Which version of IELTS is right for you?

Find out which test you need

  • Every organisation sets its own entry requirements. In some cases both versions of IELTS may be accepted.
  • Visit Who accepts IELTS? to search for the organisations you want to apply to, and find out which version you need.
  • If you are in doubt as to which version to take, you should contact the organisations directly in order to check their requirements.
  • Whichever test version you choose, IELTS can help you make the most of your time in your chosen country

IELTS for study

The International English Language Testing System, commonly known as IELTS, is one of the most widely accepted English language tests in the world, and the one most trusted by UK universities. There are two versions of the IELTS test: Academic – for studying abroad, and General Training – mainly for immigration purposes.

The IELTS Academic Test accurately assesses the English language ability of individuals wishing to study overseas. Any student applying to a British university will need to prove their English fluency through a test such as IELTS.

In total, the test lasts 2 hours and 45 minutes. There are four sections – Listening (30 minutes), Reading (60 minutes), Writing (60 minutes) and Speaking (11–14 minutes).

IELTS | Test Takers

In this thirty-minute section you will hear a range of different conversations or monologues. The speakers may have accents from many different parts of the world. Generally, sections will increase in difficulty as you progress through the test. Finally, you will have ten minutes at the end of the test to complete the answer sheet provided.

Preparing for the test

Lasting an hour, the reading section consists of three sections of increasing difficulty. The test is designed to evaluate students’ reading skills, including logic, comprehension and vocabulary.

Understand the IELTS test format

There are two sections in the written part of the exam, and in total you have an hour to complete them. In the first part you are required to produce a descriptive piece of around one hundred and fifty words which is based on a graph or diagram. You should spend about twenty minutes on this section. You should spend the remaining forty minutes on the second section, in which you are required to produce a two hundred and fifty word piece of discursive writing, creating an argument around a specific topic.

IELTS results process

IELTS has a nine band scoring system designed to grade scores consistently. Unlike other assessment tests which may place an emphasis on memorizing vocabulary, communication skills are mainly tested in IELTS. Training in an interactive environment rather than studying at home on your own will therefore be important for IELTS.

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