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The International English Language Test System (IELTS) is an English proficiency test required for migration to the UK and Canada. It is also accepted in place of the PTE and TOEFL for migration to Australia and New Zealand. If English was not your medium of instruction at school, you may also have to sit for the IELTS as proof of your English proficiency for admission to university or other educational institutes.

The IELTS is offered as a both a paper-based test and a computer-based test, and consists of four main sections, each assessing the following skills, as per the official IELTS website:

Section I: Listening

Ability to understand the main ideas and detailed factual information, the opinions and attitudes of speakers, the purpose of an utterance, and ability to follow the development of ideas.
Section II: Reading

Ability to read for gist, main ideas, and details; skimming; understanding logical argument; recognising writers' opinions, attitudes and purpose.
Section III: Writing

Ability to formulate and develop a position; ability to appropriately, accurately, and relevantly respond to the given task; organisation and linking of information, ideas, and language; linking of ideas through logical sequencing; varied and appropriate use of cohesive devices (eg. logical connectors, pronouns, and conjunctions); vocabulary range and usage, including accuracy and appropriacy; grammatical range and accuracy.
Section IV: Speaking

Fluency and coherence: ability to talk with normal levels of continuity, rate, and effort, and to link ideas and language to together to form coherent, connected speech; range of vocabulary used and the precision with which meanings and attitudes can be expressed; grammatical range, accuracy, and appropriacy; ability to produce comprehensible speech
Listening40 multiple choice30 minutes1 (low) - 9 (high)
Reading40 multiple choice60 minutes1 (low) - 9 (high)
Writing2 essays60 minutes1 (low) - 9 (high)
SpeakingVariable11 - 14 minutes

May be completed up to
a week before or after
other sections
1 (low) - 9 (high)
Total2 hours 45 minutes1 (low) - 9 (high)


Which countries require the IELTS?

The IELTS is required for migration to the UK and Canada. It is also accepted in place of the PTE and TOEFL for migration
to Australia and New Zealand.

Should I sit for the IELTS Academic or the IELTS General?

If you are migrating for the purpose of pursuing higher education (eg. university) or employment in a professional working environment, you will want to sit for the IELTS Academic. In most other instances, the IELTS General should suit your purposes.

What is a good IELTS score?

IELTS scores are reported as band scores on a scale of 1 – 9. A score of 7 on the IELTS scale indicates a good user of English; a score of 8 indicates a very good user; and a score of 9 indicates an expert user.

For points-tested Skilled visas for Australia, a minimum score of 6 in each section is required. A score of 7 in each section is awarded 10 points, and a score of 8 in each section is awarded 20 points.

How long is my IELTS score valid for?

IELTS scores are valid for 2 years.

How often can I sit for the IELTS?

You may sit for the IELTS as many times as you wish.

When is the IELTS held?

IELTS In-Person Testing is currently suspended due to COVID-19. In place of it is IELTS Indicator, an online test that can be taken from the comfort and safety of your home. Bookings are now open.

When will my results be available?

For the paper-based test, results are available 13 days from of the test sitting. For the computer-based test, results are available within 5 – 7 days of the test sitting.



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