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What is IELTS?

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.

Two Versions of IELTS:

AcademicGeneral Training
For candidates wishing to study
at undergraduate or postgraduate levels 
in an English speaking country
For candidates wishing to migrate
to an English speaking country 
(Canada, Australia, New Zealand, UK)

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

Held in four parts
Total time: 2 Hours and 45 Minutes
Listening30 Mins (plus 10 mins)
Reading60 mins
Writing60 mins
Speaking11-14 mins


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.

TRF (Score Card)

Test scoreNegative MarkingValidityMinimum Score
0-9 Band scoresNo negative marking2 yearsNo minimum score, 
any score above 6.5 is mostly acceptable, 
but depends on other Core Human Factors, 
Education and Experience


Understanding IELTS bands

Band scaleLevel of competency
Band 9Expert User
Band 8Very good user
Band 7Good user
Band 6Competent user
Band 5Modest user
Band 4Limited user
Band 3Extremely limited user
Band 2Intermittent user
Band 1Non user
Band 0Did not attend the test


Age Limit

MinimumMaximum
16 or above 
(Recommended)
No age limit

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