International English Language Testing System :
The International English Language Testing System or IELTS is an international standardised test of English language proficiency for non-native English language speakers. It is jointly managed by IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge English Language Assessment, and was established in 1989. IELTS is one of the major English-language tests in the world, others being the TOEFL, TOEIC, PTE.
IELTS is accepted by most Australian, British, Canadian and New Zealand academic institutions, by over 3,000 academic institutions in the United States, and by various professional organisations across the world.
IELTS is the only Secure English Language Test approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) for visa customers applying both outside and inside the UK. It is also a requirement for immigration to Australia and New Zealand. In Canada, IELTS, TEF, or CELPIP are accepted by the immigration authority.
No minimum score is required to pass the test. An IELTS result or Test Report Form is issued to all test takers with a score from "band 1" ("non-user") to "band 9" ("expert user") and each institution sets a different threshold. There is also a "band 0" score for those who did not attempt the test. Institutions are advised not to consider a report older than two years to be valid, unless the user proves that they have worked to maintain their level.
The test is in four sections
Speaking : This tests your spoken English skills. It takes into account, vocabulary, grammar, fluency and understanding of word usage, also sentence structure, comprehension of questions and pronunciation. This section takes approximately twenty minutes. In both academic and general IELTS this section is the same.
Writing : Your writing skills are tested in two ways. In the general test you are required to write a letter on a given topic, followed by a longer essay again on a given topic usually of general interest. In the academic part one involves reporting information given in a graph, chart or map with the second part being similar to the general test but on a more intellectual topic. This section takes one hour.
Listening : This section deals with your ability to understand and record information from an audio passage. It may be a conversation, lecture or dialogue. You only get to hear the audio once so it’s important to read the questions carefully and make notes. This section takes one hour and is in four section.
Reading : The training prepares you for the kind of questions that are likely to be asked, what is expected of you throughout the test and provides practice in all four sections. Initially you will be given an informal assessment of your spoken and written English to judge the level of your grammar and that your overall standard of English is good enough to achieve the desired banding level. If we feel your standard is not high enough we will direct you towards special grammar classes as part of your IELTS preparation.
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Depending on your purpose for going abroad you will be given a minimum banding that must be achieved by the body which administers your application, for example a university in Canada may require you to achieve an overall banding of seven with a minimum of six in each section, where as an employer in the UK may require a six band overall with a minimum of five point five in all four sections.