The IELTS Test Explained

If you are going to be studying in the UK, Australia or another country on a course lasting more than six months it is highly likely that you will need to take a test of English language proficiency. The test that is most widely recognized by all British institutions is IELTS. Here we answer some of your questions that you might have concerning the test.

Is IELTS accepted by all UK institutions?

Yes, All UK institutions will accept IELTS as proof of English proficiency. It is Jointly managed by the University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations, the British Council and IDP Education.

In addition to the UK, all Australian institutions will accept an IELTS score as proof of English language ability and many institutions in the USA and Canada also recognise the IELTS test.

When can I take the test?

The test is offered in most countries up to four times a month. Contact GetSet and we will tell you when the next test is taking place near you.

Where can I take the test?

The test can be taken at over 500 locations around the world but if you are unsure about where to go and how register please contact us as your local GetSet Centre will be able to advise you.

Many GetSet centres are also IELTS registration centres.

How often can I take the test?

You can retake the test one month after taking the previous test as many times as you like.

What will I be tested on?

IELTS is available in two formats, General and Academic. All candidates take the same listening and speaking modules but the reading and writing modules are different.

The test structure is the same for both the General and Academic formats

4 sections (total of 40 items)

Score scale 0-9

3 sections (total of 40 items)

Score scale 0-9

2 tasks (1st task 150 words, 2nd task 250 words)

Score scale 0-9

11 to 14 minutes

Score scale 0-9

How long does the Test take?

Listening - 30 minutes
Reading - 60 minutes
Writing - 60 minutes
Speaking - 11- 14 minutes

Total test time - 2 hours, 44 minutes

Should I take the Academic or General test?

If you plan to study at a university in the UK or Australia you should take the Academic test. The General test is really for people going for secondary education, work experience or training programmes.

If you are planning to go to the UK for your studies and need to take IELTS you should take the UKVI IELTS version of the test. There is no difference to the content of the UKVI  IELTS test itself compared to the regular IELTS tests other than the test report forms are slightly different.


How is my test scored?

You will get a band score on a scale of 1 - 9 for each of the listening, reading, writing, and speaking tests. Then the average of these is taken to give you an overall score.

When will I know my score?

You will receive your score 13 days after taking the test.

How long is an IELTS test score valid?

2 years

How do I prepare for the IELTS test?

There is no simple solution to this other than serious study with a teacher combined with self study. Trying to just prepare by yourself on the surface may look like you will save on the IELTS preparation tuition fees but in the long run you will find yourself taking multiple tests to try and acheive the score you require.

An experienced IELTS trainer will be able to guide you through the test and point out your mistakes and give plenty of test tips.

Call us on 02 2778 1595 or contact us here to find out how to properly prepare for the IELTS test