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IELTS 101: The Different Types of IELTS Tests and How You Can Benefit

What is IELTS?

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is one of the world's most recognized English language tests and is available in both British English and American English. There are 5 types of IELTS tests available:

  1. IELTS Academic
  2. IELTS General Training
  3. IELTS for UKVI (Academic)
  4. IELTS for UKVI (General Training)
  5. IELTS Life Skills

While IELTS General Training suffices to fulfill language requirements for work and immigration to an English-speaking country such as the UK and Australia, the IELTS Academic test is necessary for university admission. 

Both IELTS tests assess your Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking competencies.

In this article, we will go through the perks of taking an IELTS exam and how you can benefit!

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IELTS Academic :

Supports Admission to an Overseas University

IELTS Academic supports your application to a higher-education institution by proving your proficiency in English.

ielts academic

To gain entry to a top university in the UK, Canada, and other English-speaking countries, a high IELTS score is indispensable.

Requirements for postgraduate programmes are often even more stringent.

(Also read: Practice Academic Reading and Writing for IELTS Computer-Delivered tests)

IELTS General Training :

1. Promotes Career Opportunities

Excellent English communication skills enhance your career opportunities as fifty-five countries have English as their first language. Proving a good command of the language could open up options for you to pursue a career in a foreign country!

Many of these countries such as New Zealand and Canada require you to go beyond ‘conversational’ English. Instead, to gain employment in these countries, you need to demonstrate that you are a ‘competent’ or ‘vocational’ user of the language by achieving a particular score in your IELTS test. 

For example, in the UK and Australia, medical professionals must attain a score of 7 in each section, at the very minimum.

ielts general training

2. Facilitates Immigration

Taking the IELTS also facilitates immigration to English speaking countries, if you are keen to explore new horizons! 

To immigrate to Australia and Canada, you need a minimum score of 6 in each section of your test.  All institutions and professional associations in the UK, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand accept IELTS.

Alternatively, if your goal is to settle in the UK, you can consider taking the IELTS Life Skills Test, which only assesses your listening and speaking skills. It is required for ‘family of a settled person’ visa or ‘indefinite leave to remain or citizenship’ visa, and available at two levels out of UK: A1, and B1.

Benefits of IELTS:

1. Reflects Communication in Real-life

IELTS assesses your English competency in the 4 sections: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking which are relevant in everyday life. 

IELTS involves a live interaction between you and the examiner. This helps to mimic real-world conversations such as interactions with your neighbors and colleagues, better preparing you for life in a foreign country. 

2. Gauges Your Standard

Moreover, the test not only gives you a gauge of your overall standard but also allows you to identify areas with room for improvement and work on those. Whether it is any of your speaking, reading, listening, or writing skill. Essentially, the process of preparing for the IELTS itself will develop your communication ability in English.

3. Increases Your Familiarity with the Culture

It encourages you to develop an appreciation for a different culture and familiarising yourself with it before you study or work in an English-speaking country. 

Individual sections of the IELTS test such as Reading exposes you to texts of different styles from a variety of sources such as extracts from books, magazines, and newspapers.

increase ielts familiarity

4. Available in British and American English

Since IELTS is available in both British and American English, it caters to groups of individuals who wish to pursue their aspirations in different countries. There are distinct differences between the adaptations of English. 

For example, collective nouns can be both singular and plural in British English but are solely singular in American English. There are also notable differences in the spelling and intonation of the two adaptations. 

Taking a specific IELTS test will give you a more realistic idea of the language spoken in the country you plan to stay in for some time.

Ready To Take The IELTS Test?

IELTS is a globally recognized English test that opens up new opportunities for studying, working or even immigrating to a foreign country. 

Moreover, it also supports your personal growth and communication skills!

Looking to book your IELTS Test? IDP is a co-owner of IELTS, and all our test centers are UKVI approved.

Sign-up at IDP today for a paper written test or a computer-delivered one.

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