What is IELTS?
The IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is a standardized test taken by those for whom English is not their native language. It is one of the majorly accepted tests for Bachelor’s, Master’s, and PhD programs in schools where English is the primary language of teaching.
The International English Language Testing System is a test conducted jointly by the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge English Language Assessment to test the English proficiency of people who wish to study or work in countries where the main language of communication is English. It is conducted in more than 1000 locations worldwide and is accepted by more than 9000 organizations in 145 countries as a certificate of English proficiency of students coming from countries where English is not the first language of communication.
In IELTS, there are two types of tests, the Academic test and the General Training test. Usually, schools ask you to submit the Academic test as the test is designed for prospective university students. Between the two tests, the differences are that the Reading and Writing sections cover different material. The Listening and Speaking sections are the same for both tests.
IELTS Test Format
This test consists of 4 components, which are listening, reading, writing, speaking, adding up to 2 hours 45 minutes.
Listening: In 30 minutes, students have to listen to 4 recordings and then answer follow up questions.
- Recording 1: a short conversation between two people on a casual topic.
- Recording 2: one person speaking (a monologue) in a social context.
- Recording 3: a group conversation based on an educational topic.
- Recording 4: a monologue on an academic subject.
Reading: There are three sections consisting of passages of different types and lengths. Along with these, students will have 60 minutes to answer questions consisting of multiple choice questions, labeling diagrams, short-answer questions, matching headings with information. Marks will be deducted for incorrect spelling and grammar, so be careful!
Writing: This section is split into 2 tasks, for 60 minutes total. In both tasks, the student should reach the word count using full sentences, and relate to the topic. There are penalties if these are not followed.
- Task 1: The student must describe a chart, graph, or table presented to them.
- Task 2: The student is provided with a prompt and will be required to evaluate it, provide an opinion or a solution, or challenge the idea.
Speaking: This section can be done within a week before or after taking the paper-based test. It runs between 11 and 14 minutes, and works like a face-to-face interview. There are three sections:
- Section I: Introduction (4-5 min), where the student introduces himself/herself, talks about family, studies, work, hobbies. The examiner could ask questions about future plans, current events, and news.
- Section II: Topic (3-4 min), the student is given one particular topic to talk about. The student has 1 minute to prepare, then must speak for about 2 minutes about the topic.
- Section III: Discussion, where the examiner can ask follow up questions about the topic, and wind down the assessment.
Understanding IELTS Band Scores
Each section will have its own score, which will then be averaged and rounded for the Overall Band Score. For this, there is no pass or fail, the score ranges from 0 to 9. A 0 signifies that the student did not attempt the test, while a 9 shows that the student has full command over the language, and is completely confident in using it.
The full score report with each section’s score releases 2 weeks after the test date. Scores are valid for two years.
How To Apply?
Applying for the test is easy. You have to fill the online application form, fill all the details mentioned and pay the fees. You’ll need to provide the details of your passport and also attach copies of your photograph and identity card.
IELTS Exam Online Fees
The fee to be paid when registering for this test is INR 12,650.