The International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

English4Today has been running a very successful IELTS Preparation Course for over 18 months but one of the things that strikes me when we are contacted by students interested in the course is how little they actually know about IELTS – the International English Language Testing System. Most prospective students know that they need to have a certain IELTS score, usually 6 – 6.5, to get into a university in countries like Canada, Britain, Australia or the USA, or they know that they have to sit the exam if they want to work or migrate to one of these countries. But very often they do not know what the exam itself involves or which English language skills are going to be tested.

Overview of IELTS

  • IELTS stands for the International English Language Testing System and is run by IDP Australia and UCLES
  • The test is an internationally recognized test of English language skills used by governments, professional bodies and education institutions all over the world.
  • There are IELTS test centers in most countries (see the English4Today IELTS page for more information) and you can contact one of your local centers for examination dates and costs.
  • There are two types of IELTS tests
    • Academic – for entry into educational institutions
    • General – frequently used by professional bodies and government
  • You are tested in the following 4 skills areas:
    • Speaking
    • Listening
    • Reading
    • Writing
  • It is advisable to take an IELTS preparation course so that you are familiar with the format of the examination and the way that questions are asked.
  • Most academic institutions require a score of around 6 – 6.5 for entry into a course. For professionals, such as nurses and doctors, the requirement may be a lot higher – 7 – 7.5. You should always check with the institution or organization that requires an IELTS score so that you are sure of the score you need.
  • The test (excluding any preparation course or materials) will cost you in excess of $130 USD. For an exact cost you should contact an IELTS center in your country.

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