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IELTS 2020: Registration, Eligibility, Exam Dates, Exam Centers, Preparation Tips, Sample Papers and Result
IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is required to be written by international applicants for testing English language proficiency. IELTS exam is considered as one of the primary language ability markers for international candidates to study or work in foreign land. Countries like USA, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand need IELTS scores as proof of language proficiency.
Latest Updates on IELTS
Due to outbreak of COVID 19 pandemic, IELTS exam fee has been altered to INR 14000. IELTS Registration started on 1st April 2020. Candidates who are unable to attend test centers due to the outbreak of pandemic, IELTS Partners launched IELTS Indicator, test service that assesses the English language skills of the students in Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing. You can take exams from home.
IELTS 2020 Highlights
|Exam Name||International English Language Testing System (IELTS)|
|Level of exam||International|
|Organizing Body||Cambridge ESOL, the British Council & IDP: IELTS Australia|
|IELTS fee||Depending on local currency (for India INR 13250)|
|Skills testing parameters||Reading, Listening, Writing and Speaking|
|Band Score Range||0 to 9|
|IELTS score validity||2years|
|IELTS test centers||More than 1200 centers in 140 countries|
|IELTS IDP India helpline||1800-102-4544|
Why take IELTS?
IELTS exam measures English language proficiency of a candidate. The candidate can write the exam for three fundamental purposes- study, work, and migration to travel to those countries where English is considered as the main language of communication.
Mostly the candidates who aim to pursue higher education abroad, write IELTS academic exam. Candidates from any non-English speaking nations require to secure IELTS score. Due to pandemic outburst, IELTS Indicator arranges exam pattern only for IELTS Academic candidates.
IELTS vs TOEFL
International students get confused between IELTS vs TOEFL. Many universities abroad ask for a score for either of the exams or scores for both the exams. IELTS score is preferred in the top-ranking universities in Australia, UK and New Zealand whereas TOEFL score is required to take admissions in the universities of Canada and US. TOEFL score is accepted in more than 10,000 institutions across 130 countries. US based organization named Education Testing Service conducts TOEFL exam. Therefore the exam score is preferred by American institutions.
Conducting Body of IELTS
Due to its confidentiality, IELTS is conducted under the collaboration of three global institutions- British Council, Cambridge ESOL, and IELTS Australia. There is no discrimination in conducting the examination, therefore candidates do not need to worry about the IELTS test conducted by these agencies.
IELTS 2020: Eligibility
IELTS exam can be taken by any individual irrespective of gender, age, race, religion, or nationality. It is recommended not to take this examination below 16years of age. There are no rules for the upper age limit for IELTS exam. There is no limit set by the conducting body to attempt IELTS exam. One can take exam as many times as one wants. The conducting body has not set any educational eligibility criteria for IELTS. Those who want to pursue higher education abroad or want to migrate for employment purposes can take this exam. The applicants should know about overall band criteria before applying to the selected educational institution.
IELTS 2020: Registration
A valid passport is required for IELTS Registration. Candidates can register for IELTS either through online or offline mode. IELTS Registration can be completed easily by following instructions given in the website.
Candidates have to visit the official website for IELTS registration
- Create an account
- Find out a suitable date slot as per availability at the nearest test center
- Complete the registration by paying online
Candidates have to download the IELTS exam registration form from official portal. Manually select the test date and fill other requirements asked in the form. Next, the candidate has to pay by demand draft (made to British Council and payable at New Delhi) or by cash (to pay cash visit the nearest ICICI bank with payment slip). The candidate has to provide Blue Dart courier serviceable address on the registration form
IELTS Exam Pattern and Syllabus
To perform well in IELTS, candidates need to know about the intricate details of IELTS exam pattern and its syllabus. Four sections comprise of IELTS Syllabus- Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking. The total time duration for IELTS is 2hrs 45 minutes. There are two patterns in IELTS- IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training. Listening and speaking sections are similar for both IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training section, whereas Reading and Writing are different due to its approaches.
IELTS Speaking: In IELTS Speaking section, candidates are assessed in three different parts and each part is recorded. The total duration for this section is 11-14 minutes.
