The test that opens doors around the world IELTS, the International English Language Testing System, is designed to assess the language ability of candidates who want to study or work where English is the language of communication. IELTS is recognised by over 6,000 organisations worldwide, including universities, employers, professional bodies, immigration authorities and other government agencies. For a list of organisations that accept IELTS scores, visit http://bandscore. ielts. org Preparing to take IELTS
Make sure you are ready It’s important to familiarise yourself with the format of the test as outlined in this booklet. Further information on the content of the test can be found at www. ielts. org/teachers. aspx You may ? nd it helpful to do a practice test. Of? cial IELTS Practice Materials may be purchased from test centres or online at www. ielts. org/candidates. aspx These materials include a full practice test with answers, and sample Writing and Speaking performances with examiner comments. More samples of IELTS test material and information about the test are available from the following websites: www. elts. org www. britishcouncil. org/learning-ielts. htm www. cambridgeesol. org/exams/academic-english/ ielts. html www. idp. com/examinations/ielts/about_the_test. aspx www. ieltsusa. org You don’t have to attend a preparation course, but many candidates ? nd that doing so helps them improve their performance. If you would like assistance with test preparation, IELTS centres and language schools around the world offer IELTS preparation courses. Know the IELTS rules and regulations It’s important to familiarise yourself with the IELTS rules and regulations.
These are laid out in the Notice to Candidates which is included with the application form. When you sign the application form declaration, you are con? rming that you have read and understood the IELTS rules and regulations and agree to abide by them. Register as soon as possible Accessible and convenient IELTS is offered up to four times a month in more than 125 countries. Tests are usually on Saturdays or Thursdays. To ? nd out test dates in your area, please contact your nearest IELTS test centre. A list of all IELTS test centres worldwide is available at www. ielts. org The international test
IELTS is internationally focused in its content. For example, a range of native-speaker accents (North American, Australian, New Zealand, and British) is used in the Listening test, and all standard varieties of English are accepted in candidates’ responses in all parts of the test. The test that’s tried and trusted IELTS has been developed by some of the world’s leading experts in language assessment, and is supported by an extensive programme of research, validation and test development. The level of the test IELTS is designed to assess English language skills at all levels.
There is no such thing as a pass or fail in IELTS. Results are reported as band scores on a scale from 1 (the lowest) to 9 (the highest). The IELTS Band Score Scale 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 Expert user Very good user Good user Competent user Modest user Limited user Extremely limited user Intermittent user Non user Did not attempt the test When you feel you are ready to take the test, you need to register with your nearest IELTS centre. Contact the centre as soon as possible, as the number of candidates who can take the test on a particular date may be limited.
You will need to pay the test fee when you register. Test results The Test Report Form You will receive a Test Report Form which reports a score for each of the four skills (listening, reading, writing and speaking), as well as an overall band score. Half band scores may be awarded to indicate a strong performance within a particular band. You can ? nd more information on score processing and score interpretation at www. ielts. org/ researchers/score_processing_and_reporting. aspx Test format There are two modules to choose from – Academic and General Training.
The Academic module is for candidates wishing to study at undergraduate or postgraduate levels, and for those seeking professional registration The General Training module is for candidates wishing to migrate to an Englishspeaking country (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK), and for those wishing to train or study at below degree level Each recognising organisation sets its own entry requirements. In some cases both modules may be accepted. If you are in doubt as to which module to take, you should contact the organisation you are applying to in order to check their requirements.
Both modules cover all four language skills – listening, reading, writing and speaking. Everyone takes the same Listening and Speaking tests. There are different Reading and Writing tests for the Academic and General Training modules. The Listening, Reading and Writing tests must be completed on the same day. There are no breaks between the three written tests. The Speaking test may be taken up to seven days before or after the other three tests. Results are issued 13 days after the test. At some test centres candidates may collect their results on the 13th day; at others, results are mailed on the 13th day.
Test centres are not permitted to give results over the phone or by fax or email. You will receive only one copy of the Test Report Form. It’s important that you keep it safe as replacement Test Report Forms cannot be issued. Test centres will send copies of the Test Report Form to up to ? ve recognising organisations free of charge. Test Report Form validity Recognising organisations will not usually accept a Test Report Form that is more than two years old unless you provide evidence that you have actively maintained or tried to improve your English since taking the test.
