IELTS exam is used to assess the candidate's ability to communicate in English for either pursuing higher education or to work in different countries like UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand etc. It is either conducted by International Development Program Education(IDP IELTS) or by the British Council(IELTS BC).
- What is IELTS?
- IELTS Exam Dates
- IELTS Eligibility
- IELTS Syllabus
- IELTS Exam Pattern
- IELTS Registration
- IELTS Application Form
- IELTS Exam Centres in India
- IELTS Results
- IELTS Preparation Books
- Difference between TOEFL and IELTS
- IELTS FAQs
- Related Exams
The IELTS exam consists of four stages which are listening, reading, writing, and speaking stage. The candidate can view selection procedure, preparation tips and Sample papers related to IELTS exam which are given below.
What is IELTS?
IELTS stands for International English Language Testing System. IELTS exam is used to test the Language proficiency of non-native English speakers in the English Language.
|Exam Name||International English Language Testing System|
|Conducting Body||IDP: Australia, Cambridge Assessment English and British Council.|
|Accepted for||Work, Academic and Immigration Purposes|
|Mode||Computer-delivered and Paper delivered mode|
|Duration||2 hours and 45 Minutes|
It is also Known as IDP IELTS or IELTS BC depending on the conducting authority. As the name suggests, the IDP IELTS is conducted by IDP(International Development Program) Education and IELTS BC is conducted by the British Council. As far as the exam is concerned, both the exams are more or less the same.
Types: The IELTS exam has two parts which are Academic Test and General Training test.
- Academic Exam: This test is for those people who want to pursue higher education in undergraduate or postgraduate level. Candidates who want to work in an Organisation or Companies which are located in an English speaking country can also take this test.
- General Training Exam: General Training Exam is for those people who want to pursue secondary education or to work in an organisation in an English speaking country. This test is also essential for migrational purposes for Australia, UK, Canada, and New Zealand.
Focus skills: IELTS exam focuses on testing the English Language Proficiency of candidates. Hence the exam focuses on four basic skills which are listening, reading, writing, and speaking.
- In the IELTS Listening test, the candidate has to listen to four recordings in English and answer the questions based on them.
- The IELTS Writing test basically includes essay writing and a short paragraph explaining a particular scenario or a diagram.
- In the IELTS Reading test, the candidate is required to answer the questions based on the paragraph given.
- Finally, the IELTS Speaking part involves an interview, a speech and Discussion on any random topic.
Mode: IELTS exam can be given online as well as Offline.
IELTS Exam Dates
IELTS exam is conducted on nearly 48 exam dates in a year. Candidate can choose a test date which is convenient and comfortable for him/her from available IELTS exam dates. The number of test dates offered by a test centre depends on local demand and the test which candidate is opting for.
- The number of test centre: If a candidate is opting for Academic Test then he can choose from 48 exam dates and if the candidate is writing the General Training Test then up to 24 exam dates are available.
- Application Deadline: Candidates have to remember that they have to submit their application form at least three-four months before the IELTS exam dates that they are choosing.
If you are planning to retake the test, then there is no time limit before which you have to retake the test. But there was a restriction that there should be a minimum time limit of 90 days. Currently, there is no such instruction since it has been withdrawn.
There are no minimum eligibility criteria for IELTS exam set by any of three conducting bodies. But candidates should keep a few things in mind while applying for IELTS exam.
- Higher Secondary Education: By guidelines set by conducting authorities for both tests, it is clear that candidates should at least have done education till 12th class or its equivalent.
- Undergraduate or Higher Secondary Education: Candidates who have completed 12th class or its equivalent can apply for undergraduate courses through Academic Test. If candidates are applying for postgraduate courses then candidates should at least have his/her undergraduate degree.
- Age Limit: This implies that candidates should be at least 17 years of age. This age limit is for an undergraduate course. Age limit may vary for universities. So before applying for a University, candidates should check eligibility requirements set by the University.
IELTS is used by Universities and Companies across the world to asses the English Language Proficiency of candidates. This is because conducting authorities try and test what university and companies are looking for, which is "English Language Proficiency". This exam doesn't have any prescribed syllabus. But candidates can look at IELTS exam pattern to understand the exam and prepare well.
IELTS Exam Pattern
The duration of ielts exam is 2 hours and 45 minutes. There are four Tests pattern in the exam which are IELTS Speaking Test, IELTS Reading Test, IELTS Writing test and IELTS Listening test. This exam can be taken on Paper or Computer. The distinguished tests are given below.
