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IELTS stands for the International English Language Testing System - an English Language proficiency test developed and run by IDP education in partnership with Cambridge Assessment English and the British Council. It is trusted by over 12,000 organisations worldwide, including governments, universities, and employers. For over 30 years, IELTS has set the standard for English language testing to help people achieve their professional, personal, and academic ambitions. More than 3.5 million test takers yearly appear for the IELTS test.

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Purpose of the IELTS Exam

IELTS scores assess an individual's ability to communicate in English effectively. IELTS facilitates international mobility and communication across diverse contexts.

  • Study: Countless esteemed universities and colleges across the globe acknowledge IELTS results as validation of one's English language proficiency.

  • Work: Various professional registration bodies, spanning fields such as accounting engineering, law, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, and education, recognise IELTS scores. This underscores the necessity of undertaking the IELTS to obtain professional accreditation in English-speaking nations.

  • Migrate: Many governments prioritise IELTS scores over other English language assessments for permanent residency applications. The IELTS General Training test is the only non-academic examination accepted for migration to English-speaking countries like Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the UK, and the USA.

Different Types of IELTS Tests

The test is available in two main formats: Academic, for those seeking higher education opportunities, and General Training, which focuses on practical language skills for work and migration purposes.

IELTS Academic

IELTS Academic evaluates your English language proficiency and determines its suitability for an academic setting. This test assesses your grasp of academic language and determines if you are adequately prepared to commence training or studying in English.

IELTS General Training

IELTS General Training measures your English language skills in practical, everyday scenarios. This test includes workplace and social situations, comprehensively evaluating your language abilities in real-life contexts.

IELTS for Life Skills

IELTS for Life Skills is a specialised version of IELTS that assesses a candidate’s English language proficiency in everyday contexts. It is designed for individuals who need to demonstrate their English speaking and listening skills for UK visa applications. The test has two levels (A1 and B1) aligned with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

Eligibility Criteria for the IELTS Exam

The only requirement for taking the IELTS exam in India and worldwide is that candidates must be at least 16 years old. Individuals aged 16 or older, regardless of gender, nationality, or background, are eligible to sit for the exam.

How does the IELTS Test Work?

The IELTS test assesses your English language proficiency in four skill sets: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking.

  1. Listening Module: This section evaluates your ability to comprehend concepts, identify viewpoints, and track the progression of an argument. The test section lasts about 30 minutes, including 10 minutes at the end, to transfer answers to the answer sheet.During the test, candidates are given four recordings to hear. Each recording is played only once, and the candidate will be given time to read the questions before each section begins.

  2. Reading Module: This section evaluates your ability to comprehend a text's overall meaning, main concepts, and specific details. It also tests your comprehension of the author's implications and viewpoints. While the IELTS reading test format is similar for both Academic and General Training, the content of the texts and tasks are different.

  3. Writing Module: This section assesses your proficiency in organising ideas, writing coherent responses, and employing a diverse range of vocabulary and grammar with precision and accuracy. The General and Academic Training Writing tests are evaluated at the same level. The IELTS Academic Writing test covers topics appropriate for undergraduate and postgraduate students. At the same time, the IELTS General Training module includes passages on familiar topics from sources like books, magazines, notices, company handbooks, and guidelines.

  4. Speaking Module: This section evaluates your ability to effectively communicate opinions and information regarding everyday topics and common experiences. It consists of three tasks and lasts for about 11-14 minutes. With the help of a speaking test, the examiner assesses the candidate’s performance based on four criteria: fluency and coherence, lexical resource, grammatical range, and pronunciation.

IELTS Test Modes of Delivery

You can appear for the test in two ways - Pen and paper-based and IELTS on Computer. Let’s discuss these in detail.

IELTS on Paper

The IELTS on Paper test is the traditional format where you must complete the Listening, Reading, and Writing sections using a physical test booklet and answer sheet. The Speaking test is conducted in person with an examiner. For this format of the test, you will be provided with question booklets and answer sheets for respective sections. You must write and complete the test in the allocated time.

IELTS on Computer

The IELTS on Computer exam is an alternative format to the traditional paper-based test. It allows you to complete your listening, reading and writing sections on a computer at the ease of your home or any location with a stable internet connection. However, the speaking test is conducted in person with an examiner. The advantages of IELTS on computer include faster results, flexible test dates, and a user-friendly interface.

Top Countries Where IELTS is Accepted

Below given are the top countries where IELTS is accepted:


IELTS is a popular choice in Canada that many universities accept. To meet the requirements for working, studying, or migrating to Canada, you must attain a score of 6 or higher on the IELTS for Canada, which is assessed on a scale ranging from 0 to 9.


Recognised and accepted by the CELTA (Cambridge ESOL Examinations), IELTS is acknowledged by over 4,000 universities and employers in the US. To study in the USA, meeting a minimum band score of 6.5 is required on IELTS for USA.


The UKVI is a part of the Home Office in the UK that manages the immigration processes to the UK. To pursue studies in the UK as an international student, you must take the IELTS for UK Academic test and attain a minimum overall score of 6. This test must be taken within two years of applying for your visa.


A good IELTS band score can significantly benefit your Australian study visa application and enhance your prospects for admission to universities and various job positions. Achieving an overall band score of 5.5 or higher in each of the four skills is important to meet the minimum requirement of IELTS for Australia.

New Zealand

New Zealand is a popular study destination for international students, and one of the requirements for admission to most universities and colleges is a minimum overall band score of 6.0 or above in IELTS for New Zealand.


Ireland has earned widespread recognition as an appealing destination for international students seeking opportunities to study, work, and live abroad. As part of the admission process for universities and employment opportunities in Ireland, all applicants must achieve a minimum overall band score of 6 in IELTS for Ireland.


Thousands of prestigious universities and colleges worldwide recognise IELTS results as proof of English language proficiency. Additionally, professional registration bodies across various sectors, such as accounting, engineering, law, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, and teaching, accept IELTS scores, indicating the necessity of the exam for professional registration in English-speaking countries.

Moreover, many governments prefer IELTS scores over other English language tests to provide individuals with permanent residency. The IELTS General Training test is the only non-academic test accepted for migration to Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the UK, and the USA.