IELTS 2024: Exam Registration, Test Dates & Centres, Syllabus, Preparation Tips, Practice Tests, Results & Score

Updated on

24-06-2024

ielts exam registration

IELTS, or the International English Language Testing System is a widely recognized English language proficiency test, designed to assess reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills. The IELTS exam is required for international candidates planning to study, work, or settle in a country where English is spoken. The test is accepted by over 3000 universities globally, particularly in countries like the UK, USA, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia, for migration or higher education purposes. It offers two formats: IELTS Academic and IELTS General. The test duration is 2 hours and 45 minutes.

The IELTS registration process involves the selection of a suitable test center and date. Candidates can take the test up to four times a month, with 48 test dates available annually. The IELTS exam fee is INR 17,000 for the pen and paper-based and computer-delivered versions. The IELTS score ranges from 0 to 9 and a minimum of 6 band is generally required for admission and visa. Cut-off requirements vary based on the application purpose. Scores remain valid for 2 years, and candidates can check their band scores on the IDP official website. Results are typically available within 3 to 5 days for the computer-delivered exam and 13 days for the paper-based exam.

IELTS Highlights 2024

Exam Name IELTS
IELTS full form International English Language Testing System
Official Website https://www.ielts.org/
Popular for Studying, working, and migrating to English-speaking countries
Accepted by More than 10,000 universities and countries like Canada, USA, UK, Australia, and New Zealand.
Conducted by IDP Education Ltd
Mode of Exam Computer and Paper–delivered test
IELTS Exam Fees INR 17,000
Score Scale of 1 (the lowest) to 9 (the highest), 0.5 in band
Duration 2 hours and 45 minutes
Skills Tested Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking
Contact Head Office
Global Gateway Towers, Tower-B, 5th Floor,
Sikanderpur Ghosi, Sector-26, M.G. Road,
Gurugram -122002 Haryana, India
Phone: 1800-102-4544 (Mon to Sat - 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM)
Email: [email protected]

What is IELTS?

The IELTS is a widely recognized English proficiency exam for students seeking higher education abroad and individuals planning to work or migrate to foreign countries. The IELTS exam is available in two formats, namely Academic and General Training. IELTS has set the standard for English-language testing for over 35 years, trusted by 12,000+ organizations in 150+ countries. IELTS test result is accepted by universities, schools, colleges, training organizations, employers, professional bodies, government departments, and immigration authorities. The IELTS exam in India was conducted by IDP IELTS and jointly owned by Cambridge University Press & Assessment since 1989. IELTS is taken by more than 4 million test takers across the world in 2023.

IELTS Full Form

The full form of IELTS is the International English Language Testing System. The IELTS exam is an English language test that evaluates the language ability of individuals by assessing skills such as listening, reading, writing, and speaking.

Why IELTS is required?

The IELTS 2024 exam is required for academics, work, or immigration purposes in English-speaking countries like Canada, Australia, UK, New Zealand, and the USA. IELTS is accepted as evidence of English language skills by the four immigration authorities such as IRCC Canada, DOHA Australia, Immigration New Zealand, and UK Visas & Immigration. 

The IELTS test is required for the following reasons.

  • Study: Thousands of reputable universities and colleges worldwide accept IELTS results as proof of English proficiency for admission.
  • Professionals: Various professional registration bodies, including those in accounting, engineering, law, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, and teaching, recognize the IELTS exam. It is crucial to gain professional registration in English-speaking countries after completing the studies.
  • Migration: IELTS is widely accepted by governments, particularly the UK, USA, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, as a prerequisite for permanent residency. The required IELTS score depends on specific visa requirements.

Which IELTS test should I take?

IELTS allows test-takers to choose between computer-based and paper-based formats for both academic and general tests. The test format, syllabus, question types, and time allocation for each section remain the same for both the IELTS computer-based and paper-based tests. The only difference will be the test day experience.