IELTS Listening: In IELTS Listening section, candidates have to listen to four recordings of native English speakers to answer a series of questions. Total duration for this section is 30 minutes
IELTS Reading: Candidates get two different kinds of IELTS Reading questions for IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training. In both exam pattern, test takers have to attempt 40 questions in 60 minutes.
IELTS Writing: IELTS Writing is different for candidates appearing IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training. Two writing tasks have to be attempted within 60 minutes for this section.
IELTS 2020: Score
As per the data surveyed by ielts.org, it is seen that the number of candidates appearing for IELTS Academic is comparatively higher than the number of candidates appearing for IELTS General Training. Due to higher preferences for IELTS Academic,
The data shows that irrespective of gender, candidates score the most in listening and least in writing. Since childhood, in India, one starts learning English by listening on an electronic medium, therefore it is quite easy to analyze an argument by listening to the recordings present in the test. Whereas the least secured area is writing. Least marks are secured in writing for a lack of language construction and grammatical errors. Candidates should start practicing writing within a particular time period to improve all these mistakes. As compared to other bands, the Writing band has the least score range for both male and female candidates.
IELTS Mean Score
Each section of IELTS exam has a rough score out of 40. Each rough score is converted to IELTS Band Score out of 9. Entire score is compiled to an overall band score on a scale of 1-9. Each band score corresponds to a specific level of proficiency in English language. IELTS Band score level is described below
|Band Score||Skill Level||Description|
|9||Expert user||The test taker has fully operational command of the language. Their use of English is appropriate, accurate and fluent, and shows complete understanding.|
|8||Very good user||The test taker has fully operational command of the language with only occasional unsystematic inaccuracies and inappropriate usage. They may misunderstand some things in unfamiliar situations. They handle complex and detailed argumentation well.|
|7||Good user||The test taker has operational command of the language, though with occasional inaccuracies, inappropriate usage and misunderstandings in some situations. They generally handle complex language well and understand detailed reasoning.|
|6||Competent user||The test taker has an effective command of the language despite some inaccuracies, inappropriate usage and misunderstandings. They can use and understand fairly complex language, particularly in familiar situations.|
|5||Modest user||The test taker has partial command of the language and copes with overall meaning in most situations, although they are likely to make many mistakes. They should be able to handle basic communication in their field.|
|4||Limited user||The test taker's basic competence is limited to familiar situations. They frequently show problems in understanding and expression. They are not able to use complex language.|
|3||Extremely limited user||The test taker conveys and understands the only general meaning in very familiar situations. There are frequent breakdowns in communication.|
|2||Intermittent user||The test taker has great difficulty understanding spoke and written English.|
|1||Non user||The test taker cannot use the language except a few isolated words.|
All across India, thousands of candidates take IELTS either for academic or immigration purposes. India is a land of multi-cultural and multi-linguistic practices. With the mean score secured by the candidates from different regions of India with differences in mother languages
The data shows that the mean score for IELTS in overall band score lies in 6.1 on a scale of 9. Mostly the Marathi speaking people score the highest in IELTS overall as per the data collected from the official website. While analyzing each band score, it will be noticed that the candidates score the highest in IELTS Listening section and least in the IELTS Writing section. Due to grammatical usage or lack of vocabulary, Indian students fail to score higher bands in IELTS Writing.
IELTS 2020: Result
After writing the exam, IELTS Result is declared within 13 days from the exam date. Candidates can access IELTS scorecards online as well as offline. IELTS Exam result will be made available tentatively after the aforementioned duration. Acquired IELTS exam score is valid for 2 years. To access IELTS score, a candidate has to submit identification document number. Along with ID proof, the candidate also has to provide a candidate number generated during IELTS application. Date of IELTS exam and date of birth are other required information. Results will also be available on IDP or British Council website. Apart from online mode, IELTS Test Report Form (TRF) will be sent after 13 days on commencement of exam. Those who have applied for Citizenship and Immigration Canada, 2 copies of Test Result Form (TRF) will be provided.
