversations. English language testing is still dominated by IELTS.

IELTS test format

IELTS tests listening, reading, writing, and speaking. No breaks are allowed between the Listening, Reading, and Writing examinations. You can schedule the Speaking test online. You'll get a slot if you don't pick one in time. The test lasts under three hours.

You must listen to four recordings and answer questions. The test lasts 30 minutes and uses native English speaker recordings.
40 questions measure your reading skills in the IELTS Reading test. Reading for summary, main ideas, details, logical reasoning, skimming, and determining the writers' attitudes, beliefs, and objectives is required.
The IELTS writing test has two exercises on general interest themes related to your module.
Your spoken English skills are tested in the IELTS Speaking test. The test is recorded and done in three sections.

Test format – Listening (30 minutes)
You'll listen to four native English speakers and write responses to 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.
Paper format: There are four parts with ten questions each. The questions are designed so that the answers appear in the order they are heard in the audio.

Parts one and two deal with everyday social settings. In Part 1, two presenters talk about travel arrangements, and in Part 2, a speaker talks about local facilities. The last two parts deal with educational and training scenarios. Part 3 is a discourse between two primary speakers (two university students, presumably directed by a tutor), and Part 4 is a monologue on an academic topic.

The recordings are heard only once. They include a range of accents, including British, Australian, New Zealand, American and Canadian.

Timing: Approximately 30 minutes (plus 10 minutes transfer time).
Timing: Approximately 30 minutes (plus 10 minutes transfer time).

No. of questions: 40

Task types: Multiple-choice, matching, plan/map/diagram labelling, form/note/table/flow-chart/summary completion, and sentence completion questions are employed.

Answering: Test takers write their responses on the question paper while listening and have 10 minutes to transfer them to an answer sheet at the end. Poor spelling and grammar are penalised on answer sheets.

Marks: Each question is worth 1 mark.

Task type 1 – Multiple choice

Task type and format: Multiple choice activities have a question and three possible responses or a statement with three different endings. Test takers must pick one accurate answer—A, B, or C.

Test takers may have to choose multiple answers from a longer list. They should read the question carefully to determine how many answers are needed.

Task focus: Multiple-choice questions measure many skills. The test taker must understand specific points or the key points of the listening text.

No. of questions: Variable

Task type 2 – Matching

Task type and format: Test takers must match numbered elements from the listening text to options on the question paper. Options may be criterion.

Task focus: Matching tests a test taker's ability to listen for detail and grasp a conversation around a common topic, such as hotel or guest home accommodations. It tests conversational comprehension as well. It can also examine test takers' capacity to perceive linkages and connections between data in the listening text.

No. of questions: Variable

Task type 3 – Plan, map, diagram labelling:

Task type and format: Test takers must label a building plan, town map, or equipment schematic. Answers are frequently chosen from a question paper list.

Task focus: This exercise tests the ability to interpret a place description and relate it to a visual representation. This may include understanding spatial language (e.g., straight on/through the distant door).

No. of questions: Variable

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

Task type and format: Test takers must complete a listening text outline. The outline will highlight the text's important points. It may be:

1. A form for recording facts like names
2. a set of notes: used to summarise any type of information utilising the layout to explain how things link
3. a table: summarises information in clear categories, such as place/time/price,
4. a flowchart: used to summarise a step-by-step process with arrows.

Test takers may have to choose answers from a list or identify missing words from the recording within the word limit. Test takers need not alter the recording's words.

The number of words or numbers needed to complete the gaps varies, so test takers should read the instructions carefully. For instance, "NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER". Test takers should verify the word limit for each activity because exceeding it results in a penalty. No contractions will be tested. Hyphenated words are single words.

Task focus: This focuses on the main points which a listener would naturally record in this type of situation.

No. of questions: Variable.

Task type 5 – Sentence completion

Task type and format: Test takers must read a set of sentences summarising key information from all or part of the listening content. They then use listening text to complete each sentence. For instance, "NO MORE THAN ONE WORD AND/OR A NUMBER."

IELTS test dates

IELTS tests in India are offered four times a month or 48 times a year (paper-based) on Saturdays and Thursdays for test takers' convenience. Computer-delivered IELTS gives you several dates and time windows and results in 3-5 days. Whether you choose Academic or General Training, IELTS dates may vary.

Why choose IELTS?

It is the test for study - IELTS scores are accepted by thousands of top universities worldwide as proof of English competence.

It is the test for professionals - Many countries recognise IELTS scores for professional registration in accounting, engineering, law, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, and teaching. This means you'll need the IELTS to register as a professional in an English-speaking country.

It is the test for migration - Most jurisdictions require IELTS scores for permanent residency. IELTS General Training is the sole non-academic test for migration to Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the UK, and the US.

It’s the test that’s fairer to you - IELTS evaluates your practical communication skills and four skills accurately. Two versions—Academic and General Training—test language skills rather than expert knowledge. A trained examiner conducts the Speaking test.

IELTS is established by a multinational team of professionals and extensively researched to provide fairness and impartiality for all candidates regardless of nationality, background, gender, lifestyle, or geography.

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