IELTS, the International English Language Testing System, is designed to assess the language ability of people who want to study or work where English is the language of communication. IELTS is recognized and accepted by over 9,000 organizations worldwide, including universities, employers, professional bodies, immigration authorities, and other government agencies.
The IELTS exam is accepted by almost all the universities in the world. IELTS Tests are of two kinds: Academic and General. For University admissions, A candidate should write IELTS-Academic. Working Professionals who want to migrate should take IELTS-General. In India, IELTS exams are offered in pen and pencil format and CBT-based format. Both the IELTS academic and IELTS general exam cost about ₹15,500. The test results are valid for 2 years. Band score ranges from 1-9. There is no passing or failing mark.
The following bands are awarded based on a candidate’s level and expertise in the English language. For university admissions, the band scores vary on universities and visa requirements. For instance, Canadian universities ask for 6.5 overall bands and 6 in each section. The United Kingdom and Europe have a requirement of 6 overall bands. The safe score in an IELTS exam is 7 or 7.5 bands.
|Band 9: Expert user||Has fully operational command of the language: appropriate, accurate and fluent with complete understanding.|
|Band 8: Very good user||Has fully operational command of the language with only occasional unsystematic inaccuracies and inappropriate. Misunderstandings may occur in unfamiliar situations. Handles complex detailed argumentation well.|
|Band 7: Good user||Has operational command of the language, though with occasional inaccuracies, inappropriacies, and misunderstandings in some situations. Generally handles complex language well and understands detailed reasoning.|
|Band 6: Competent user||Has generally effective command of the language despite some inaccuracies, inappropriacies, and misunderstandings. Can use and understand fairly complex language, particularly in familiar situations.|
|Band 5: Modest user||Has partial command of the language, coping with overall meaning in most situations, though is likely to make many mistakes. Should be able to handle basic communication in own field.|
|Band 4: Limited user||Basic competence is limited to familiar situations. Has frequent problems with understanding and expression. Is not able to use complex language.|
|Band 3: Extremely limited user||Conveys and understands only general meaning in very familiar situations. Frequent breakdowns in communication occur.|
|Band 2: Intermittent user||No real communication is possible, except for the most basic information using isolated words or short formulae in familiar situations and to meet immediate needs. Has great difficulty understanding spoken and written English.|
The four IELTS test components are speaking, reading, writing, and listening. The Academic and General Training IELTS modules are distinct from one another. While the Reading and Writing exams are different in each module, the Speaking and Listening exams are identical in both.
|Listening||40 questions||Approximately 30 minutes (plus 10 minutes’ transfer time)|
|Reading||40 questions||60 minutes|
|Writing||2 tasks||60 minutes|
|Speaking||3 parts||11–14 minutes|
The texts were created for a general readership and were taken from books, journals, periodicals, newspapers, and online sites. All of the themes are of general interest to undergraduate and graduate students. The writings may be written in a variety of ways, such as discursive/argumentative, narrative, or descriptive. A thorough logical argument may be found in at least one text. Diagrams, graphs, and pictures may also be found in texts. When technical terms are used in texts, a brief dictionary definition is provided.
|Time allowed:||60 minutes (including transfer time)|
|Number of sections:||3|
|Number of questions:||40|
|Marking:||Each correct answer receives 1 mark. Your final score is given as a band score from 1–9 in whole or half bands, e.g. 4 or 6.5.|
There are two Writing tasks and BOTH must be completed.
In Task 1, you must describe some visual data (a graph, table, chart, or diagram) in your own words. You have 20 minutes to write at least 150 words.
In Task 2, you are given a viewpoint, a counterargument, or a topic to discuss. In around 40 minutes, you must compose at least 250 words.
|Time allowed:||60 minutes|
|Number of tasks:||2|
|Marking:||Task 2 contributes twice as much as Task 1 to the Writing score.|
The Speaking test is a face-to-face interview between the candidate and an examiner. The Speaking test is recorded. There are three parts to the test, and each part follows a specific pattern of tasks in order to test your speaking ability in different ways.
Certificated IELTS examiners assess your speaking performance throughout the test. There are four assessment criteria (things which the examiner thinks about when deciding what score to give you):
|Time allowed:||11–14 minutes|
|Number of sections:||3|
The paper has four parts, with ten questions in each part. The questions are in the same order as the information in the recording, so the answer to the first question will be before the answer to the second question, and so on.
|Time allowed:||Approximately 30 minutes (plus 10 minutes to transfer your answers to an answer sheet)|
|Number of sections:||4|
|Number of questions:||40|
|Marking:||Each correct answer receives 1 mark. Your final score is given as a band score in whole or half bands, e.g. 5.5 or 7.0.|
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