IELTS (International English Language Testing System)

IELTS (International English Language Testing System)

IELTS stands for ‘International English Language Testing System’.

It’s developed by language experts at the Cambridge University wherein scholars from the United States, Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and other English Speaking countries have made rich contributions.

IELTS is not a test of knowledge on any particular subject but involves only general awareness about the day- to -day life and tests non-native speakers’ ability to listen, understand, write and speak English for immigration or admission to universities on par with international standards.

It’s a paper-based test having two different modules –Academic and General. The former is for students and the latter for those seeking work or permanent residency.

In both the modules, Listening and Speaking sections are the same but the differences come in the Reading and Writing sections. In the Reading Section, the contents are easier in the General Training module than the Academic one. The marking is harder though in GT by round one Band. For example, Academic module students get 5 Bands on 15 correct answers but GT candidates get 4 Bands on 14 correct answers and so on.

In the Writing section, the GT candidates write a letter while the Academic students write a report on a graph or chart etc.

The Bands in IELTS, from 0-9, are a scoring system which shows the range of a student’s specific competence in English language skills.

The increments are awarded to the nearest half band. If the average ends in .25, it is rounded up to the next half band and if it ends in .75, it is rounded up to the next full band. Bands from 1-4 cover only elementary levels and those who fall in this category should first focus on improving their English.

IELTS is not only accepted in UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland but also by many educational institutions and some top universities in the United States. Other than English speaking countries, Germany, France, Sweden, Switzerland, Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Hungary, Cyprus, Lithuania, Singapore, Dubai, Malaysia, and South Africa also accept IELTS as a standard of proficiency in the English language.

The total IELTS test time is 2 hours and 51 to 54 minutes. The Listening, Reading and Writing sections are held in one sitting. The Speaking test is separately scheduled in person with the IELTS examiner. It usually does not happen on the same day and could be up to seven days ahead or behind the other three tests.

IELTS Exam begins with 30 minutes Listening module which contains four sections and 40 questions. Students are given only one chance to listen to the audio and have to write short answers on the question paper as they listen.

On completion of the module, students are given 10 minutes extra to transfer answers from

the question paper to a separate answer sheet.

Listening is followed by 60 minutes Reading section which comprises of three passages and again 40 questions without any extra time to transfer answers on the answer sheet, unlike the listening section.

The students have to manage writing answers and transferring them within the time of an hour. Reading comes Writing section which has two tasks – the task I and task II.

Task I is about writing a report of 150 words in 20 minutes on a graph or chart etc. Task II is on writing an essay of 250 words in 40 minutes.

In case of GT students, the report writing is replaced with a letter with the same time and word limit as in Task I of Academic Module.

In both the writing tasks whether Academic or General, the word limit should not be down or else you will be penalized for not adhering to the instructions.

IELTS Speaking test is minimum of 11 minutes and a maximum of 14 minutes. It is taken in person with the examiner who also does the recording of all one on one interaction.

It comprises of three phases. The I phase is of  4-5 minutes including greetings, the II phase is called the Long Turn because the student has to speak at length for round 2.5 minutes on any topic of general nature.

This helps the examiner to evaluate whether the candidate can speak coherently for a bit of time.

The III phase involves Two-Way Discussion in which the examiner indulges the candidate into a discussion and checks whether he can give answers quickly and naturally.


The Mascot Edge

  • Outstanding faculty members• 6 Weeks Coaching.
  • 4 Classes a Week.
  • Complimentary books with CDs.
  • Lots of tests from Cambridge and other publishers.
  • Rich Reference Library
  • Flexible Class schedules to suit students’ convenience.
  • Superb guidance on pronunciation and understanding native accent.
  • Emphasis on diction for better speaking and Writing abilities
  • Regular Mock Tests to evaluate and improve performance.
  • One on one attention and doubt clearing
  • Assistance in Registration for Exam from British Council or IDP.
  • Expert strategies on each section to crack the stumbling blocks