• About the Exam
  • FAQs

What is the IELTS?

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is designed to measure language proficiency of people who would like to work or study in English-speaking countries.

The IELTS exam is available in two test formats:


IELTS Academic

This test is designed for those planning to study in higher education (undergraduate and graduate studies) or those seeking professional registration. The IELTS Academic assess whether a person is well-equipped to begin studying or training in an English-speaking environment.

IELTS General Training

The IELTS General Training test should be taken by those who are going to English-speaking countries to complete secondary education, or to participate in work experience or training programs. The IELTS General Training may be required for migration to Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the UK.

IELTS Academic vs. IELTS General Training

The listening and speaking sections are the same for both tests, whereas the reading and writing sections differ. Find out more about the format of each exam below:

 

IELTS Academic

IELTS General Training

Test Length

3 hours, 30 minutes
 

3 hours, 30 minutes 
 

Speaking Section

30 minutes. Face-to-face interview without disruptions or distractions. Structured discussion on a familiar topic.
 

30 minutes. Face-to-face interview without disruptions or distractions. Structured discussion on a familiar topic.
 

Reading Section

60 minutes. 3 long texts taken from books, journals, magazines and newspapers. Selected for a non-specialist audience.
 

60 minutes. 5-6 texts taken from notices, advertisements, company handbooks, official documents, books and newspapers.
 

Writing Section

60 minutes. Students will be asked to describe a table, chart or diagram (150 words) and write a short essay (250 words) in a formal style.

60 minutes. Students will be asked to write a letter (150 words) and a short essay (250 words) in a semi-formal style.
 

Listening Section
 

60 minutes. 4 sections containing 10 questions each. The first two deal with every day social contexts. Sections 3 and 4 deal with educational and training contexts.
 

60 minutes. 4 sections containing 10 questions each. The first two deal with every day social contexts. Sections 3 and 4 deal with educational and training contexts.
 

Scoring

4 scores of 1-9 per subject area. The average produces your overall band score of 1-9.
 

4 scores of 1-9 per subject area. The average produces your overall band score of 1-9

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Which IELTS test do I need to take?

It is your responsibility to ensure you have selected the IELTS test that's right for you: Academic or General Training. If you are unsure, you should check with the organisation you are applying to.

How much does the IELTS cost?

Fees to take the IELTS are set by test centers and vary by country. The average fee is around $200 USD.

How do I register for the IELTS? 

You can register for the IELTS online or via post at your local IELTS test center. Learn more about test registration.

When should I take the exam?

Each institution has specific deadlines for submission of test scores. You should therefore get in contact with the institution you are interested in and allow appropriate time for the receipt of scores by the Admissions Office. Test administrations are available throughout the year.

Can I take the exam multiple times?

Yes, you can retake the test as many times as you wish, however IELTS recommends additional study before taking the test again. Your IELTS score is valid for two years from test date.