What is the IELTS test?
IELTS is the internationally recognised system for assessing the English language proficiency of non-native speakers and is jointly managed by the British Council, Cambridge ESOL and IDP Education in Australia.
The IELTS test is appropriate if you are:
- A student wishing to take an undergraduate, postgraduate or doctoral degree in an English speaking country
- A professional worker from abroad taking up employment or a training programme in the UK
- A person wishing to emigrate to the USA, Canada, Australia or New Zealand.
The IELTS test has four parts - listening, reading, writing and speaking. You must complete all four parts to receive an IELTS result.
The total time for listening, reading & writing is 2 hours and 45 minutes. Speaking tests usually take place on the same afternoon and timetables are issued on the day of the exam. Speaking tests will take approximately 20 minutes.
IELTS is available in two test formats:
1. Academic - for institutions of Higher and Further Education
The Academic format is 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.
If you are a doctor or nurse, you may be required to take the Academic Test. Please check with the Medical Council or Nursing Authority in the country where you intend to work.
2. General Training - for school, work or migration
The General Training format focuses on basic language skills in a broad social and educational context. It is for those who are going to English-speaking countries to do secondary education, to gain work experience or complete training programs. People migrating to USA, Canada, Australia or New Zealand must sit the General Training test. General Training may not be sufficient for medical staff, please see note under section 1.
All candidates take the same Listening and Speaking modules but different Reading and Writing modules.
If you are unsure which test to take, please check with the receiving organisation before booking your exam.
For more information about the test, please visit the official IELTS website.