IELTS | English Language Test

 

The English Proficiency Test Battery (EPTB) was introduced in the year 1963 but the test was taken by the student in the year 1965.

The joint development for this assessment introduced by the University of Birmingham and the British Council. This EPBT test was focused on listening and reading skills with 3 tests, which comprises with reading speed, reading comprehension, and listening comprehension but this test didn’t include speaking and writing test, which was a big drawback.

The creators of EPTB, they thought that innovative evaluations of listening and reading will make up for this weakness. This EPTB test remained in existence in the year 1980.

In the year 1980, ELTS(English Language Testing Service) which was then known as IELTS(International English Language Testing System) launched. Test-taking candidate numbers were very low in the year 1980-1985, there was a slow rise in numbers.

The joint development for this assessment introduced by the University of Birmingham and the British Council. This EPBT test was focused on listening and reading skills with 3 tests, which comprises with reading speed, reading comprehension, and listening comprehension but this test didn’t include speaking and writing test, which was a big drawback.

The creators of EPTB, they thought that innovative evaluations of listening and reading will make up for this weakness. This EPTB test remained in existence in the year 1980.

In the year 1980, ELTS(English Language Testing Service) which was then known as IELTS(International English Language Testing System) launched. Test-taking candidate numbers were very low in the year 1980-1985, there was a slow rise in numbers.

Then the ELTS revision project was set up and in order to have International participation, redesign of the test took place.

The co-founder and administrators were the Cambridge English Language Assessment, the British Council and the International Development Program of Australian colleges and universities.

IELTS was revised in the year 1995, Academic and General exam, which were 1 Academic Reading module, 1 Academic Writing module for students and for professionals general Training which also includes reading and writing modules.

Annually the rise of candidates was increased, 210 test centers available worldwide and candidates appeared for the IELTS exam and number was each year 43,000.

The IELTS test comprises 4 modules, Listening, Reading, Writing and Listening for both Academic and General.

The Speaking test scheduling was a difficult challenge, after completing 3 modules in 1 day and conducting speaking on another day solved this problem.

In the year 2001, the Speaking section includes a smaller number of tasks, scripts and scoring criteria were integrated into the speaking paper.

In 2005 the writing section was updated and includes 4 areas of evaluation including Listening and Reading.

In the 21st century now IELTS was taken by more than 2,50,000 in over 140 countries, 1,100 test centers and widely accepted by educational institutes worldwide. Below are the bands:

9 Expert User

Has full operative grip of the language: Fitting precise, accurate and fluent with complete understanding.

8 Very Good User

Has fully operational command of the language with only occasional unsystematic inaccuracies and inappropriate. Misunderstandings may occur in unfamiliar situations. Handles complex detailed argumentation well.

7

Good User

Has operational command of the language, though with occasional inaccuracies, inappropriateness and misunderstandings in some situations. Generally, handles complex language well and understands detailed reasoning.

6

Competent User

Has generally effective command of the language despite some inaccuracies, in appropriacies and misunderstandings. Can use and understand fairly complex language, particularly in familiar situations.

5

Modest user

Has partial command of the language, coping with overall meaning in most situations, though is likely to make many mistakes. Should be able to handle basic communication in own field.

4

Limited User

Basic competence is limited to familiar situations. Has frequent problems in understanding and expression. Is not able to use complex language.

3 Extremely Limited User

Conveys and understands the only general meaning in very familiar situations. Frequent breakdowns in communication occur.

2 Intermittent User

No real communication is possible except for the most basic information using isolated words or short formulae in familiar situations and to meet immediate needs. Has great difficulty understanding spoken and written English.

1

Non-User

Essentially has no ability to use the language beyond possibly a few isolated words.

0

Did not attempt the test

No assessable information provided at all.

 

What is IELTS: (IELTS) INTERNATIONAL ENGLISH LANGUAGE TESTING SYSTEM is an English language proficiency test for Non-Native speakers, this test for students who want to pursue higher studies from a different country, for professionals who want to get a job in an English-speaking environment and for migrants to immigrate.

