What is the IELTS:
The IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is an official examination of English of high recognition worldwide. The IELTS is administered by the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge English Language Assessment. Its purpose: to assess the level of English of the people who take it. This is one of the most accepted English exams by foreign higher education institutions to endorse the knowledge of this language.
Types of IELTS:
There are two types of IELTS. The General IELTS and the Academic IELTS. The General IELTS is the one that you can take if your goal is to migrate to an English-speaking country for work, training or job training purposes. As for the Academic IELTS, this would be a better option for you if your interest is to study in an English-speaking country, especially if you want to enter the undergraduate or graduate program. The Auditory Comprehension and Oral Expression sections are identical in both exams, but the Written Expression and Reading Comprehension sections differ in that the texts you should read and the essays that you will have to write in the General IELTS are more related to topics from day to day, while in the Academic IELTS are related to more analytical topics.
Type of IELTS English
You may have heard the myth that the IELTS is a British English test. However, if you take the decision to take this exam, you should know that the IELTS is an international exam, so during the different sections of it, you will find a variety of accents from all over the world such as American, British, Australian English and New Zealand.
The IELTS measures the competence and level of English in four skills: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking.
The Listening section consists of four sections and 40 questions in total. In this you will have to listen to four recordings of conversations and monologues, and once each recording is finished, you will have to answer the questions about what you have heard.
During the Reading Comprehension section, you must answer 40 questions. Depending on the type of exam you take, you should read between 3 and 5 passages; in the Academic IELTS you will read 3 long writings taken from books and academic journals, while in the General IELTS you will read up to 5 short texts taken from newspapers and news.
In the Written Expression section, you will have 60 minutes to make two writings. In the Academic IELTS you will have to make a first writing where you will have to summarize the information of a graph, diagram or table that is presented to you, and then you will have to make an essay. In the General IELTS, you must first write a letter explaining a situation or requesting information, and then do a rehearsal.
The Oral Expression section consists of three parts. In the first part you should talk about yourself and topics that are known to you. Then, in a second part, you will have to answer some questions about a particular topic that will be asked. Finally, in the third part you will have a discussion on the topic dealt with in part two. It is important to highlight that this section of the IELTS, unlike other exams, is done individually and in person with an examiner.
Duration of the IELTS
In total, the IELTS lasts for 2 hours and 44 minutes, divided into 30 minutes for the Listening section, 60 minutes for the Reading Comprehension section, and another 60 minutes for writing the Written Expression Section. and between 11-14 minutes to answer the three parts of the Oral Expression Section. It is important that you know that the Oral Expression Section is performed on a different day than the other three sections.
The first thing you should know is that the IELTS does not have an approved or disapproved format. The result you receive will show you your level of English proficiency. The test uses nine bands to measure the results, with 1 being the lowest band and 9 being the highest band. The results can be presented in the form of a complete band (eg 6.0) or in a half band (eg 6.5). According to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, the bands between 1 and 3.5 correspond to levels A1 and A2 that are people who have basic knowledge of the language, the bands between 4 and 5 are equivalent at level B1 which is level intermediate, the bands between 5.5 and 6.5 correspond to level B2 of advanced intermediate level, the bands between 7 and 8.
The results bring a score for each section and a global score. The score in each section is awarded according to four criteria: how well the questions were solved, the coherence and cohesion of the questions, how wide is the vocabulary of the candidate and the level of grammar. Each of these four criteria has a similar weight in the final score obtained by the candidate in each section.
Which institutions accept the IELTS
Many people have the belief that the IELTS is a test only valid in the United Kingdom or Australia, and that for example, it is not accepted by the United States and Canada. This is also a myth. The IELTS is a global exam, of international recognition accepted by more than 8000 institutions in 135 countries, among which are Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, the United Kingdom and more than 1100 American universities and colleges.
Validity of the IELTS Results
Once you have done the IELTS, you will receive a copy of the results 13 calendar days after the date of submission of the written exam. During your registration to the exam you can request that they send a copy of your results to a maximum of five educational institutions. Keep in mind that the results you get will last for two years. In case you get a score lower than what you needed, you can re-take the exam at any time.
How to register for the IELTS
You can present the Academic IELTS in 48 dates during the year and the General IELTS in 24 dates. They are held four times a month, usually on Thursdays and Saturdays, with fixed dates. It is possible to register for the exam in person or online, but that will depend on the center where you are going to present it. The IELTS can be taken at more than 900 centers around the world. To register for the exam, you must fill out the application form and attach a copy of your identity document and two passport-size photos.
Although the Academic IELTS and the General IELTS have the same price, this varies according to the country and the center where you are going to take the exam. Therefore, we recommend that you review your country information on the website: