What is IELTS
IELTS stands for the International English Language Testing System. It is an exam owned and managed by IDP Australia, The British Council, and Cambridge Examinations.
It is a test to measure the English ability of people who wish to study or work in countries, places or organizations where English is the main language of communication.
It uses band scale of 1-9 to indicate ability, with 1 a virtual non-user of the language and 9 completely fluent, or expert.
You are tested under four criteria: speaking, listening, reading and writing. There is an Academic Test and General Training Test.
ACADEMIC IELTS - Taking the test to study abroad
There are four sections in the IELTS test:
Writing-If you are intending to study abroad; you will take the academic writing module. This test takes 60 minutes and there are two parts. You will have to write an essay and analyses a graph or diagram.
Reading-The reading test takes 60 minutes and is divided into three sections. Each section will have an academic reading of about 600 words and you will have to answer 40 questions in total.
Speaking-In this part of the test, you will have a 11-14 minute interview with an examiner. The examiner will ask you questions and evaluate your responses. The questions are easier at the beginning but get harder at the end.
Listening-The listening test takes 40 minutes and is divided into four sections, each one slightly harder than the first. There are 40 questions. You'll have to listen to each section and answer the questions as you listen.
How are overall band scores calculated?
When you have taken the IELTS test you will be sent a Test Report Form with your band score about 2 weeks later.
Band scores are given from 0-9. These IELTS scores are given for each section of the exam - writing, speaking, listening, and reading.
These are then added together to give you an overall band score.
You can be given a half band score as well, so scores are rounded up to whole or half bands.
Scores ending in 0.25 will be rounded up to the nearest half band, and scores of 0.75 will be rounded up the nearest whole band.
Here are some examples: