IELTS stands for ‘International English Language Testing System
It is a test of English Language proficiency. It is jointly managed by university of Cambridge ESOL Examinations, the British Council and IDP Education Australia.
There are two versions of the IELTS: The Academic Version and the General Version.
The Academic Version is intended for those who want to enroll in universities and other institutions of higher education and for professionals such as medical professionals and nurses who want to study or practice.
The General Training Version is intended for those planning to undertake non-academic training or employment, for immigration purposes.
IELTS is accepted by almost all Australian, British, Canadian, Irish, New Zealand and more than 1800 US academic institutions. It is the only acceptable English test for immigration to Australian and also accepted by UK and Canada.
The IELTS test structure
The IELTS test comprises of four Modules – Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. Scores are reported in “bands” for individual module and overall test. All candidates take the same Listening and Speaking Modules, while the Reading and Writing Modules differ depending on whether the candidate is taking the Academic or General Training Versions of the Test.
Total Test Duration 2 hours 45 minutes.
The first three modules – Listening, Reading and Writing (always in that order) – are completed in one day with no break in between. The Speaking Module may be taken, at the discretion of the test centre. It is generally administered on the day of the test or on the following day.
An IELTS result or Test Report Form (TRF) is valid for two years.
IELTS is scored on the nice band scale, with each band corresponding to a specified competence in English. The band Scores are in either whole or half Bands.
The nine bands are described as follows
9 Expert User Has full command of the language: appropriate, accurate and fluent with complete understanding. It is very hard to attain this score.
8 Very Good User Has fully operational command of the language with only occasional unsystematic inaccuracies and inappropriacies. Handles complex detailed argumentation well.
7 Good User Has operational command of the language, though with occasional inaccuracies, inappropriateness and misunderstandings in some situations. Generally handles complex language well and understands detailed reasoning.
6 Competent User Has generally effective command of the language despite some inaccuracies, inappropriateness and misunderstandings. Can use and understand fairly complex language, particularly in familiar situation.
5 Modest User Has a partial command of the language, coping with overall meaning in most situations, though is likely to make many mistakes. The candidate should be able to handle communicate in his or her own filed.
4 Limited User Basic competence is limited to familiar situations. Has frequent problems in using complex language.
3 Extremely Limited User Conveys and understands only generally meaning in very familiar situations. Frequent breakdowns in communication occur.
2 Intermittent User No real communication is possible except for the most basic information using isolated words or short formulae in familiar situations and to meet immediate needs. Has great difficulty understanding spoken and written English.
1 Non User Essentially has no ability to use the language beyond possibly a fey isolated words.
0 Did not attempt the test No assessable information provided.