IELTS 2020: Exam Dates
Every month, international students can take these examinations four times. Annually there are 48 dates for IELTS exam. For date availability follow here. The candidate can take the IELTS exam dates on 48 different days for Academic section and 24 dates for General Training section. Candidates are advised to book for IELTS exam at least 3-4 months before the application deadline. Candidates can book IELTS exam dates through 3 different portals- British Council, IDP or IELTS (official website).
IELTS Test Centers
Candidates can choose around 78 locations all across India to select the nearest test center for IELTS. Most of these centers are located in the metro cities for easy availability. Before reaching the test centers, candidates must know the test center requirements. IELTS Test centers locations are shown in map
IELTS 2020: Sample Papers
As per data collected from the official website of IELTS exam, it is noticed that international students comparatively score the least marks in the writing section and the highest in listening sections. To score good marks in IELTS exam, it is necessary to practice IELTS practice papers regularly. Time management is one of the most important things to look after. These sample papers are available on the official website of IELTS as well as websites of IDP and British Council.
IELTS 2020: Preparation Tips
Test takers should get a proper overview of IELTS preparation tips. One should aim at covering all four components in IELTS exam: Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing. IELTS exam pattern is of two types: IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training. As per taken exam, test taker should prepare. Few preparation tips for IELTS exam are as following
- Learn new words for understanding vocabulary
- Read English books, magazines, newspapers, handbook for strong grasp over language
- Practice writing following a strict time schedule
- Under strict time scheduling, test taker can improve writing speed
- Make an accurate usage of grammar
- For fluency in language, start talking in front of mirror
- Focus on pronunciation for a proper understanding of words
- Try to balance between listening and scanning questions
Besides these preparation tips, test takers should start taking mock tests regularly for better understanding of exam pattern. Every year, lakhs of international students take IELTS exam for pursuing either higher education or employment opportunities. Therefore learning proper English is a step taken towards
Ques. What is IELTS?
Ans. International English Language Testing System is an English language proficiency test taken by the candidates planning to pursue higher education or migrating to a English speaking country for employment opportunities. Mostly these English speaking countries are UK, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
Ques. Which all agencies accept this test?
Ans. This test is accepted by at least 10,000 organisations across the world. The organisations include various universities, immigration departments, government agencies, professional bodies, MNCs among others.
Ques. Who conducts IELTS?
Ans. In India, British Council and IDP conduct IELTS exams for those test takers who want to pursue higher education abroad or to migrate English speaking countries for employment opportunities.
Ques. Who prepares this test?
Ans. The International teams of writers prepare the exam and ensure that it is fair and unbiased.
Ques. What are the exam format for IELTS?
Ans. IELTS has two exam patterns- IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training. Test takers who want to pursue higher education on English speaking nations can take this exam format. Whereas those who want to migrate to English speaking nations for employment opportunities opt IELTS General Training exam.
Ques. What are the main factors that are different in IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training?
Ans. Mostly the exam pattern in both IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training are similar except reading and writing sections. Listening and Speaking sections are similar for both IELTS Academic and General Training.
Ques. Which test should I give if planning to pursue MBA overseas?
Ans. You need to give IELTS Academic test in case planning to pursue higher studies in an English native country. Since individual organisations have different requirements, it is advisable to check IELTS requirements for the international students at the university in which you are applying.
Ques. What are the components of IELTS?
Ans. IELTS test mainly has four sections including Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking and you have to prepare for all the sections. A test taker has to perform equally well in all components to score well on the overall band.
Ques. How long will it take to complete the exam?
Ans. The entire duration of the exam is 2 hours and 45 minutes. The first three parts of the test including listening, reading and writing will be conducted on the same day (there will be no breaks between these tests) while speaking test can be held either on the same day or few days before or after the exam as well. It depends on the local arrangements.
Ques. Is this test available for the test takers who have visual, hearing, speaking or learning difficulties?
Ans. The students with disabilities can get assistance at the official IELTS test centres. You need to inform you about it at the center so that special arrangements can be made for you.
Ques. What is the cost of IELTS?
Ans. The fees for this test are fixed as per domestic currencies of the country. In India, cost fee for IELTS is INR 13250.
Ques. Can I postpone or cancel my application?
