International English Language Testing System


The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is an English Language Proficiency Test, mandatory for non-native students for studying in nations where the mode and medium of instruction is English. Many Universities in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada accept the IELTS. It is a prerequisite for students desirous of studying in Australia - an Australian Student Visa, granted without an IELTS Score is unheard of. All other Universities require students to either take the TOEFL or IELTS.Most Centers provide a testing session about thrice a month. Candidates are advised to contact their nearest center to find out the date of the next date and collect the IELTS Handbook and an application form.

IELTS is jointly managed by: University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations, British Council, and IDP: IELTS Australia

The test has four components - Reading, Writing, Listening, Speaking. You will receive a band score for each component as well as a global band score.

The Academic Module

This module is intended for candidates seeking entry to a university or institution of higher education offering degree and diploma courses (i.e. those seeking undergraduate or postgraduate courses).

The General Training Module

This module is meant for candidates seeking immigration to an English speaking country.

The two versions do not carry the same weight and are not interchangeable. All candidates are tested on reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. Whereas the speaking and listening sections are common for the Academic and General versions of the test, the Reading and Writing sections are different.


Section Subject Questions Time (Mins)
I Listening 4 Sections of Listening Speeches 28-30
II Written 2 Quest of 20 & 40 Minutes 60
III Reading 3 Passages 38-40 Questions 60
IV Speaking Introduction + Cue Card 10-12

There is no fixed pass mark in IELTS.

The acceptability of a score is totally at the discretion of the institute-applied or govt. body (immigration). However, as a general rule, scores below Band 6 are considered to be too low and above Band 6.5 are deemed to be adequate and good. Band 6 scores are borderline. An overall score of Band 6.5 is mostly accepted as a good score. The individual module's Band score is considered as per the requirement.

Scores Grading
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

When is the IELTS Test held?

  • The IELTS examination is held thrice, once a month.
  • The individual module's Band score is considered as per the requirement. The Band score obtained is valid up to two years. While obtaining admission to an educational institute, the latest IELTS score is considered.

Eligibility and Fees

  • IELTS is not recommended for candidates under the age of 16. The test is valid for 2 years, test reports older than 2 years would only be accepted as evidence that the student tried to improve his English Proficiency.
  • In India, the fee is Rs. 6,500, payable at the time of registration.

You can pay INR by means of a Nationalized bank draft payable to the British Council.