What you need to know about the IELTS

What is the IELTS?

The IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is a language skills test that covers listening, reading, writing and speaking in four separate sections. The reading, writing and listening tests may vary in order and must be completed without any breaks, while the speaking component can take place on the same day or up to a week before or after the other tests. There are two formats: Academic or General Training.

How long does the test take?

The accumulative time of the test is two hours and 45 minutes, comprised of listening (30 minutes), reading (60 minutes), writing (60 minutes) and speaking (11-14 minutes).

What is the difference between Academic and General Training?

The listening and speaking components of both tests are the same but they differ when it comes to reading and writing. Both reading sections include 40 questions, with the academic version including three long texts appropriate for someone entering university. The general training equivalent requires the extraction of content from material, like books and magazines, that would be common in an English-speaking environment.

Each writing segment contains two tasks. Firstly, the academic test taker is presented with a graph or chart and asked to explain the information using a description of data, processes and events. The second part is a formal essay in response to an argument or problem. The first General Training writing task is a letter, which can be personal or formal, in reply to a situation. The second is a more personal essay in response to an argument or problem.

Where can I take IELTS?

IELTS Australia have more than 200 locations in 50 countries, with the test being held up to four times a month on Thursdays and Saturdays, for a total of 48 fixed dates per year.

How are the IELTS marked?

IELTS uses a nine-band scoring system, with every test taker given an individual score between one and nine for listening, reading, writing and speaking. The participant will then be given an overall band score on a scale from one to nine.

What IELTS score will I need?

Most institutions in Australia will have different requirements when it comes to IELTS scores. Contact the course provider directly by running a course search and submitting the form within the course page or by completing our general enquiry form, which will send your information to multiple education providers.


Who accepts IELTS?

Over 10,000 organisations from 140 countries recognise IELTS, including:

  • Universities, schools, training colleges and tertiary institutes
  • Government departments and agencies
  • Professional and industry bodies
  • Companies and employers.

How much does it cost?

The price for taking the IELTS is roughly $330, which is the same for both the Academic and General Training test.  

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