For the paper-based IELTS test, candidates will take the writing, listening, and reading sections on paper using pen or HB pencils. The Speaking test is conducted face-to-face or via video call with an IELTS examiner, one week before or after your test date. The results of the IELTS paper are typically released after 13 calendar days. On the other hand, candidates opting for the computer-based format complete the listening, reading, and writing sections on a computer. The Speaking test will be a face-to-face interview or video call before or after the other 3 sections. IELTS on Computer provides the convenience of choosing from multiple test dates, and results are available within 3-5 days.

Check IELTS pen paper vs computer here.

Types of IELTS

There are two types of IELTS, Academic and General Training. In both the academic and general tests, the speaking and listening sections will be similar. However, the reading and writing sections differ.

  • IELTS Academic - Students aiming to pursue higher education (undergraduate or postgraduate courses) in an English-speaking country are required to take the IELTS Academic test. This test assesses your readiness to study in English in an academic environment and focuses on vocabulary commonly used in academic settings. The test is also accepted for professional registration purposes.
  • IELTS General - Individuals who want to migrate to an English-speaking country or to work, do training, or study below a degree level can take the IELTS General Training test. This test evaluates your English language skills in a practical and everyday context. This test involves both workplace and social situations.
  • IELTS UKVI - If you’re applying for a UK visa, you are required to take an IELTS test accepted by the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI). When it comes to proving English proficiency for study, work, or migration to the UK, you need to take the IELTS for UKVI. 
  • IELTS Life Skills - IELTS Life Skills is a UK government-approved  Secure English Language Test (SELT) that measures only your speaking and listening skills. The IELTS Life Skills A1 and B1 are required if you’re applying for a family visa, extensions, spouse or family visa, indefinite leave to remain, or citizenship. This test is available at Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) Levels A1, A2, or B1.

IELTS Exam Pattern & Syllabus 2024

Candidates first need to understand the IELTS exam pattern before starting to prepare for the test. The syllabus of the IELTS test includes four sections namely reading, writing, listening, and speaking. The total test duration is 2 hours and 45 minutes, with the sections of reading, writing, and listening conducted on the same day with no breaks between the tests. The speaking section will be conducted on the same day or 7 days before or after the other tests.

  1. IELTS Listening Section (4 sections, 40 questions, 30 minutes): In the IELTS listening test, candidates need to listen to four recordings comprising monologues, conversations, and lectures by native English speakers. You’ll have to listen to various voices and native speaker's accents, and you only get to hear each part once. This part is the same for both the academic and general training versions of the IELTS test.
  2. IELTS Speaking Section (3 parts, 11-14 minutes): The IELTS speaking section involves a face-to-face interview with an examiner, evaluating candidates' oral communication skills through a variety of questions and tasks related to personal experiences, opinions, and abstract topics. The speaking module is the same for both academic and general training versions, similar to the listening module.
  3. IELTS Reading Section (3 sections, 40 questions, 60 minutes): The IELTS reading section assesses a range of reading skills including reading for gist, main ideas, detail, skimming, understanding logical argument, and recognizing writers’ opinions, attitudes, and purpose. Academic Reading includes texts from books, journals, magazines, and newspapers, while General Training Reading involves different types of texts.
  4. IELTS Writing Section (2 tasks, 60 minutes): The IELTS writing section has two tasks, task 1 and task 2. IELTS Academic Writing Task 1 requires summarizing or explaining visual information such as graphs, charts, or diagrams. IELTS General Training Writing Task 1 requires writing a formal or semi-formal letter addressing an issue. Task 2 is similar for both IELTS types which involves writing an essay in response to a prompt.

IELTS Eligibility 2024

IDP does not specify eligibility criteria for candidates undertaking the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam. Anyone, regardless of their age, gender, race, nationality, or religion, can take the IELTS 2024 exam. Know the IELTS eligibility criteria in detail.

What is the age limit for the IELTS exam?

There is no age limit for the IELTS exam. However, it is not recommended for candidates under 16 years old can take the IELTS test.

What is the qualification required to take the IELTS exam?

