IELTS scores are accepted by more than 7,000 organisations worldwide, including universities, employers, immigration authorities and professional bodies. IELTS is designed by experts to fairly assess the language ability of candidates who want to study or work where English is the language of communication.
Over 1.7 million IELTS tests are taken each year. Find out why so many people choose the IELTS test to help them study, work and live, all around the world.
The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is the world’s leading English language proficiency test, taken by over 1.7 million people each year.
The IELTS test assesses your English skills in reading, writing, listening and speaking. The test is designed to reflect how you will use English while studying, working, and socialising in your new life abroad.
The IELTS test is developed by some of the world’s leading experts in language assessment. It has an excellent international reputation, and is accepted by more than 7,000 organisations worldwide, including schools, universities, employers, immigration authorities and professional bodies.
Unlike many other English language tests, IELTS tests your English conversation skills through a face-to-face Speaking test. This means you are assessed by having a conversation with a real person. It is the most effective and natural way of testing your English conversation skills.
There are 2 versions of the IELTS test available. These are: IELTS Academic or IELTSGeneralTraining
To decide which test is most suited to your situation, read: Which version of IELTS should you choose?
More information is available in our “Information for Candidates” brochure.
IELTS FOR STUDY
IELTS opens doors to international education. The test is accepted by:
• Thousands of US universities, including Ivy League institutions
• Most universities in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and in the UK
• Many institutions that teach through the medium of English in Europe.
Follow the link to find out the scores required by academic institutions
IELTS FOR WORK
IELTS is the world’s leading English language test, accepted by employers and professional bodies in English-speaking countries worldwide.
IELTS FOR EMIGRATION
If you plan to emigrate to an English-speaking country, your English language skills will be important to you. Governments use IELTS to process immigration and student visa applications in many English-speaking countries, includingAustralia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
Even native English speakers sometimes need an English language qualification to emigrate to some English-speaking countries. You will need to check the IELTS scores for emigration needed in the country of your choice before you book your IELTS test.
There are two versions of IELTS to choose from:
Always check with the organisations you wish to apply to before you book your test!
Every organisation sets its own entry requirements. In some cases both versions of IELTS may be accepted. Visit Who accepts IELTS? to search for the organisations you want to apply to, and find out which version you need. If you are in doubt as to which version to take, contact the organisations directly to check their requirements.
If you already know which test will be best for your situation, click here to register.
The IELTS test format is tried and trusted by organisations and test takers worldwide.
When you take your IELTS test you can expect the following procedure:
In one day you will take the following exams in this order without any breaks in between:
Your Speaking test will either be after a break on the same day as the other three sections of your IELTS test, or up to seven days before or after that. This will depend on your test centre.
There are two versions of IELTS. See the ‘IELTS Academic or IELTS General Training’ page to check which version you need to take.
Everyone takes the same Listening and Speaking tests, regardless of which version they take. The Reading and Writing tests differ in content, depending on whether you are taking IELTS Academic or IELTS General Training.
IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training are assessed at exactly the same levels.
To illustrate, the diagram below shows that the listening and speaking test is the same for both IELTS Academic, and IELTS General Training, but there are different tests for reading and writing.
You cannot fail the test. IELTS is designed to assess English language skills at all levels.
You will receive a score based on each for the four skills on a scale of 1 – 9. For example:
You will also be awarded an overall band score based on the average of all 4 areas.
Your different scores may be whole bands ((e.g., 5.0, 6.0, 7.0) or half bands (e.g., 5.5., 6.5, 7.5) bands.
Your overall band score may be crucial if you intend to emigrate, apply for university or take up a job in an English-speaking country.
Find out more about how to understand your IELTS scores and the 9-band system.
IELTS is recognised by over 7,000 organisations worldwide, including educational institutions, employers, governments, immigration authorities and professional bodies.
Don’t take our word for it though, listen to some IELTS candidates who have taken the test and find out what they think about their experiences.
IELTS is jointly owned by the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and the University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations.