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Understand more about IELTS


IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is one of the popular English language proficiency testing exams which is required to be taken by prospective students and immigrants coming from non-English speaking countries applying to primarily English-speaking countries like the USA, Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand, etc. The testing format assesses the individual’s English language ability in speaking, listening, writing and reading. It is an exam that is recognized worldwide across 140 countries, educational institutions, employers and government agencies. It is estimated that more than 3.5 million tests were taken in 2018 alone.

A lot of students from India are surprised that even though most courses in India are taught in English they are still required to take the test. One of the reasons for this is that we still have vernacular language boards across the country and our primary mother tongue is not English. This means that both the visa officers and the educational institutes need to be sure that the student will have no problems in the foreign country while studying or working.  Some universities grant admissions even without the need for an English-speaking test however, it is still mandatory and required to give it in some countries before applying for the visa.


IELTS exam pattern contains 4 sections as discussed previously Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing. This exam can be given in either offline paper and pencil format or online format which is also called computer-delivered IELTS.  It takes about 2 hours and 45 minutes to complete the entire test. At times, the speaking section can be assigned on a different day.

IELTS Paper Pattern

SectionDurationIELTS AcademicNo. of Questions per section
Listening30 minutesThis section consists of four recorded monologues and conversations spoken by native English speakers.4
Reading60 minutes

Three long reading passages with tasks.

Texts range from descriptive and factual to descriptive, and analytical includes non-verbal material like diagrams, graphs, and illustrations texts. The student is judged on understanding of the main idea, logical reasoning, the attitude and opinion of the author or the main character.

Writing60 minutesA writing task of at least 150 words where the candidate must summarize, describe or explain table, graph, chart or diagram, and another short essay task of at least 250 words2
Speaking11 to 14 minutesThe face-to-face interview includes short questions, speaking at length about a familiar topic. It is done in 3 parts.     3


There are different types of IELTS that you can opt for depending on your requirements based on the country, institute or reason of migration.

IELTS Academic:

Most of the students reading this article will most probably be looking to study abroad and hence IELTS academics is the test to go for. It is an examination for candidates who are interested in applying to foreign universities and educational institutions for educational purposes.

IELTS General:

IELTS General should be taken up by those candidates who wish to migrate to a primarily English-speaking country and the visa requires you to show English communication as proficiency.


The IELTS UKVI Academic and General Training tests are suitable for you if you’re applying for Tier 1 and Tier 2 visas to the United Kingdom.

IELTS for UKVI tests are designed to meet specific administrative requirements outlined by the UK Home Office and are taken at a UKVI approved test center.

Selecting dates:

IELTS General and IELTS Academic are conducted by the British Council across major cities in India. Hence, students can log in to the respective website and check for available dates as per their preference.

Our 4-step procedure to book the IELTS.

  1. Visit the British Council official website and click on Register
  2. Click on ‘Find Test Date’ and enter in the month city and module of choice
  3. You will be then redirected to the IELTS Application: Check Test Availability page
  4. Candidates are required to select the desired date and click ‘Apply’

Generally, there are more dates available for the computer-delivered IELTS than the paper and pencil offline test. Also, many students these days prefer the computer-delivered IELTS as well. We recommend giving the test as early as possible during your application as some institutes require the IELTS scorecard or test date before processing your application.

Preparation tips:

Improving on a language takes time, and so you must start working on your skills ahead in time.

Make use of these quick tips:

  • Read, write and speak in English as much as possible. Make it a part of your daily life.
  • Create a group of friends and practice speaking in English.
  • Read English newspapers and listen to English news channels or radio.
  • Try listening to a variety of English accents – British, Australian, American, British, New Zealand and Canadian.
  • Watch English movies with subtitles.
  • Read extensively to develop your reading speed.
  • Learn to understand context to be able to scan the available content for answers.
  • Start paying attention to your grammar, spelling, and vocabulary.
  • Learn to be precise, relevant and within the required word count.



The current fees for IELTS in India are 13,250 INR.

 IELTS Cancellation Fees

  • If you cancel your IELTS application more than five weeks before the test date, you will receive the refund minus 25% administrative fee.
  • If you cancel the IELTS exam less than five weeks ahead of the test date, you will receive no refund.
  • In case you fail to appear for the test, then also you will not receive any refund. This is also considered as a cancelation.
  • Those who can produce a medical certificate within 5 days of the test date can receive a refund after deducting the local administrative cost.

IELTS Rescheduling Fees

If you want to change your test date, then you can request for a test day transfer at least five weeks before your already booked test date after deducting your cancellation/postponement fee. Also, make sure the new test date must be within three months of the original test date.

Results and scores

Individuals are given sectional as well as overall scores ranging from the lowest score band of 1 to highest score band of 9. Most of the universities excluding some top ones have a requirement of the overall band of 7 and no band less than 6.5.

P.S. The IELTS scores are valid for 2 years. It takes 13 days for the offline tests to be evaluated while only 5-7 days for the computer-delivered IELTS.

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