There are no specified educational qualifications set by the conducting body for the IELTS exam. Individuals aiming to pursue higher studies or to work abroad can take the IELTS exam, in the Academic or General Training format. However, candidates should verify the eligibility criteria before applying for the educational institution or organization.

Can I appear for IELTS after completing 12th?

Yes. Individuals aspiring to pursue undergraduate courses abroad can take the IELTS exam either during their Class 12 or upon its completion. There are no eligibility criteria specified by IDP for IELTS.

IELTS Registration 2024

Individuals planning to take the IELTS exam must proceed with their registration on the official IDP IELTS India website. IELTS Registration can be done online or by visiting the nearest test center for offline booking. During registration, IELTS test takers are advised to have their passports, as passport numbers are required. Additionally, they must carry their passports on the test day. For those under 18, a parent or guardian should handle the test booking. Upon completing the IELTS exam registration, the test center will provide a written confirmation with details about the test date and time.

IELTS Exam Booking 2024

Students who want to take the IELTS exam begin the registration process by choosing the test type (academic or general) and format (computer or paper-delivered). Subsequently, candidates need to identify a preferred IELTS Test Center and explore available test dates & times. Then, proceed to book the IELTS slot by completing the application form by uploading a clear copy of your passport, and paying the associated fee. It is recommended to select a date and location by making the IELTS slot booking well in advance, as popular dates tend to fill up quickly, allowing ample time for preparation. After successful registration and payment, candidates will receive a confirmation email or receipt containing essential details such as the test date, time, and venue. It is crucial to safeguard this information for future reference. 

IELTS Exam Fees 2024

The IELTS exam fees in India is INR 17,000, applicable for both the pen and paper-based and computer-delivered IELTS exams. Additionally, specific variations exist, such as the IELTS Life Skills (A1 and B1) exam fee, which is INR 16,050, and the IELTS for UK Visas and Immigration fee, which has been updated to INR 17,250. Candidates can conveniently pay the IELTS exam fees online or opt for offline by depositing cash at ICICI/HDFC Bank. Accepted modes of payment include Credit or Debit cards (Visa or Mastercard), Netbanking, and Demand Drafts. It is crucial for candidates to be aware of the cancellation, rescheduling, revaluation, and retaking fees associated with the IELTS exam. Prospective test-takers should carefully consider these details before finalizing their payment for the examination.

Particulars Fees
Computer Delivered IELTS INR 17,000
Pen and Paper-Based IELTS INR 17,000
IELTS Life Skills (A1 and B1) INR 16,050
IELTS for UK Visas and Immigration INR 17,250
Computer-delivered IELTS for UKVI INR 17,250
IELTS Cancellation Charge 25% of the test fee
IELTS Rescheduling Fee INR 3,312
IELTS Test Center Change Fee INR 3,312
IELTS Rechecking Fees INR 8,475
IELTS Score Sending Fee INR 250 (Per University)

IELTS Exam Dates 2024

The IELTS test can be taken throughout the year with up to 4 monthly test dates, a total of 48 fixed test dates annually. In India, the availability of IELTS exam dates varies between the Academic and General Training modules. The Academic module is available on all 48 dates, while the General Training module is offered on 24 dates for paper-based tests. Computer-delivered academic and general tests will be conducted 7 days a week and three times a day. To accommodate the needs of test takers, the tests are conveniently scheduled on Saturdays and Thursdays. It's important to note that the listening, reading, and writing tests are conducted on the same day, while the speaking tests take place up to 7 days before or after the main test date. Also, students are recommended to secure a test date 3-4 months before their application deadline to avoid last-minute issues. Additionally, candidates should be aware that your closest IELTS test location may not have the same available dates as another IELTS test centre. 

IELTS Test Centres in India

IDP IELTS has over 4,000 test locations globally. In India, IELTS centers are conveniently situated in more than 75 cities. When selecting your test location, it's essential to consider the proximity to your residence, ensuring a comfortable experience on the exam day. Also, it's crucial to plan ahead and book your preferred IELTS exam centre well in advance, aligning with your preferred date and time.

