IELTS, the International English Language Testing System, is designed to assess the language ability of candidates who need to study or work where English is the language of communication.

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. It covers the four language skills – listening, reading, writing and speaking.

IELTS is recognized by universities and employers in many countries, including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the USA. It is also recognized by professional bodies, immigration authorities and other government agencies. IELTS is not recommended for candidates under the age of 16.

A Test Administration

IELTS tests are administered at centres throughout the world. There are more than 300 centres, in over 100 countries. A full list of centres is available on the IELTS website:

Most centres conduct testing session at least once a month and more often, at peak times. Please contact the relevant centre for exact test dates. Results will be produced within 13 days after the test. At some centres, candidates may collect their results on the 13th day, at others results are mailed on the 13th day. The candidate will only receive one copy of their test result and replacement copies will not be provided. Additional copies can be sent direct to receiving organizations and institutions by test centres.

Academic and General Training

IELTS is available in two formats – Academic and General Training.
The Academic Modules assess whether a candidate is ready to study or train in the medium of English at an undergraduate and postgraduate level. Admission to undergraduate or postgraduate level courses should be based on the results of these modules.

The General Training Modules emphasize basic survival skills in a broad social and educational context. General Training is suitable for candidates who are going to English-speaking countries to complete their Secondary education, to undertake work experience or training programmes, not at a degree level, or for immigration purposes to Australia, Candada and New Zealand. The General Training module is not offered at all test administrations.


Time: Approximately 30 minutes
Candidates are made to listen to a number of recorded texts, which increase in difficulty quotient as the test progresses. These include a mixture of monologues and conversations and feature a variety of English accents and dialects.
The recording is heard only once, but candidates are given time to read the questions and write down their answers.

Academic Reading

Time: 60 minutes
There are three reading passages with tasks. Texts are taken from books, magazines, journals and newspapers, all written for a non-specialist audience. At least, one of the texts contains a detailed argument.

General Training Reading

Time: 60 minutes
The texts are based on the type of material candidates would be expected to encounter on a daily basis in an English-speaking country. They are taken from sources such as newspapers, advertisements, instruction manuals and books, and test the candidate’s ability to understand and use information. The test includes one longer text, which is descriptive rather than argumentative.

Academic Writing

Time: 60 minutes
Candidates are asked to write a description of at least 150 words. This is based on material found in a chart, table, graph or diagram and should demonstrate their ability to present information and to summarize the main features of the input. For the second task, candidates write a short essay of at least 250 words in response to a statement or question. They are expected to demonstrate an ability to present a position, construct an argument and discuss abstract issues.

General Training Writing

Time: 60 minutes
The first task requires candidates to write a letter of at least 150 words either asking for information, or explaining a situation.;
For the second task, candidates write a short essay of at least 250 words in response to a statement or question. They are expected to demonstrate an ability to present a position, construct an argument and discuss issues.


Time: 11-14 minutes
The test takes the form of a face to face interview. Candidates are assessed on their use of Spoken English to answer short questions, to speak at length on a familiar topic, and also to interact with the examiner.