Your Guide for IELTS Preparation

IELTS – International English Language Testing System

IELTS is one of the major English-language tests in the world, accepted for Immigration and Academic purposes across borders. IELTS, the International English Language Testing System is an international standardized test of English Language proficiency for non-native English language speakers. It is jointly managed by the British Council. IELTS is accepted by over 3,000 academic institutions and by various professional organizations across the world.

There are two modules of the IELTS:

  • Academic Module and
  • General Training Module

IELTS Academic and General Training both have the following features:

  • IELTS tests the ability to listen, read, write and speak in English.
  • The speaking module is a key component of IELTS. This section is conducted in the form of a one-to-one interview with an examiner. The examiner assesses the test taker as he or she is speaking. The session is also recorded for monitoring and for re-marking in case of an appeal against the score given.
  • A variety of accents and writing styles have been presented in test materials in order to minimize linguistic bias. The accents in the listening section are generally 80% British, Australian, New Zealander and 20% others (mostly American).
  • IELTS is developed by experts at Cambridge English Language Assessment with input from item writers from around the world. Teams are located in the USA, Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and other English-speaking nations.
  • Band scores are used for each language sub-skill (Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking).

There is no Minimum score to pass this test. The parameters of testing English proficiency is designed on the scale of 1-9 bands. “Band 1” refers to non- user to “band 9” being an expert user. For Immigrating to countries accepting IELTS, each Institute sets a different threshold. There is also a “band 0” score for those who did not attempt the test. The Validity of the IELTS report is 2 years the date of appearing and gets exhausted after this duration.

Band scale

The following band 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 5.75, it is converted up to the next whole band.

The nine bands can be described as follows:

9 Expert User An Applicant has fully operational command of the language: appropriate, accurate and fluent with complete understanding.
8 Very Good User Has fully operational command of the language with only occasional unsystematic inaccuracies and inappropriacies. Misunderstandings may occur in unfamiliar situations. Handles complex detailed argumentation well.
7 Good User Has operational command of the language, though with occasional inaccuracies, inappropriateness and misunderstandings in some situations. Generally, handles complex language well and understands detailed reasoning.
6 Competent User Has generally effective command of the language despite some inaccuracies, inappropriacies, and misunderstandings. Can use and understand fairly complex language, particularly in familiar situations.
5 Modest user Has good command of the language, coping with overall meaning in most situations, though is likely to make many mistakes. Should be able to handle basic communication in own field.
4 Limited User Basic competence of English and applicant is limited to familiar situations. Has frequent problems in understanding and ass. Is not able to use complex language.
3 Extremely Limited User Communicates and understands only general meaning in very familiar situations. Frequent breakdowns in communication occur.
2 Intermittent User Essentially no real communication is possible except for the most basic information using few words or short formulae in familiar situations and to meet immediate needs. Has difficulty understanding spoken and written English.
1 Non-User Essentially applicant has no ability to use the English language possibly a few words.
0 Did not attempt the test No information provided at all.


The four parts of the IELTS test and duration

  • Listening: 30 minutes (plus 10 minutes’ transfer time)
  • Reading: 60 minutes
  • Writing: 60 minutes
  • Speaking: 11–14 minutes

The test total time is 2 hours and 45 minutes.

IELTS administered more than one million tests in a single 12-month period, making it the world’s most popular English language test for higher education and immigration. So, if you are planning to move into Canada, Australia, New Zealand or European countries then, good preparation of this particular exam is important for establishing your profile strength.


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