IELTS is an English language exam that is required to be taken by international candidates considering studying or working in a country where English is the main language of communication. Most popular countries where IELTS is accepted for university admissions are the UK, Australia, New Zealand, USA, and Canada. The exam mainly measures the ability of test-takers to communicate in the four basic English language skills – listening, reading, speaking, and writing. IELTS exam is jointly owned and conducted by IDP Education Australia, British Council, and Cambridge English Language Assessment. With the number of IELTS tests grew to a record of 3.5 million in the year 2018, it has become a leader in the area of international higher education. It is accepted in 100% of universities in the UK and Australia. Also, it is accepted in more than 3,400 institutions in the US and thousands of institutions in English speaking countries.
Recent updates in IELTS
IELTS Test Fee Update: IELTS Test fee is being revised to INR 14,000 for registrations from 1st-April-2020.
CORONAVIRUS ALERT: IELTS Partners has also launched the IELTS Indicator, an online English language test for students who are affected by the COVID-19 and are not able to attend the IELTS test centre. IELTS Indicator will assess the student’s English language skills in Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking. Students can take the test online from their homes. Know everything about the IELTS Indicator here
Why IELTS Exam is required?
IELTS 2020 exam is required for migration as well as academic purposes abroad in English speaking countries like Australia, UK, New Zealand, USA, and Canada. It is the only English Language Test approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) for visa applicants applying both outside and inside the UK. A lot of students get confused about why are the IELTS scores required. The simple answer to this is that foreign universities and visa granting authorities need to be sure that you will not have communication issues while staying in the country. You need to show a good understanding and strong command of the English language and that is why your overall IELTS scores are so important. Another common doubt students have is whether IELTS is a compulsory exam or not. No, IELTS isn’t compulsory in all university admissions. Many universities might not even require IELTS scores for admission purposes. But remember that if you don’t give IELTS, your chances of getting the student visa might suffer as the visa officers may not be convinced about your English proficiency without IELTS scores. So it is safer to appear for IELTS and aim to score at least 6 bands overall.
You can take the IELTS exam with the British Council or IDP up to once a week (four times a month). The British Council and IDP global schedule for test dates are 48 days per year.
Types of IELTS
There are two types of IELTS exams: IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training. Listening and speaking sections are the same for both these tests, however, the subject matter for the writing and reading sections are different depending on which test one takes. The Reading, Writing, and Listening sections of the IELTS tests are completed on the same day of the test with no breaks between them. However, the Speaking section can be completed either a week before or after the other tests date. This information test can be taken from your test centre. Read: Which exam to give for which course to study abroad
IELTS Academic Test
IELTS Academic is taken by those who apply for higher education or professional registration abroad.
IELTS General Test
IELTS General Test is taken by those who wish to migrate to major English speaking countries like Canada, Australia, and the UK. This test is also taken by those who want to enroll in training programs or secondary education or wants to gain work experience in a country where English is the main language used for communication.
IELTS vs TOEFL
Often international students are confused between choosing IELTS or TOEFL, as universities abroad ask for either exam scores. It is up to you as a test taker to decide which of the two exams to take, but remember that IELTS is more preferred in the UK, Australia, and New Zealand, while TOEFL is popular among applicants to universities in US and Canada.
IELTS can be taken by anyone irrespective of age, gender, race, nationality or religion, however, the IELTS test is not recommended for those under 16 years of age.
What is the age limit to appear for the IELTS exam?
Minimum age requirement is lowered for language requirements for Canadian citizenship: Due to changes in the Citizenship Act in Canada, the minimum age that applicants have to prove their language proficiency for Canadian citizenship has been lowered. From June 2015, applicants between the ages of 14-64 who wish to move to Canada have to meet language requirements set by the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).
How many attempts can be given for IELTS?
There is no limit set by the conducting bodies of IELTS for taking the IELTS exam. You can take the IELTS test as many times as you want until you get your dream/target score. However, you have to pay the IELTS test fee for every attempt.
What is the educational eligibility to give IELTS exam?
As such, there are no minimum eligibility criteria for IELTS set by the conducting bodies of IELTS. Anyone who wishes to pursue higher studies abroad or want to work abroad can attempt the IELTS exam (both Academic and General Training). However, candidates should always check the eligibility criteria set by the educational institution or organization where they are applying.
How does IELTS work?
IELTS test has been developed to assess the English language skills of an individual. The individuals are assessed on the bases of their Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking skills.
Who conducts IELTS?
IELTS test is jointly owned by:
Candidates have this doubt about who is best for IELTS, British Council or IDP? Where they should take the IELTS test? However, there is no difference between both the agencies, whether you take IELTS from British Council or IDP. So, you can take the IELTS exam conducted by any of the agency.
Make sure to keep your passport handy at the time of registration as you need passport number at the time of registration. Apart from this, you also need to carry your passport on the test day. IELTS Registration can be done in easy steps:
Those below 18 years of age need their parent or guardian to book the test for them. Once the registration is complete, your test center will send a written confirmation to you informing about the date and time of your IELTS test.
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IELTS Exam Fees
The registration fee for IELTS is Rs. 14,000 for registrations from 1st-Apr-2020.
What is IELTS Cancellation Fees?
Those who can produce a medical certificate within 5 days of the test date can receive the refund after deducting the local administrative cost.
What is IELTS Rescheduling Fees?
If you want to change your test date, then you can request for a test day transfer at least five weeks before your already booked test date after deducting your cancellation/postponement fee. Also, make sure the new test date must be within three months of the original test date. Candidates need to pay an administrative charge of INR 3,300 inclusive of all taxes for transfer of test date.
One of the biggest drawbacks about studying abroad is having to pay tuition fees in foreign currency clubbed with high living expenses. Due to such reasons, a lot of times, many sections of students are unavailable to go abroad and end up settling down for other alternatives. However, with the availability of various IELTS Scholarships and education loans, students can finally make their dream come true. Scholarships are available on the official website of every college along with other fellowships and grants that are awarded to deserving students on a regular basis. Students can also opt for education loan from financial institutions for studying abroad.
IELTS Important Dates
British Council and IDP IELTS are the two official conducting bodies of the IELTS Exam. The IELTS test is available multiple times throughout the year. Candidates are advised to book an IELTS Test Date that is most convenient to them, keeping in mind the university admission timeline. Students looking to appear for the IELTS test are advised to choose an exam date 3-4 months before their application deadline, to avoid any last minute error. The IELTS test is available across various major cities in India.
IELTS Exam Pattern and Syllabus
It is important for candidates looking to score well in their IELTS Test to understand the IELTS Exam Pattern and Syllabus in detail. IELTS Syllabus includes four sections, Reading, Listening, Speaking and Writing. You get marked on these four sections and you get the IELTS total score as well. The total score is the sum of the scores in the four skill areas. The total test duration is 2 hours and 45 minutes. Read: How to approach each section of IELTS