IELTS - the world’s most popular high-stakes English language test
IELTS is accepted by more than 10,000 organizations in over 145 countries. The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is the world’s most popular high-stakes English-language test for study, work and migration, with more than 3 million tests taken last year.
IELTS assesses all your English skills — reading, writing, listening and speaking — and is designed to reflect real life use of English — at study, at work, and at play. The IELTS test is developed by some of the world’s leading experts in language assessment. It has an excellent international reputation, and is accepted by over 10,000 institutions worldwide. These include schools, universities, employers, immigration authorities and professional bodies among many more.
There are two versions of the IELTS test: IELTS General Training, and IELTS Academic. The version you should take depends on your visa requirements, as well as your goals for study or vocation.
IDP Education, co-owner and official test centre of IELTS
We are a proud co-owner of IELTS. IDP Education offers the IELTS Academic and General Training tests in more than 200 test locations across 50 countries. The IELTS test is co-owned and was co-created by IDP:IELTS Australia, the British Council and Cambridge English Language Assessment. Since its launch in 1989, IELTS has become the world’s most popular high-stakes English language proficiency test.
We are now offering computer-delivered IELTS in Hong Kong! We are honored to announce that we are the first test center in the Greater China Region to deliver a computer-based IETLS test format.
Please note that you will still be able to complete a paper-based format IELTS test, if you prefer.
The IELTS exam is held on selected days only. Registration will close four days before the test date, with places subject to availability.
So, what is new about IELTS on computer?
If you choose our new option, you will take the listening, reading and writing test components on a computer. The Speaking test will remain face-to-face, as we believe it is the most effective way of assessing your speaking skills and prompts a more lifelike performance.
All other aspects of the test are identical, whether they are taken on paper or on a computer.
Results for IELTS on computer will be available 5 - 7 days*^ after you finish all components of your test.
* Not applicable for IELTS for UKVI test
^ Results for IELTS on computer are usually available in 5 days after you finish all components of your test. Please note that the result release day will be postponed to the next working day if the 5th day falls on Sunday or public holiday. Notification will be given to candidate if the results are not available on scheduled date.
IELTS Test Format
IELTS is a test of all four language skills: Listening, reading, writing and speaking. You will take the Listening, Reading and Writing tests all on the same day one after the other, with no breaks in between. Depending on your test center, your speaking test may be on the same day as the other three tests, or up to seven days before or after that. The total test time is under three hours.
Read more about the IELTS test format
IELTS band scores
There is no pass or fail in IELTS, for both General Training and Academic versions. Candidates are graded on their performance, using scores from 1 to 9 for each part of the test – Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. The results from the four parts then produce an Overall Band Score. This unique 9-band system measures scores consistently – wherever and whenever the test is taken. It is internationally recognized and understood, giving you a reliable international currency. IELTS scores have a recommended validity period of two years.
Read more about the IELTS results
Why is the IELTS format fairer for you?
You deserve a fair chance to do your best. That’s why, unlike other tests, IELTS gives you a quiet room for an individual Speaking test with no distractions or interruptions.
IELTS recognizes that people have different approaches to answering questions. For example, with both IELTS Academic and General Training, you can answer questions within the Reading or Writing test in an order that suits you. You can also make changes to your Reading answers during the hour of the Reading test and adjust your Writing responses during the hour of the Writing test.
Scheduled tests up to 3 - 4 times a month or on demand, and results available in the 13th* day (paper-based IELTS)
Gives you separate scores in all four skill areas of listening, reading, writing and speaking, as well as an overall band score
Available in more than 1000 locations across over 145 countries and transportable all around the world
IDP: IELTS Australia, Cambridge English Language Assessment and the British Council jointly own and manage the test
Latest techniques that test your ability to use language, rather than memorization of grammar / vocabulary of a language
Unique versions, frequent revisions, and stringent testing procedures make IELTS secure enough for government departments and professional bodies.
IELTS recognizes both British and American English in terms of spelling, grammar and choice of words. It also incorporates a mix of native speaker accents from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and US in the Listening component.
The IELTS approach is recognized as being fair, reliable and valid to all candidates - regardless of nationality, cultural background, gender or special needs. The test questions are developed by a network known as the IELTS item writers in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK and the US. They are based on real life sources (for example, advertisements, books, newspapers and company policies), ensuring they are always fit for purpose.
IELTS has been developed in close consultation with academics, professional bodies and immigration authorities from around the world.
IELTS is owned by a global partnership of education and language experts: the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and the Cambridge English Language Assessment. These bodies are dedicated to academic excellence, cultural understanding, student recruitment and creating worldwidesuccess.
*Results for IELTS on computer are usually available in 5 days after you finish all components of your test. Please note that the result release day will be postponed to the next working day if the 5th day falls on Sunday or public holiday. Notification will be given to candidate if the results are not available on scheduled date.
IELTS Academic or General Training - which test do you need?
IELTS offers two types of test – IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training.
The IELTS test you take – and the score you need – depends on both the requirements of your visa and the organization where you plan to study or work.
When to take IELTS Academic?IELTS Academic is designed for people planning to study in higher education or those seeking professional registration. It assesses whether you are ready to begin studying or training in an environment where English is the language used.
You may take IELTS Academic if you want to:
• Study or train at a university or college as an undergraduate.
• Study or train at a university or college as a postgraduate.
• Join a professional association.
• Gain registration in a professional organization (e.g. medical, nursing, accounting, engineering).
When to take IELTS General Training?
IELTS General Training measures English language proficiency in a practical, everyday context.
You may take IELTS General Training if you want to:
• Study in secondary education.
• Study or train at a college or training centre below degree level.
• Migrate to an English speaking country.
How are the two tests different?All participants take the same Listening and Speaking tests, regardless of whether they take IELTS Academic or General Training.
The Reading and Writing tests differ in content, depending on whether you are taking IELTS Academic or IELTS General Training.
Find out more about the format of each test.