International English Language Testing System commonly known as IELTS is a standard language proficiency measuring test for people who wish to work, study or settle in foreign countries that have English as their first language of communication. More than 1.4 million candidates appear for the test every year for education and employment.
IELTS is accepted by most academic institutions and employers in countries like Canada, Australia, UK, New Zealand, USA, South Africa and more. IELTS has 2 modules, academic and general. The candidate can choose between both depending on what he or she is going for abroad. IELTS comprises of 4 papers, namely listening, reading, writing and speaking. The result score you get is in band format, ranging from 1 to 9. IELTS result is valid for the duration of 2 years.
Accessible and convenient
IELTS is held four times every month in more than 125 countries. Tests usually take place on Thursdays or Saturdays, making it convenient for the test takers to appear for test. A list of all IELTS test centers can be accessed here.
Test results are declared 13 days after the test takes place. IELTS Test Report shows score for individual papers (listening, reading, writing and speaking) and overall band score. At some test centers, candidates can collect their results on the 13th day and at some the results are mailed to the candidates.
Enquiries on Results
If any of the test takers is unsatisfied or unhappy with his or her result, they can apply for re-mark at the test centre where they took the test. Re-mark application must be made within six weeks from the result declaration date. The candidate can choose components for re-mark. Re-mark application has a fee and the candidate can receive a refund if the score in any component increases. It is important to keep in mind that re-marking application process can take up to 6-8 weeks.
Re – taking IELTS
Candidates can take IELTS test until they’re satisfied with their performance and score. You can register for IELTS when you are confident about your preparation. Remember that your IELTS score is result of the effort you put in preparing for the test.
Test Format and Structure
IELTS consists of four modules:
1 – LISTENING (4 sections, 40 items –30 minutes)
Each section has 10 questions. The following question types are used in the listening test ;
* Multiple choice * Flow chart completion * Matching * Short answer types * Diagram labeling * Note completion
*Form completion * Table completion * Classification * Sentence completion * Summary completion
Section 1 is a conversation in an everyday context between two people.
Section 2 is a monologue in an everyday issue.
Section 3 is a conversation in an educational context between two or more people.
Section 4 is a lecture or talk on a topic of general academic interest.
2 – READING (3 sections, 40 items- 30 minutes)
Each section has 13-14 questions and may have diagrams, graphs and illustrations. The following question types are used in the academic reading test.
*Multiple choice * Identifying information * Matching information * Flowchart completion * Matching headings
*Matching sentence endings * Diagram label completion * Short answer questions * Summary completion
The texts are of general interest and are taken from magazines, journals, books and newspaper.
3 – WRITING (2 tasks –60 minutes)
There are two tasks and it is suggested that the candidate spend about 20 minutes on TASK1 which requires them to write at least 150 words and 40 minutes on TASK 2 -250 words
Note – The assessment of TASK 2 carries more weight in marking than TASK1
TASK 1 – Candidates are expected to describe some information contained in a graph/table /pie chart/diagram/process/flow chart.
TASK 2 – Candidates have to write a short essay in response to a topic which is presented as a point of view, an argument or a problem. They are assessed on their ability to present a solution to a problem, present and justify an opinion with relevant examples.
4 – SPEAKING (3 parts – 11-14 minutes)
There are three main parts:
Part 1 – Introduction
The candidate answers general questions about himself, his home, family, job, studies, interests and a range of familiar areas.
Part 2 – Cue Card
The candidate is given a cue card with prompts and is asked to talk on a particular topic .Candidate is given one minute to prepare notes if he wishes, before speaking for between one or two minutes. After that examiner may ask one or two questions on the same topic.
Part 3 – Extended discourse
The examiner asks candidate further questions which are connected to the topic of part 2.These questions give you an opportunity to discuss more abstract issues and ideas.
Note – The whole speaking test is recorded.
9 – Expert user – Fully operational command over language, no mistakes at all and possess high level of accuracy. Can handle complex situation with complete understanding.
8 – Very good user – Desirable operational command over language, occasional unsystematic in accuracies.
7 – Good user – Possess operational command over language, occasional inaccuracies and inappropriacies.
6 – Competent user – Effective command of the language, some inaccuracies and misunderstandings, can handle language in familiar situations.
5 – Modest user – Restricted command over language, many mistakes, can handle only basic situations.