What is IELTS

ABOUT IELTS

The International English language Testing System (IELTS) is the world’s most popular English language proficiency test for higher education and global migration. More than 3.5 million IELTS tests were taken in 2018 in more than 140 countries.

ELTS assesses all of your English skills — reading, writing, listening and speaking, and is designed to reflect how you will use English at study, at work, and at play, in your new life abroad. The IELTS test is developed by some of the world’s leading experts in language assessment. It has an excellent international reputation and is accepted by over 10,000 organisations worldwide, including schools, universities, employers, immigration authorities and professional bodies. IELTS is the most widely accepted English language test that uses a one-on-one speaking test to assess your English communication skills. This means that you are assessed by having a real-life conversation with a real person. This is the most effective and natural way of testing your English conversation skills.

Whatever your reason for taking IELTS, make the most of your language skills.

IELTS scores and test format

The IELTS test assesses your abilities in all four skills – listening, reading, writing and speaking – in less than three hours. The IELTS test format is tried and trusted by organisations and test takers worldwide and has not changed significantly for over 20 years. You will take the Listening, Reading and Writing tests all on the same day one after the other, with no breaks in between them. They are always taken in this order. Your Speaking test will either be after a break on the same day as the other three tests, or up to seven days before or after.

Two versions of the test

There are two versions of the IELTS test format. See the IELTS Academic or IELTS General Training page to check which version you need to take.
Everyone takes the same Listening and Speaking tests, regardless of which version they take. The Reading and Writing tests differ in content, depending on whether you are taking IELTS Academic or IELTS General Training. IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training are assessed at exactly the same levels.