Types of Tests:  ACADEMIC is for those who want to study in colleges/universities and other higher educational institutes.

GENERAL is for Immigration purpose or for work experience those who want to work in an English speaking country.

IELTS exam assessed on the following elements:

Listening:  30 min + 10 min to transfer the answer to the answer sheet

  1. Reading:    60 min
  2. Writing:     60 min
  3. Speaking:  15-20 min

The test is form 2 days 1st day will be Listening, Reading & Writing and the other day will be Speaking test. There are 2 types of test 1 is Paper-based and another one is computer based.

 

Paper Based IELTS:

Listening: (30 min + 10 min to transfer the answer to the answer sheet)

Test Format- Listening (30 min + 10 min to transfer the answer to the answer sheet)

Detailed of the Test is below:

This test consists of 4 sections, each with 10 questions. The first 2 sections are concerned with social needs. The 1st section is a conversation between 2 speakers and the 2 section is a monologue. The final 2 sections are concerned with situations related to educational or training contexts. The 3rd section is a conversation between up to 4 people and the 4th section is a monologue.

Many different types of questions are being used in this test, including- matching, multiple choice, sentence completion plan/map/diagram labeling, note completion, table completion, flow-chart, summary, and short answer questions.

Test takers will hear the recording once only and answer the questions as they listen. 10 minutes are allowed at the end, so the candidates can transfer their answers to the answer sheet.

 

Academic Reading: (60 min)

Detailed of the Test is below:

In the Academic writing test, there is 3 section with 40 questions. There are 3 texts, which are taken from newspapers, magazines, journals, and books. The texts topics are mostly general interest and 1 logical argument.

Type of different variety questions is used which including short-answer questions, flow-chart, tables, notes, matching headings, matching sentence endings, matching information, multiple choice, identifying writer’s views in (Yes/No/Not Given).

 

Academic Writing: (60 min)

Detailed of the Test is below:

In this Test, there is 2 task, Task-1, and Task-2, which suggested that candidates must spend 20 minutes in Task-1 and spend 40 minutes in Task-2. In task-1 candidates need to write at least 150 words and in Task-2 require 250 words.

In Task-1, candidate’s gets mostly get some data or a diagram (chart, table or bar graph) and need to write 150 words in their own words.

InTask-2, candidates must present their point of view, either they agree or disagree. Topics are mostly related to world situation it may be related to nature, infrastructure or social life. This task needs to complete in 250 words.

 

General Training Writing: (60 min)

Detailed of the Test is below:

Only the difference in General Training writing is the Task-1, which mostly drafting a letter, it may formal, semi-formal or informal letter. Task-1 and Task-2, which suggested that candidates must spend 20 minutes in Task-1 and spend 40 minutes in Task-2. In task-1 candidates need to write at least 150 words and in Task-2 require 250 words.

In Task-1, candidate’s gets mostly get some data or a diagram (chart, table or bar graph) and need to write 150 words in their own words.

InTask-2, candidates must present their point of view, either they agree or disagree. Topics are mostly related to world situation it may be related to nature, infrastructure or social life. This task needs to complete in 250 words.

 

General Training Reading: (60 min)

Detailed of the Test is below:

In the Academic writing test, there is 3 section with 40 questions. There are 3 texts, which are taken from newspapers, magazines, journals, and books. The texts topics are mostly general interest and 1 logical argument.

Type of different variety questions is used which including short-answer questions, flow-chart, tables, notes, matching headings, matching sentence endings, matching information, multiple choice, identifying writer’s views in (Yes/No/Not Given).

 

Speaking: (11-14 min)

Detailed of the Test is below:

The Speaking test takes 11-14 minutes and it is taken by the certified well-trained examiner.

There are 3 parts in this Test.

Part-1: General introduction between the candidate and the examiner, candidates conversate about their family, their studies or job, their hobbies and interest which lasts for 4-5 min.

