WHAT IS IELTS ?
According to Wikipedia
, IELTS™ is an international standardised test of English language proficiency for non-native English language speakers. It is jointly managed by the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge Assessment English, and was established in 1989.
IELTS is one of the major English-language tests in the world, others being the TOEFL, TOEIC, PTE:A, and OPI/OPIc.
IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training are designed to cover the full range of ability from non-user to expert user. The Academic version is for test takers who want to study at tertiary level in an English-speaking country or seek professional registration.
The General Training version is for test takers who want to work, train, study at a secondary school or migrate to an English-speaking country.
The difference between the Academic and General Training versions is the content, context and purpose of the tasks. All other features, such as timing allocation, length of written responses and reporting of scores, are the same.
IELTS Academic and General Training both incorporate the following features:
IELTS tests the ability to listen, read, write and speak in English.
The speaking module is a key component of IELTS. It is conducted in the form of a one-to-one interview with an examiner. The examiner assesses the test taker as he or she is speaking. The speaking session is also recorded for monitoring and for re-marking in case of an appeal against the score given.
A variety of accents and writing styles have been presented in test materials in order to minimise linguistic bias. The accents in the listening section are generally 80% British, Australian, New Zealander and 20% others (mostly American).
IELTS is developed by experts at Cambridge English Language Assessment with input from item writers from around the world. Teams are located in the US, Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and other English-speaking nations.
Band scores are used for each language sub-skill (Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking). The Band Scale ranges from 0 ("Did not attempt the test") to 9 ("Expert User").
IELTS TEST MODULES
There are two modules of the IELTS:
A Academic Module
B General Training Module
There's also a separate test offered by the IELTS test partners, called IELTS Life Skills:
IELTS Academic is intended for those who want to enrol in universities and other institutions of higher education and for professionals such as medical doctors and nurses who want to study or practise in an English-speaking country.
IELTS General Training is intended for those planning to undertake non-academic training or to gain work experience, or for immigration purposes.
IELTS Life Skills is intended for those who need to prove their English speaking and listening skills at Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) levels A1 or B1 and can be used to apply for a ‘family of a settled person’ visa, indefinite leave to remain or citizenship in the UK.
IELTS TEST COMPONENTS
Listening: 30 minutes (plus 10 minutes' transfer time)
Reading: 60 minutes
Writing: 60 minutes
Speaking: 11–14 minutes
The test total time is: 2 hours and 45 minutes.
Listening, Reading and Writing are completed in one sitting. The Speaking test may be taken on the same day or up to seven days before or after the other tests.
All test takers take the same Listening and Speaking tests, while the Reading and Writing tests differ depending on whether the test taker is taking the Academic or General Training versions of the test.
No minimum score is required to pass the test. An IELTS result or Test Report Form is issued to all test takers with a score from "band 1" ("non-user") to "band 9" ("expert user") and each institution sets a different threshold. There is also a "band 0" score for those who did not attempt the test. Institutions are advised not to consider a report older than two years to be valid, unless the user proves that they have worked to maintain their level.