What ielts exam? How is the IELTS exam scored?

You may have encountered the IELTS exam if you plan to study or work in an English-speaking country. But what is it exactly? This article will discuss everything you need to know about the IELTS exam, from its purpose to its format, and how to prepare for it.

What is the IELTS exam?

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is a standardized test that measures the English language proficiency of non-native speakers. The test assesses the four language skills: listening, reading, writing, and speaking. It is recognized by over 10,000 organizations worldwide, including universities, employers, and immigration authorities.

Why take the IELTS exam?

The IELTS exam is a requirement for individuals who wish to study or work in an English-speaking environment. The test provides an accurate assessment of the test-taker’s English language proficiency and helps ensure that they can communicate effectively in their academic or professional setting.

Types of IELTS exam

There are four types of IELTS exams available, depending on the purpose of taking the test:

IELTS Academic

The IELTS Academic is designed for individuals who wish to study at the undergraduate or postgraduate level in an English-speaking country. The test assesses the language skills required for academic purposes, such as writing essays, reading academic texts, and presenting the information.

IELTS General Training

The IELTS General Training is designed for individuals who wish to work or migrate to an English-speaking country. The test assesses the language skills required for social and workplace contexts, such as writing letters and reports, understanding workplace communication, and engaging in social conversations.


The IELTS for UKVI is designed for individuals who wish to work, study, or migrate to the United Kingdom. It is similar to the IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training but includes additional security measures to meet the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) requirements.

IELTS Life Skills

The IELTS Life Skills is designed for individuals who must prove their English speaking and listening skills for UK visas and immigration. It assesses the individual’s ability to communicate in everyday situations, such as shopping, travelling, or making appointments.

What is the test format for IELTS?

The IELTS test format is divided into four parts: Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking. The Listening and Speaking sections are the same for the IELTS’s Academic and General Training versions. However, the Reading and Writing sections differ in content and difficulty between the Academic and General Training versions.


The Listening section consists of four recordings of native English speakers, which are played only once. You will be given time to read the questions before each recording is played. You will then have time to write your answers to the questions.


The Reading section consists of three passages and 40 questions. The Academic version contains texts that are more advanced than those in the General Training version.


The Writing section has two tasks; you will have 60 minutes to complete both. The Academic version includes two tasks: Task 1 is to describe and compare the information presented in a graph, chart, or diagram, while Task 2 is to write an essay in response to a prompt. The General Training version includes two tasks: Task 1 is to write a letter in response to a situation, while Task 2 is to write an essay in response to a prompt.


The Speaking section is a face-to-face interview with an IELTS examiner. The interview is divided into three parts, which assess your ability to communicate in English in various situations. The interview lasts for about 11-14 minutes.

9. How is the IELTS exam scored?

IELTS scores range from 0 to 9, and are reported in 0.5 increments. Each of the four sections (Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking) is scored separately, and then an overall band score is calculated based on the average of the four individual scores.

10. How long does it take to get IELTS results?

Test takers can expect to receive their IELTS test results in 13 days after taking the test. Results are available online and can be accessed using your test centre login credentials.

11. How long is an IELTS score valid?

An IELTS score is valid for two years from the test date.

12. What is the importance of IELTS scores?

The IELTS score is essential for those who want to study, work, or migrate to a country where English is the primary language. The IELTS score is used as proof of English proficiency, and a minimum score may be required for admission to an academic institution or for immigration purposes.

13. Conclusion

In conclusion, the IELTS exam is a standardized English language proficiency test recognized by educational institutions, employers, and governments worldwide. It measures the test taker’s ability to communicate in academic, professional, and social English. By understanding the format, scoring, and importance of the IELTS exam, test takers can better prepare themselves for success on the test.

14. FAQs

What is the minimum score required to pass the IELTS exam?

There is no pass or fail in the IELTS exam. Rather, you receive a band score from 0 to 9 for each section of the exam, and an overall band score which is the average of your four section scores.

How long does the IELTS exam take?

The IELTS exam takes approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes to complete. The Listening, Reading and Writing sections are completed in one sitting, while the Speaking section may be completed on the same day or up to a week before or after the other sections.

How often is the IELTS exam offered?

The IELTS exam is offered up to four times a month, depending on the location. It is recommended to register well in advance as test dates can fill up quickly.

Can I take the IELTS exam online?

Yes, a computer-delivered version of the IELTS exam is available in some locations. However, the format and content of the exam are the same as the paper-based version.

How long are IELTS scores valid?

IELTS scores are valid for two years from the date of the test. After two years, the scores will no longer be reported.

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