IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is an English language test for non-native speakers who intend to study, work or migrate to countries where English is the language of communication. It is jointly managed by the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia, and Cambridge Assessment English. IELTS assesses your listening, reading, writing, and speaking skills and grades your performance on a 9-band scale.
The IELTS exam is accepted by more than 9000 organizations globally including educational institutions, government agencies, professional bodies, and employers. These include 100% universities in the UK and Australia and more than 3,000 universities in the US. It is also accepted by other countries such as Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, and South Africa for university admissions. There are two versions of the IELTS test available: Academic and General Training.
The IELTS Academic Test is taken by students who wish to enroll in a university or an institute of higher education abroad. It covers the language requirements for academic purposes like lectures, seminars, presentations, reading, and writing.
The IELTS General Training Test is taken by candidates who are applying to work in a foreign country where English is the native language or wish to migrate to such a country. It covers basic survival skills in broad social and workplace contexts.
IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training are available in both Computer-based or Paper-based formats.
The IELTS test can be taken on a computer or on paper. Test-takers who opt for the IELTS computer-based test take the Listening, Writing, and Reading sections on a computer. Whereas, the Speaking test is conducted face-to-face with a trained examiner. With the Computer-based IELTS, one gets more test dates to choose from and gets results in 3-5 days.
Test takers who opt to take IELTS on paper will take the Reading, Writing, and Listening sections on paper with either HB pencils or pen. Whereas, the Speaking test is conducted face-to-face with a professional IELTS examiner. The paper-based test results are available 11 to 13 days after the test date.
Why is the IELTS Exam 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.
If you are planning on studying abroad in an English-speaking country like Australia, the UK, New Zealand, the USA, or Canada, then you would need to take the IELTS exam for Student Visa applications.
It is important for you to clear your IELTS exam with a good score if you want to successfully apply for a student visa.
As per UKVI rules, there are certain minimum IELTS requirements for UK student visas. The cut-off score may vary from one country to another but it is always wise to aim higher than just the minimum requirements.
A common doubt that students have is whether IELTS is a compulsory exam or not. No, IELTS isn’t compulsory in all university admissions. For instance, many universities may not require IELTS scores for admission purposes. But there are few others to which admission might be feasible only after the student has cleared the IELTS. So what can you do if you want to study at a university which might not require IELTS at all? One of the options is to give IELTS one last try. Score at least 6 bands overall and aim for 8 bands for your best chance at success.
IELTS is the world’s leading assessment of English communicative ability – testing your English listening, reading, writing, and speaking. 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. If you are under 16 years and want to take the test you must complete an Underage Application Form to obtain IDP’s permission to register.
Before you begin your IELTS registration process, make sure you have these things ready:
Identification document: Make sure to keep your passport handy at the time of registration as you need your passport number at the time of registration. Apart from this, you also need to carry your passport on the test day.
Credit or debit card: You can pay for the IELTS test using a valid credit or debit card. You cannot pay by cash.
IELTS Registration can be done in easy steps:
- First, you need to visit the official British Council registration page.
- Create an account with the British Council.
- Find your nearest test center.
- Register for the IELTS test and pay online.
Those below 18 years of age need their parents or guardians to book the test for them. Once the registration is complete, your test center will send a written confirmation to you informing you about the date and time of your IELTS test.
IELTS Exam Fees
The right information can help you to save money on your next IELTS examination. With this table, you can see the registration fee for each test.
|IELTS on Paper – in the center (Academic and General Training)||NPR. 25,300|
|IELTS on Computer- in the center (Academic and General Training)||NPR. 23,650|
|IELTS for UK Visas and Immigration -in the center (Academic and General Training)||NPR. 28,000|
|IELTS Life Skills (A1 and B1) – in center||NPR. 19,600|
IELTS Important Dates
The IELTS test can be conducted by the British Council and IDP. Though the test structure remains the same, candidates looking to appear for either of the tests are required to meet different eligibility criteria. Candidates will have to provide their date of birth on the registration form in order to be eligible for a particular test type. The IELTS test is available multiple times throughout the year in more than one city across Nepal. Students looking to appear for the exam are advised to choose an exam date 1-2 months before their application deadline, to avoid any last-minute errors.
IELTS Exam Pattern and Syllabus
It is important in your IELTS Preparation that you should know and understand the pattern of the test. The IELTS test consists of an Exam of four Skill Areas, Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing. People taking the test are required to show their abilities in each and every one of these skills in order to get a total IELTS band score out of 9. All these skills are tested for two hours and forty-five minutes.
IELTS listening section
The listening test, or the IELTS listening section as it is officially known, takes 30 minutes and is divided into 4 sections. You will hear each recording once. The IELTS listening section consists of 40 questions. The IELTS Listening test will take about 30 minutes, and you will have an extra 10 minutes to transfer your answers to the answer sheet.
There are four sections (10 questions in each one) and each section gets progressively more difficult:
Section 1: a conversation between two people set in an everyday social context.
Section 2: a monologue set in an everyday social context, e.g. a speech about local facilities.
