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International English Language Testing System is an English language proficiency test that assesses the language skills of people who would want to study or work in countries where English is the primary medium of communication. The proficiency level of a candidate is measured using a 9 band scale from band 1 to band 9.

Types of Test

The test is conducted in two formats namely the general module and the Academic module.  The General module focuses on identifying the ability of people to communicate in a broad social setup and in the work place. This module applies to people who wish to move to English speaking countries for the purpose of secondary education, work experience or training programs.

The Academic module, on the other hand, focuses on assessing the communication skills of people planning to study in higher education or would be taking up professional assignments in the country abroad. The test assesses the  ability of the candidate who plans to study in an environment where English is the primary medium of instruction.

 

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Structure of Test

The IELTS tests every candidate on 4 basic components of communication namely Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking. A detailed description of each of the components is as given below.

  • Listening:
    – Duration – 30 minutes
    – Listening module has 4 Sections
    – Section – 1: A conversation between two people pertaining to a social context
    – Section – 2: A monologue, primarily discussing local facilities
    – Section – 3: A conversation between two to four people in an academic environment
    – Section – 4: An Academic lecture on a particular subject
  • Reading – Academic module:
    – Duration – 60 minutes / 40 Questions
    – Reading module tests a variety of reading skills which include, reading and identifying the main idea, understanding the writer’s opinion or attitude, reading for details. The Reading module under the academic module contains 3 passages extracted from authentic text and magazines. The content is relevant for people who would be studying in universities or opting for professional courses.
  • Reading – General module:
    – Duration – 60 minutes / 40 questions
    – The content of the Reading Section module under the General module would be similar to that of the Academic module but the passages extracted would be from books, magazines, newspapers, advertisements and handouts. The content would primarily deal with day to day communication in an English speaking environment.
  • Writing – Academic module:
    – Duration – 60 minutes
    – No of tasks – 2
    – Task 1 – Representation of a graph or chart – A graph, table or chart would be presented and the candidate would have to describe, summarize or explain the information in the graph or chart in words.
    – Task 2 – General Essay – The candidate would be asked to write an essay on the basis of an argument or opinion that is presented.
  • Writing – General module
    – Duration – 60 minutes
    – No of tasks – 2
    – Task 1 – The candidate would be asked to write a letter which could be a formal or an informal one.
    – Task 2 – General Essay – The candidate would be asked to write an essay on the basis of an argument or opinion that is presented.
  • Speaking
    – Duration – 11-14 Minutes
    – No of Sections -3
    – Section 1 – The examiner would ask the candidate general questions related to the personal life of the candidate. It could be related to family, work life or friends. This entire section takes approximately 4-5 minutes.
    – Section 2 – The candidate would be given a topic card and the candidate gets 1 minute to prepare themselves to discuss the topic mentioned in the card. Post preparation, the candidate would have to speak on the topic for 2 minutes.
    – Section 3 – The candidate would be asked further questions related to the topic in Section 2. The purpose of this section would be to discuss the ideas and other issues related to the topic. This section would last for about 4-5 minutes.

Utility of IELTS Test

The IELTS is accepted in all countries across the globe.  The acceptance of the IELTS would depend on the organizing body that the candidate would be looking for.  Each organization would define a required IELTS score as determined fit by the governing body. The organizing bodies would be Educational institutions, Government organizations, Universities etc.

The Registration Process

Candidates can register for the IELTS either online or can download the application and fill in the paper application form and submit it at the nearest test center. The test fee for the IELTS is Rs. 11,000 (Rupees Eleven thousand only) effective from April 1, 2016. The test fee can be enclosed or the payment can be made online. The valid identification document for candidates of Indian origin is a valid Indian passport. The identification document should be valid at the time of taking the test. The same identification document has to be presented to the Examiner at the Examination Hall on the day of the test. Once the application form and test fee have been submitted, the test center will confirm the date and time of the test.

Cancelling or Re-scheduling the Test

If the candidate chooses to cancel a test more than 5 weeks before the actual test date, the candidate will get a complete refund of the test fee after deducting administrative charges. But if the candidate cancels a test within 5 weeks of the test date, the candidate will be charged the full fee unless there is a valid medical reason. If a valid medical certificate is produced, the test center will refund the test fee after deducting administrative charges as applicable.

On the Test Day

The IELTS will be completed in one day. In most cases all modules are completed in a single day. In some circumstances, the Speaking module would be conducted on another day and the date and time would be communicated by the Test center. The Speaking module is conducted within 7 days before or after the test date.

Receiving the IELTS Score

The IELTS Test report will be received within 13 days of the test date. The results would also be available online. Only one copy of the Test score report would be provided. Additional test score report copies will not be given to the candidates. The test center would send the test score reports directly to the institutions required by the candidates and the candidate will have to pay administrative charges as applicable.

Inquiry on Results

If the candidates chooses to get his test scores re-evaluated, he may do so by contacting the test center within 6 weeks of the test date. An inquiry fee as applicable has to be paid. This fee would be refunded fully if the test score band changes.

 

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You may also want to check out our article on 42 Lessons and 13 Tests to Score 8+ in IELTS

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