IELTS Score

In the IELTS test, your English-language proficiency is evaluated on a scale of 0 to 9, corresponding to different levels of competence. IELTS band score, with 1 being the lowest and 9 being the highest, are  awarded based on the raw score. Each section of the test, listening, reading, writing, and speaking is assigned an individual band score, and your overall band score is an average of these four scores. These band scores are reported as whole or half scores, rounded up to the nearest half or whole band. It's crucial to note that specific colleges and programs may have varying IELTS cutoff scores, and not all institutions require candidates to qualify for the exam.

Band Score Skill Level Description
9 Expert user The test taker has a fully operational command of the language. Their use of English is appropriate, accurate, and fluent, and shows complete understanding.
8 Very good user The test taker has a fully operational command of the language with only occasional unsystematic inaccuracies and inappropriate usage. They may misunderstand some things in unfamiliar situations. They handle complex and detailed argumentation well.
7 Good user The test taker has operational command of the language, though with occasional inaccuracies, inappropriate usage, and misunderstandings in some situations. They generally handle complex language well and understand detailed reasoning.
6 Competent user The test taker has an effective command of the language despite some inaccuracies, inappropriate usage, and misunderstandings. They can use and understand fairly complex language, particularly in familiar situations.
5 Modest user The test taker has partial command of the language and copes with overall meaning in most situations, although they are likely to make many mistakes. They should be able to handle basic communication in their field.
4 Limited user The test taker's basic competence is limited to familiar situations. They frequently show problems in understanding and expression. They are not able to use complex language.
3 Extremely limited user The test taker conveys and understands the only general meaning in very familiar situations. There are frequent breakdowns in communication.
2 Intermittent user The test taker has great difficulty understanding spoken and written English.
1 Non-user The test taker cannot use the language except for a few isolated words.

What is the validity of the IELTS score?

The validity period of the IELTS score is two years from the date of issuance (result date). Within this timeframe, you can utilize your scores for various purposes, including university applications, employment opportunities, and immigration processes. It's important to note that if your IELTS score validity exceed two years, you will be required to retake the test to provide relevant language proficiency results.

What are the countries accepting IELTS score?

The top countries such as the United States of America, Australia, United Kingdom, Canada, and New Zealand accept IELTS scores for immigration, employment, and education.

The minimum IELTS score requirement varies based on country. Check the below table to know the cut-off.

IELTS Score for UK IELTS Score for USA IELTS Score for Australia
IELTS Score for Canada IELTS Score for New Zealand IELTS Score for Germany

IELTS Result

IELTS results are released within 13 calendar days after you complete the test for IELTS on paper, and IELTS for UKVI. For IELTS on computer, results will be available within 3 to 5 days, and for Life Skills for UKVI, 7 days after completion of the test. Upon receiving an email notification, candidates log into their IELTS accounts, using an identification document number, candidate number generated during the application, and essential details such as exam dates and date of birth to view the test results. The IELTS test report form is accessed through the official website of IDP.

What is the Test Report Form in IELTS?

The IELTS Test Report Form (TRF) serves as an official record of a candidate's results, valid for two years. Generally, candidates receive a single TRF, but those applying to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) or the United Kingdom Border Agency (UKBA) can obtain two copies by providing proof of application. The additional test report form (ATRF), up to five copies will be sent to institutions specified in the application form, with regular postage free of charge, although additional charges may apply for courier services or overseas postage.

Those seeking additional TRFs beyond the initial five, need to request the test centre that issued the results and need to pay an administration fee. If you lose the IELTS TRF, you must promptly report to the test centre. IELTS e-TRF, a digital version of the traditional TRF, is available for candidates who take the IELTS computer-delivered test and can be downloaded from their IELTS profile. To collect your Test Report Form (TRF) from the test centre, it is essential to present the identity proof used during the test registration. It is crucial to note that the test centre is not authorized to disclose your test results through email, phone calls, or fax.

What should I do if I am not happy with my test results?

