IELTS or International English Language Testing System is conducted to test English language skills for the students of non English speaking countries. It is a standardized test which is managed by University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations, British Council and IDP Education Pty Ltd. The IELTS was established in the year 1989 to maintain a standardized test for all the students.

Types of IELTS

IELTS is conducted in two versions, first being the Academic Version and the second is General Training Version.

The Academic Version is for students who want to enroll in higher institutions and professional studies such as universities or other higher educational institutes and colleges. Those who are interested in profession of medical doctors or nurses and other higher studies programs can appear for the Academic Version of IELTS

The General Training Version is for candidates who want to pursue academic training, to gain work experience or for other immigration requirements


At present there are many countries that follow IELTS to enroll students in their institutes. It is accepted by most of the institutions in United States, Britain, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. In the United States there are more than 3000 academic institutes that accept IELTS at various professional levels. Furthermore, in Australia, New Zealand and Canada, IELTS is used for immigration purposes.


The process of scoring in IELTS is different from other Standardized Tests because there are no minimum marks or points required to pass it. As a matter of fact, each candidate is scored between the band 1 and band 9, where band 1 is non user and 9 is expert user. However, each institute has its own policy and minimum score on which they admit students. A band 0 is also given to students who do not appear for the test.

It is important to note that institutes are not advised to consider reports that are older than 2 years, due to validity purpose. Thus, students should enroll themselves by a maximum time of 2 years.

Test Structure

The structure of IELTS is developed in a way to suit the candidates of different countries and cultures. Thus, a variety of writing style and accents are included in the test material to decrease bias in this procedure.

The main objective is to test the candidate's ability to listen, speak, read and write in English language. Hence, candidates need to complete these modules to achieve a band score.

Following is the duration of each module:
  • Listening has a total duration of 40 minutes.
  • Reading has duration of 60 minutes.
  • Writing has duration of 60 minutes and,
  • 11 to 15 minutes are kept for Speaking.

Band Scale

Listed below is a band scale according to which, the candidates are scored in IELTS.
  • 9 -  Expert User    
  • 8 -  Very Good User
  • 7 -  Good User
  • 6 -  Competent User  
  • 5 -  Modest User
  • 4 -  Limited User
  • 3 -  Extremely Limited User
  • 2 -  Intermittent User
  • 1 -  Non User
  • 0 -  Did not attempt the test

Test Location

IELTS is conducted in various countries across the world. At present, it is taken in 500 locations across 121 countries. Moreover, there are approximately 48 test dates available every year.    

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