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Frequently Asked Questions
IELTS | Test Takers - About the IELTS test
What is IELTS?
IELTS is the International English Language Testing System which tests English proficiency across the globe. Conducting over 2.7 million tests in 2015, IELTS is the world’s most popular high stakes English language test for study, work and migration.
Which organisations accept IELTS?
IELTS is accepted by more than 9,000 organisations worldwide. These include universities, immigration departments, government agencies, professional bodies and multinational companies. To search for a recognising institution, use theIELTS Global Recognition System.
Who owns IELTS and who writes the test?
IELTS is jointly owned by British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge English Language Assessment and offered through more than 1,000 test centres and locations in over 140 countries. International teams of writers contribute to IELTS test materials. Ongoing research ensures that IELTS remains fair and unbiased. Test writers from different English-speaking countries develop IELTS content so it reflects real-life situations.
Why are there two versions of the test?
IELTS has two versions – Academic and General Training. The Academic test is for those who want to study at a tertiary level in an English-speaking country. The General Training test is for those who want to do work experience or training programs, secondary school or migrate to an English-speaking country. All candidates take the same Listening and Speaking tests but different Reading and Writing tests.
Which version should I do?
Read the explanation of the Academic and General Training tests , then contact the organisation or institution to which you are applying to find out what it requires.
What is the test format and how long will it take?
IELTS has four parts – Listening (30 minutes), Reading (60 minutes), Writing (60 minutes) and Speaking (11–14 minutes). The total test time is 2 hours and 45 minutes. The Listening, Reading and Writing tests are done in one sitting. The Speaking test may be on the same day or up to seven days before or after the other tests.
How do I practise and prepare for my test?
The Official IELTS Practice Materials explains the test format in detail and gives you practice tests and answers. You can order your Official IELTS Practice Materials in one of two ways:
place an order online or purchase through your local test centre
What help is available for candidates with disabilities?
Test centres make every effort to cater for the special needs of candidates with disabilities. It is our aim for all candidates to be assessed fairly and objectively. If you have a special need, talk to your local test centre when registering. Centres may need three months to organise arrangements.