IELTS — English for International OpportunityEducational institutions, along with employers and government immigration agencies, require proof of English language skills as part of their recruitment or admittance procedures. Increasingly, these organisations are using IELTS.
Worldwide recognition for study, work and immigration
IELTS is owned by Cambridge ESOL, the British Council and IDP: IELTS Australia. More than 1 million people a year are now using IELTS to open doors throughout the English-speaking world and beyond. IELTS is recognised by more than 6,000 organisations worldwide. The tests are available in more than 120 countries in over 500 locations, with test dates available up to four times a month.
Academic or General Training
The IELTS tests come in two formats:
Academic – tests a person’s ability to study in English at undergraduate or postgraduate level
General Training – this module is suitable for people who are going to an English-speaking country to work or train at below undergraduate level. It is also used for immigration purposes to Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
All candidates are tested in Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. All candidates take the same Listening and Speaking tests. There is a choice between Academic and General Training in the Reading and Writing tests.
The total test time is around 2 hours 45 minutes. The first three tests – Listening, Reading and Writing – must be completed in one day. The Speaking test may be taken, at the discretion of the test centre, in the period seven days before or after the other tests.
IELTS is available as a computer-based test in many countries, although the scores and certificates remain identical to the paper-based test.
The tests are designed to cover the full range of ability from non-user to expert user. Test takers receive a score of 0—9, with 0 being for those who did not attempt the test, and 9 being for the most proficient users. Most universities accept scores between 6—7 as being suitable for undergraduate study in English.