This article on IELTS serves as an introduction for those who are new to this domain. All the important information is presented in a crisp manner to help candidates understand how the IELTS system works. TDP recommends you to visit our blog to read elaborate articles on IELTS.

What is IELTS?

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is an assessment to evaluate the language proficiency of non-native English speakers. People across the globe appear for IELTS in order to study or work in countries where English is the native language. IELTS enjoys immense popularity and is accepted by 11,000 organisations and educational institutions around the world. A good IELTS band is the gateway to world-class opportunities in leading countries like Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom and United States. IELTS is jointly owned and conducted by the British Council, IDP Education Australia and Cambridge English Language Assessment.

When and How to Apply?

IELTS is offered for aspirants four times a month and can be taken throughout the year. In India, IELTS is conducted and managed by IDP Education. The test can be booked through the official website of IDP India or by visiting the nearest IDP branch in person. Usually, this test is not recommended for those under 16 years. Another important point is at the time of applying for the test, the candidate must have his passport. IELTS can either be taken on Computer or as a Paper-based test. The candidate is free to choose the mode as per his or her convenience. Complete information about the difference between computer-based and paper-based modes is provided in our blog page.

IELTS Fee Structure

IELTS is a crucial assessment and the band that the candidate obtains determines the language proficiency level. The test approximately costs ₹15000 and the score is valid for 2 years. We recommend candidates to appear for the test after proper preparation. The decision of opting for a self-preparation or enrolling in an IELTS training course rests with the candidates based on their potential and budget. However, proper preparation will help the candidates to meet the minimum band set by the employers or higher education institutions. Unfortunately, test aspirants ignorantly tend to book the test with a very limited time frame and sometimes with zero preparation. This leads to poor band and are forced to pay the test fee once again. Hence, we advise you to book the test after proper preparation.

Types of IELTS Test

IELTS is offered in two variations: Academic and General. The IELTS Academic test aims to assess a candidate’s ability to use language in an academic setting. This test is for those interested in applying for undergraduate or postgraduate studies abroad preferably in an English speaking country. Those willing to work as a doctor, nurse, lawyer and a teacher in a professional environment are eligible to take the IELTS Academic test. Visit this link to learn more about the IELTS Academic test.

The IELTS General test aims to measure a candidate’s capability to communicate in a practical context. Those aspiring to opt for studies at high school level and people interested in enrolling in vocational programmes are eligible to give this test. Besides, people seeking migration and work opportunities abroad need to take the IELTS General test. An elaborate article highlighting the differences between these tests is available on our blog. Visit this link to learn more about the IELTS General test.

IELTS Test Format & Band Score

The modules are same for both IELTS Academic and General tests. There are four modules in each of these tests namely: Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing. The Listening and Speaking components are same for both Academic and General. However, the questions in the Reading and Writing differs accordingly. It is also important to understand that the tests are designed in such a way to test the candidates’ proficiency based on academic and workplace contexts.

The test is conducted in such a way that the Listening, Reading and Writing components are tested on the same day and the Speaking component is tested either before or after within a time-frame of seven days. The total test duration is 2 hours 45 minutes. In IELTS, scoring is done on a 9-band system. Each individual component is assessed and the scores are then averaged to the overall band score. Universities and schools have set their own minimum band score as an eligibility requirement for the courses they offer. Having a band score of 7 and above is considered good. Many universities accept an average band score of 6.5.

Author | Dr Rajesh Bojan

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