All you need to know about IELTS to study abroad

All you need to know about IELTS to study abroad

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is one of the most popular English language proficiency test taken by people around the globe to study, work or migrate to English speaking countries like Australia, UK, New Zealand, the USA, and Canada. IELTS is recognised by 10,000+ organisations spread across 140 countries around the world including educational institutions, private and government organisations, High profile companies, etc to test the English language proficiency of an individual.

The IELTS test is designed to assess listening, reading, writing and speaking abilities. The total test duration is 2hrs45 min.


There are 2 versions of the IELTS test:

  1. IELTS Academic test
  2. IELTS General Training

IELTS Academic test is designed for students who want to join higher education institutions abroad or for students who want to gain professional registration in fields like accounting, engineering, law, medicine, nursing, pharmacy and teaching bodies in an English-speaking country after completion of studies.

IELTS General Training test is designed for professionals who want to work abroad and need to certify their level of English to the organisation. The General Training test is the only non-academic test required in English speaking countries like Australia, New Zealand, Canada, United Kingdom and The USA for migration purposes.

Listening and speaking sections are the same for both IELTS tests, but the Reading and Writing sections are different depending upon the test you take.


=====IELTS listening test=====

Duration-30 minutes (For Pen Paper)/30 – 36 minutes (Computer-delivered)

Number of questions- 40

Marks Distribution- Each question carries 1 mark

In this test, you will have to listen to four recordings (conversations and monologues) and then answer the questions asked. The recordings are of native English speakers and the duration of the test is 30 minutes.

Recording 1 – an everyday conversation between two people set in a social context.

Recording 2 – a monologue in an everyday social context

Recording 3 – a conversation between groups of people set in an educational or training context.

Recording 4 – a monologue on an academic subject

=====IELTS Reading test=====

Duration- 60 minutes

Number of questions- 40

The IELTS Reading test is designed to test an array of reading skills. There are 3 long texts which are descriptive and factual to discursive and analytical pieces taken from books, journals, magazines and newspapers. Texts can also contain materials such as diagrams, graphs or illustrations. You have to find the gist, main ideas, details, logical arguments, skimming, and figuring out the writers’ attitudes, opinions and intentions.

=====IELTS Writing test=====

Duration- 60 minutes

Number of questions- 2

The IELTS writing test requires the completion of two tasks and covers topics of general interest based on the module Academic/General Writing test you are taking. Test takers have to respond according to a given situation like writing a letter requesting information or explaining a situation. In Task 2, test takers write an essay to relate a point of view, argument or problem.

=====IELTS Speaking Test=====

Duration- 11-14 minutes

Number of questions- Variable

The IELTS Speaking test is designed to assess test takers English speaking skills. The test is conducted in three parts and recorded for assessment purpose. In Part 1, the general question on some familiar topics such as home, family, work are asked and the ability to communicate information and opinions on the day to day topics and regular experiences or situations is evaluated.

In Part 2, test takers are asked to talk about a particular topic. They are given one minute to prepare their portion. This part of the test focuses on the ability to speak on a given topic elaborately by organising ideas coherently and using suitable language skills. After this, the examiner asks a few questions on that topic.

In Part 3, the examiner and test taker discuss part 2 topics and gauge the test candidate’s ability to express opinions, analyse and discuss issues and justify their speech on the topic.


IELTS uses a nine-band scale to identify the English Language Proficiency of the test taker and is evaluated as follows:

Band score Skill level
9 Expert user
8 Very good user
7 Good user
6 Competent user
5 Modest user
4 Limited user
3 Extremely limited user
2 Intermittent user
1 Non-user
0 Did not attempt the test


IELTS is available at more than 1,600 locations worldwide, including more than 50 locations in the USA. The IELTS test is offered in India across 67 test cities. Book your test at any of the IELTS Registration Centres near you.


IELTS test dates are offered around 4 times a month and Candidates can take a total of 48 test dates in one calendar year. The availability of IELTS Test dates in India may differ like for the Academic module Test dates is available on all 48 dates and for the General Training version, it is available on 24 dates.


IELTS can be taken by anyone regardless of age, gender, race, nationality or religion.

However, the IELTS test is not recommended for those under 16 years of age.


IELTS Registration can be done in the following steps:

  • Visit the official British Council registration page
  • Create an account with the British Council
  • Find your nearest test centre
  • Register for the IELTS test and pay fees online

Minor candidates below 18 years of age need their parent or guardian to book the test for them. Once the registration is complete, a written confirmation from the test centre will be sent about the date and time of your IELTS test.

NOTE- At the time of registration keep your passport handy as you need to provide your passport number. You also need to carry your passport on the test day.


The fee for regular IELTS is 14,700. It differs for IELTS for UKVI and Life Skills. The fee can be deposited via various modes of payment such as debit/credit card (Master or Visa), net banking, and DD or bank deposit in ICICI/Allahabad bank branches via a customised deposit slip.


In Pen-Paper Mode Results will be available 13 days after the test. At some test centres, test takers can collect their results on the 13th day. At other test centres, results are mailed to test takers on the 13th day.

Computer-delivered IELTS gives your results faster, within 3-5 days.

A preview of your results is available online for 28 days.

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10 Documents You Need To Study Abroad


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