The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is an internationally standardized test of English language proficiency for non-native English language speakers. It is jointly managed by the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge Assessment English. It measures the language proficiency of the people who want to study or work in the countries where English is used as a language of communication, i.e. Australia, New Zealand, UK, Canada etc. IELTS is accepted by most of academic institutions and professional organisations across the world. IELTS is the only secure English Language Test approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI).
- The IELTS assesses one's abilities in listening, reading, writing and speaking – in less than three hours.
- There are two types of IELTS: Academic and General Training.
- Listening and Speaking are the same for both tests, but the subject matter of the Reading and Writing sections differs depending on which test you take.
- The Listening, Reading and Writing sections of all IELTS tests are completed on the same day, with no breaks in between them.
- The Speaking section, however, can be completed up to few days before or after the other tests.
- The total test time is 2 hours and 45 minutes (Listening - 30 minutes, Reading - 60 minutes, Writing- 60 minutes, Speaking - 11 to 14 minutes)
- It uses a nine-band scale to clearly identify levels of proficiency, from Non User- 1.0 to Expert User- 9.0 in 0.5 band increments.
The nine band scores are described as follows:
||Expert User||Has full operational command of the language: appropriate, accurate and fluent with complete understanding.|
||Very Good User||Has fully operational command of the language with only occasional unsystematic inaccuracies and inappropriacies. Misunderstandings may occur in unfamiliar situations. Handles complex detailed argumentation well.|
||Good User||Has operational command of the language, though with occasional inaccuracies, inappropriateness and misunderstandings in some situations. Generally handles complex language well and understands detailed reasoning.|
||Competent User||Has generally effective command of the language despite some inaccuracies, inappropriacies and misunderstandings. Can use and understand fairly complex language, particularly in familiar situations.|
||Modest user||Has partial command of the language, coping with overall meaning in most situations, though is likely to make many mistakes. Should be able to handle basic communication in own field.|
||Limited User||Basic competence is limited to familiar situations. Has frequent problems in understanding and expression. Is not able to use complex language.|
||Extremely Limited User||Conveys and understands only general meaning in very familiar situations. Frequent breakdowns in communication occur.|
||Intermittent User||No real communication is possible except for the most basic information using isolated words or short formulae in familiar situations and to meet immediate needs. Has great difficulty understanding spoken and written English.|
||Non User||Essentially has no ability to use the language beyond possibly a few isolated words.|
||Did not attempt the test||No assessable information provided at all.|
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