IELTS is an English
Language Proficiency test that is required to be taken by non-native students for study in
countries where the medium of instruction is English. Among the popular study destinations
IELTS is accepted by universities in UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.
It has become a mandatory test for study in Australia.
cannot be granted an Australian student visa without an IELTS score, TOEFL is not accepted.
All other study
destinations either require you to take the TOEFL or IELTS. IELTS is however not accepted
by most universities in USA, the TOEFL is required for study there.
The test is conducted by the British Council. You
can contact your local British Council office to find out where your
nearest test centre is located. Most centres normally have a testing session about
once a month. You should contact the test centre to find out the date of the next test and
collect the IELTS handbook and an application form. The filled application form should be
sent back to the test centre with the test fee. You will be given a date and time of your
The British Council also runs short courses
to prepare you for IELTS. Check details about the same from your test centre.
The test results are normally made available within
two weeks of taking the test. You can also ask for more copies of your test results.
The test has different sections:
The Listening Section - Duration : 30 minutes
Academic reading/general training reading section - Duration : 60 minutes
Academic writing/general training writing section - Duration : 60 minutes
Speaking Section : Duration : 11 - 14 minutes
Total test time : 2 hours and 45 minutes
You will receive a separate Band Score. The four Band
Scores, one for each section are added together and averaged for an Overall Band Score.
Each Band has a statement giving a summary of the English at that level. There are nine
Band levels, from one (non-user) to nine (expert user).
The minimum score accepted for a course ranges from
5.0 to 7.5, depending upon courses and institutes you are applying to. The most common
requirement is a band score of 6 to 6.5.
Test Reports have a validity of two years.
You can retake the test if you donot achieve the desired score but not
before three months of the first test date.