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Sitting the test

  • Where can you sit an IELTS test?
    IELTS has more than 500 test centres in over 120 countries around the world.

  • What is the test format?
    The test has four sections – Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. Candidates must sit all four sections to receive a test result.

  • What is the difference between an Academic and a General Training test?

  1. There is a choice between the Academic and the General Training test in the Reading and Writing modules.
  2. The Academic module assesses whether a candidate is ready to study or train in English at an undergraduate or postgraduate level. Admission to undergraduate and postgraduate courses is based on the results of these modules.
  3. The General Training module is designed to test basic survival skills in a broad social and educational context. General Training is suitable for candidates who plan to complete their secondary education in an English-speaking country, undertake work experience or training programs, or for immigration requirements to Australia, Canada and New Zealand.
  • How is the test administered?
    Every aspect of the test is subject to the highest quality controls, security procedures and integrity management practices. All test centres follow the same code of practice and IELTS protocols.

Test development

  • Who creates the questions for the IELTS test?
    International teams of writers contribute to IELTS test materials and ongoing research is continually conducted to ensure that IELTS remains fair and unbiased. Test writers from different English-speaking countries develop IELTS content so it reflects real-life situations in a variety of countries.

  • Who owns IELTS?
    IELTS is jointly owned by the British Council,

    IDP: IELTS Australia and
    University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations.

Test scores

  • How is the IELTS test marked?
    IELTS uses a unique nine-point scoring system to measure and report test scores in a consistent manner. Candidates receive scores for each language skill (listening, reading, writing and speaking) and an overall band score on a band scale from one to nine.

  • When do candidates receive their test scores?
    Test results are available to candidates 13 calendar days after completing the test. A Test Report Form is posted to each candidate.

  • For how long is an IELTS test score valid?
    IELTS scores are valid for two years.

Using IELTS scores

  • Who sets the pass standards for IELTS?
    Each organisation which recognises the IELTS test sets the level to meet their individual requirements. Organisations and institutions can simply add and update their IELTS score requirements.

  • Which countries recognise IELTS?
    IELTS is recognised in 121 countries by more than 6000 institutions, government departments, professional associations and other organisations. IELTS is the only internationally owned and globally recognised assessment of English language proficiency.

  • Which institutions use IELTS?
    More than 6000 institutions, government agencies, professional associations and other organisations use IELTS for their English language requirements.

Security and reliability

What measures are in place to guarantee IELTS’ security?
Rigorous processes are applied when producing test materials to ensure that every version of the test is of a comparable level of difficulty. This means that IELTS results are consistent wherever and whenever candidates take the test.

Test markers are tested every two years to retain their certification and are regularly monitored and evaluated.



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