IELTS: International English Language Testing System
IELTS stands for International English Language Testing System. It is an international standard test to judge the proficiency in the English language for non-native English language speakers who want to study or work in a country where English is a language of communication. It was established in 1989. It uses a nine-band scale to reflect the levels of proficiency, half scores like 5.5 are possible. It is recognized by the universities and employers of many countries like Australia, Canada, Ireland, the USA, the UK and New Zealand. IELTS is one of the two major English language tests in the world. The second is TOEFL.
Versions of IELTS
There are two versions of IELTS.
Academic version: The academic version is designed for students who want to enroll in universities and other institutions of higher studies and for professionals such as doctors, engineers, nurses etc. who want to serve in English speaking countries.
General Training version: The general training version is designed for those who looks for non-academic training, or for immigration purposes.
Test structure and duration for IELTS
IELTS tests all of the English skills of a candidate such as reading, listening, writing and speaking. Accordingly, the test is divided in 4 parts and the total duration of test is about 3 hours.
- Listening: 40 Minutes
- Reading: 60 Minutes
- Writing: 60 Minutes
- Speaking: 11-15 Minutes
This test is offered multiple times in a year and its scorecard is valid for 2 years. There are more than 900 test centers in over 130 countries. Over 2 million people across the world take this test in a year.