In Part-2: Candidate will get a card, in which he/she needs to speak about a particular topic. Candidates will get a minute to prepare their points or notes on a piece of paper after that the examiner will ask questions related to the topic. The examiner will record the conversation for 2 min and inform the candidate to stop. The examiner will move to the next part.

The last Part-3: Both the candidate and the Examiner will be engaged and discussing the given topic related questions. This speaking test assessment takes into grammatical range, fluency, pronunciation and lexical resource.

The results will be available after 13 working days.

 

Computer-Based IELTS:

In 2016 IELTS introduced delivered on the computer in 20 countries for test who requires a UK visa.

At present introduction of IELTS Academic and General Training testing on the computer is more widely used to provide more options to candidates and stakeholders, while retaining all of the test’s current security, trust, and integrity.

For computer-delivered IELTS there are more test dates available, candidates can choose IELTS as per their convenience, and they will receive their results in 5 to 7 working days.

The Test Report Form, content, timing and structure of the test is the same whether the test on paper or on the computer and the Speaking test is always face-to-face with a certified IELTS Examiner as the day scheduled.

If someone chooses to take computer-based IELTS, they will take the Listening, Reading and Writing test using a computer. All aspects of the computer-based test are identical to paper-based IELTS, including:

Question types:

  1. Content
  2. Timings*
  3. Marking

*In the computer-based Listening test, the timings are slightly different from the paper-based test. This is because the paper-based test requires examiners to transfer answers to an answer sheet. This step becomes appropriate to use when answering directly on a computer.

Before the start of each part of the Listening test, the candidate will have some time to read the questions.

After the end of each part of the Listening test candidate will have some time to review their answers.

At the end of the Listening test, will get 2 minutes to check their answers.

The Listening test timing is between 30 – 34 minutes.

There are more about the format of the IELTS test here.

What you need to know about computer-delivered IELTS

Test Takers brochure

Recognizing Organisations brochure

Frequently asked questions

For Test Takers

For Recognising Organisations

It is very important that the candidate choose the right option so that the candidate can feel comfortable and confident when taking the test. Test Takers need to decide whether they prefer to read the texts and write the answers on a computer, or on paper.

This test is designed to reflect the language spoken in every day in an English-speaking country like the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, United States of America, New Zealand and even covers variations such as British, Australian and American English.

Candidates can take IELTS in more than 140 countries and in over 1,200 locations around the world.

Every year up to 48 test dates available. 4 times in a month each test center offers for tests. The Academic IELTS is available on all 48 dates per year and the General Training IELTS is available on 24 dates.

Before used to be a minimum time limit of 90 days before which a person was not allowed to retake the test. However, this restriction has been taken off and currently there is no restrictions for applicants to retake the test. Once the test has taken, the result will be available 13 working days.

F.A.Q

1. What is IELTS?'

‘IELTS is the International English Language Testing System which tests English proficiency across the globe. Conducting one million tests globally, IELTS is the world’s most popular English testing system.

2. Which organisations accept IELTS?

IELTS is accepted by more than 6000 organizations worldwide. These include universities, immigration departments, government agencies, professional bodies, and multinational companies.

3. Who owns IELTS and who writes the test?

IELTS is jointly owned by British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and the University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations (Cambridge ESOL). 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.

4. 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.

5. Which version should I do?

Read the explanation of the Academic and General Training tests, then contact the organization or institution to which you are applying to find out what it requires. Note that you must know which version to take when you complete the online application form.

6. What help is available for disabled candidates?

Test centers make every effort to cater to the special needs of disabled candidates. It is our aim for all candidates to be assessed fairly and objectively. If you have a special need, talk to your local test center when registering. Centers may need three months to organize arrangements.

7. When can I take IELTS?

IELTS is available on 48 fixed dates a year – up to four times a month, depending on local demand.

8. How much does it cost?

IELTS has a set fee for its test. The Academic and General Training tests are the same cost. When you apply online, you will be told the fee.

