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  • The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is the world’s most popular English language test.
  • It has been developed by some of the world’s leading experts and is jointly owned by the British Council, Cambridge Assessment English, and IDP: IELTS Australia.
  • As ideal providers of internal English language testing, IELTS is committed to academic excellence and cultural understanding.
  • As a test, it reflects how well a candidate can use English language to study, work, and live in a native English environment.
  • For any additional information, candidates can visit official website www.ielts.org
What is IELTS
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  • IELTS is a proficiency test designed for non-native English speakers.
  • More than 3 million candidates take the test annually opening their doors to international education.
  • The scores of the test are accepted by most universities in the world, especially those in the United States, Australia, Canada, Britain, and New Zealand.
  • IELTS has two modules;
Why take IELTS
  • IELTS is accepted in over 140 nations across the globe. Over 11,000 organizations including academic institutions accept IELTS.
  • IELTS score will decide which university candidates can apply for higher education.
  • IELTS certificate can help candidates achieve their career aspirations of working abroad.
  • IELTS assess a candidate’s abilities and proficiency in English language. However, it is relevant for American and British English as the test covers both.
IELTS eligibility
  • Candidates irrespective of age, gender, nationality, race, or religion can take IELTS test.
  • There is no minimum age requirement set by the IELTS administrators, but it is not recommended for candidates below 16 years of age.
  • There are no eligibility criteria set by the conducting body of IELTS. It is advised that candidates check the eligibility criteria set by educational institutions where they wish to apply.
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IELTS Registration

Candidates can register for IELTS exam in following steps:

  • Firstly, candidates must visit the official British Council registration page; https://ieltsregistration.britishcouncil.org/test-chooser
  • Secondly, candidates will have to choose the test they need to apply for.
  • Thirdly, candidates must check the availability and select the test date. It is crucial to note that candidates will have to select a separate test date for Speaking test.
  • Next, create an account with the British Council.
  • Lastly, register for the IELTS by paying fee online.

Candidates must keep their passports ready at the time of registration and also at the test center. Candidates who are below 18 years of age will need their parents and guardians to book the test.

The test center will send a written confirmation informing candidates about the date and time for IELTS exam after the registration is complete.

IELTS Exam Fee

  • Candidates are required to pay a registration fee of $245 - $255.
  • Candidates will not receive refund for registration fee if they cancel the exam less than five weeks ahead of the test date.
  • Candidates who cancel the exam more than five weeks before the test date will receive a refund (excluding the 25 % administrative fee).
  • Candidates who wish to change test date can request a change at least five weeks before the test by paying an administrative charge of Rs. 3,300 inclusive of all taxes.

Documents Checklist

Candidates must carry the following documents to the test center:

  • Identification card
  • Passport or national ID

Candidates must carry the ID used by them at the time of registration and IELTS Speaking Test as well. Candidates can carry their mobile phones, but have to switch it off and place along with other personnel belongings in an area provided by the test supervisor.

Test Methods

There are four sections in IELTS exam. It is important to note than listening and speaking sections remain same for IELTS academic and general module. However, reading and writing sections are different for both modules.

The IELTS has two-test taking variants from which candidates can choose. Given below is the exam pattern for each variant.

Exam Total Duration Score Pattern Listening
(in minutes)
(in minutes)
(in minutes)
(in minutes)
Paper based 174 minutes 0-9 bands with a
possibility of 0.5 band interval
30 + 10 (answer transfer time) 60 60 11 to 14
Computer-based 164 minutes 30 60 60 11 to 14
IELTS syllabus

Listening Section

  • The listening section of the exam has total 40 questions divided in 4 different tasks.
  • Candidates have 30 minutes to finish this section and 10 minutes extra as transfer time. Transfer time is given to shift the final answers to the answer sheet.
  • Candidates will have to listen to 4 different recordings to be played once. Each recording shall be in a variety of voices with native-speaker accents.
  • Candidates are expected to attempt questions ranging from multiple-choice, matching, form completion, diagram labeling, note completion, short answers and summary completion.

Reading Section

  • The reading section has 3 passages that candidates are expected to complete in 60 minutes.
  • This section has a total of 40 questions divided into numerous tasks. The questions in each task are different.
  • Questions can be multiple-choice, true or false, diagram labeling, and identifying information. However, the distribution of the number of questions is not fixed.

Writing Section

  • Writing section consists of 2 sections:
    1. Section one has various types of visual information that candidates have to elaborate in 150 words.
    2. Section two consists of a topic to write in not less or more than 250 words.
  • The total test time of this section is 60 minutes.

Speaking Section

  • Speaking test lasts upto 11-14 minutes with 3 tasks.
  • Task one is introduction or interview that lasts 4-5 minutes, wherein the examiner asks the candidate for personal introduction.
  • In the second task, candidates are given a task card which consists of a topic to speak on. Candidates are given 1 minute to jot down notes and another 1-2 minutes to speak on the given topic.
  • In the third task, the topic from the second task is discussed in-depth.

Scoring System

Candidates will receive IELTS score based on each of the four skills on a scale of 1 to 9. The cut-off score varies for different universities and courses. The table given below revals what each band score would mean.

