In this article, we will take a closer look at the IELTS test and discuss its structure, format, and scoring system. We will also provide tips and strategies for preparing for and taking the test, as well as information on how to use your IELTS score to achieve your goals.
The International English Language Testing System, or IELTS, is a widely recognized and respected test of English proficiency. It is used by universities, employers, and immigration authorities around the world as a measure of a person’s ability to use and understand the English language. The IELTS test is divided into four sections: listening, reading, writing, and speaking. Each section is designed to assess a specific aspect of English proficiency, and the overall test score is an indicator of a person’s ability to function in an English-speaking environment.
What is IELTS?
The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is a standardized test that measures a person’s ability to use and understand the English language. The test is divided into four sections: listening, reading, writing, and speaking. Each section is designed to assess a specific aspect of English proficiency. The listening and reading sections are done in one sitting, while the writing and speaking sections are done on separate days.
The listening section consists of 40 questions and is designed to test a person’s ability to understand spoken English.
The reading section consists of 40 questions and is designed to test a person’s ability to understand written English.
The writing section consists of two tasks and is designed to test a person’s ability to write in English.
The speaking section is an interview with a certified IELTS examiner and is designed to test a person’s ability to speak in English.
The IELTS test is scored on a scale of 0 to 9, with 0 being the lowest and 9 being the highest. The test scores are reported in whole and half bands, with a minimum of 0.5 and a maximum of 9.0. The scores are valid for two years.
IELTS is widely accepted by universities, employers, and governments around the world as a measure of English proficiency. It is particularly popular among people who want to study or work in English-speaking countries, as well as those who are seeking to immigrate to such countries.
IELTS is jointly owned by the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge English.
Types of IELTS Exams
The IELTS test is offered in two formats: the Academic version, which is intended for people who want to study or work in an academic setting, and the General Training version, which is intended for people who want to study or work in a non-academic setting. Both versions of the test are similar, but the tasks and texts in the reading and writing sections are tailored to the specific context of the test.
Format of the IELTS Test
The IELTS examination consists of four sections: Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking. All test-takers will complete the same Listening and Speaking portions, but the Reading and Writing sections will vary depending on whether the candidate is taking the test for academic or general training purposes. The sections are typically taken in the following order: Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking, and are timed as follows:
- Listening (approximately 30 minutes)
- Reading (60 minutes)
- Writing (60 minutes)
- Speaking (11-14 minutes).
Detailed information on the test format can be found in the IELTS Information for Candidates booklet, which is available at test centers or can be downloaded from the IELTS website (www.ielts.org). The website also provides additional information on test content, administration, and scoring procedures.
Overall, IELTS is a widely recognized and respected test of English proficiency that is used by universities, employers, and immigration authorities around the world. It is designed to assess a person’s ability to use and understand the English language in different contexts, and the test scores are valid for 2 years. It’s a challenging test but with proper preparation, one can perform well.
For candidates is aim is to take the test for only immigration purposes to the UK can consider writing IELTS for UKVI (UK Visa and Immigration).
IELTS for UKVI and IELTS Life Skills are approved by the UK Visas and Immigration for visa applications to the UK.
How to take IELTS exams
Preparing for the IELTS test can be challenging, but there are many resources available to help you succeed. These include practice tests, study guides, and online resources. It’s important to be familiar with the format of the test and the types of tasks you will be asked to complete. Practice will help you to improve your language skills and increase your chances of getting a good score. The exams come in both written and computer based format. Kindly choose your how you would want it to be administered to you. Most people prefer Paper based IELTS.
How to use the practice materials
Preparing to take the practice Test
Before taking the practice test, it’s important to determine which Reading and Writing sections to take – either the ACADEMIC or GENERAL TRAINING modules. The Academic module measures the English language proficiency required for academic pursuits or professional recognition, the academic is widely accepted though many many are of the view that, it is difficult. The General Training module, on the other hand, focuses on language abilities in broader social and work environments. It’s a suitable choice for individuals planning to migrate to English-speaking countries such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand, or the UK. It’s also ideal for candidates planning to take on work experience or training programs that are not at a degree level, or for those completing their secondary education.
It is important to write your answers on the provided answer sheets. The sheets for the Listening and Reading sections can be found on below
The instructions on how to fill them out are located on in the images below but has been explained in the next page of this article.
The booklet for the Writing section is found here
You may make copies of the answer sheets or booklets to use them again.
To prepare for the practice test, it’s essential to find a quiet room with a table to write on, and ensure that you will not be interrupted. Gather all necessary materials, such as pencils, pens, eraser, pencil sharpener and a computer with headphones, or a DVD player for the Listening section. Have a watch or clock as it is crucial to follow the given time for each component. The Reading and Writing sections contain a lot of material and the aim of the practice test is to evaluate how well you can manage time. It’s important not to exceed the allocated time as it will not give an accurate representation of your abilities.
Taking the test
Begin by turning to the Listening test, but do not open it yet that is you already have the material. Insert the DVD into the player or computer, but do not start it. Carefully read the instructions on the cover of the question paper to ensure you understand them. Once ready, start the Listening test (Full Test) on the DVD, mobile device or computer. Note that you must not stop the DVD once it has started, it must be played continuously till the end. The test will take around 30 minutes.
As you listen to the recording, write your answers in the spaces provided next to the questions on the question paper.
After the recording has finished, do not listen to it again.
Use the 10-minute break after the test to transfer your answers accurately to the corresponding boxes on the answer sheet. For example, write the answer to question 1 in box 1.
