IELTS: What is it?

The International English Language Testing System or IELTS is an English test jointly owned and managed by three reputable institutions-the British Council, IDP: Australia, and Cambridge ESOL Examinations.

This is taken by those who want to work, study, and live in a country where English is the first language.

According to its official website, the test is administered up to four times a month in more than 500 test centers around the world.

Employers including government institutions, universities and colleges around the world rely on the test score to determine a candidate's ability to use the four language skills- listening , speaking , reading and writing.

In short, it is a must test for all those who want to live in English speaking nation, permanently or temporarily.

The beauty about this test is it uses or accepts answers using British, Australian, American and New Zealand accents.

The modules and their descriptions

There are two IELTS modules. One decides which one to take based on his needs.

The Academic Training

This module is taken by those who want to study in a university or in any higher education institution in an English Speaking country or for registration in a professional body.

The General Training

This is for those who want to study secondary education or high school or for immigration purposes.


In both modules, Listening and Speaking are the same but they vary in Reading and Writing.

In writing Task 1, it's describing a graph, chart, table or diagram in academic, while in general it is letter writing.

In reading, they are almost the same except the source of the texts.

The Listening Module has 40 questions to be answered in 30 minutes.

The Speaking Module is about 11-14 minutes consisting of 3 parts.

The Reading Module has 3 passages, 40 questions to be answered in 60 minutes.

The Writing Module has 2 tasks. Task 1 and 2 must have no less than 150 and 250 words respectively.

Band Score

Band Score is the average of the scores in each of the four modules-listening, speaking, reading, and writing. This tells the level of proficiency in the use of the English language.

It starts from 0 to 9 and 9 is the highest.

It determines the suitability of an applicant to get a place in a university, college or for admission in a professional body or for immigration-all in an English speaking country.

In the U.K for example, all non European Union registered nurses and midwives who wish to be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) should have at least 7 without any result below 7 in each of the four modules.

Below are their descriptions:

Band 9: Expert user

Band 8: Very good user

Band 7: Good user

Band 6: Competent user

Band 5: Modest user

Band 4: Limited user

Band 3: Extremely limited user

Subscribe to our Newsletter

E-mail Address
First Name

Don't worry — your e-mail address is totally secure.
I promise to use it only to send you Tips and Updates .

Back to IELTS Useful Tips Homepage

Have A Great Story/Video About This Topic?

Please share your story or video here.

What Other Visitors Have Said or Shared

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

My observation on your services... Not rated yet
Thank you very much for your real IELTS useful tips, website, this is the most effective and helpful for me, I have search more about IELTS test but I …

Click here to write your own.

Sponsored Links