What is IELTS?
The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is a test that measures the language proficiency of people who want to study or work in environments where English is used as a language of communication. An easy-to-use 9-band scale clearly identifies proficiency level, from non-user (band score 1) through to expert (band score 9). '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.'
Academic or General Training
IELTS is available in two test formats – Academic or General Training – and provides a valid and accurate assessment of the four language skills: listening, reading, writing and speaking.
IELTS General Training
The IELTS General Training test is for those who are going to English speaking countries for secondary education, work experience or training programs. It is also a requirement for migration to Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK. The test focuses on basic survival skills in broad social studies.
The IELTS Academic test is for people applying for higher education or professional registration in an English speaking environment. It reflects some of the features of academic language and assesses whether you are ready to begin studying or training. This approach is widely supported by the institutions that recognize IELTS.
How the IELTS Band Scores are Calculated
All IELTS scores are between 0 and 9. You can also get .5 scores as well (for example, 6.5 or 7.5). You will get a band score for each skill (listening, reading, writing and speaking) and also an overview band score. The overall band score is the average score of all the skills. See the table below as an example. If your overall score is an average of 6.25, your score will be increased to 6.5. If your overall score is an average of 6.75, your score will be increased to 7. If your overall score is 6.1, your score will go down to 6. Your score is rounded up or down to the nearest 0.5 or whole score as shown above.
Band Score Descriptions
The table below gives a description of each band score with information about the level of English required for band scores 5 to 9. Click table to enlarge.
Listening and Reading Band Scores
Your listening and reading scores are calculated by the number of correct answers you have out of the 40 questions in the test. You do not lose points for incorrect answers.
IELTS Listening Scores
IELTS Reading Scores (AC)
IELTS Reading Scores (GT)
IELTS Writing Assessment Criteria
Both writing task 1 and task 2 are assessed using 4 criteria. Please see the table below for details of each marking criteria.