IELTS Overview

IELTS (The International English Language Testing System) examination can be taken in over 100 different countries in the world. It is primarily designed to assess the readiness of candidates to study or train in further or higher education courses held in English at college or university.

The examination takes 2 hours and 45 minutes to complete, and consists of four Sub-tests in the skills of listening, reading, writing and speaking.

IELTS Test Modules:

There are two IELTS test modules available –

  1. The Academic Module and the
  2. General Training Module.

The results of the Academic Module may be used to determine a candidate’s suitability for study at undergraduate or postgraduate level.

The General Training Module is suitable for candidates wishing to continue their studies at diploma level only. The General Training Module is also used for immigration purposes to Australia or New Zealand, and for students who wish to complete their secondary education in an English-speaking country.

The General Training Reading and Writing Sub-tests are less demanding than the corresponding Academic Module Sub-tests, but the Listening and Speaking Sub-tests are the same for both modules.

It does not matter what subject you are going to study in the future – or have studied in the past – all students taking the desired module do the same test. You will not be tested on your specific knowledge of a subject; only your English language skills are assessed.

You may write on the question papers, but you may not take the question papers from the examination room. All your answers must be written on the Answer Sheet provided.

You can apply to take the IELTS examination at any IELTS Administration Centre. For further details of your nearest centre, refer to the official IELTS website on the Internet:

At certain IELTS Administration Centres it is possible to choose between a computerised version of the Listening, Reading and Writing Sub-tests (CBIELTS) and the usual paper-based version.

Is There Any Pass Mark?

You cannot pass or fail the IELTS examination. The university or college that you wish to enter will inform you of the overall IELTS Band Score they require for enrolment in the particular course you wish to study. Note that you may also need to achieve a minimum score in a particular Sub-test (often the Writing Sub-test).

You will be given a mark between 0 and 9 for each of the 4 Sub-tests (there are no half marks in the Writing and Speaking Sub-tests). Your Overall Band Score is an average of the 4 Subtest Band Scores, with fractional scores rounding up or down to the nearest x.0 or x.5 score (with x.25 and x.75 rounding up.)

Therefore, if you score 6.5 in the Listening Sub-test

  • 5 in the Reading Sub-test
  • 7 in the Writing Sub-test
  • and 6 in the Speaking Sub-test

Your total score is 24.5.

By averaging the scores (dividing the total score 24.5 by 4) in the example above, you would achieve an Overall Band Score of 6.0 (which is 6.125 rounded down).

Results And Number Of Attempts:

You will usually receive your results within two weeks of the date of your test. If you want to take the examination again, you must wait a minimum of three months, yet there is no limit to the number of times you can sit for the IELTS examination.

About Haja

Software Engineer by profession, Author and the Founder of "bench3" you can connect with me on Twitter , Facebook and also on Google+


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