updated on 14-11-2022


IELTS test

ielts eligibility syllabus exam types registration fees band descriptors validity

Table of content

  1. IELTS test 
  2. Why is the IELTS test required? 
  3. What are the types of IELTS test? 
  4. IELTS academic test 
  5. IELTS general training test 
  6. Eligibility criteria for IELTS exam 
  7. Who can take the IELTS test?  
  8. IELTS exam syllabus 
  9. IELTS reading 
  10. IELTS writing 
  11. IELTS speaking 
  12. IELTS listening 
  13. How to register for the IELTS exam? 
  14. IELTS registration fee in India 
  15. How is IELTS scored? 
  16. Validity of IELTS score
  17. How to check IELTS results? 
  18. Retaking IELTS 
  19. IELTS preparation tips 
  20. FAQ

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is an English language proficiency test conducted by the Cambridge English Language Assessment and IDP. The IELTS test is taken by the international students who wish to pursue their education or by the job seekers, who are willing to settle down in English speaking countries. 

In the IELTS exam your English reading, writing, listening and speaking skills are tested. The writing, reading and listening skills are conducted on one day and the speaking test will be conducted on a separate day by an examiner. The IELTS tests are conducted in two modes- Computer based IELTS and paper based IELTS. In this article we will be informing you about all the necessary details you require about the IELTS exam. 

Why is the IELTS test required? 

The IELTS test checks the ability or efficiency of a non-native English Language speaking candidate who wishes to apply for the student's visa, permanent visa or work visa for an English speaking country. All your four basic linguistic skills are tested in this exam. As IELTS is being the only English language test accepted by many countries including UK, Canada, etc. it is becoming mandatory to appear for the exam. 

What are the types of IELTS test? 

There are 2 types of IELTS test. They are as follows

  • IELTS Academic test
  • IELTS General training test

IELTS academic test

You can take the IELTS academic test, if you are aiming to pursue your higher education in English speaking countries. Candidates seeking professional registration can also appear for the exam. The test checks whether you are skilled enough to pursue higher education in the international grounds. 

IELTS general training test

The IELTS general training test  is taken by candidates who are seeking job opportunities or migration or looking to settle abroad. This general test is also taken by candidates who are looking for courses below degree level. If you are interested in checking your English proficiency level, then you can also take the IELTS general test.

Eligibility criteria for IELTS exam 

The eligibility criteria for IELTS exam is as follows. 

  1. There is no age limit for taking the IELTS exam, however the candidates must be at least 16 years of age to take the IELTS exam. 
  2. The conducting body has not set any educational qualification for attending the IELTS exam. A minimum of school education is required.
  3. The candidates must have a valid passport.
  4. They must have all the necessary documents required for the registration process like, degree certificates, financial proof, etc.

You can take the IELTS test if you have all these requirements. However these criterias are only for taking the exam, as each university has their own set of prerequisites to be filled during their admission process. 

Who can take the IELTS test? 

The IELTS test is a widely accepted English proficiency check test, because it is accepted in more than 10,000 Universities and organisations in 250 plus countries across the globe. Thus students looking for overseas education and the professionals looking for abroad opportunities can take the IELTS exam.

IELTS exam syllabus

The IELTS exam syllabus is formulated by the Cambridge English Language Assessment and IDP Australia. The syllabus is set in a way that all the basic linguistic skills of the non native speakers are tested. The exam consists of four sections, namely reading, listening, writing and speaking. The IELTS test duration is 2 hours and 45 minutes. The IELTS exam pattern is briefly explained below.

IELTS reading 

The IELTS reading section differs between the general and the academic test. The IELTS academic reading sections have passages related to the academic background structured from the educational journals, articles, etc. whereas the IELTS general training reading sections covers topics related to the society, advertisement, employment contracts etc. THe section consists of 40 questions to be completed in 60 minutes. 

IELTS writing 

The IELTS writing section consists of 2 tasks, where task 2 is the same for both the IELTS academic writing test and IELTS general writing test. The task 1 is academic writing is report writing whereas it is letter writing in general writing test. The task will be conducted for 60 minutes. 