9. What if I need to postpone or cancel my application?

If you postpone or cancel your application more than 5 weeks before the test date, you will receive a refund minus an administration charge. If you postpone or cancel within 5 weeks of the test date, you will be charged the full fee unless you have a medical reason. If you provide a medical certificate within 5 days of the test date, you will receive a refund minus the local administrative cost.

10. What if I am absent or sick on the test day?

If you are away on the test day with no prior notice, you will lose your full fee. However, if you provide a medical certificate within 5 days of the test date, you will receive a refund minus the local administrative cost.

11. Is the IELTS test completed in one day?

The Listening, Reading and Writing components of the test are always completed immediately after each other and with no break. Depending on the test center, the Speaking test may be taken up to 7 days either before or after the test date.

12. What can I bring into the examination room?

Only pens, pencils and erasers. You must bring the passport/national identity card you used on the IELTS Application Form to the test. You must leave everything else outside the examination room. Mobile phones and pagers must be switched off and placed with personal belongings in the area designated by the supervisor. If you do not switch off your phone/pager or keep it on you, you will be disqualified.

13. Which part do I take first?

You do the Listening test first following by the Reading and Writing components of the test. Depending on the test center, the Speaking test may be taken up to 7 days either before or after the test date.

14. What kinds of accents can be heard in the Listening and Speaking tests?

As IELTS is an international test, a variety of English accents are used in both of these tests.

15. Does the Listening tape provide instructions and pauses?

Yes. In the beginning, you hear instructions and a simple question. Then you read section 1 questions, listen to section 1 and answer the questions.

16. Is there a similar period of 10 minutes in the Reading test to transfer answer?

No. The Reading test is one hour, and you must write all your answers on the answer sheet for this time.

17. Can I use a pen for the Listening and Reading tests?

No. You must do it in pencil. The answer sheet is scanned by a computer which cannot read pen.

18. Can I make notes on the Listening and Reading question papers?

Yes. The IELTS Examiner will not see your question paper.

19. What is the Speaking test?

The Speaking test is a conversation with a certified IELTS Examiner. The Speaking test is made up of three sections. It is recorded on an audiocassette or a digital recorder.

20. What do I need for the Speaking test?

You must bring the same identification documents you supplied on your IELTS Application Form and used for the rest of the test. Your ID will be checked before you enter the interview room.

21. How are the tests marked?

IELTS uses a 9-band scoring system to measure and report test scores in a consistent manner. You receive individual band scores for Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking and an Overall Band Score on a band scale from one to nine.

22. Who sets the ‘pass’ mark for the IELTS test?

There is no pass or fail in IELTS. Scores are graded on the 9-band system. Each educational institution or organization sets its own level of IELTS scores to meet its individual requirements.

23. When will I receive my test results?

Your Test Report Form will be posted to you 13 days after your test date. Some test centers also provide SMS alerts and an Online Results Service. Keep your Test Report Form in a secure place as you only receive one copy.

24. What if I lose my Test Report Form?

Test Report Forms are valid for two years. Copies cannot be sent to candidates but IELTS will forward a Test Report Form to your relevant institution or embassy. Up to five copies will be sent free of charge. Additional copies will incur a small administration charge. Talk to your test center for further details.

25. How soon can I re-sit the test?

There is no limit on sitting the test. However, IELTS recommends you do additional study before taking the test again. Some test centers offer preparatory courses and language classes. You can also improve your skills by using the IELTS Official Practice Materials – ask for details.

26. What if I feel my test result is wrong?

You can apply for an ‘inquiry on results’ procedure at your test center within six weeks of the test date. You must pay an inquiry fee, which is fully refunded if your band score changes. Note that IELTS Examiners and markers follow strict assessment guidelines and are regularly monitored. The IELTS testing process has the highest quality control procedures.

27. What if I am delayed by circumstances beyond my control?

The test center may offer you a test on the next available test date.

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