IELTS - International English Language Testing System
More than 10,000 educational institutions, professional associations, employers and governments in 140 countries recognize the International English Language Testing Systems( IELTS) for entry into academic institutions and employment. IELTS is the world's most popular high stake test for English language, accepted for work, study and migration purposes. In view of growing popularity of the exam and increasing number of students appearing for IELTS exam every year, we aim to give the aspirants, an insight into the IELTS exam pattern to bring more clarity and help them achieve their dream of studying abroad or migrating.
IELTS is jointly managed by the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge Assessment English. It is an international standardized test for assessing English language proficiency of non-native English language speakers.
Versions of IELTS
There are two versions or types of IELTS test. One is general and the other is Academic. Aspirants need not appear for both the versions. They will have to rather opt for the version that would be more suitable considering their purpose of going abroad.
Both the versions have the same general format. This points towards the fact that all the skills of the aspirants namely listening, reading, writing and speaking will be assessed separately irrespective of the version aspirants are appearing for.
General IELTS -
This test lays emphasis on assessing the aspirant's basic survival skills in social and workplace contexts. Aspirants planning to migrate to English speaking country for doing job or any other reasons must take this exam.
This focuses on figuring out whether aspirants are ready to pursue their studies in English speaking country. If students are planning to do their studies in English speaking country, they should take Academic ILETS. The level of their studies will have no effect. So, whether students have intentions to join undergraduate program or postgraduate program, Academic will be appropriate for them.
Both the test have four sections namely listening, reading, writing and speaking.
In listening section, the aspirants have to answer a series of questions on the basis of a recording that is played once only.
While, the reading section of General IELTS covers questions on topics relating to everyday life in English speaking country or work-related issues., Academic IELTS, on the other hand, covers topics of general interest appropriate for students entering undergraduate, postgraduate or seeking professional registration. The texts that appear in the sections are authentic and are taken from journals, books, magazines or newspapers etc.
Writing test will vary for both general and academic. In general test, the aspirant will be asked to write a few styles of letters. Whereas, in an academic test, the aspirant will be required to write a wide variety of charts, processes, maps. He will also be required to explain a data describing an object or event etc.
Speaking test requires aspirants to talk to a certified examiner to help the examiner assess a number of skills like the ability to communicate properly, express ideas and justify opinions on everyday topics and experiences etc. The subject matter of speaking test for both general and academic IELTS would remain same.
Is format different or similar?
Each aspirant will take the same listening and speaking section irrespective of the version he is appearing for. However, the subject matter of reading and writing sections will be different. In General IELTS, questions are based on day to day life aspects. and in Academic IELTS questions are more analytical.
Duration of exam
Listening 30 Minutes
Reading 60 Minutes
Writing 60 Minutes
Speaking 11 -14 Minutes
The total duration of IELTS exam is 2 hours and 45 minutes. Listening, reading and writing sections are completed on the same day while speaking section may take up to one week and is completed on the day other than those fixed for remaining three sections.
IELTS score and its validity
All the aspirants are issued result in the form of bands. The band scale goes up to nine, one being the lowest and nine being the expert. IELTS result reflects score for each section and a total band in whole IELTS exam. The score is valid for a period of two years.
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