An IELTS exam paper

What is IELTS?

The International English Language Testing System, or IELTS, is a globally recognized examination of English language proficiency for people who are non-native English speakers.

About the IELTS test

IELTS is honored by the majority of Australian, British, Canadian, European and New Zealand academic organisations, by more than 3,000 American universities and colleges, and by different corporate and business establishments all over the world.

It is jointly owned and managed by the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge.


The test result is valid for 24 months.

Institutions do not consider IELTS test results older than two years, unless the test takers prove that they have maintained their level of language proficiency.


There is actually NO requisite score to pass the IELTS test. The Test Report Form is given to all IELTS candidates after taking the test with a score from "Band 1" ("non-user") to "Band 9" ("expert user"). A score of "Band 0" is given to those who do not attempt the test. Every institution has its own different band requirement.

The four parts of the IELTS test

Listening: 30 minutes

Reading: 60 minutes

Writing: 60 minutes

Speaking: 11-14 minutes

The Listening, Reading, and Writing tests are conducted and concluded in one session. The Speaking test can be taken on the same day or up to 7 days before or after the other tests.

All IELTS candidates are given the same Listening and Speaking tests, while the Reading and Writing exams vary depending on whether the test taker is taking the Academic or General Training modules.


Academic Module - to be taken by those who will study in universities and other higher education institutions, as well as by professionals such as medical doctors or nurses who wish to study or practice in English-speaking countries.

General Training Module - to be taken by those who would like to undergo non-academic training or obtain work experience or for immigration purposes.

Just recently, IELTS test partners launched a separate test known as IELTS LIFE SKILLS.

IELTS Life Skills - to be taken by those who need to prove their English speaking and listening skills at CEFR levels A1 to B1 and may be used also to apply for a ‘family of a settled person’s visa‘, indefinite leave to remain or citizenship in the UK.

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