If you're dissatisfied with your IELTS results, you have the option to request a review, known as an Enquiry on Results (EOR), within six weeks of your test date. You can choose to review the entire test or specific sections like Listening, Reading, Writing, or Speaking. This can be done online through the Test Taker Portal. 

The EOR IELTS administrative charges vary for different versions: IELTS (11,025 INR), CD IELTS (11,025 INR), UKVI IELTS (11,325 INR), and LIFE SKILLS (10,450 INR). Remember, if your result is revised to a higher band score, you will receive a full refund of the EOR fee. Results of the re-evaluation are typically available within 2 to 21 days, depending on the sections requested for remarking. If you haven't received a response after 28 days, you should contact your test centre.

How to send IELTS score to colleges?

Students can send their official IELTS scores to the organizations via postal mail and electronic delivery (e-delivery) through the IELTS Results Service. Through the booking portal, you can request your scores to be sent to organizations. It's advisable to confirm with your chosen organizations their preferred delivery method (postal or e-delivery) and obtain their address (for postal delivery) or account name (for e-delivery). It's important to note that IELTS Online results can only be shared officially through the e-delivery service.

Check How to send IELTS score to colleges in detail here.

IELTS One Skill Retake

The IELTS One Skill Retake is an opportunity for test takers who did not achieve their desired band score to enhance their performance in one specific section, Listening, Reading, Writing, or Speaking. IELTS retake can be done within 60 days of your original test date. The cost for the One Skill Retake remains the same, regardless of whether you choose to retake the Speaking, Listening, Reading, or Writing section. Upon undertaking the IELTS One Skill Retake, a new Test Report Form (TRF) will be provided, with the revised result for the specific skill retaken, along with the original scores for the remaining three sections.

IELTS Preparation Tips

Below we have given some of the tips that you need to take into consideration. 

  • Avoid memorizing answers to ensure natural responses in Speaking and Writing tests
  • Seek clarification when needed during the test
  • Enhance listening skills through regular practice
  • Pay attention to the order of answers in the reading section
  • Expand vocabulary for better comprehension
  • Read a range of English materials for language proficiency
  • Practice writing under time constraints
  • Master grammar rules for accurate language usage
  • Enhance fluency by practice speaking in front of a mirror
  • Focus on pronunciation to understand and articulate words correctly
  • Stay calm and relaxed on the test day
  • Avoid rushing and maintain focus on providing accurate answers
  • Practice extensively for overall test preparation

Also Read:

IELTS Exam Books

Below are some of the IELTS exam books that you need to refer.

  • The Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS by Cambridge University Press
  • Cambridge IELTS Academic 14 + 15 + 16 + 17 by Cambridge University Press
  • Road to IELTS (Free online resource) by the British Council
  • Official IELTS Practice Materials 2 with DVD by Cambridge ESOL
  • IELTS Superpack by BARRON'S
  • Cambridge Vocabulary for IELTS Book with Answers and Audio CD
  • New Insight into IELTS

IELTS Practice Test

Take IELTS practice tests regularly to understand the types of questions and get used to the exam format. Practice papers, available on the official IELTS website, IDP, and British Council websites, are crucial for improving your score. Regular practice with these materials will make you more confident when taking the IELTS test in 2024.

FAQ

1. What are the advantages of taking IELTS?

  • Global Recognition
  • Flexible Test Options
  • Enhanced Employment Prospects
  • Language Skills Development
  • Real-life communication
  • Achieve the study abroad goal

2. How IELTS exam conducted?

The first three parts of the IELTS test, namely Listening, Reading, and Writing, are conducted on the same day without breaks. The Speaking test is scheduled either on the same day or seven days before or after, depending on local arrangements. At an official IELTS test centre, you have the option to take the test on a computer, with questions for Listening, Reading, and Writing displayed on the screen, and responses entered digitally. The Speaking section is conducted face-to-face with a trained IELTS examiner.

3. Is it required to appear for IELTS to get admission abroad?

Yes, more than 12,000 organizations trust IELTS and the majority of universities and countries such as Canada, US, UK, Australia, and New Zealand require an IELTS score for admissions.

