IELTS is the International English Language Testing System, the world’s proven English language test.
IELTS is jointly owned by British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge English Language Assessment through more than 1100 test centres and locations in over 140 countries. It is designed to assess the language abilities of those who wish to work or study in countries where English is the primary language of communication. It is recognised by over 10,000 organisations, including universities, government agencies and corporations. IELTS is the world’s most popular and most reliable English language testing system. Over 3 million IELTS tests were taken in the last year.
Two types of IELTS tests are available: IELTS Academic or IELTS General Training, depending on whether you want to work, study or migrate.
The IELTS Academic module is for those who want to study or train in an English-speaking university or Institutions of Higher and Further Education. Admission to undergraduate and postgraduate courses is based on the results of the Academic test.
The IELTS General Training module is for those who are going to English-speaking countries to do secondary education, work experience or training programs. It is also suitable for those wishing to emigrate to Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK.
The IELTS test is currently a paper-based test only. Both the Academic and General Training modules have four parts: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. The written part of the test (Listening, Reading and Writing) generally takes place on Saturday mornings between 8.30am / 9am and 1.15 pm. The Speaking part of the test can take place on a Saturday afternoon or two days before or after the main test date. You must be available during this period. Please include a note with your application form if you wish to have your speaking test on the same day. Please note that this request cannot be guaranteed as places are allocated on a ‘first-come, first-served’ basis.
Candidates are graded on their performance, using scores from 1 to 9 for each part of the test listening, reading, writing and speaking. The results from the four parts then produce an Overall Band Score. In order to get a result you require, we recommend that you take an IELTS Preparation Course.
For further information on the test, you can download the Information for Candidates Booklet or visit the IELTS homepage. You can also visit the new TAKE IELTS website, which contains lots of useful information and advice on the exam.
How IELTS is scored
IELTS results are reported on a 9-band scale. IELTS results are designed to be simple and easy to understand. They are reported as band scores on a scale from 1 (the lowest) to 9 (the highest).
The IELTS Scale
|Band score||Skill level||Description|
|9||Expert user||The test taker has fully operational command of the language. Their use of English is appropriate, accurate and fluent, and shows complete understanding.|
|8||Very good user||The test taker has fully operational command of the language with only occasional unsystematic inaccuracies and inappropriate usage. They may misunderstand some things in unfamiliar situations. They handle complex and detailed argumentation well.|
|7||Good user||The test taker has operational command of the language, though with occasional inaccuracies, inappropriate usage and misunderstandings in some situations. They generally handle complex language well and understand detailed reasoning.|
|6||Competent user||The test taker has an effective command of the language despite some inaccuracies, inappropriate usage and misunderstandings. They can use and understand fairly complex language, particularly in familiar situations.|
|5||Modest user||The test taker has a partial command of the language and copes with overall meaning in most situations, although they are likely to make many mistakes. They should be able to handle basic communication in their own field.|
|4||Limited user||The test taker’s basic competence is limited to familiar situations. They frequently show problems in understanding and expression. They are not able to use complex language.|
|3||Extremely limited user||The test taker conveys and understands only general meaning in very familiar situations. There are frequent breakdowns in communication.|
|2||Intermittent user||The test taker has great difficulty understanding spoken and written English.|
|1||Non-user||The test taker has no ability to use the language except a few isolated words.|
|0||Did not attempt the test||The test taker did not answer the questions.|
Calculating the overall band score
A score is given for each test component – Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. These individual scores are then averaged and rounded to produce an overall band score.
Click here for more information: https://www.ielts.org/ielts-for-organisations/ielts-scoring-in-detail
IELTS Writing and Speaking assessments are carried out by trained and certificated examiners, all of whom are qualified and experienced English language specialists. The examiners work to clearly defined criteria and are subject to extensive and detailed quality control procedures. Find out more about IELTS examiner standards at the following link: https://www.ielts.org/teaching-and-research/examiner-recruitment-and-training