IELTS was started in the year 1989 and is an international standardized test of English language proficiency for Non-Native English Language Speakers across the Globe. It is one of the major English-language tests in the world for study, work and immigration, the other being the TOEFL.
It is a Pen-Paper based test & is jointly managed by the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge English Language Assessment. It is accepted by most Australian, British, Canadian and New Zealand academic institutions, by over 3,000 institutions in U.S.A. and by more than 9000 organizations worldwide.
IELTS is the only Secure English Language Test approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) for visa customers applying both outside and inside the UK. It is also a requirement for immigration to Australia and New Zealand.
IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training are designed to cover the full range of ability from non-expert to expert user. It tests the ability to Listen, Read, Write and Speak in English. There is also a separate test offered by the IELTS test partners, called IELTS Life Skills:
IELTS Life Skills is intended for those who need to prove their English speaking and listening skills at Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) levels A1 or B1 and can be used to apply for a ‘family of a settled person’ visa, indefinite leave to remain or citizenship in the UK.
Ongoing research ensures that IELTS remains fair and unbiased. Test writers from different English-speaking countries develop IELTS content so it reflects real-life situations.
IELTS test structure
Listening, Reading and Writing are completed in one sitting. The Speaking test may be taken on the same day or up to 7 days before or after the other tests. Speaking test date is usually communicated 5 days before the main exam date, so if you are booking a test date and venue away from your home location, stay prepared for last moment rush.
Test takers can take IELTS in more than 140 countries and in over 1,000 locations. The number of test centres found in India is: 80 (BC+IDP),
There are 48 fixed test dates available per year. Each test centre offers tests up to 4 times a month depending on local demand. The Academic version is available on all 48 dates per year (mostly on Saturdays & Thursdays) and the General Training version is available on 24 dates.
Suppose one does not get the required scores in IELTS and wishes to retake the exam so he/she can re-sit the test as many times as per wish on next available date.