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What is IELTS

Created by Admin In IELTS General 3 Sep 2022

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) was developed to help you if you need to work, study, or relocate in a nation where English is the primary language. The USA, UK, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and other countries are included in this.

During the test, your speaking, reading, and writing skills in English will be assessed. IELTS scores range from 1 to 9 on a scale.

IELTS score scale

Band scoreSkill level Description 
9Expert userThe exam taker is proficient in the language in all practical senses. Their usage of English is proper, correct, and fluent, demonstrating full comprehension.
8Very good userThe test-taker has complete command of the language, with the exception of a few sporadic unsystematic errors and incorrect usage. In unfamiliar circumstances, they could misinterpret some information. They are adept at handling intricate and elaborate argumentation.
7Good userAlthough there are occasionally errors, incorrect usage, and misinterpretations in certain contexts, the test-taker has a functional grasp of the language. They typically grasp intricate thinking and can manage sophisticated language well.
6Competent userDespite errors, improper usage, and misunderstandings, the test-taker has a strong mastery of the language. In familiar settings, they can use and comprehend pretty complex language.
5Modest userDespite having a limited grasp of the language, the test taker typically understands the overall meaning in most circumstances. They ought to be competent in their particular industry's fundamental communication.
4Limited userBasic competency is restricted to scenarios that the test-taker is familiar with. They usually exhibit comprehension and communication issues. They are unable to speak in sophisticated sentences.
3Extremely limited userIn extremely familiar circumstances, the test taker can only express and comprehend generic meaning. Communication breakdowns happen frequently.
2Intermittent userThe exam taker finds it extremely challenging to comprehend both spoken and written English.
1Non-userExcept for a few isolated words, the test-taker is unable to use the language.
0Did not attempt the testThe exam taker did not provide any answers.

What IELTS score do I need?

The higher you can score in your IELTS reflects a better understanding and ability to communicate in English. Specific IELTS score requirements will apply to each immigration body, university, workplace, or institution. Whether you want to work or study in the country will determine the score you need.

How IELTS is Developed

The purpose of IELTS is to offer a fair and reliable evaluation of English language skills.

Language experts from the UK, the USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and Canada create the test questions. The test is divided into four categories: speaking, writing, reading, and listening.

The IELTS test covers real-world scenarios. It treats exam takers from all backgrounds equally and impartially.

IELTS test types

IELTS test is of two types: Academic and General Training. Both exams evaluate your proficiency in speaking, reading, writing, and listening in English.

IELTS Academic

For people wishing to attend a university or environment where English is the primary language, the IELTS Academic test is appropriate (higher education). For professional registration, you can also take IELTS Academic. The exam gauges your readiness to start studying in English. It uses terminology that is common in academic contexts. You can take the IELTS Academic on paper, online, at home, or at another appropriate venue.

IELTS General Training

IELTS General Training is appropriate for applicants who want to study at the degree level. This includes a school or college with an English-speaking population. It may also be used for internships or other forms of employment training. Also necessary for immigration to Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the UK is IELTS General Training. The test covers common English language abilities that you'll need in social and professional settings. IELTS General Training is only offered for computer and paper testing.

Tests you can take remotely

IELTS Online 

IELTS Online is an additional IELTS Academic testing option. It is identical to IELTS in a test center in terms of format, test content, time, and scoring guidelines. You can take the IELTS Online exam from the comfort of your home or another private location with a reliable internet connection. The Speaking test is conducted via an online video chat with a certified IELTS Examiner.

How to register

It is quick and simple to register for your IELTS exam.

Step 1: Locate the IELTS test center closest to you or register online.More than 1,600 IELTS test centers are spread across more than 140 nations. Locate the testing facility that is closest to you.With IELTS Online, you can now take your test in the privacy of your home or any location of your choosing.

Step 2: Sign up for the IELTS exam.
You can sign up and pay for the test online or download an application to print, fill out, and submit to your preferred test center.
You must present a copy of your legitimate identification document. On the day of your test, you will also need to produce the same form of identification.

Step 3: You've scheduled your IELTS exam.
Once your application is processed, your test center will email you to confirm the date and time of your exam if you scheduled IELTS on paper or online. Your Speaking test may be prepared for a different day, and your test center will confirm that too. Your Speaking exam will typically be scheduled before your other tests if you registered for IELTS online. You will also receive an email confirming your test registration.

IELTS official practice test

With an approved IELTS practice test, you can gauge your readiness for the test. An official practice test that is marked online is called IELTS Progress Check. Your overall band score and the individual band scores for each test area will be displayed to you. It will offer advice on how to improve certain areas.

Exam structure: listening (30 minutes)

After listening to four recordings of fluent English speakers, you will be asked to answer a series of questions in writing.

Recording 1, a two-person conversation occurs in a typical social environment.

Recording 2, a monologue presented in a typical social environment, such as a speech on neighborhood amenities.

Recording 3, a conversation between up to four individuals taking place in an educational or training situation, such as an academic advisor and a student discussing a task.

Recording 4 is a monologue about a scholarly topic, such as a university lecture.

