What is IELTS Exam?

IELTS is short for International English Language Testing System which is also an English proficiency test. IELTS is conducted by Cambridge Assessment English, British Council, and IDP Education. IELTS is a test for people from other countries who want to study or work in places where English is the main language. Popular countries where you might need to take this test include the UK, Australia, New Zealand, the United States, and Canada. 

The test checks how well you can understand and use English in four important areas: listening, reading, speaking, and writing. It’s owned and run by two organizations, IDP Education Australia and Cambridge English Language Assessment.

IELTS Exam Update 2024

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, IELTS IDP now allows academic test takers to take the IELTS online exam, known as IELTS Indicator, from the comfort of their homes. This option is available for people in countries affected by the coronavirus, where regular test centers are closed for safety reasons.

The IELTS Indicator test still evaluates the same four language skills as the traditional in-person exam. However, many candidates find themselves confused about whether IELTS or TOEFL is the better English language proficiency test. Here’s a general guideline: if you’re planning to study in the United States, you typically need to take the TOEFL. On the other hand, for most European countries, IELTS is usually the required language test.

Why IELTS Exam is required?

Studying more for the IELTS Academic test can offer you additional benefits beyond just achieving a required score for your employment or school goals. Here are the top five reasons to consider:

  •     Objective Evaluation of Language Skills: When you take the IELTS exam, you receive a fair and objective assessment of your English language skills. While friends or school tests may provide some feedback, IELTS evaluates you against rigorous global criteria, giving you a more accurate understanding of your proficiency.
  •     Globally Recognized Certification: Successfully completing the IELTS exam grants you a certification that is acknowledged and accepted by numerous institutions worldwide. This includes businesses, colleges, professional organizations, and government agencies. It adds credibility to your language abilities.
  •     Enhanced English Language Command: IELTS assesses all four language skills: listening, reading, writing, and speaking. This comprehensive evaluation encourages you to practice and improve across all these areas, contributing to an overall enhancement of your command over the English language.
  •     Understanding English for Academic Studies: By taking the IELTS Academic test, you gain a better understanding of the English language required for undergraduate or postgraduate studies. This targeted knowledge ensures you are well-prepared for the language demands of academic environments.
  •     Increased Motivation and Focus: Setting a clear objective with the IELTS exam motivates you to study diligently. With specific goals in mind, you are less likely to postpone your studies. The exam serves as a tangible target, inspiring you to work hard and continuously improve your English skills.

IELTS Exam Highlights

Full Form

International English Language Testing System

Official Website

IELTS Official Website

Accepted By

More than 10,000 universities worldwide

Mode of IELTS

Paper and Computer Delivered Test

IELTS Exam Fee

INR 16,250

IELTS Score Range

1-9

Types of IELTS Exam

IELTS tests are available in two varieties: Academic and General Training. Both exams share identical listening and speaking sections, but the content for the reading and writing parts varies depending on which test you’re taking. On the day of the exam, you’ll tackle the reading, writing, and listening portions without any breaks in between. However, the Speaking component can be completed either a week before or after the other sections, providing some flexibility. If you need more information about the exam, you can find it at your testing center. This way, you get a clear picture of what to expect and how to prepare for each part of the IELTS test.

IELTS Academic Test 

The IELTS Academic Test is specifically designed for individuals planning to pursue further education or seeking professional registration in a foreign country. It assesses academic language skills and is tailored for those who want to study at universities or engage in professional development abroad.

IELTS General Test

On the other hand, the IELTS General Test is intended for individuals looking to relocate to major English-speaking countries like Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom. It’s also taken by people interested in training programs, secondary school enrollment, or gaining work experience in a country where English is the primary language of communication. The General Test evaluates practical language skills needed for daily life and work scenarios in an English-speaking environment. So, whether your goal is academic study or general life and work in an English-speaking nation, there’s an IELTS test that suits your specific needs.

IELTS UKVI

IELTS UKVI (United Kingdom Visa and Immigration) is similar to the regular IELTS test but holds the distinction of being a government-approved Secure English Language Test (SLET). It is specifically mandated for individuals who need to demonstrate their proficiency in the English language for UK visa and immigration purposes. If you’re planning to apply for a visa or immigrate to the United Kingdom, taking the IELTS UKVI is a recognized and necessary step to showcase your English language skills in accordance with the requirements of the UK immigration system.

IELTS Academic vs General

IELTS Academic Test

IELTS General Test

Chosen by students for higher education overseas.

Chosen by those moving to major English-speaking countries like the UK, Canada, and Australia.

Required for admission to professional institutions or colleges.

May be required for admission to secondary institutions or for employment purposes.

