What is IELTS?

IELTS, the International English Language Testing System, is designed to assess the language ability of candidates who need to study or work where English is used as the language of communication. IELTS is required for entry to university in the UK and other countries.

It is jointly managed by the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge English Language Assessment.

IELTS tests are administered at accredited Test Centres throughout the world – there are currently more than 500 Centres, in over 120 countries.

The IELTS Academic test is suitable for entry to study at undergraduate or postgraduate levels, and also for professional registration purposes. It assesses whether you are ready to begin studying or training in an environment where English language is used, and reflects some of the features of language used in academic study.

Many professional registration bodies and employers rely on IELTS as evidence of English language proficiency.

Eligibility and Registration for IELTS

According to the regulations set by all the three IELTS conducting bodies; British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge English Language Assessment, there are no minimum eligibility criteria for IELTS 2018. As IELTS is conducted to assess a candidate’s proficiency in the English language, any individual who wishes to pursue education or seeking work opportunities abroad can apply for the IELTS test (both Academic and General Training. However, a candidate is required to check the eligibility criteria for the respective organisation or institution he/she wishes to be associated with.

You can register for IELTS through online mode.

The mode of examination is also online.

Importance of IELTS

IELTS is recognised by universities and employers in many countries, including Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the UK and the USA. It is also recognised by professional bodies, immigration authorities and other government agencies.

More than 2 million people a year take the test.

Test Pattern of IELTS

You can choose between the Academic or General Training versions of the test. All candidates do the same Listening and Speaking sections.

The test has four sections:

Section About the Section Number of Questions Duration for the Section

4 Sections

40 Questions

30 Minutes




15 Minutes


Different for Academic or General Training; 3 Sections

40 Questions

60 Minutes


Different for Academic or General Training

2 Pieces of Writing

60 Minutes

In IELTS, you get a score between 1 and 9. Half scores such as 6.5 are possible. Universities often demand an IELTS score of 6 or 7. They may also demand a minimum score in each of the 4 sections.

Tips to Crack IELTS

In the listening IELTS section, you have to practise listening to both an individual talking and more than one person speaking simultaneously.

Be smart with spellings, many lose easy marks because of spelling mistakes.

A very easy way is to practice listening to English bulletins. One of the difficulties that a non-native English listener faces is to comprehend the fluency of native English speakers. However, this obstacle can be easily overcome with regular practice involving listening and noting it down on paper.

Read as much as possible. It might be a short paragraph, an Ad, newspaper briefs. Once that phase is over, shift to heavier material like long essays, editorials, short stories.

Practicing grammar will help you in making your essays and summaries free of any mistakes. Since it is an English level exam, grammar is one of the vital areas that will be checked. Hence, it is important that your articles are grammatically correct.