Section 3: a conversation between up to four people set in an educational or training context, e.g. a university tutor and a student discussing an assignment.
Section 4: a monologue on an academic subject, e.g. a university lecture.
IELTS Reading section
The IELTS reading test consists of three reading passages and 40 questions. You will have 60 minutes to complete the reading test. The first passage is usually a descriptive text. The second passage is usually a discussion of an argumentative topic. The third passage is usually a discussion or an argumentative topic.
The passages 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.
There are three different parts to the IELTS Reading Test and the answer sheet is printed separately so that you can complete it during the test.
IELTS Writing section
The IELTS writing task consists of two tasks. Candidates are required to write at least 150 words for Task 1 and at least 250 words for Task 2. You will have 60 minutes to complete the writing test. Both responses should be written in a formal style.
Task 1 (Report Writing)
Writing task 1 of the IELTS Academic test requires you to write a summary of at least 150 words in response to a particular graph (bar, line, or pie graph), table, chart, or process (how something works, how something is done). This task tests your ability to select and report the main features, describe and compare data, identify significance and trends in factual information, or describe a process.
Task 2 (Essay Writing)
In academic task 2 of the writing module, you are given brief details of an opinion, an argument, or a problem, and have to produce an extended piece of discursive writing in response. You will be given a point of view, argument, or problem that you need to write about. You need to produce your answer in essay format.
IELTS Speaking section
If you’re taking the IELTS exam, it’s important to know what the IELTS Speaking section entails. Remember that this is the final test of your English proficiency, and it can make the difference between passing and failing. The IELTS Speaking section is broken into three parts.
In part one of the exam, you will interact with an examiner in a short conversation about everyday topics. This section lasts only three to five minutes, but it’s still very important to be as prepared as possible for it.
The second part of the exam requires you to speak for two minutes about a topic provided by the examiner. You will be given a minute to prepare, so don’t worry if you are not well-versed in that topic before going into the test. At this stage in the test, your ability to speak at length about an unfamiliar topic is more important than your knowledge of that topic.
Finally, you will have a discussion with the examiner lasting four to five minutes on a topic related to one from part two of the exam. It’s important to be able to think quickly and speak articulately during this portion of the exam.
How is IELTS Scored?
The IELTS score is calculated based on the scores you get in each of the four sections, i.e., Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking. Each of these sections is given a band score from 1 to 9. This means that your total IELTS score will be between 1 and 9 as well. For example, if you get 6.5 in Listening, 7.0 in Reading, 6.0 in Writing and 7.0 in Speaking, your total IELTS band score will be 6.5 + 7.0 + 6.0 + 7.0 = 26.5/4 = 6.625 (Round off to 6.5).
How to get your IELTS Exam Result?
The IELTS is an international exam. You will receive your result in the form of a score from 1-to 9 for each part of the test – Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking.
The IELTS 9-band scoring system is used to measure and report scores in a consistent manner.
You will receive your results within 13 calendar days from the day of your exam if you have taken the paper-based test. Candidates who took the computer-delivered tests will receive their results within 3-5 days.
The result of the IELTS exam is received after 13 days of the test. After this, a candidate can check the result in person or online.
To check the scores in person, you will have to go to the IELTS test center where you took the exam. The center will provide you with your TRF (Test Report Form) and a photocopy of it.
In case you want to check your scores online, then you can do so by following a few steps:
Visit the official website of IELTS- https://ieltsregistration.britishcouncil.org/ttp
You can log into your IELTS account on the IELTS Results website to see your scores.
IELTS RESULT SCALE:
Let us take you through what the different bands mean:
|Band 9||Expert user||Has fully operational command of the language.|
|Band 8||Very good user||Fully operational command of the language with only occasional unsystematic inaccuracies.|
|Band 7||Good user||Has operational command of the language, though with occasional inaccuracies and misunderstandings in some situations.|
|Band 6||Competent user||Can use and understand fairly complex language, particularly in familiar situations.|
|Band 5||Modest user||Has partial command of the language, coping with overall meaning in most situations, though is likely to make many mistakes.|
|Band 4||Limited user||Have frequent problems in understanding and expression. Is not able to use complex language.|
|Band 3||Extremely limited user||Conveys and understands the only general meaning in very familiar situations. Frequent breakdowns occur in communication.|
|Band 2||Intermittent user||Has great difficulty understanding spoken and written English.|
|Band 1||Non-user||Essentially has no ability to use the language beyond possibly a few isolated words.|
|Band 0||Did not attempt the test||No accessible information was provided.|
IELTS Score validity period
The IELTS score validity period is two years from the date of the test.
You can check your IELTS scores online 13 days after you have taken the test. Please refer to the How to View your IELTS Test Results section for details.
The IELTS Test Report Form (TRF) will be sent to you by post within 13 calendar days of taking the test.
If you need to retake the test, you must wait a minimum of three weeks before applying again. You are allowed to take the test as many times as you like, but there may be some restrictions in place at different times throughout the year. Please visit Ample International Education check with your nearest Test Center for more information