IELTS Known as International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is a test that measures the language proficiency of people who want to study or work in Environment where English is used as a language of communication. It is jointly managed by University of Cambridge ESOL Examination, the British Council and IDP Education Australia.

Basically, the IELTS test is composed of two Modules: Academic Module and the General Training Module.

IELTS Academic: IELTS Academic is intended for those people who are planning to attend university for an undergraduate or postgraduate degree or simply wants to work with a professional organization.

IELTS General: IELTS General is intended for studying courses below degree level, work-related training or if you intend to emigrate to an English-speaking country.

IELTS is accepted by most Australian, British, Canadian, Irish and New Zealand academic institutions, by over 3,000 academic institutions in the United States, and by various professional organizations across the world. It is the only acceptable Secure Language Test approved UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) for Immigration to Australia as well as UK and Canada.

The IELTS Test Structure

The IELTS Test structure comprises of four parts:

  • Listening - 30 Minutes (plus 10 minutes transfer time)
  • Reading – 60 Minutes
  • Writing – 60 Minutes
  • Speaking – 10 – 15 Minutes

The total time duration for the IELTS Test is 2 hours and 45 Minutes and the scores are reported in “bands” for individual modules and overall test. All the candidates are required to take the same Listening and Speaking test, while the Reading and Writing Modules differ depending on whether the candidate is taking the Academic or General Training Versions of the Test.

The first three modules of the test i.e. Listening, Reading and Writing (always in the same order) are completed in a single day without any break. However, the speaking module may be taken on the same day or up to seven days before or after the test.

IELTS Band Score

The candidate receives a score for each test module – Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. The individual score is then averaged and rounded to produce an Overall Band Score.

IELTS is scored on a nine-band scale, with each band corresponding to a specified competence in English. Overall Band Scores are reported to the nearest half band.

The nine bands scale are discussed below:


Expert User

Has full operational command of the language: appropriate, accurate and fluent with complete understanding.


Very Good User

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


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.


Competent User

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


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.


Limited User

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


Extremely Limited User

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


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.


Non User

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


Did not attempt the test

No assessable information provided at all.