If you are planning to take the IELTS exam, there must be a lot of questions on your mind. Right?
To help you out, in this blog post, we’ll answer 15 most commonly asked questions about IELTS.
What is IELTS?
IELTS or International English Language Testing System is an exam that assesses the English language abilities of people who wish to study, work, or migrate to a country where English is the language of communication.
Why is it important?
IELTS is important because it acts as proof of your competency in English.
Let’s say you wish to study at a university in the United Kingdom where English is the primary language. Now, you may be a bright student but before accepting your application the university would want to know if you can blend in their English-speaking environment, they need to be sure that you will not have communication issues while staying in the country.
Here your IELTS score will come handy!
It will testify your English language abilities and assure university admission officers and visa officers that you are proficient in the language. This is why your overall IELTS scores are so important.
Is IELTS compulsory?
No, IELTS isn’t compulsory in all university admissions. Many universities might not even require IELTS scores for admission purposes. But remember that if you don’t give IELTS, your chances of getting the student visa might suffer as the visa officers may not be convinced about your English proficiency without IELTS scores. So, it is safer to appear for IELTS.
Which IELTS is right for me?
Alright! So, there are two types of IELTS: IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training.
IELTS Academic is for people applying for higher education or professional registration in an English-speaking country. So, if you want to enroll in a university in the UK or if you want to be a medical professional or an engineer in the UK, then you need to go for the Academic IELTS.
The IELTS General Training test is for those who are going to English speaking countries for secondary education, work experience or training programs or for immigration purposes.
Which countries accept IELTS?
IELTS is accepted by most Australian, British, Canadian, European, Irish, and New Zealand academic institutions, by over 3,000 academic institutions in the United States, and by various professional organizations across the world.
The IELTS exam is accepted by immigration authorities of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the UK – as a proof of prospective immigrants’ competence in English.
How much is the fee?
The registration fee for the IELTS exam differs in each country.
Here’s the IELTS fee in the USA, India, China, and UK.
This fee is subject to change, so make sure you check the official site for the latest fee in your country.
What if I fail the exam?
The good news is IELTS is not a pass/fail test. You’ll get a score from 1 to 9, 1 being the lowest and 9 meaning you are an expert user of the English Language.
However, you can say that you passed or failed depending on what you need the test for. For example, if the minimum IELTS score required to enter a Master’s degree program in a university in Canada is 7, and you get 7.5, then you can say you passed.
What is the exam eligibility?
Anyone above the age of 16 years and having a valid passport can take the IELTS test. If you wish to study, work or migrate to the UK, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand and study or work in the US, you can take this test.
How many attempts can be given for IELTS?
There is no limit set by the conducting bodies of IELTS for taking the IELTS exam. You can take the IELTS test as many times as you want until you get your dream score. However, you have to pay the IELTS test fee for every attempt.
Whether to take IELTS on a computer or paper?
IELTS can be taken on a computer or paper.
If you go for Paper-Based IELTS you will write answers in either pen or HB-pencils. The Speaking test is carried out face-to-face with an IELTS examiner.
However, if you take Computer-based IELTS you will take the Listening, Reading, and Writing sections on a computer. The Speaking test will remain face to face with a trained IELTS Examiner.
The choice totally depends on your comfort, if your typing speed is good then you can opt for a computer-based test otherwise you should stick to the traditional paper-based exam.
Who conducts IELTS?
IELTS test is jointly owned by:
- British Council
- IDP IELTS Australia (International Development Program)
- Cambridge Assessment of English
Candidates have this doubt about who is best for IELTS, British Council or IDP? Where should they take the IELTS test?
It so happens that in certain countries the British Council is in charge of IELTS exams and in other countries IDP runs IELTS exams, and then there are countries like India where both the British Council and IDP offer IELTS exams, which people find confusing and are not sure where to go.
However, there is no difference between the agencies. Whether you take IELTS from the British Council or IDP, it won’t make any difference. They both conduct the test but they do not write them which means you will get the same tests no matter which agency you chose. So, you can take the IELTS exam conducted by any of the agencies.
How to book or register for IELTS?
- First, you need to visit the official British Council or IDP registration page.
- Create an account.
- Choose the exam you’d want to take i.e. IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training.
- Choose the country and find your nearest test center.
- You will then see test dates that are available, choose the date that suits you. Your Listening, Reading and Writing test will take place on this selected date.
- Now choose a date to take your Speaking test.
- And finally, complete the process by adding your ID details and paying online.
Both IDP and the British Council offer the test on 48 fixed dates a year, running four times a month. The yearly schedule is available on their website.
Alternatively, you could also visit their offices and register in person. You will then be contacted via email regarding venue location on your preferred date.
Just remember to register one month prior to secure your place on your preferred day at your chosen test center.
What is the exam format and syllabus?
- The total test duration is 2 hours and 45 minutes.
- IELTS Syllabus includes four sections, Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking.
- Listening, Reading, and Writing are completed in one sitting without any break but the Speaking test can either be done on the same day or a few days before or after the other tests.
- Listening – The listening test will be for 30 minutes and is segregated into 4 sections.
- Reading – The reading test comprises 40 questions, all divided into 3 sections. The time duration for this section is 60 minutes.
- Writing – The writing test will have 2 tasks and will be for 60 minutes.
- Speaking – The speaking test consists of 3 parts of 11-14 minutes.
- You are assessed and given a score for each section and the final score is the sum of the scores received in each section. Let’s say, you get 7 in each of the four sections then your overall IELTS score would be 7.
- The two types of tests, IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training differ in their reading and writing components in terms of content and question types, while listening and speaking tests are the same for both.
- If you want to learn more about the format of each section for the both IELTS Academic and General Training, then check out this
When and how the exam results are obtained?
If you’ve taken a paper-based test, your Test Report Form will be available online 13 days after you complete the test.
If you have taken a computer-delivered test, your results will be available online between 5-7 days after your test.
IELTS test results remain online for 28 days.
A paper copy of your IELTS test score will be available 13 days after your test date. It can be collected in person at the test center or delivered by post; you can check with your test center what option is available locally.
How to prepare for IELTS?
There are two ways – self-study or taking professional help.
If you have a really good command over the English language, it is manageable to study by yourself.
- You can buy some IELTS self-study books, “The Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS” is one top recommendation by many. The British Council website has a list of books with brief descriptions that you could refer to.
- Also, there are loads of free study material for IELTS preparation available on the Internet.
- Start taking practice test papers. These are available on the IELTS website where you will also get answers to sample questions given.
- Then there are YouTube videos that are especially useful for speaking and listening tests.
And if you want to fasten your learning process, it’s a good option to take some training or professional help.
- At Yuno Learning we prepare you to attain your dream score through our online courses.
- Visit our website and take a look at the list of courses we provide.
Book the course that suits you by clicking on the “Enroll Now” button and start your IELTS preparation through our live online classes with one of our expert trainers from the comfort of your home.
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That’s all for this post.
We really hope this post answered all your questions regarding IELTS.