IELTS - International English Language Testing System

What is IELTS (International English Language Testing System)?
  • The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is a test that measures the language proficiency of people who want to study or work in environments where English is used as a language of communication. An easy-to-use 9-band scale clearly identifies proficiency level, from non-user (band score 1) through to expert (band score 9).

  • IELTS is available in two test formats – Academic or General Training – and provides a valid and accurate assessment of the four language skills: listening, reading, writing and speaking.

    1. The IELTS Academic test is for people applying for higher education or professional registration in an English speaking environment. It reflects some of the features of academic language and assesses whether you are ready to begin studying or training. This approach is widely supported by the institutions that recognise IELTS.

    2. The IELTS General Training test is for those who are going to English speaking countries for secondary education, work experience or training programs. It is also a requirement for migration to Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK. The test focuses on basic survival skills in broad social and workplace contexts.

  • IELTS is a requirement for skilled migration and permanent residency in many English-speaking countries such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK.

  • IELTS is not recommended for candidates under the age of 16.

  • It is eligible for 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.
Application Fees
  • In India, the fee is Rs.11300, payable at the time of registration.
  • You can pay INR by means of a Nationalized bank draft payable to the British Council.
    • Candidates who request a postponement or cancellation of their test within 5 weeks of the test date will normally be charged the full fee unless they are able to provide appropriate medical evidence to support their request within 5 days of the test date.
    • For Indian:
      1. If a candidates wishes to transfer the test date then the candidate will have to pay Rs.1,900/- as transfer fee.
      2. If a candidate wishes to cancel the test date then there will be a deduction of Rs.1,900/- from the test fee and the balance is refunded to the candidate.
      3. Candidates who request for a cancellation of their registration more than 5 weeks prior to the test date will receive a refund of Rs.5,700/- (75% of the test fee).

TOEFL Syllabus
Section Time Limit Activity
Reading 60 minutes
  • The Reading component consists of 40 questions, designed to test a wide range of reading skills. These include reading for gist, reading for main ideas, reading for detail, skimming, understanding logical argument and recognising writers' opinions, attitudes and purpose.
  • IELTS Academic test - this includes three long texts which range from the descriptive and factual to the discursive and analytical. These are taken from books, journals, magazines and newspapers. They have been selected for a non-specialist audience but are appropriate for people entering university courses or seeking professional registration.
  • IELTS General Training test - this includes extracts from books, magazines, newspapers, notices, advertisements, company handbooks and guidelines. These are materials you are likely to encounter on a daily basis in an English-speaking environment.
Listening 30 minutes
  • You will listen to four recordings of native English speakers and then write your answers to a series of questions.
    • Recording 1 – a conversation between two people set in an everyday social context.
    • Recording 2 - a monologue set in an everyday social context, e.g. a speech about local facilities.
    • Recording 3 – a conversation between up to four people set in an educational or training context, e.g. a university tutor and a student discussing an assignment.
    • Recording 4 - a monologue on an academic subject, e.g. a university lecture.
  • Assessors will be looking for evidence of your ability to understand the main ideas and detailed factual information, the opinions and attitudes of speakers, the purpose of an utterance and evidence of your ability to follow the development of ideas.
Speaking 11–14 minutes
  • The speaking component assesses your use of spoken English. Every test is recorded.
    • Part 1 - the examiner will ask you general questions about yourself and a range of familiar topics, such as home, family, work, studies and interests. This part lasts between four and five minutes.
    • Part 2 - you will be given a card which asks you to talk about a particular topic. You will have one minute to prepare before speaking for up to two minutes. The examiner will then ask one or two questions on the same topic.
    • Part 3 - you will be asked further questions about the topic in Part 2. These will give you the opportunity to discuss more abstract ideas and issues. This part of the test lasts between four and five minutes.
Writing 60 minutes

IELTS Academic test

  • Topics are of general interest to, and suitable for, test takers entering undergraduate and postgraduate studies or seeking professional registration. There are two tasks:
    1. Task 1 - you will be presented with a graph, table, chart or diagram and asked to describe, summarise or explain the information in your own words. You may be asked to describe and explain data, describe the stages of a process, how something works or describe an object or event.
    2. Task 2 - you will be asked to write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem. Responses to both tasks must be in a formal style.

IELTS General Training

  • Topics are of general interest. There are two tasks:
    1. Task 1 - you will be presented with a situation and asked to write a letter requesting information, or explaining the situation. The letter may be personal, semi-formal or formal in style.
    2. Task 2 - you will be asked to write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem. The essay can be fairly personal in style.