International English Language Testing SystemIELTS is an internationally recognized test to evaluate proficiency in the English language. Most IELTS candidates are people who plan to study abroad or live and work abroad and need to certify their level of competency in English for immigration purposes. There are four different sections to the IELTS test: IELTS Listening, IELTS Reading, IELTS Writing and IELTS Speaking, each of which is designed to measure the candidates English language ability in that particular skill.
IELTS administration and organizationsThe IELTS test is owned and administered by three organizations, the University of Cambridge, the British Council (both based in England) and IDP Education Australia. It is a global English language proficiency test available to candidates in more than 100 different countries and hundreds of local test centers. Each local IELTS test center manages the IELTS test registration process, IELTS test administration and IELTS examiners in their own area. IELTS testing centers normally organize test sessions at least once every month intheir area. Normally candidtes can access their results at the test center two weeks after the date of their IELTS test or online in some cases through the adminstators website (Check with your local test center).
Academic and General Training IELTS TestsThere are two different versions of the IELTS test, Academic IELTS and General Training IELTS. The Academic version is normally taken by candidates who want to study a graduate or post-graduate level degree program at a university in a foreign country, and the General Training version is usually for candidates who are immigrating to an English speaking country, attending work experience or vocational training courses and also for young people who are completing their secondary level education in an English speaking country.
All candiates do the same IELTS LIstening and IELTS Speaking test sections but the Reading and Writing sections for Academic and General Training IELTS are different.
General Training IELTS Reading TestThe texts used in this section are typical of articles and reading material that can be found in day to day life in an English speaking country. The texts are normally sourced from notices, newspapers, official documentation and forms, advertisements, books, booklets, leaflets, pamphlets, timetables and instruction manuals, and the qustions are designed to test the ability of the candidate to interpret and be able to utilize this information correctly.
IELTS General Training Reading Section 1 normally presents differnt texts related to 'linguistic survival' in an English speaking country which require the candidate to be able to retrieve, process and provide information based on facts. IELTS General Training Section 2 normally contains texts related to a 'training context' either based on content of a training progrm or the practical considerations of attending such a course, for example, accommodation or welfare requirements. IELTS General Training Reading Section 3 presents a more comlex, longer text for candidates to read and answer questions on.
The IELTS Academic Reading TestThere are three different reading texts or passages, which are normally sourced from books, magazines, journals and newspapers which are written for a general reading audience. You are required to have any specialist knowledge in any particular area in order to understand these reading passages. The texts may contain graphic information in the form of tables, illustrations, graphs and diagrams and generally deal with topics or issues that are appropriate for undergraduate or post-graduate level candidates.
IELTS General Training Writing TestThis section has two writing tasks. Task 1 requires candidates to write a letter of 150 words minimum, usually asking for information or dealing with a situation in which the candidate has to explain some details and suggest some action or request something. Task 2 requires candidates to write a short essay of 250 words minimum, responding to either a question or statement on a general interest topic. These two tasks are designed for candidates to show their ability to: discuss issues, provide factual information or data, describe a problem and a possible solution; present an opinion, evaluation or hypothesis; present and evaluate ideas, evidence and arguments.
IELTS Academic Writing TestThis section has two writing tasks. Task 1 requires candidates to write a description of 150 words minimum, based on a chart, diagram, graph or table of information. This task is designed to test the ability of the candidate to present factual information and summarize the main features of the information / data presented. Task 2 requires candidates to write a short essay of 250 words minimum, in response to an opinion or question. The topics or issues in Task 2 questions are appropriate for candidates who are about to enter into undergraduate and post-graduate study courses. Task 2 is designed to test the candidate's ability to: discuss abstract issues, describe a solution related to a problem, express and support an opinion; make comparisons and contrast data provided, opinions and possible consequences; assess and challenge ideas, information presented and arguments.
The IELTS test is an international English language test and is written in British English. However, you can choose to use British English or American English when writing your answers to the questions and in the IELTS Writing tasks. You should not use a mixture of the two.