Questions designed at a university level, assessing academic language proficiency.

Questions based on topics of broad interest, focusing on practical language skills.

IELTS Exam Eligibility

All Candidates, regardless of age, country, or ethnicity, can take the IELTS exam. The eligibility criteria are pretty straightforward. The only key points are that candidates need to be at least 16 years old and should be able to provide evidence of their nationality. Importantly, there’s no specific educational qualification required, meaning you don’t have to meet any minimum academic standards to take the IELTS test. It’s designed to be accessible to a wide range of people around the world.

IELTS Fee

The registration cost for IELTS is Rs. 16,250 for registrations starting from January 7th, 2023. This fee is the same for all exam centers in India. In India, IELTS is managed by two organizations: the British Council and IDP. You can take the test at more than 130 sites across the country. This standardized registration cost and the widespread availability of test centers aim to make the IELTS exam accessible to a broad range of candidates in India.

IELTS Exam Fee

Rs. 16,250

IELTS Cancellation Fee

Rs. 2,325 

IELTS Rescheduling Fee

Rs 3,300 

What is IELTS Cancellation Fee?

Cancellation Over Five Weeks Before Test Date:

  •     You can cancel your IELTS application more than five weeks before the test date.
  •     Refund: You will receive a refund, but a 25% administrative charge will be deducted.

Cancellation Fewer Than Five Weeks Before Test Date:

  •     If you cancel your IELTS exam within five weeks of the test date, you will not receive a refund.

No Show for Exam:

  •     If you don’t show up for the exam, it is considered a cancellation.
  •     Refund: You will not be refunded in this case.

Medical Certificate Exception:

  •     Those providing a medical certificate within 5 days of the test date can be eligible for a refund.
  •     Refund: The refund will be processed, but it will be less than the local administration fee.

What is IELTS Rescheduling Fee?

If a candidate wants to reschedule the IELTS exam, they need to make the request at least five weeks before the initially scheduled exam date. The rescheduled exam must take place within three months of the original date. To proceed with the rescheduling, the candidate is required to pay a fee of $40.50 (INR 3000), which includes all applicable taxes. This policy ensures flexibility for candidates who need to change their exam date, with a reasonable time frame and a specified fee for the rescheduling process.

IELTS Exam Syllabus and Pattern

For success in the IELTS test, it’s crucial for candidates to have a solid understanding of the IELTS syllabus. The syllabus is structured into four main parts: reading, listening, speaking, and writing. Students receive individual grades for each of these components, contributing to their overall IELTS score. Aspirants benefit from understanding how to tackle each section effectively. The total score is the combined result of the scores from these four skill areas. The entire test spans a duration of 2 hours and 45 minutes. This knowledge and strategic approach help candidates perform well across all aspects of the IELTS examination.

IELTS Exam Dates 2024-2025 in India

The IELTS test is available throughout the year, allowing you to choose a date that aligns with your admission requirements. It’s advisable to take the test three to four months before your admission deadline. This timeline provides ample room for a retake or any necessary adjustments. The test is conveniently conducted in all major cities across India, and you can easily register online for your preferred date. This flexibility in scheduling and accessible registration process makes it more convenient for candidates to plan and prepare for the IELTS examination.

IELTS Exam Booking

Candidates have the option to complete their IELTS registration either online or in person at the local IDP office. With 80 IELTS test centers spread across India, test-takers can conveniently choose a location that suits them best. Notably, there are no specific eligibility criteria for IELTS based on gender, age, ethnicity, religion, or nationality. However, it’s important to note that individuals under the age of 16 are not permitted to take the IELTS test. Here are the stages for IELTS registration, covering both online and offline methods:

IELTS Online Registration

IELTS registration has been made simple and efficient, comprising three straightforward phases. To book the IELTS exam, candidates can follow these steps:

  1.     Visit the Official IELTS Website: Go to the official IELTS website to initiate the registration process.
  2.     Create an Account: Make an account on the website, providing the necessary details.
  3.     Select a Suitable Date Slot: Choose an appropriate date for the exam based on the availability at nearby IELTS testing locations.
  4.     Online Payment: Complete the registration by making the required payment online.

IELTS Offline Registration

To register for the IELTS exam, candidates should follow these steps:

  1.     Obtain the Registration Form: Download the IELTS exam registration form from the official website.
  2.     Manual Test Date Selection: Choose the desired test date manually and complete the other required form criteria.
  3.     Payment Options: Make the payment using one of the following methods:
  •     Demand Draft: Prepare a demand draft in favor of “IDP EDUCATION INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED,” payable in New Delhi.
  •     Cash: Pay in cash at the nearest ICICI bank using a payment slip.

