IELTS INFORMATION

The IELTS English language test is the most popular English test in the world with over 3 million candidates taking the official test every year and millions more studying to take it. 

IELTS is often referred to as a “high stakes” English test because it can be life changing. Candidates usually need a target score to study, migrate, and take up employment or training in an English-speaking country.

 

Click on the links below for information on different aspects of the test. 

What is IELTS?

Essential information about the IELTS test and how the official test partners administer the tests.

How to register for the test and choose the correct module.

IELTS Grading & Results

Find out how your IELTS test is graded and its equivalent to other tests.

How and when you receive your results. and the reasons why your result might be withheld.

General Training & Academic Modules

Important information on which module is suitable for you according to your goals.

The similarities and differences between GT & AC.

Computer Delivered IELTS

Learn about the differences between the paper based and Computer Delivered (CD) test.

Which version is suitable for you?

 

FAQs

  • How long will it take to reach my IELTS target score?

 

      Watch the video on how long it will take to reach my target score.

  Be patient and realistic

  • One factor is, what is your target score? For example, if it’s 7.0 and you got 5.5 in a recent, official IELTS test, it will take some time to achieve it.

  • There’s no magic formula to increase your band score in a short period of time.

  • Research by IELTS has shown that it takes approximately 200 hours of study and practice to increase your overall score by 1 band.

  • So try to be patient and realistic as it will take some time to achieve your band score.

 

  Make an effective study schedule

  • Another factor is finding the time to study and practice. Most IELTS candidates have full time jobs or are full time students so finding enough time and energy to study after a day’s work or study is a big task for some.

  • When you do find time to study, use your time effectively. Before making a study schedule, take a full practice test so you can see what skills you need to practice more than the others.

  • If you have a study schedule, try to make it a realistic & varied one. After a full day’s work or study, when you’re feeling physically and mentally tired, it’s not a good idea to try a full 3-hour practice test.

  • Try to practice different parts of each test on separate days and prioritize the skills that need more practice than the others and vary your schedule.

 

   Doing practice tests only?

 

  • Doing practice tests is essential because they will increase your familiarity with the test format, text and question types and improve your time management.

  • However, it could be that you are repeating an ineffective strategy every time you do one.

  • Also doing practice tests only will not greatly improve your grammatical range and accuracy or lexical resource.

  Quality of tuition 

  • Do you have an experienced IELTS teacher? Are you taking a preparation course at a reputable academy?  

  • For Speaking and Writing, it’s essential to know what examiners are looking for and how to interpret the IELTS public band descriptors.

  • Good IELTS teachers will advise you on the most effective Listening and Reading strategies that will improve your score.

  • As for grammar and vocabulary, an experienced IELTS teacher can advise you on the aspects you can improve upon as well as reassure you on your strengths.

  • Should I register with IDP or British Council?

         There are IELTS myths that believe one is stricter than the other when it comes to grading and some even say one of them uses more difficult tests. The reality is that there is absolutely no difference between IDP and BC in terms of which tests are used, how their examiners are trained and how they grade the writing and speaking components. The tests are written by Cambridge English Language Assessment and used by IDP and the BC. Examiners are trained in the same way, using the same training materials and monitored and evaluated regularly using the same guidelines.

  • Does IELTS cater for candidates with special requirements?

       If you have speaking, listening, learning or visual difficulties, you must inform the test center 3 months in advance in order for them to make arrangements. For more information…

https://www.ielts.org/for-test-takers/special-requirements

  • Can I cancel or postpone my test?

            If you postpone or cancel within 5 weeks of the test date you will not get a refund. However if you have a valid medical reason and can provide a medical certificate, you will get a refund - minus an admin fee. If you cancel or postpone your test more than 5 weeks before the test date, you will get a refund – minus an admin fee. You should read the IELTS terms and conditions carefully.

 

  • What if I’m absent though no fault of my own or sick on the test date?

        If you are absent on the test date, you will lose the full test fee. However, if you provide a valid medical certificate within 5 days of the test date, you will get a refund - minus an admin fee.

 

  • Is there an age limit/restriction for taking IELTS?

       No there isn’t. According to the official IELTS terms and conditions for registration, “IELTS is made available worldwide to all persons, regardless of age, gender, race, nationality or religion but it is not recommended to persons under 16 years of age.”

 

  • Why does IELTS not recommend taking the test if you are under 16?

      One reason is that IELTS scores expire after two years. If you are taking IELTS to get into university or get a migration visa to an English-speaking country, your score will have expired by the time you start applying for college or overseas work (usually 18). 

 

  • Is it true that IELTS tests are re-used?

 

      Since 2007 all IELTS tests are unique. They are used only once.

 

  • Why did my band score go down when I re-took the test after 2 years?

            To keep your level of English constant, it’s important that you use it on a regular basis. Self-study is useful but real-life practice, either in the workplace or social situations, is essential. Studies into second language loss or “attrition” have all concluded that it’s… “Use it or lose it.”

  • When can I take IELTS?

      Check the test dates for the paper-based and CD IELTS with your local test center.