IELTS speaking 

The IELTS academic speaking test and the IELTS general training speaking test are the same. The test will be conducted by the certified IELTS examiners in a face-to-face round. The test is generally conducted 3-4 days after the commencement of the other sections and the test duration will be 11-15 minutes. Here you will be introducing yourself, then talk about a certain topic and conclude with a two way discussion. 

IELTS listening 

The listening test is conducted for 40 minutes, where you will be hearing an audio clip of the native language speakers and will be answering the questions based on the audio. The IELTS academic listening test and the IELTS general training test is common and the students have to answer 40 questions. After playing the audio clip 10 minutes will be given for writing the answers. 

If the candidates are aiming to appear for the IELTS exam they must be clear with the exam syllabus and the preparation must be done based on the IELTS exam syllabus. 

How to register for the IELTS exam? 

To register for the IELTS exam the candidates have to follow the following process

  1. Visit the official website of the IDP Australia 
  2. Click on take a test/book a test link
  3. Select the IELTS test date, city, and test type.
  4. The personal information is to be filled as per the passport details.
  5. Verification documents must be uploaded.
  6. Verify the given details
  7. Make payment through online mode or offline mode
  8. Once the registration is completed, an acknowledgement message will be received. 

IELTS registration fee in India 

The IELTS exam fee in India will be approximately around INR 15,000 for both online mode and offline paper based test. The payment can be made on credit or debit card, net banking and bank deposits. It is possible to reschedule the test date but it is a paid process. 

How is IELTS scored? 

The proficiency level of the test takers are stated in the form of band descriptors. The band descriptor is used to determine the English proficiency level of the test takers and the band scores will be between 1-9. The IELTS band scores are given based on your performance in all the four skill tests. 

The IELTS band descriptors are as follows.

9 Expert user
8 Very good user
7 Good user
6 Competent user
5 Modest user
4 Limited user
3 Extremely limited user
2 Intermittent user
1 Non-user 
0 Haven't attempt the test

Validity of IELTS score 

The validity for the IELTS score is 2 years from the date of the exam. There is no extension for the IELTS score validity for both academic and the general test. You can use the IELTS score to apply for the universities and the visa process only if it is in the valid period. IELTS band scores 

How to check IELTS results? 

Checking the IELTS results is very simple and it can be done on the official website using your ID, password and passport details. The IELTS result will be available in 5-7 days after the online mode test and in 13-17 days after the paper based test. For the IELTS test there are no qualification marks and only your overall band score with individual section band score will be given. 

Retaking IELTS 

After the results, if you feel a need for score improvement you can retake the IELTS test. The IELTS test can be taken any number of times as the exam is conducted throughout the year and will be scheduled 4 times in a month. However, each time you take the exam, you have to repay the registration fees. You can also reschedule or cancel the test date if it is necessary. 

IELTS preparation tips 

If you have planned to take the IELTS test, then you have to start preparing for the exam well ahead of time. The ideal IELTS preparation time differs based on the candidates individual skill level. Thus before starting your preparation, evaluate your language skills and identify the areas that require improvement. Then schedule a perfect study plan that will be helping you to prepare for the IELTS exam.  

Learn more about the IELTS preparation tips. 


   1.What is the validity for the IELTS score? 

The IELTS score Test Report Form (TRF) is valid for 2 years from the date of issue. You can use the TRF for admission purposes and employment opportunities during the validity period. 

   2.Can I reschedule the IELTS exam date? 

The IELTS exam dates can be rescheduled by applying for the date change request on the official website. This has to be done atleast 5 weeks before the exam dates. The exam dates will be decided by the exam centres and you have to select the rescheduled day from the available dates only.

   3.How many exam centres are available in India? 

There are nearly 78 exam centres located across the country. Thus you have to choose the exam centre in a way that is located near you and can be reached easily.

   4.Can I take IELTS coaching from a training institute?

If you require expert guidance for your preparation process, you can enrol for the IELTS training institute. Kanan is one of the leading IELTS training institutes in India, that has a number of branches across the country. We offer exclusive training for the students with certified trainers, standardised study materials, preparatory tests and practice test series. 

   5.Which exam should I take IELTS or TOEFL?

Both IELTS and TOEFL are English skill tests used to check the non native English speakers' language proficiency level. However, IELTS is the most widely preferred test by the universities in the UK, Canada, Australia, Newzealand, etc. 


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