What is the IELTS test?


The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is a British examination which assesses the English language proficiency of people who want to study or work where English is used as the language of communication.

IELTS tests all four language skills: listening, reading, writing, and speaking. IELTS Speaking represents a face-to-face interview with a certified examiner. Scores are accepted by more than 10,000 institutions worldwide.

Structure and Scoring

IELTS has two versions: Academic and General Training. Everybody takes the same Listening and Speaking components, but the Reading and Writing components differ. The Listening, Reading and Writing sections of the test are taken on the same day. The Speaking part is conducted after a break on the same day as the other three sections or up to seven days earlier or later. This will depend on your test center.

1. Listening

Format: 40 questions

Topic: Listening to four recorded texts and writing answers

Time: 30 minutes

Score: 1–9

2. Reading

Format: 40 questions

Topic: Content differs between the Academic and General Training exams

Time: 60 minutes

Score: 1–9

3. Writing

Format: 2 Tasks (150-250 words)

Topic: Document description or situation explanation, argumentative essay

Time: 60 minutes

Score: 1–9

4. Speaking

Format: 3 Tasks

Topic: General questions. Talk about a specific topic. A discussion about abstract ideas and issues.

Time: 60 minutes

Score: 1–9

Overall score: 1-9

The scale corresponds to specified competences in English: 1 = non user 5 = modest user 7 = good user 9 = expert user

> Ask an expert

> Check out the experience of other test takers


Register for the test several months before the test date. The fastest way to register is online on www.ielts.org.

Testing and Score Reporting

IELTS is provided at 1,600 locations around the world. Test fees vary by country. The test score is available 13 days after the test date. Only one official copy of your score report is issued. Up to five copies of your score may be reported to institutions of your choice for free. The score is valid for two years.

Computer-delivered IELTS

The IELTS can be taken not only on paper, but also on computer. The test report form, content, timing, and structure of the test is the same whether you take the test on paper or on computer and the Speaking test is always face-to-face with a certified IELTS examiner. You can check here if the computer-delivered IELTS is available in your country.


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