The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is accepted by more than 6000 academic institutions in over 135 countries. Thousands of universities accept IELTS as proof of English proficiency which in many institutions is one of the requirements for admission.
The IELTS test covers the four language skills: listening, reading, writing and speaking. The oral part is an interview with a certified examiner.
International students who wish to pursue their studies at a university in an English speaking country must pass an English proficiency test. This requirement is to ensure that the student’s level of English is good, as the classes are taught in English and all the study material and papers to be delivered will be in English.
Note that students must obtain a minimum score for admission to these institutions. Students should check with the institutions involved what is the pass mark.
You can prepare for the IELTS in advance, either by buying the books, or there are many websites containing several free practice tests and answers, giving students the opportunity to develop their own exam technique. These simulations tests offer students the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the format of the test and experience the types of tasks that they will be required to perform.
Another method is to test yourself in timed conditions, you can even review your answers and compare them with model answers.
Remember, you have to listen, read and write all the modules of the test in one day, without breaks, so it is important to practice for the test under similar conditions.
Each test is presented over a number of web pages. Be sure to answer questions and perform tasks on each page in the correct order.
If you prefer to practice offline it is possible to download the tests, answer sheets and blank transcripts.
To register for the IELTS, you must first find your local test centre which will advise you on what you need to pass the test. They will also provide an application form to be filled out, or you can download the form directly from the official IELTS website.
You will have to fill the form and sign it. You will also need a copy of your passport (or other photo ID) and two recent passport size photographs signed on the back.
After filling out the registration form send it back to the centre with your payment to complete your registration. Check with the centre for payment methods.
Once your application form is processed, your IELTS registration will be completed and you will be informed of your examination date. On the day of the exam you will need to bring the same ID you used to register for the test.
In some cases, you can fill out the IELTS online form, but you will have to verify this with your local centre to see if they offer this service.
There are two versions of the test: IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training. Both are corrected in exactly the same way.
You will do the first three parts of the test in the following order: listening, reading and writing. There are no breaks between the first three parts.
The oral test may be conducted on the same day, or a maximum of a week before or after the other parts of the test, depending on local conditions.
A series of native accents are used in the listening test (North American, Australian, New Zealand and British), and all varieties of standard English answers are accepted in all parts of the test.
IELTS is jointly managed by University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations (Cambridge ESOL ), British Council and IDP: IELTS Australia. IELTS conforms to the highest international standards of language assessment. Education institutes and employers in countries such as Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, UK and USA accepted this test. Government agencies as well as immigration authorities accept the IELTS.
The results of the test should be received by the student within 13 days of the test being performed. The results of the IELTS can be mailed to any address worldwide. Copies of the test results can also be mailed directly, at no extra cost, to the institutions to which you are applying to. The results are easy to understand.
To learn more about the IELTS visit the official British Council website. To find out availability for your preferred date contact a IELTS testing centre near you.