It is a test of English Language proficiency. It is jointly managed by the 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 the 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 the individual modules and the overall tests. 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 center. 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.