Next, turn to the appropriate Reading test (Academic or General Training), Read the instructions on the cover of the question paper and make sure you understand them. Make a note of the time and start the test. You may choose to write your answers directly on the answer sheet or on the question paper, then transfer them to the answer sheet. Keep in mind that no extra time is provided for copying answers to the answer sheet. After 60 minutes, stop the test immediately, and take a short break. sample of answer sheet is displayed above in this article.
Proceed to the appropriate Writing test (Academic or General Training). Read the instructions on the cover of the question paper and make sure you understand them. Note the time and start the test. Write your answers in the Writing answer booklet. It is suggested to spend approximately 20 minutes on Task 1 and approximately 40 minutes on Task 2. Once 60 minutes are over, stop the test immediately, take a short break.
Additional information and sample materials for the Speaking test can be found on the next pages of this article. Review the materials in our next posts and practice making responses.
Marking the practice test
Refer to “How to Mark the Listening and Reading Practice Tests” in the next article and then compare your answers for the Listening and Reading tests with the answers. To understand your Listening and Reading scores, read “Interpreting your Scores” on the next page.
It is not possible to self-evaluate your Writing test, but you will have a better understanding of what is expected within the given time frame. Information on how Writing is evaluated can be found in the next 2 articles. Sample answers for the Writing tasks can be found on the same pages with a Band Score and examiner comments.
You cannot evaluate your speaking performance using the sample Speaking test materials, but there is information on how Speaking is assessed in our next publications. In our articles reading speaking there are numerous sample Speaking tests, each with a Band Score and examiner comments.
Sources of free IELTS Materials
There are several sources where you can find free IELTS materials online. Some popular options include:
British Council: They provide free practice materials, sample test questions, and tips for taking the IELTS test.
IELTS.org: The official IELTS website offers a variety of free resources, including sample test questions, test-taking strategies, and information about the test format.
IELTS Liz: A popular website that offers free materials, including practice tests, tutorials, and tips for taking the test.
IELTS Buddy: This website offers free practice tests, sample essays, and tips for taking the test.
IELTS Advantage: This website provides free practice tests, tips and tricks, and sample questions for both the Academic and General Training modules.
IELTS Material : A website that provides free IELTS materials, such as practice tests, tips and tricks, and sample questions for both the Academic and General Training modules.
Social media: Prep whatsapp and Telegram groups
Youtube channels: Here are few of many IELTS vlogs recommended by successful candidates.
Past IELTS candidates
It’s important to note that while these resources can be helpful, they should not be used as a sole source of preparation for the IELTS test. It’s also recommended to check the credibility of the website and the materials before using them.
List of Countries with IELTS test centers
|Netherlands||New Zealand||Nigeria||North Macedonia||Norway||Oman||Pakistan||Peru|
|Singapore||Slovakia||Slovenia||South Africa||South Korea||Spain||Sri Lanka||United Kingdom|
|Switzerland||Sweden||Taiwan, China||Thailand||Turkey||Vietnam||Ukraine||United Arab Emirates|
|United States of America||Uzbekistan|
Click here for full list of countries where IELTS is available
The IELTS exam is an important test for those looking to study or work in an English-speaking country. It assesses your proficiency in the language, and it’s essential to be well-prepared for it. One way to do this is by taking a practice test. If your scores on the practice test are low, it’s a sign that you need to improve your language skills. In this case, you may want to retake the test after taking more English lessons or studying to see if you have made progress. However, it is important to put the practice materials away and not refer to them until you are ready to retake the test. This way, you will have forgotten the answers and the practice test will give you a reasonable indication of the score you would get on the actual IELTS. Therefore, it is essential not to retake the practice test too soon after the first attempt.
Before you leave by clicking the link below, Do not forget there are alot of test materials including examiners comments and answers on the next pages.
click here for detailed information on the test formatNext Page
How much does IELTS test cost?
The cost range of the IELTS test ranges from USD 175 to USD 270. It can be changed at any time by the institute conducting the test. visit the website of your test center for more information regarding cost.
Is IELTS exams available in my country?
There are more than 1,600 IELTS test locations in over 140 countries. Find your nearest test centre.
How do i book for IELTS Test?
You can register and pay online or download an application form to print, complete and submit to your chosen test centre.
You will need to provide a copy of your valid identity document. You will also need to present the same identity document on the day of your test.
How long does it take to receive IELTS results?
Results for IELTS on paper will be released 13 days after your written test.
Results for IELTS on computer will be available 3–5 days after your test.
Can i resit for IELTS test incase i refer?
If you didn’t get the IELTS score you wanted, you can apply to resit the test as soon as you feel ready. However, before applying for a resit you need to keep in mind that your score is unlikely to improve without a significant effort to improve your English.
We have put some handy sample test questions that can help you prepare IELTS resit. We also suggest you read up on how to prepare, as there may be some steps that you missed.
Are there any arrangement for people with special needs?
IELTS test centres make every effort to make arrangements for test takers with accessibility requirements. In order to ensure that the language ability of all test takers is assessed fairly and objectively, IELTS provides a comprehensive service for test takers who have special requirements, including specific learning difficulties, hearing difficulties and visual difficulties, medical conditions or infant feeding.
If you require special arrangements to be made, e.g. extra time or a modified version of IELTS, you must give the test centre six weeks’ notice.
Special arrangements include the following:
Extra time for medical conditions or infant feeding
Special Listening CD with necessary stops and pauses
Lip-reading version of the Listening test
Enlarged print or Speaking task cards in Braille.