Introduction

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Taking an IELTS exam could have a great impact on your study opportunities, career success, and the likelihood that you will be permitted to work and settle in an English-speaking country (e.g. New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Great Britain or the U.S.). Achieving a high IELTS score increases your chances of studying at a top university. This exam can help you land a job in a multicultural environment and provide opportunities.




Examination format and content


In general, the test format is similar in different types and it has two modules; Academic and General.

IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training tests are only different in two out of the four sub-skills of the test: Reading and Writing. The Listening and Speaking parts are the same for both versions.

The Reading part of your IELTS Academic exam requires you to read three longer and more complex texts than the simpler texts in the General Training test.

In the Writing section of the Academic test you will be given a chart or diagram which you must describe in 150 words. In the General Training test, you will be given a description of a real-life situation which you must then describe in a written letter. IELTS examiners will be looking at four important aspects: Task response (the essay must fully address the rubric), cohesion and coherence (the relevance of ideas and their connection, vocabulary and grammar.

The Speaking test has three parts and usually lasts for around 11 to 14 minutes. Each candidate has a one-to-one conversation with a single examiner and the conversation is recorded.

The Listening section is divided in four parts. You will listen to audio samples of people talking about different topics. You will then be required to answer questions based on what you have heard. The questions of the listening test get more difficult as you proceed.

The same four criteria are used to grade both versions of the exam (task response, cohesion and coherence, vocabulary, grammar), ensuring that your English language skills are assessed as accurately as possible.


Standard and UKVI test versions

The IELTS test for UK visa purposes is designed to meet certain administrative requirements that are specified only for individuals who wish to study, work or live in the United Kingdom. You can still choose between the IELTS Academic, General Training or IELTS Life Skills for UKVI tests, but you must ensure that you sit the exam at a centre authorised by the British Home Office.

Not all of the 1,000 standard IELTS test locations are UKVI-approved test centres. IELTS tests for UK Visas and Immigration are managed by the IELTS SELT Consortium, which includes the British Council, IDP IELTS Australia and Cambridge English Language Assessment. After you have taken the UKVI test, you will receive an IELTS Test Report Form which shows that you have taken your test in line with the UKVI requirements.

The UKVI test is slightly more expensive than the standard IELTS test. There are also different test dates for the two versions, depending on the SELT testing centres available. This can be checked on the website of the centre.

Ask the institution providing the test for detailed information about test dates and exam types.

  • IELTS Academic is perfect if you want to pursue a Bachelor’s or a postgraduate degree program, or seek professional registration in the UK. Professional registration means you will gain certified recognition for your profession.
  • IELTS General Training is probably best for you if you want to work and/or emigrate to a English-speaking country. IELTS General Training measures English language proficiency in a practical, everyday context. The tasks and tests reflect both workplace and social situations.

Take this test if you would like to:

  • study or train below degree level
  • work or undertake work related training in an English-speaking country
  • emigrate to an English-speaking country
  • get another job in your own country.

 

Computer-delivered IELTS (CD IELTS)

IELTS SELT Consortium has provided an option for test takers to take their time using a computer at the test center which will be more convenient for them and they will receive their results in 3 to 5 days.

The Test Report Form, content, timing and structure of the test is the same whether you take the test on paper or on computer and the Speaking test is always face-to-face with a certified IELTS Examiner.

If you choose to take computer-delivered IELTS, you will take the Listening, Reading and Writing test using a computer. All aspects of the test are identical to paper-based IELTS. The only slight difference is the listening section. This is because the paper-based test requires users to transfer answers to an answer sheet. This step becomes redundant when answering directly on a computer and therefore, this section is shorter than the paper-based format.
    
Before the start of each part of the Listening test you will have some time to read the questions.

After the end of each part of the Listening test you will have some time to review your answers.

At the end of the Listening test, you will have 2 minutes to check your answers. The timing of the Listening test is between 30 – 34 minutes.


IELTS Indicator

IELTS Indicator is a new online test that you can use to measure your English language level and keep your educational goal and this has been introduced during the Covid19 shut down. This test can be taken from the comfort of your home. The test includes four skills – Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking, and you will receive your result within seven days.

As IELTS Indicator provides an indicative score only, it is not accepted by all organizations. Before you book, please check with your university or educational institution. IELTS Indicator is an Academic test only and cannot be taken for immigration purposes.


IELTS Life Skills

The IELTS Life Skills is a UK Government-approved Secure English Language Test (SELT) version of the IELTS test. It is used to support UK Visa and Immigration applications and is designed for international English speakers who need to meet specific immigration requirements. Candidates are required to demonstrate speaking and listening abilities only. Your speaking and listening skills will be assessed at levels A1 or B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR). The IELTS Life Skills test is available at two levels:

  • IELTS Life Skills A1 – You should take this test if your English speaking and listening skills need to be evaluated because you are applying for a family, spouse or partner visa from UK Visas and Immigration. The test is usually 16-18 minutes.
  • IELTS Life Skills B1 - Tests your English speaking and listening skills. You should take this test if you are an UK Visa applicant for citizenship/residence. This test is 22 minutes.


At each level, the format of the test is designed to determine whether you can listen and respond to basic conversations in English, make your meaning clear and converse with other people. The tasks in the IELTS Life Skills test are designed to reflect the everyday experience of communicating in an English-speaking country. You will take the test face-to-face with an examiner, and with one other candidate. After the test, you will be awarded a pass/fail result rather than a band score and the result will be released a week after the test.

IELTS Types Work Migration Education Local purposes Length of Exam Test Components Delivery Type Results Release
IELTS General module ic_check_circle_24px.svg ic_check_circle_24px.svg   ic_check_circle_24px.svg

2 hours and 45 minutes plus 11-14 mins of Speaking exam

Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking

Paper

2 weeks

IELTS Academic module     ic_check_circle_24px.svg ic_check_circle_24px.svg

2 hours and 45 minutes plus 11-14 mins of Speaking exam

Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking

Paper 2 weeks

CD IELTS General Module

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2 hours and 45 minutes plus 11-14 mins of Speaking exam

Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking

Computer Delivered

3-5 days

CD IELTS Academic Module     ic_check_circle_24px.svg ic_check_circle_24px.svg

2 hours and 45 minutes plus 11-14 mins of Speaking exam

Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking

Computer Delivered

3-5 days

IELTS Indicator

(Academic Purposes only)

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2 hours and a half plus 11-14 mins of speaking exam

Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking

Online from home

7 days


IELTS Life Skills A1

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16 – 18 mins

Listening and Speaking

Face-to-face

7 days


IELTS Life Skills B1

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22 minutes

Listening and Speaking

Face-to-face

7 days

Responses (1)

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  • Arash Saadati 2021-02-21 23:18:53
    i just want to know which is better? Computer Delivered IELTS or Paper Based ???
    Response : It all depends on your keyboard skills If you are comfortable typing with the keyboard, the features available in the test software, such as the ability to copy and paste, highlight and navigate between questions, are definitely very attractive. Otherwise, you are suggested to participate in the test in the traditional way and through paper tests