The IELTS Test Partners cannot con? rm the validity of test results that are more than two years old. Listening Academic Reading General Training Reading Academic Writing General Training Writing Speaking The test components Listening Timing: Approximately 30 minutes (plus 10 minutes’ transfer time) Reading Timing: 60 minutes (no extra transfer time) Questions: There are 40 questions A variety of question types is used, chosen from the following: multiple choice, matching, plan/map/diagram labelling, form completion, note completion, table completion, ? w-chart completion, summary completion, sentence completion, short-answer questions Questions: There are 40 questions A variety of question types is used, chosen from the following: multiple choice, identifying information (True/False/Not Given), identifying writer’s views/claims (Yes/No/Not Given), matching information, matching headings, matching features, matching sentence endings, sentence completion, summary completion, note completion, table completion, ? wchart completion, diagram label completion, short-answer questions Test Parts: There are 4 sections Section 1 is a conversation between two people set in an everyday social context (e. g. a conversation in an accommodation agency) Section 2 is a monologue set in an everyday social context (e. g. a speech about local facilities or a talk about the arrangements for meals during a conference) Section 3 is a conversation between up to four people set in an educational or training context (e. g. university tutor and a student discussing an assignment, or a group of students planning a research project) Section 4 is a monologue on an academic subject (e. g. a university lecture) Each section is heard once only A variety of voices and native-speaker accents is used Test Parts: There are 3 sections The total text length is 2,150-2,750 words Academic Reading Each section contains one long text. Texts are authentic and are taken from books, journals, magazines and newspapers. They have been written for a non-specialist audience and are on academic topics of general interest.
Texts are appropriate to, and accessible to, candidates entering undergraduate or postgraduate courses or seeking professional registration. Texts range from the descriptive and factual to the discursive and analytical. Texts may contain non-verbal materials such as diagrams, graphs or illustrations. If texts contain technical terms, then a simple glossary is provided General Training Reading Section 1 contains two or three short factual texts, one of which may be composite (consisting of 6-8 short texts related by topic, e. g. hotel advertisements).
Topics are relevant to everyday life in an English-speaking country Section 2 contains two short factual texts focusing on work-related issues (e. g. applying for jobs, company policies, pay and conditions, workplace facilities, staff development and training) Section 3 contains one longer, more complex text on a topic of general interest Texts are authentic and are taken from notices, advertisements, company handbooks, of? cial documents, books, magazines and newspapers Skills assessed: A wide range of listening skills is assessed, including understanding of main ideas and speci? factual information; recognising opinions, attitudes and purpose of a speaker; and following the development of an argument Marking: Each correct answer receives 1 mark Scores out of 40 are converted to the IELTS 9-band scale Scores are reported in whole and half bands Skills assessed: A wide range of reading skills is assessed, including reading for gist, reading for main ideas, reading for detail; understanding inferences and implied meaning; recognising a writer’s opinions, attitudes and purpose; and following the development of an argument
Marking: Each correct answer receives 1 mark Scores out of 40 are converted to the IELTS 9-band scale Scores are reported in whole and half bands Listening example tas k Academic Reading example task General Training Read example task ing Academic Writing exa mple tas Writing Timing: 60 minutes Speaking Timing: 11-14 minutes Tasks: There are 2 tasks Candidates are required to write at least 150 words for Task 1 and at least 250 words for Task 2 Tasks: The Speaking test is a 3-part face-to-face oral interview with an examiner The Speaking test is recorded
Test Parts: There are 2 parts Academic Writing In Task 1, candidates are presented with a graph, table, chart or diagram and are asked to describe, summarise or explain the information in their own words. They may be asked to describe and explain data, describe the stages of a process, how something works or describe an object or event In Task 2, candidates are asked to write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem The issues raised are of general interest to, suitable for and easily understood by candidates entering undergraduate or postgraduate studies or eeking professional registration Responses to Task 1 and Task 2 should be written in a formal style General Training Writing In Task 1, candidates are presented with a situation and are asked to write a letter requesting information or explaining the situation. The letter may be personal, semi-formal or formal in style In Task 2, candidates are asked to write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem. The essay can be slightly more personal in style than the Academic Writing Task 2 essay Topics are of general interest
Test Parts: There are 3 parts Part 1 Introduction and interview (4-5 minutes) The examiner introduces him/herself and asks the candidate to introduce him/herself and con? rm his/her identity. The examiner asks the candidate general questions on familiar topics, e. g. home, family, work, studies and interests Part 2 Individual long turn (3-4 minutes) The examiner gives the candidate a task card which asks the candidate to talk about a particular topic and which includes points which the candidate can cover in their talk.
