IELTS stands for International English Language Test System. It is an international standardized test for non-native English language speakers to assess their English language proficiency. This test is managed by British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge Assessment English, jointly. It is one of the major English language test in the world, and others being the TOEFL, TOEIC etc. It is accepted by British, Irish, Australian, Canadian, and New Zealand based academic institutions, over 3000 institutions in US and various other professional organizations around the world.
Features of IELTS
IELTS’s academic and training are designed in the way to cover full range of ability from non-speaker to expert one. The difference between academic and general training based on content, context and purpose of the tasks. IELTS has following features both in academic and general training sections:
- Test for listen, read, write and speak in English.
- Speaking module conducted in the form of one-to-one interview with examiner.
- Various accent and writing styles have been presented in order to minimize linguistic bias. In the listening section 80% of the accents is British, New Zealander, Australian and others only 20%.
- Cambridge English Language Assessment Experts developed IELTS, though items inputted from around the world.
- For each English Language sub-skills there are band scores. This band scale ranging from 0 to 9, where 0 stands for test taker did not attempt the test and 9 means expert user.
Structure of the Test
The IELTS course duration is one month. There are four parts of this test.
- Listening – 30 mins. + 10 mins. to transfer
- Reading – 60 mins.
- Writing – 60 mins
- Speaking – 10 to 15 mins
The total time taken in this test is 2 hours 45 minutes. Though listening, reading and writing completed in one sitting, but the speaking test part taken individually and may be some other time. In IELTS listening and speaking tests are same for all the test takers, but the reading and writing parts differ depending on test takers purpose of taking IELTS, like whether he is taking academic or general training.
Modules of the Test
IELTS has two modules:
- Academic module – If anyone is planning to attend university for an undergraduate or postgraduate degree or he wants to work with a professional organisation, he will need to take this IELTS Academic test.
- General Training module – For studying courses under degree level or official training or if anyone is intend to emigrate to an English-speaking country, IELTS General Training will provide him with the language skills he will needs to participate fully in his country of choice.
IELTS is the only secure English language test approved by UKVI or United Kingdom Visas and Immigration for permitting visas to the customers applying both inside or outside of the UK. IELTS also meets the requirement of immigration authority of Australia, Canada, New Zealand. Both IELTS Academic and General Training meet the specification of UK Home Office. When using IELTS as part of a UKVI application, one needs to take the test in a secure IELTS test centre, which has been approved for the purpose he is having, by the UK Government.