4. What are the universities accepting the IELTS test?

The universities accepting IELTS score are:

  • University of Oxford    
  • University of Cambridge
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • California Institute of Technology
  • University of Melbourne
  • Australian National University
  • University of Toronto
  • McGill University

5. What is the ideal time to take the IELTS test?

The examination board typically updates the speaking topics in January, September, and May. Thus, the ideal time to take the IELTS test would be just before the question changes occur, specifically in August, April, and December.

6. Can I postpone or cancel my IELTS application?

Yes. If you decide to cancel or change your IELTS test date more than 5 weeks before the test, you can get a refund minus an administration fee. If you postpone within 5 weeks, you'll be charged the full fee unless you have a valid medical reason.

7. Is it easy or difficult to appear for the IELTS test?

The IELTS test doesn't have to be hard. With the right strategies, practice, and knowing the format, it will be easy to crack the IELTS test. If you approach the test without adequate readiness and a lack of command over English, achieving a high band score in IELTS might be a challenge. Therefore, thorough preparation and language proficiency are important in determining the level of difficulty for each test-taker.

8. What is the first language in the IELTS application form?

In the IELTS application form, the term "first language" refers to your "Mother Tongue," which can be Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, and so on.

9. When will I receive my reminder mail for IELTS exam?

A reminder email will be sent to you 2-3 days before your IELTS exam date to confirm the test date, schedule, and venue. In case you don't receive this email, please check your spam or junk mail folder, or get in touch with your test centre.

10. What to bring on your IELTS test day?

On the day of your IELTS test, you need to bring the necessary items, including your ID or passport (the same identification used during registration), a jacket for comfort, a clear water bottle, and, if you are under 20 years old, the Consent Form.

11. How do I know the speaking time of the IELTS?

In the case of paper-based IELTS, the speaking time will be communicated on the test date via the announcement board and the candidate card provided in the test room. Speaking sessions will commence in the afternoon. For computerized IELTS, you have the flexibility to choose your speaking time while IELTS test booking.

12. How can IELTS test takers with visual, hearing, speaking, or learning difficulties take the exam?

IELTS test centers will assist individuals with visual, hearing, speaking, or learning difficulties. If you require a modified version of IELTS, it's important to note that you must provide medical evidence to support your request. The medical report should be in English and given by a medical professional within two years before the test date and must be submitted six weeks prior to the test.

13. What is not allowed in the IELTS exam?

Mobile phones and other electronic devices are not allowed in the IELTS examination room, even if they are turned off. The examination rooms will be accessible before 9 am, and it is essential that you are seated at your assigned desk in the exam room by 9:40 am. Ensure you have your ID ready for inspection upon entering the exam hall.

14. Is handwriting considered in IELTS?

Yes. However, it does not directly affect your band score. The IELTS exam requires candidates to write on paper for the writing section. If the examiner can't understand your writing, it could result in a lower score.

About Author Nivethitha

Nivethitha is an experienced IELTS trainer based in Chennai, who has helped over 1000+ students achieve their desired band scores and gain admission to their dream universities. With over 3 years of experience and a strong educational background in English literature, she is an expert in the language and its nuances. She holds both TEFL and Business English communication certifications, further enhancing her skills and knowledge in the field. Nivethitha believes in the importance of practice tests and incorporates them heavily into her training to help boost her students' confidence and skillset. She aims to provide practical tips and actionable advice to make the aspirants achieve their academic and career goals through her trusted authority in the field of IELTS training.

Kanan International is an IRCC-certified global education partner that offers reliable services, products, and solutions for students and education institutions. We support students throughout their study abroad journey, ensuring a hassle-free experience. Our expertise and commitment to excellence make us the go-to partner for expanding global horizons. The company provides coaching for IELTS, GRE, TOEFL, and SAT exams and services like visa consultation, accommodation, scholarship assistance, and education loans.

Free Online IELTS Mock Test 2024