4.     Provide Courier Operable Address: On the registration form, provide a valid Blue Dart courier operable address.

How to Prepare for IELTS?

Preparing for the IELTS exam can be done through two main methods: self-study or attending coaching programs. The choice between the two depends on your level of language proficiency and personal comfort. If you are already fluent in English, you may opt for self-study, eliminating the need for coaching classes. The key is to decide when to start preparing for the IELTS exam.

Moreover, if budget constraints are a concern, self-study becomes a preferable option. However, it’s essential to note that self-study requires access to the most up-to-date preparation suggestions for each section of the IELTS exam.

On the other hand, coaching classes are an excellent choice if time is a constraint and you need expert guidance for test preparation. Regular attendance in classes can help you manage your time effectively and make test preparation a part of your routine. The decision between self-study and coaching depends on individual preferences, language proficiency, time availability, and budget considerations.

How to Check IELTS Result?

Once you’ve completed the IELTS exam, the next step is waiting for the results. The good news is that the results are typically available within a short timeframe. For computer-based tests, you can expect your results within 3-5 days, or up to a week. 

  •     If you took the paper-based test, the results will be ready within 13 calendar days of the exam date.
  •     In the online mode, you’ll receive an email notification with your computer-delivered exam results within 3-5 days. On result day, your Test Centre will notify you. To access your results online, simply log in using your ID, password, passport number, and test date information. Your results will be accessible online for the next 28 days after they are declared. This streamlined process ensures that candidates promptly receive and can access their IELTS results for further planning and decision-making.

IELTS Score

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is designed to assess English language proficiency across all levels. Your overall IELTS score is the cumulative result of band scores from the four test components. Each of the four abilities—listening, reading, writing, and speaking—is individually scored on a scale of 1 to 9, with an overall band score provided as well. In each section, you can achieve whole-band scores (e.g., 5.0, 6.0, 7.0) or half-band scores (e.g., 5.5, 6.5, 7.5). Understanding this scoring system is crucial for a better comprehension of how your IELTS performance will be evaluated.

Skill Level Band Score Description
Expert 9 Correct and appropriate mastery of the language.
Very Good 8 Complete command of the English language with minor hiccups.
Good 7 Operational command of the language, with errors in portions.
Competent 6 Practical understanding, demonstrating good command.
Modest 5 Partial language command, requiring coping skills.
Limited 4 Reoccurring misconceptions, inability for sophisticated communication.
Extremely Limited 3 Only general connotations understood, faces recurring breakdowns.
Intermittent 2 Inability to communicate effectively, trouble in all language aspects.
Non-user 1 Complete inability to communicate in English.
No Attempt 0 Did not take the test or no record found.

IELTS Accepted Countries

Your IELTS exam score is acknowledged in more than 140 countries, including popular destinations like the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, the United States, and Canada. Whether you’re planning to study, work, or immigrate, a robust IELTS score enhances your eligibility to apply to your preferred nation. However, it’s advisable to check the specific requirements of the university or country you have in mind before taking the IELTS exam. This ensures that you’re well-informed and adequately prepared to meet the criteria tailored to your educational or professional goals.

IELTS Accepting Universities

Taking the IELTS test opens up a lot of exciting opportunities! IELTS is recognized by more than 11,000 organizations in 140 countries, including schools, colleges, and universities. This test checks how well you use English at work and in school, giving a clear picture of how you would communicate in different countries. It’s the most popular English language test, with over 3 million people taking the IELTS exam every year. So, if you’re thinking about studying, working, or living abroad, IELTS can be your key to making it happen!

Name of the Institution

IELTS Cut-off

MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

7.0

Stanford University

7.0

Harvard University

7.0

California Institute of Technology

6.5

University of Oxford

7.0 overall, 6.5 in each band

ETH Zurich

7.0

University of Cambridge

7.0 overall, 7.0 in each band

Imperial College London

6.5 overall, 5.5 in each band

University of Chicago

7.0

UCL (University College London)

7.5

FAQs About IELTS Exam

What is IELTS?

IELTS is an English language proficiency test that is accepted for university admission in top destinations such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada. For university admission, all non-native English speakers may be required to take a language proficiency test, and IELTS is accepted by nearly all universities worldwide.

How much is IELTS exam Fee?

The IELTS examination costs INR 16,250.

What is the full form of the IELTS Exam?

IELTS is short for International English Language Testing System.

What is the IELTS exam for?

The IELTS exam assesses a candidate’s English proficiency across all four sections of Speaking, Writing, Listening, and Speaking.