- Paper-based Test: In this mode of the test, candidates have to sit at a desk in the official exam and answer sheets for 3 tests except for Speaking Test.
- Computer-Delivered Test: In this mode of the test, the candidate is required to sit the reading, listening and writing test in front of a computer and attend them.
- Speaking Test: This test will be conducted by IELTS trained Examiner face-to-face with the candidate.
- Types: There are 2 types of IELTS Exams and these are Academic Test and General Training Test.
- Both Academic and General Training have the same pattern for Listening and Speaking.
Candidates will have to listen to four recordings of native English speakers. After listening to the recording candidates are supposed to write answers to a series of questions.
|Recording 1||A conversation between two people||Everyday social|
|Recording 2||A Monologue||Everyday social|
|Recording 3||A conversation between four people||Educational or Training|
|Recording 4||A Monologue||Academic|
Details for IELTS Listening Test is given the table below:
|IELTS Listening Test Exam Pattern|
|No. of Questions||4 * 10 = 40|
|Marks||1 mark for every correct answer|
Note: All answer sheets, after being marked, are further analysed by Cambridge Assessment English. Poor spelling and grammar mistakes are also penalised.
Task Types in IELTS Exam
There will be 6 types of tasks in the IELTS Exam across four different sections. All these six tasks along with description are given in the table below:
|Type 1||Type 2||Type 3||Type 4||Type 5||Type 6|
|Multiple Choice||Matching||Plan, map, diagram labelling||Form, note, table, flow-chart, summary||Sentence Completion||Short-answer questions|
|Choose one or sometimes more than one answer.||Match the numbered list of items.||Candidates have to select the answer from a list on the question paper.||Candidates are required to select their answers from a list on the question paper or identify the missing words from the recording select their answers from a list on the question paper or identify the missing words from the recording||Candidates are supposed to fill a gap in each sentence using information from the listening text.||Write a short answer using the listening text.|
IELTS Speaking Test assesses how candidates speak and whether he/she can communicate one's idea clearly. All tests are recorded by conducting authorities. Details of IELTS Speaking Test is given below:
|IELTS Speaking Test Exam Pattern|
|Number of Parts||3|
|Part 1||Introduction and Interview|
|Part 2||Long Turn|
IELTS Reading Test
IELTS Reading Test is designed in such a way that it will test a variety of reading skills. The reading skills which are tested are Reading for gist, reading for detail, skimming, reading for main ideas, understanding the logical argument and recognising writers' attitudes, opinions and their purpose.
IELTS Reading Test for Academic test
In the Academic test, candidates have to read three long texts. These texts may vary from discursive and analytical to descriptive and factual. Texts are extracts from newspapers, books, magazines and journals. Details for Academic Reading in IELTS Reading Test are given in the table below:
|IELTS Reading Test: Academic Test Exam Pattern|
|No. of Questions||40|
|No. of Marks||1 * 40 = 40|
IELTS Reading Test for General Training
In the IELTS General test, the text will be extracted from materials which you are likely to encounter on a daily basis in an English-speaking environment. The text will be taken from books, magazines, notices, company handbooks, newspapers, advertisements and guidelines. The details of IELTS Reading Test for General Test is given below.
|IELTS Reading Test: General Training Test Exam Pattern|
|No. of sections||3|
|No. of Questions||40|
|No. of Marks||1 * 40 = 40|
IELTS Writing Test
Just like reading test IELTS Writing test is different for Academic Test and General Test. Details for these tests are given below.
In the IELTS Writing Test of Academic test, candidates have to write about topics of general interests. These are suitable for candidates who are entering postgraduate, undergraduate or seeking professional registration. IELTS Writing Test pattern for Academic test is given below:
|IELTS Writing Test: Academic Test Exam Pattern|
|Number of Tasks||2|
|Task 1||Describe the visual information|
|Task 2||Respond to a point of view or an argument or a problem|
General Training Writing
In the General Training Test, contents are of general interest which candidates can come across. IELTS Writing Test pattern is given below.
|IELTS Writing Test: General Training Test Exam Pattern|
|No. of Questions||2|
|No. of Tasks||2|
|Task 1 Assessed on||
|Task 2 Assessed on||
Candidates can register for IELTS throughout the year as IELTS exam is conducted up to 48 times a year. But candidates will have to register three to four months before IELTS exam date on which they want to appear.
