The IELTS (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 is a compulsory exam for admission into universities and training programs in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. Did you know that it has become a must for those of you who wish to get a student visa to Australia? The tests are administered at centers throughout the world. Internationally, universities, professional bodies, government agencies and immigration authorities of countries like Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Australia recognize the tests.
- IELTS is not recommended for candidates under the age of 16.
- It is eligible for students
- Students who are applying to study in UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and US.
- Medical professionals planning to work or follow further study in the UK, Australia or US.
- People planning to emigrate to Canada, Australia or New Zealand.
There are two formats of the test – Academic and General training which includes four compulsory sections – Listening, reading, writing and speaking.
The Academic format is, broadly speaking, for those who want to study or train in an English-speaking university or Institutions of Higher and Further Education. Admission to undergraduate and postgraduate courses is based on the results of the Academic test.
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 pursue secondary education, training programs or gain work experience. People migrating to Australia, Canada and New Zealand must sit the General Training test.
It should be noted that certain professions require an Academic test result for registration and migration purposes. All candidates take the same Listening and Speaking modules but different Reading and Writing modules.
IELTS is the International English Language Testing System, the world’s proven English language test. It was one of the pioneers of four skills English language testing over 25 years ago, and continues to set the standard for English language testing today. IELTS is accepted as evidence of English language proficiency by over 9,000 organizations worldwide. Last year, more than 2.2 million tests were taken globally. IELTS is recognized as a secure, valid and reliable indicator of true-to-life ability to communicate in English for education, immigration and professional accreditation.
There are up to 48 test dates available per year. Each test centre offers tests up to four times a month depending on local demand. There used to be a minimum time limit of 90 days before which a person was not allowed to retake the test. However this restriction has been withdrawn and currently there is no limit for applicants to retake the test.
There is no pass or fail in IELTS. Candidates are graded on their performance in the test, using scores from 1 to 9 for each part of the test – Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. Your results from the four parts then produce an Overall Band Score.
This unique 9-band system measures scores in a consistent manner – wherever and whenever the test is taken. It is internationally recognized and understood, giving you a reliable international currency.
Each band corresponds to a level of English competence. All parts of the test and the Overall Band Score can be reported in whole and half bands, eg 6.5, 7.0, 7.5, 8.0.
Expert user: has fully operational command of the language: appropriate, accurate and fluent with complete understanding.
Very good user: has fully operational command of the language with only occasional unsystematic inaccuracies and. Misunderstandings may occur in unfamiliar situations. However, handles complex detailed argumentation well.
Good user: has operational command of the language, though with occasional inaccuracies, inappropriacies and misunderstandings in some situations. Generally handles complex language well and understands detailed reasoning.
Competent user: has generally effective command of the language despite some inaccuracies, inappropriacies and misunderstandings. Can use and understand fairly complex language, particularly in familiar situations.
Modest user: has partial command of the language, coping with overall meaning in most situations, though is likely to make many mistakes. Should be able to handle basic communication in own field.
Limited user: basic competence is limited to familiar situations. Have frequent problems in understanding and expression. Unable to use complex language.
Extremely limited user: conveys and understands only general meaning in very familiar situations. Frequent breakdowns in communication occur.
Intermittent user: no real communication is possible except for the most basic information using isolated words or short formulae in familiar situations and to meet immediate needs. Has great difficulty understanding spoken and written English.
Non-user: essentially has no ability to use the language beyond possibly a few isolated words.
Did not attempt the test: No assessable information provided