Band Skill Level Meaning
0 Did not attend the test No assessable information
1 Non-user Candidate has no ability to use language.
2 Intermittent user Candidate has great difficulty
3 Extremely limited user Candidate understands only the general meaning in familiar situations
4 Limited user Candidates can frequent problems in understanding
5 Modest user Candidates can partial command of the language
6 Competent user Candidates can use and understand fairly complex language
7 Good user Candidate has operational command of the language
8 Very good user Candidate has full operational command of the language with rare inaccuracies
9 Expert user Candidates can full operational command of the language.
  • IELTS test results are released within a week (online) and within 13 calendar days (offline) after candidates appear for the exam.
  • Candidates shall receive an email when the scores are available.
  • IELTS scores are valid for two years.

10 Tips to Cracking IELTS

  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is one of the standardized tests to assess candidate’s proficiency in English.
  • The exam fee for taking the IELTS exam in India is $245 - $255. It is an expensive examination and therefore, it is recommended that candidates prepare well for the exam.
  • To crack this proficiency test, candidates must prepare well for all four compulsory sections of examination.

Scoring Pattern

  • Candidates can receive a score from 1 to 9 in each section, i.e. Listening, Writing, Reading, and Speaking.
  • The overall band score is equal to the average of the score in these four sections.
  • IELTS scores is valid for 2 years and it is therefore essential; to score well in exam as top universities accept a score of 7 or more.
  • Following simple tips to crack the IELTS exam can help candidates get a score of 7 or above.

Tips to Follow Before the IELTS Exam

Here are 10 tips that candidates can follow before the exam to crack a band score of more than 7.

  • Work on Vocabulary: Good vocabulary knowledge is beneficial. It is advised not to use longtail English language words, rather use the most commonly used terms.
  • Read English Everyday: Candidates can get a good hold of language if they continue to read long passages like a magazine, newspaper, or a journal. Practicing complicated and difficult passages can also help the applicants.
  • Practice Listening to Audio Clips: Candidates can practice listening to audio clips in both American, British, and mixed accent to prepare well for the test.
  • Improve Pronunciation: The key to score in speaking section is good pronunciation. Candidates are advised to use simple and small words rather than long and complicated ones. Candidates should remain confident and fluently pronounce words without mistakes.
  • Practice Meditation: Candidates can build effective concentration skills essential for the exam by practicing meditation. The audio clip is played once and it is important to remain focused while listening to the clip and formulate the answers in mind immediately after that.
  • Practice Speaking: Practice speaking on general and educational topics can help to build confidence, gain information, and build fluency in English language.
  • Take Mock Tests: There are multiple mock tests available online that can help to crack IELTS. The more the candidate practices more are their chances of scoring a 7-plus score in actual test.
  • Be Familiar With Exam Syllabus : Candidates should keep up with the news and any changes announced in the examination or scoring pattern. Candidates are expected to be familiar with academic and general training question types.
  • Look for Model Letters: Candidates must look for model letters online and analyse them for ideas and vocabulary. This is helpful in General Training module.
  • Find Model Essays: Candidates can learn to write essay by finding model essays online and analyse them in terms of their structure, coherence, response, vocabulary, and sentence variety.

Preparation for competitive exams is a continuous process that requires time, money, and efforts. Every practice that candidates do in listening, speaking, writing, or reading can help to improve language proficiency and skills.

Tips To Follow During the IELTS Exam

Here are 10 tips that candidates can follow during the IELTS exam to score more than 7.

  • Avoid Grammatical Errors: Candidates are advised to completely avoid grammatical errors and focus on tenses. While minor mistakes could be ignored, sentence construction is extremely crucial.
  • Don’t Waste Time: Applicants have 10 minutes to write accurate answers after listening to the clips. It is advised that applicants write down answers directly on the answer sheet without wasting time.
  • Read Questions and Then Passage: Candidates will be able to answer more than 50 per cent of answers if they read questions before reading the passage. Here scanning of information is crucial to reach correct answers.
  • Read the Instructions: Candidates must read the instructions given in the test booklet for the word limit as writing more can deduct marks.
  • Underline Key Information: Candidates can underline key information and make notes in the reading passages in the test booklet.
  • Do Not Use Task Words: Candidates are advised not use task words in writing section. It is better to use own vocabulary and sentence structures.
  • Keep Calm: Candidates must keep calm and relaxed to give better performance. This shall also help in speaking section to give extended responses.
  • Body language: Body language is essential; therefore, candidates should not overuse gestures. While it is good to correct mistakes, candidates must concentrate on answering the questions to the best of their ability.
  • Reach the Test Center Before Time: Candidates are advised to reach the test center at least 20 minutes before the time slot. As the exam is a formal situation, candiates can speak in English with other students before entering the exam room to feel more confident.
  • Check Answers: Lastly, candidates must check the answers during the 30-second pause time after each section is completed.

Preparation for competitive exams is a continuous process that requires time, money, and efforts. Every practice that candidates do in listening, speaking, writing, or reading can help to improve language proficiency and skills.


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