How to apply for IELTS?
Once you visit the official website, it will take only a few steps to register and choose IELTS exam dates.
Know your test centre: Search for a test centre that is present near your locality or one that is closer to where you live.
Know your test: Find out the purpose of taking the test and choose the type of test accordingly.
Once you have decided which test to take and on which centre you are taking, you can follow the steps given below to apply for the exam:
- Step 1: Read instructions for candidates.
- Step 2: Choose the type of test.
- Step 3: Check for IELTS exam dates.
- Step 4: Register and complete the payment.
The IELTS registration can be done through both online and offline. The step by step process to be followed for online registration has been mentioned above.
Note: Three tests (Listening, Reading and Writing) will be completed on the same day. IELTS Speaking test may be offered on the same day or up to a week before or after the main test day.
IELTS Application Form
Identity Card: Candidates have to use their name as on Identity Card which they will be producing on IELTS Test Centre.
IELTS Fee: Candidate has to pay an exam fee for IELTS which in India is INR 13,250.
Payment: Registered candidates can pay the fee online or by demand draft or by cash.
- Online Mode Payment: Candidates can pay IELTS Exam fee with their Credit Card / Debit Card / Net Banking / Payment Wallets. They accept debit cards which are Visa, Visa Electron, and Master Card.
- Offline Mode Payment: Demand Draft (should be made to British Council and payable at New Delhi) / Cash (Visit nearest ICICI bank with payment slip to pay by cash). Candidates paying by ICICI deposit slip or demand draft must courier these documents.
Documents required for IELTS Exam
Documents required while filling IELTS application form Details are given below.
- Passport: Candidates can scan the first and last page of their passport to upload it while filling the Application form. (Optional)
- Format: File format should be either JPG or JPEG or PNG or PDF. Size of the image should not exceed 1 MB.
IELTS Exam Centres in India
There are three conducting bodies of IELTS, IDP: Australia, British Council and Cambridge English Assesment. IDP and British Council Conduct IELTS in India in 78 locations out of which 40 belongs to British Council and 30 to IDP. Various IDP Centre along with their city is given in the table below:
|Ahmedabad||British Council test location IDP Education|
|Amritsar||IDP Education British Council test location|
|Anand||IDP Education British Council test location|
|Angamaly||IDP Education British Council test location|
|Bengaluru||IDP Education British Council test location|
|Bhatinda||IDP Education British Council test location|
|Bhopal||IDP Education British Council test location|
|Bhubaneshwar||British Council test location|
|Calicut||IDP Education British Council test location|
|Chandigarh||IDP Education British Council test location|
|Chennai||IDP Education British Council test location|
|Coimbatore||IDP Education British Council test location|
|Goa||British Council test location|
|Gurgaon||IDP Education British Council test location|
|Guwahati||British Council test location|
|Hyderabad||IDP Education British Council test location|
|Jaipur||IDP Education British Council test location|
|Jalandhar||IDP Education British Council test location|
|Kochi||IDP Education British Council test location|
|Kolkata||IDP Education British Council test location|
|Kottayam||IDP Education British Council test location|
|Lucknow||British Council test location|
|Ludhiana||IDP Education British Council test location|
|Madurai||IDP Education British Council test location|
|Mehsana||IDP Education British Council test location|
|Moga||IDP Education British Council test location|
|Mumbai||IDP Education British Council test location|
|Navi Mumbai||IDP Education British Council test location|
|New Delhi||IDP Education British Council test location|
|Noida||IDP Education British Council test location|
|Patiala||IDP Education British Council test location|
|Patna||British Council test location|
|Pune||IDP Education British Council test location|
|Raipur||British Council test location|
|Rajkot||IDP Education British Council test location|
|Ranchi||British Council test location|
|Rudrapur||IDP Education British Council test location|
|Siliguri||British Council test location|
|Surat||IDP Education British Council test location|
|Thrissur||British Council test location|
|Tiruchirappalli||IDP Education British Council test location|
|Trivandrum||IDP Education British Council test location|
|Vadodara||IDP Education British Council test location|
|Vijayawada||IDP Education British Council test location|
|Vizag||IDP Education British Council test location|
- Candidates have to bring Passport or any National Identity document to the IELTS exam centre.
- Name on the Identity Document should be same as the name of the candidate entered during IELTS registration.
