Who owns the test?
The IELTS test is jointly owned by The British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and University of Cambridge - ESOL Examinations.
What is the Test Format?
All candidates are tested in Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. All candidates take the same Listening and Speaking Modules. There is a choice of Reading and Writing Modules, where a candidate can either opt for Academic or General Training Module. The first three Modules- Listening, Reading and Writing- must be completed in one day. The Speaking Module may be taken, at the discretion of the test centre, either seven days before or after the other three modules.
Which Module should I sit for, Academic or General Training ?
The Academic Reading and Writing Modules assess whether a candidate is ready to study or train in the medium of English at an Undergraduate or postgraduate level. Admission to undergraduate and postgraduate courses is based on the result of these Modules. The General Training Reading and Writing Modules are not designed to test the full range of formal language skills required for academic purposed, but emphasize basic survival skills in a a broad social and educational context. General Training is suitable for candidates who are going to English speaking countries to complete their secondary education, to undertake work experience or training programmes not at degree level, or for immigration purpose to Australia, Canada and New Zealand.
It is the responsibility of the candidate to inform the test centre whether they wish to take the Academic or General Training Modules. Centres are not responsible for providing this information. The general Training module is not offered at all test administrations. it must be noted that it may not be possible to change module later or on the day of the test.
Is there any age limit for IELTS ?
IELTS is not recommended for candidates under the age of 16
Can IELTS be taken as an alternate to TOEFL ?
YES, over 2500 US institutions recognize IELTS and accept either IELTS or TOEFL for admission to award courses. For an updated list please log on to www.IELTS.org
Can I retest only for the module where I did not score well instead of repeating the whole test ?
IELTS provides a profile of a candidate's English proficiency at a given time. It provides not only an indication of ability in a particular module but also an indication of overall ability. This would not be possible if modules were not taken at the same time. Stakeholders require an indication of proficiency at a given time. Stakeholder have expressed a preference for full re-testing to gain an accurate assessment of a candidate's language proficiency. Therefore a candidate will have to re-take the full test and cannot re-take a specific module
For how long is a test result valid ?
There are a number of variables affecting the length of time over which an IELTS score remains valid. As a general rule it is recommended that a Test Report Form (TRF), that is more than two years old should only be accepted as evidence of present level of ability if accompanied by proof that a candidate has actively maintained or tried to improve their English language proficiency.
How soon can I repeat the test ?
From 1 May 2006 the policy on candidates re-taking IELTS has been amended. The restriction on re-taking IELTS within 90 days has been removed and candidates are able to repeat the test whenever they wish. Candidates will still be asked to indicate on their application form whether they have taken the test before. This information will appear on the Test Report Form and will only be used for monitoring purposes. NO
IELTS Test Structure
All candidates must complete four Modules - Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking to obtain an IELTS Test Report Form.
Candidates are tested in Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. All candidates take the same Listening and Speaking Modules. There is a choice between Academic and General Training in the Reading and Writing Modules.
Total Test Time 2 hours 45 minutes
The tests are designed to cover the full range of ability from non-user to expert user.
The Listening, Reading and Writing modules must be completed in one day. The Speaking module may be taken, at the discretion of the test centre, in the period seven days before or after the other modules.