The International English Language Testing System, known more commonly as IELTS, is the ultimate English test. Whether you wish to study, live or work in an English speaking country, IELTS is the only test you need to take. IELTS has been developed to test the English proficiency of non-native English speakers.
Have you ever dreamed of living in Australia? Or the United States of America? Or even the UK? Well, IELTS can help to get you there. IELTS is recognised and trusted by numerous countries around the world, including governments and universities in the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. In fact, there are over 10,000 organisations globally that recognise IELTS, so you can be sure that an IELTS qualification won’t go to waste.
IELTS focuses on testing four core areas of English proficiency: reading, writing, speaking and listening. The total time for the test is just 2 hours and 45 minutes. Within each area, there is a nine-band grading system ranging from 1 (non-user of English) through to band 9 (expert user of English).
There are also two different types of IELTS tests available, depending on your individual needs for the qualification. If you are looking to migrate to an English speaking country, you are recommended to take the General Training path. This test focuses more on the English that is required in social and workplace settings. This test is also the path that is most commonly required for immigration purposes. If you are pursuing higher education or a professional qualification English, you are recommended to take the Academic Training path. This route includes more academic language and focuses on English for studying or training. Both of these paths include the four core areas of reading, writing, speaking and listening. The main difference is the subject content in the materials used.
To ensure the testing process is fair, IELTS only tests your English language skills. Subject-based knowledge does not form any part of the assessment. IELTS also recognises and accepts variations of ‘native speaker English’, such as British and North American variations to spellings and vocabulary. In addition, a number of quality control procedures have been put in place for rigorous checking of testing centres to ensure fairness in the IELTS testing process all around the globe. This includes strict checking procedures on marking, such as double marking and the use of a results verification service. If any uncertainty of score is raised, IELTS will arrange for tests to be re-marked by one of its senior examiners.
To ensure that the tests are fair and not culturally biased, questions are regularly tested on people from various cultures and countries.
IELTS is incredibly accessible to people all over the globe. Offering both paper-based and computer-based testing systems, IELTS centres are found in more than 1,600 locations in over 140 countries. In fact, there are now test centres in most countries. Every year, there are 48 test dates, meaning that you can sign up to take the test whenever you are ready.