The International English Language Testing System is designed to assess the language ability of candidates who need to study or work where English is the language of communication and instruction. It covers four basic language skills – listening, reading, writing and speaking. IELTS is managed by three reputable, international organizations - British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and the University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations (Cambridge ESOL).
IELTS scores almost always range from 1 to 9. Each individual IELTS Skill (Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking) gets a band score in this range. You also get an overall band score for your whole test. This “composite” score is the average of your individual IELTS scores, and is meant to represent your overall English ability.
The total duration is 2 hours 45 minutes. The Listening, Reading and Writing tests are done in one sitting. The Speaking test may be on the same day or up to seven days before or after the other tests.
IELTS scores are valid for 2 years.
Formats of the IELTS Test
There are two formats of the test – Academic and General Training.
Academic – Institutions of Higher and Further Education
General Training – for school, work or migration
- The General Training format focuses on basic survival skills in broad social and workplace contexts. It is typically for those who are going to English-speaking countries to do secondary education, work experience or training programs.