The candidate is given 1 minute to prepare their talk, and is given a pencil and paper to make notes. The candidate talks for 1-2 minutes on the topic. The examiner then asks the candidate one or two questions on the same topic Part 3 Two-way discussion (4-5 minutes) The examiner asks further questions which are connected to the topic of Part 2. These questions give the candidate an opportunity to discuss more abstract issues and ideas
Skills assessed: In both tasks, candidates are assessed on their ability to write a response which is appropriate in terms of content, the organisation of ideas, and the accuracy and range of vocabulary and grammar Academic Writing In Task 1, depending on the task type, candidates are assessed on their ability to organise, present and possibly compare data; to describe the stages of a process or procedure; to describe an object or event or sequence of events; to explain how something works In Task 2, depending on the task type, candidates are assessed on their ability to present a solution to a problem; to present and justify an opinion; to compare and contrast evidence, opinions and implications; to evaluate and challenge ideas, evidence or an argument General Training Writing In Task 1, depending on the task type, candidates are assessed on their ability to engage in personal correspondence in order to: elicit and provide general factual information; express needs, wants, likes and dislikes; express opinions (views, complaints etc. ) In Task 2, candidates are assessed on their ability to provide general factual information; to outline a problem and present a solution; to present and possibly justify an opinion; to evaluate and challenge ideas, evidence or an argument
Skills assessed: A wide range of speaking skills is assessed, including the ability to communicate opinions and information on everyday topics and common experiences and situations by answering a range of questions; the ability to speak at length on a given topic using appropriate language and organising ideas coherently; and the ability to express and justify opinions and to analyse, discuss and speculate about issues Marking: Candidates are assessed on their performance throughout the test by certi? cated IELTS examiners according to the four criteria of the IELTS Speaking Test Band Descriptors (? uency and coherence, lexical resource, grammatical range and accuracy, pronunciation).
The public version of the band descriptors can be found at www. ielts. org/researchers/ score_processing_and_reporting. aspx Scores are reported in whole and half bands Marking: Candidates are assessed on their performance on each task by certi? cated IELTS examiners according to the four criteria of the IELTS Writing Test Band Descriptors (task achievement/response, coherence and cohesion, lexical resource, grammatical range and accuracy). The public version of the band descriptors can be found at www. ielts. org/ researchers/score_processing_and_reporting. aspx Task 2 contributes twice as much as Task 1 to the Writing score Scores are reported in whole and half bands Speaking example tas k k General Training Writin g exa mple task The test components – additional guidance Listening once only. questions before you listen. paper. At the end of the test, you will have 10 minutes to transfer your answers to the answer sheet.
It is essential that you transfer your answers to the answer sheet as nothing you write on the question paper will be marked. Writing for each task. You will lose marks if you do not write at least 150 words for Task 1 and at least 250 words for Task 2. Task 1 and approximately 40 minutes on Task 2. written in note form or in bullet points will lose marks. punctuation; you will lose marks for mistakes. you wish. othing you write on the question paper will be marked. sheet is given on the next page. completion): – Pay attention to the word limit. For example, if you are asked to complete a sentence using NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS, and Re-taking IELTS There are no restrictions on re-taking IELTS. If you do not get the result you wanted, you can register for another test as soon as you feel you are ready to do so. Please note that your score is unlikely to increase unless you make a signi? cant effort to improve your English before re-taking the test. – incorrect. Transfer only the missing word(s) to the answer sheet. For example, if you have – – the morning’ would be incorrect.
You will hear the word(s) you need to use in the recording. You will not need to change the form of the word you hear. Pay attention to spelling and grammar: you will lose marks for mistakes. You may write your answers in lower case or in capitals. Enquiries on Results If you are unhappy with your test result, you can apply for a re-mark (Enquiry on Results) at the centre where you took the test. You must make the application no later than six weeks after the test date. You can choose which test components are re-marked. There is a fee for this service which will be refunded if your score on any component is increased. Enquiries on Results take six to eight weeks to complete.
Reading answer sheet or you may write them on the question paper and transfer them to the answer sheet before the end of the test. You will not be given extra time to transfer answers at the end of the test. Nothing you write on the question paper will be marked. Special Requirements In order to ensure that the language ability of all candidates is assessed fairly and objectively, IELTS provides a comprehensive service for candidates who have special requirements, including speci? c learning dif? culties, hearing dif? culties and visual dif? culties. If you require a modi? ed version of the test, for example in Braille, you must give the test centre three months’ notice.
This notice period is necessary for the modi? ed test version to be prepared. If your circumstances require only special administrative arrangements to be made, such as extra time, you must give the test centre six weeks’ notice. Please contact your test centre to discuss your requirements. sheet is given on the next page. completion): question types as in Listening (see above). The word(s) you use must be taken from the Reading text. You must not change the form of the word(s) in the text. – Pencil must be used to complete the answer sheet Write your language code in the boxes indicated and shade the corresponding boxes. (Your language code will be written on your desk label)