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The Complete IELTS Guide

Akansha Pandey

Akansha Pandey

Jan 16, 2024

6 mins read

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Leaving your home country to go abroad for more opportunities, scope to grow, and to increase your exposure is a unique but daunting decision. There are a lot of things that need to be taken into consideration while making this decision and once it has been made, the steps to achieve your goal are also extensive. One of the most common steps to immigrating to any English-speaking Western country is taking the IELTS test. But what exactly is this test, and why is it important? What does the IELTS band score signify? We have clarified any questions you might have about IELTS here.

What is IELTS

The IELTS is a regulated and universally recognized English language assessment test for international education and migration. It evaluates the English language proficiency of non-native speakers who want to study or immigrate to nations where English is the primary language of communication. More than half of the nations in the world value IELTS certifications. Most international education colleges and universities need it as a requirement for entrance. The IELTS test was developed to assess a candidate’s language proficiency. It evaluates each of the four language-related skills: 

  1. Speaking
  2. Listening
  3. Reading
  4. Writing

Who Needs To Take IELTS?

You will have to take IELTS if you plan to move to Australia, Canada, the USA, the UK, or New Zealand as it is a compulsion to be able to immigrate to these countries. Do you really need to take the IELTS test? IELTS test takers range in age and background. Having said that, there are two basic motives for taking the IELTS:

1. You are submitting a college/university application: You might need to take the IELTS to demonstrate your proficiency in the English language if you’re applying to study at a college or university in an English-speaking country as a non-native speaker. Your ability to finish the coursework in English will be determined by your IELTS score. Your acceptance is subject to your ability to obtain a specific IELTS score at some institutions.

2. You are looking for employment in an English-speaking country: If you’re attempting to obtain employment in an English-speaking nation but speak a different language as your first language, you may need to take an English-language comprehension test, such as the IELTS, to demonstrate that you are competent enough to do the job.

How To Register For IELTS? 

So we now understand what IELTS is and if you need to take the test. But how do you apply as a candidate? The process is quite simple and can be done online.

  1. Access the website
  2. Choose “Register for IELTS” from the menu.
  3. Choose the exam day and the test location (you will see the seat availability status)
  4. Fill out the online application.
  5. Use a valid credit card (Master or Visa) to pay the test fee.

The IELTS test registration will cost you around  ₹15,500. You will receive a confirmation after your registration is finished on your computer (you may print and keep this with you for future reference). Additionally, a paper copy of the confirmation or an email to your registered email address will be delivered. On the day of the exam, candidates must bring their original passports.

Format For IELTS 

Knowing how your exam will go and being prepared for what’s to come will make you more confident while giving the exam. The four language abilities to listen, read, write, and speak are all tested in the IELTS exam. IELTS is divided into two types: Academic and General Training. You take different Reading and Writing assessments for Academic and General Training, but the Listening and Speaking sections are the same. There are no breaks between the sections and will be taken on the same day. You can reserve a time slot online for the Speaking test at your convenience. A slot will be automatically assigned to you if you don’t select one within the allotted time. The exam is done in less than three hours. Here is what you should know about all 4 sections:

1. Listening Section: You must first listen to four recordings before responding to the questions based on what you heard. The section lasts 30 minutes and features recordings of native English speakers.

2. Reading Section: You must respond to 40 questions that are developed to evaluate a variety of reading abilities. You would have to read for the gist, main points, specifics, logical justifications, skimming, and determining the attitudes, opinions, and goals of the authors. This section will take you 60 minutes. 

3. Writing Section: You must do two tasks for the IELTS writing test, which is divided into general interest subjects dependent on the module you are taking. This section is 60 minutes long

4. Speaking Section: Your spoken English abilities are evaluated on the IELTS Speaking test. The speaking assessment is divided into three sections and is recorded. This section lasts around 11-14 minutes.

Suggested: Top 5 Strategies To Ace IELTS Speaking & Listening Section

What Is The IELTS Band Score Scale?

The IELTS band score is calculated on an average based on all 4 of your tests and how you did in the individual task. The band score goes from 0-9 with 0 being the lowest and 9 the highest. For the total band scores, calculations are made to the nearest whole or half band. The average score for the four skills—listening, reading, writing, and speaking—is rounded up to the next half band if it is less than .25. If the score ends with .75, it is rounded up to the next whole band. Here is what each score says about your English proficiency.

Suggested: Top 5 Strategies To Ace IELTS Speaking & Listening Section

Ideal score for IELTS 

It is important to keep in mind that IELTS band score requirements for each country/college/university differ and you should check the requirements of your desired place before your IELTS test so that you are aware of the minimum you need to score. However, here is an average of the major countries wherein you need to submit an IELTS band score to give you an idea of their English proficiency requirements.

CountriesAverage Band Required IELTS
United Kingdom6.5 and above
Canada 6.0 and above 
Australia 6.5 and above
New Zealand 6.5 and above
USA6.5-7.0 and above

**Numbers are based on an average requirement of the universities/colleges of each country and applicants must confirm the exact band score needed for each institute when they apply.

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Akansha Pandey
Akansha Pandey

Akansha Pandey is a journalism graduate who is passionate about helping students achieve their academic, professional, and personal goals. She handles digital marketing and supports the process of guiding students to get admitted into their dream universities.

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