IELTS Exam Information

Have a look at some information on the test before deciding which one to take.

What is IELTS?

(IELTS) or The International English Language Testing System is an English language test used to grade people on their English proficiency and used to show the English ability of people who wish to work, study or migrate to an English-speaking country. 

You will be tested on your listening, reading, writing and speaking skills and will be graded on a scale of 1-9. 

Test format

The 2 types of IELTS tests are: Academic and General Training. IELTS Academic can be taken on paper or on computer at a test centre, or online from home. IELTS General Training must be taken at a test centre, but can be done on paper or computer.

The Listening and Speaking tests are the same for Academic and General tests, but the Reading and Writing tests are not the same. 

The Listening, Reading and Writing sections of all IELTS tests must be done on the same day, with no breaks. The Speaking test may be taken up to a week before or after the other tests. The total test time is 2 hours and 45 minutes.

IELTS Academic

The IELTS Academic test, best suited for people who wish to study on an English-speaking course or in an English-speaking education environment.

The test features academic English language skills that you will likely come across during your studies. 

IELTS General Training

The IELTS General test is more suited for people wanting to study below degree level, for work or other employment training.

The test contains more everyday English language skills that you will need in your day-to-day life.

Try some other IELTS sections:

Try some IELTS Reading questions

Ways to take IELTS

Tests you can take in a test centre

IELTS on paper

Test takers answer questions on an answer sheets for the Listening, Reading and Writing tests in an official IELTS test centre. The speaking test is carried out face-to-face with a trained IELTS Examiner.

IELTS on computer

Listening, Reading and Writing questions are shown on screen at an official IELTS test centre, and answers are submitted using a keyboard and a mouse. The speaking test is carried out face-to-face with a trained IELTS Examiner. 

Tests you can take remotely

IELTS Online

You can also take IELTS Online from home or another location. The speaking test is with a trained IELTS Examiner and happens via an online video call.

Registering for your IELTS

Step 1 – Find your nearest IELTS test location or take IELTS Online

 Find your nearest test centre HERE.

If you prefer to take your test from home, you can with IELTS Online. Check you have everything you need to take IELTS Online.

Step 2 – Register for your IELTS test

You can register and pay online or download an application form to print, complete and submit to your chosen test centre.

You will need to provide a copy of a valid ID that you must present on the day of your test.

Step 3 – Your IELTS test is booked

Once booked, your test centre will email you confirming the date and time of your test, if you are taking the test at a centre.

If you booked IELTS Online, you will receive an email confirming your test booking.


The IELTS scale

Band Skill level Description
1 Non-user The test taker has no ability to use the language except a few isolated words.
2 Intermittent user The test taker has great difficulty understanding spoken and written English.
3 Extremely limited user The test taker conveys and understands only general meaning in very familiar situations. There are frequent breakdowns in communication.
4 Limited user The test taker's basic competence is limited to familiar situations. They frequently show problems in understanding and expression. They are not able to use complex language.
5 Modest user The test taker has a partial command of the language and copes with overall meaning in most situations, although they are likely to make many mistakes. They should be able to handle basic communication in their own field.
6 Competent user The test taker has an effective command of the language despite some inaccuracies, inappropriate usage and misunderstandings. They can use and understand fairly complex language, particularly in familiar situations.
7 Good user The test taker has operational command of the language, though with occasional inaccuracies, inappropriate usage and misunderstandings in some situations. They generally handle complex language well and understand detailed reasoning.
8 Very good user The test taker has fully operational command of the language with only occasional unsystematic inaccuracies and inappropriate usage. They may misunderstand some things in unfamiliar situations. They handle complex and detailed argumentation well.
9 Expert user The test taker has fully operational command of the language. Their use of English is appropriate, accurate and fluent, and shows complete understanding.


IELTS exam fees depend on the testing centre and country in which the test is being taken. Fees can range from $140 – $310 USD.

Be sure to inquire about fees and other details with your nearest testing centre in advance. 

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