What is IELTS?
The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is the world’s most popular high-stakes English language proficiency test for study, work and migration, with more than three million tests taken in the past year.
The IELTS results are recognised by more than 10,000 organisations, including educational institutions, employers, professional associations and governments, in 140 countries around the world.
The test content for IELTS is developed by an international team of experts and undergoes extensive research to ensure the test remains fair and unbiased for any candidate regardless of nationality, background, gender, lifestyle or location.
You can take IELTS Academic or IELTS General Training, depending on the organisation you are applying to and your plans for the future. If you are planning to study or move to the UK, you will need to take an IELTS test approved by the UK Visa and Immigration authority known as IELTS for UKVI.
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 centre, 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 test dates
IELTS test dates are offered 36 times in a year. You should be able to find 2-3 dates every month although this may differ for test types and modules.
Why is the IELTS format fairer for test takers?
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 also recognises that people have different approaches to answering questions. For example, with IELTS you can answer questions within the Reading test and the Writing test in the 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.
Why choose IELTS?
It is the test for study − thousands of the world’s most reputable universities and colleges will accept your IELTS results as evidence of your English language proficiency.
It is the test for professionals − professional registration bodies in many fields will accept an IELTS result, including accounting, engineering, law, medicine, nursing, pharmacy and teaching bodies in many countries. This means that after completing your studies, you may need to take the test in order to gain professional registration in an English-speaking country. If you choose IELTS as the test for applying to a university, you will be familiar with the IELTS test format when you sit it again for professional registration.
It is the test for migration – IELTS scores are required by governments in more countries than any other English language test as a requirement for permanent residency. The governments of the UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand accept IELTS results.
It’s the test that’s fairer to you – did you know that IELTS is the only high-stakes English language test where your Speaking test is one-on-one with an examiner in a private room where you will not be interrupted by other test takers? There are no computers, no technical problems and no distractions.