IELTS is an internationally recognized test of competence in the English language. A specified band score in all the four modules of IELTS is now mandatory for all those who aspire to migrate to or go to English speaking countries (The U.K., the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand) for higher education or work.
IELTS is jointly owned by British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and the University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations (Cambridge ESOL) and offered through more than 500 locations in 120 countries. Should you need to study or work in a country where English is the main language of communication, there are certain tests that you must take. Nowadays, students applying for study in the UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the US need IELTS assessment. Medical professionals planning to go for further studies or work in the UK, Australia or the USA require IELTS test. Also, it is required by the people who are planning to migrate to Canada, Australia or New Zealand.
IELTS has two versions – Academic and General Training
1. General training – for school, work or migration:
The General Training format focuses on basic survival skills in a broad social and educational context. It is for those who are going to English-speaking countries to have secondary education, work experience or training programs. People migrating to Australia, Canada and New Zealand must sit for the General Training test
2. Academic – Institutions of Higher and Further Education
The Academic format is for those who want to study or train in an English-speaking university or Institutions of Higher and Further Education. Admission to undergraduate and postgraduate courses is based on the results of the Academic test.
Duration of the Test
IELTS has four parts – Listening (30 minutes), Reading (60 minutes), Writing (60 minutes) and Speaking (11–14 minutes). The total test time is 2 hours and 45 minutes. The Listening, Reading and Writing tests are done in one sitting. The Speaking test may be on the same day or up to seven days before or after the other tests.
Will I pass or fail?
There is no 'pass' or 'fail' in IELTS. Candidates are graded on their performance in the test, using scores from 1 to 9 for each part of the test – Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. Your results from the four parts then produce an Overall Band Score.
This unique 9-band system measures scores in a consistent manner – wherever and whenever the test is taken. It is internationally recognised and understood, giving you a reliable international currency.
IELTS band scores explained
You will receive a Test Report Form setting out your overall band score and your scores for each of the four parts of the test: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking.
Scores for each of the four parts are equally weighted. The overall band scores are calculated by taking the mean of the total of the scores of the four individual parts.
Overall band scores are reported to the nearest whole or half band. For the avoidance of doubt, the following rounding convention applies: if the average across the four skills ends in .25, it is rounded up to the next half band, and if it ends in .75, it is rounded up to the next whole band.
Thus, a candidate achieving 6.5 for Listening, 6.5 for Reading, 5.0 for Writing and 7.0 for Speaking would be awarded an overall band score of 6.5 (25 ÷ 4 = 6.25 = Band 6.5).
Similarly, a candidate achieving 4.0 for Listening, 3.5 for Reading, 4.0 for Writing and 4.0 for Speaking would be awarded an overall band score of 4.0 (15.5 ÷ 4 = 3.875 = Band 4.0).
However, a candidate achieving 6.5 for Listening, 6.5 for Reading, 5.5 for Writing and 6.0 for Speaking would be awarded band 6 (24.5 ÷ 4 = 6.125 = Band 6).
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