Examiners are going to be searching for proof that you can understand the main ideas and particular factual information, the viewpoints and attitudes of speakers, the aim of an utterance, and proof that you can follow the evolution of ideas.

IELTS Listening summary

Paper format: There are ten questions in each of the four sections. The answers to the questions are formatted to appear in the order they are heard in the audio.

The first two sections deal with scenarios in standard social environments. There is a dialogue between two speakers in Part 1 (for instance, a discussion of trip plans), then a monologue in Part 2. (for example, a speech about local facilities). The latter two sections cover scenarios that occur in training and educational settings. Part 3 is a conversation between the two primary speakers (for instance, two college students debating under the guidance of a professor), and Part 4 features a monologue on a subject related to academics.

You only hear the recordings once. Various accents are represented, including British, Australian, New Zealand, American, and Canadian.

30 minutes or such is the running time (plus 10 minutes of transfer time).

40 questions total

Types of tasks Multiple choice, matching, plan/map/diagram labeling, form/note/table/flow-chart/summary completion, and sentence completion are just a few of the question types used.

Answering: Test-takers record their responses to the questions as they listen, and they have 10 minutes at the end of the exam to transfer those responses to an answer sheet. When writing responses on the answer sheet, be careful because poor spelling and grammar will result in penalties.

Marks: Each question has a single point.


IELTS detailed listening

A thorough analysis of the paper with references to related sources.

Multiple-choice task type 1

Format and nature of the task: A question is followed by three potential responses in multiple-choice tasks, or a sentence's first word is followed by three different options to finish the sentence. The only valid response is one of the following: A, B, or C.

Test takers may occasionally be given a lengthier list of options and instructed to select more than one. In this situation, they should carefully examine the question to see how many replies are needed.

The focus of the task: A variety of skills are tested using multiple choice questions. It could be necessary for test-takers to have a thorough understanding of some details or a general comprehension of the listening text's significant ideas.

Number of queries: Variable

Task class 2 - Comparing

Task type and format: Examinees must match a set of selections on the question paper to a numbered list of items from the listening text. The list of choices could be any sort of criteria.

The focus of the task: Matching tests a test taker's ability to listen carefully and understand the information shared in a conversation about a common subject, such as the various kinds of hotel or guest home accommodations. Additionally, it evaluates a person's capacity for conversational comprehension. Additionally, it can be used to judge how well test-takers can identify links and correlations among the data in the listening text.
Number of inquiries: Variable

Task emphasis: This job evaluates the candidate's capacity to comprehend, for instance, a place description and connect it to a visual representation. This may entail understanding words communicating spatial connections and directions (such as "straight on/through the far door").
Number of queries: Variable
Form, note, table, flow-chart, and summary completion for task type 4
Type of task and format: Test-takers must complete the blanks in an outline of all or a portion of the listening text. The important points/facts in the text will be the emphasis of the outline. It could be:

a form: frequently used to record factual information like names
a set of notes, which can be used to summarise any kind of information by illustrating how various elements link to one another through layout 

a table: used to summarise data relating to distinct categories, such as place/time/price,
A flowchart summarises a process with distinct stages and features arrows to indicate the process's direction.

The word limit specified in the instructions may require test takers to choose their responses from a list on the question paper or recognize the missing words from the recording. The words from the audio do not need to be modified in any way by test-takers.

The number of words or numbers that should be used to fill the gaps will vary. Therefore, test takers should carefully study the directions. A word restriction is specified, such as "NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER." Test-takers are penalized for exceeding the word limit. Therefore they should carefully review the word limit for each activity. Contracted words won't be put to the test. Words with hyphens count as separate words.

Task focus: This concentrates on the key points that a listener would naturally take down in a scenario like this.
Number of queries: Variable

Task class 5 - Finishing the sentence

Format and nature of the task: Readers must read a series of phrases that summarise the most critical details from the entire listening passage or a specific section. They then use details from the listening text to fill gaps in each sentence. A word limit is specified, such as "NO MORE THAN ONE WORD AND/OR A NUMBER."

When test takers write more words than required, they are penalized. Contracted words won't be put to the test. Words with hyphens count as separate words.
Sentence completion is a task that emphasizes finding the essential details in a listening text. Examinees must comprehend causal linkages, such as cause and effect.

Number of queries: Variable

Task class Six questions with quick answers

Format and nature of the task: Test-takers must read a question and quickly compose a response utilizing details from the listening passage. A word restriction is specified, such as "NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER." When test takers write more words than required, they are penalized. Contracted words won't be put to the test. Words with hyphens count as separate words. Test takers may occasionally be asked to mention two or three points in response to a question.

Sentence completion is a task that emphasizes listening for specific information in the listening text, such as locations, costs, or timeframes.

Number of inquiries: Variable

How the IELTS Listening section is scored

Certified examiners routinely observed to verify their dependability mark the Listening test. After each answer sheet has been graded, Cambridge English reviews them.

Conversion of bands scores

For each listening exam variant, a table is created that converts scores out of 40 into the IELTS 9-band scale. Both full bands and half bands are used to report scores.

The 40-item test awards one mark for each accurate response. When writing responses on the answer sheet, be careful because poor spelling and grammar will result in penalties.

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