The test centre will declare the IELTS Results 13 days after the test date. After Result is declared candidates will receive the test results in the form of a Test Report Form. If any irregularity is found, the candidate's test results will be cancelled. Candidates can access the work they have done during the test.
How to download IELTS Test Results?
The step-by-step procedure to download the IELTS Results is provided below:
- Visit the official website.
- Click on Results.
- Login using passport number and date of birth.
- Enter identification document number.
- Furnish more details such as Candidate number, Date of IELTS exam and Date of birth.
- IELTS Score will be displayed on the screen.
IELTS Preparation Books
While there are prefered books and materials for IELTS candidates are also advised to increase their English language proficiency. This can be done along with preparation by
- Reading English newspapers, journals and magazines.
- Listening to News on National TV channels of UK and USA.
- Preparing for the exam by reading IELTS reference books.
- Taking mock tests online and
- Among other preparation methods, trying to increase their vocabulary.
Difference between TOEFL and IELTS
TOEFL: Universities globally use TOEFL Score to measure Candidates' English Language Ability. Universities demand TOEFL score for non-native English language speakers.
IELTS: While only Universities use TOEFL Score, IELTS score is used for Universities and Professional Organisation and sometimes for Immigration Purposes.
Which one to Choose?
When you start applying for universities, you will come to know which scores are accepted in those universities. Usually, TOEFL is accepted in universities of the United States America and Canada among other Countries. And IELTS is accepted in European Universities and Organisations among other Commonwealth Countries.
The University will demand a TOEFL Score, then you can take the TOEFL Exam. Else if it demands IELTS Score, you can take the IELTS exam. Sometimes universities accept both test scores. If you are in such a situation, you can look at the following factors to decide which exam to take.
If you are comfortable with US accents then take TOEFL. Else if you are comfortable in the UK accent then take IELTS. If you wanna consider duration as a factor then TOEFL is relatively longer than IELTS. Else if you are applying for immigration then take IELTS General version. It is easier than IELTS Academic and TOEFL.
Q. What kind of questions are asked IELTS?
Ans. In the Exam, there will be six types of tasks. The six tasks are
- Multiple Choice,
- Plan, map and diagram labelling,
- Form, note, table, flow chart and summary,
- Sentence Completion and
- Short-answer questions.
Q. How can I Practise for IELTS?
Ans. You can practice for IELTS by following the methods given below:
- First, you have to understand the test format.
- Then you can start practising with sample test papers or questions.
- You can use official practice materials while practising.
- Plan ahead so that IELTS result can be sent to the university or organisation for which you are applying for.
- Book test on the official website.
Q. What is the eligibility for the IELTS exam?
Ans. There is no minimum eligibility for IELTS exam set by the conducting authorities. But according to guidelines, you should be at least 16 years of age and you should have a valid passport. You have to keep in mind that you should satisfy the minimum eligibility which is set by the Organisation or University you are applying for.
Q. What is 6.5 in IELTS?
Ans. IELTS Score is used to measure candidates English Language Proficiency. Under IELTS Description a 6.5 means competent user.
Q. How can I prepare for the IELTS General exam?
Ans. You can prepare for the General Exam by
- First understanding the test format
- Collecting all the study materials and books.
- Start reading English newspapers, journals and magazines.
- Start to watch News on National News Channels from native English speaking countries like U.K or U.S.A.
- Take the online test and mock tests.
- Refer to IELTS books.
All these are aimed at increasing your English Proficiency so you have to keep this in mind while preparing for the exam.
Q. Is IELTS online or paper based?
Ans. The test can be taken in both online ( computer-delivered test) or offline (Paper-based) mode.
Q. Is IELTS Exam difficult?
Ans. IELTS exam is conducted to test your English Language Proficiency. It does so by testing your four key skills areas which are Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking. If you have good skills in these areas then the exam will be easy for you.
Q. What is the fee of IELTS?
Ans. IELTS exam fee for Indian candidates as on 18th May 2019 is INR.13,250.
Q. Why is IELTS required?
Ans. IELTS Score is accepted and sometimes required for admission into various universities and Professional Organisations. It is also used when a non-native English speaker wants to work in an Organisation and for immigration into a country which has English Environment.
Q. How can I score well in IELTS?
Ans. You can score well in the exam by improving the skill areas which is tested in IELTS. These four key skill areas are Writing, Reading, Speaking and listening.