Ans. You will get a complete refund, in case you have postponed or canceled your application 5 weeks before the test date. But in case you make cancellations within 5 weeks of the test date, you will be charged the full fee unless you have a medical reason.
Ques. What will happen in case I am absent or sick on the test day?
Ans. In case you are absent on the test day without any prior notice, then you will not get any refund.
Ques. Can I give the IELTS test in one day?
Ans. All the three tests including Listening, Reading and Writing tests will be completed followed by the next with no breaks while the Speaking test will be held either on the same day or seven days before or two days after as well.
Ques. Which part do I need to attempt first?
Ans. The candidates will be asked to give the Listening test first, which is followed by the Reading and Writing tests. Speaking test will be conducted some other day.
Ques. What kinds of accents will I hear in the Listening and Speaking tests?'
Ans. Since IELTS is an international test, you can hear a combination of a variety of English accents during your tests.
Ques. Does Listening tape have pauses?
Ans. Yes, initially the candidates will hear instructions and a sample question. Then you are asked to read section 1 questions, listen to section 1 and answer the questions. There will be no repetition of audio clips in Listening section.
Ques. Is there a same time period of 10 minutes in the Reading test to transfer answers?
Ans. No, the reading test is one hour and you must finish writing all the answers on the answer sheet in this time only. 3 reading passages will be given in this section.
Ques. Am I allowed to use a pen for the Listening and Reading tests?
Ans. No, you have to use pencil only. Your answer sheet will be scanned by a computer which is unable to read pen.
Ques. Is making notes on the Listening and Reading question papers allowed?'
Ans. Yes, you are allowed to make the notes.
Ques. What comes in the Speaking test?
Ans. In Speaking test, firstly the candidate has to be introduced to the examiner. For introduction, test taker gets 2-3 minutes in Task 1. Nextly the test taker has to pick up the card for choosing topics to be discussed in Task 2. In Task 3, the examiner will discuss sections spoken in Task 2 with the test taker.
Ques. What do I need to carry for the Speaking test?
Ans. You have to bring the same ID documents which you have submitted with your IELTS Application Form and used for the rest of the test. Your ID will be cross-checked by the examiner at the time you enter the interview room.
Ques. How are the marks given in the test?
Ans. IELTS uses a 9-band scoring system to calculate and report test scores in an appropriate way. The students will get separate scores for Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking and an Overall Band Score on a band scale from one to nine.
Ques. Who is the authority that decides the passing mark for the IELTS test?
Ans. The educational institution or organisations have set their own level of IELTS scores and you must meet the individual requirements of the institute to get admission.
Ques. When will the test results be declared?'
Ans. The test Report Form of your score will be posted to you 13 days after your test date. There are facilities like SMS alerts and an Online Results Service which is offered by many IELTS centers to the aspirants who appeared for the exam. If you are taking Computer Based IELTS, the results will be declared within 5-7days.
Ques. What happens in case I misplace the Test Report Form?
Ans. Test Report Forms are valid for two years, but you will not get a copy for your test score. Your Test Report Form of IELTS will be forwarded directly to the relevant institution or embassy. You can get up to five copies for free of charge but additional copies carry small administration charges.
Ques. What are the maximum attempts that I can give?
Ans. There is no limit on sitting the test, but it is advised that you do additional study before taking the test again.
Ques. How can I prepare for IELTS?
Ans. There are many test centres that offer preparatory courses and language classes. You can also improve your skills by using the IELTS Practice Materials which are available online besides joining any institute for IELTS preparation.
Ques. Can I do something if I feel that my test result is wrong?
Ans. You can ask for an enquiry regarding your test results at the centre where you have applied for the test. You have to apply within six weeks of your test date. You need to inform the authorities regarding the sections of the test that you want to be checked again.
Ques. Do I need to pay something if asking for re-checking?
Ans. Yes there is a charge for an enquiry on IELTS test results. However, the amount will be refunded in case there is an increase in your score for any section of the test.
Ques. When will I get the new results?
Ans. Your result will be made available to you within 2-21 days, depending upon several factors like the number of sections requested for re-mark, etc.
Ques. What if I am not able to reach the exam center for the reason beyond my control?'
Ans. You can apply for IELTS exam again according to the next available test date.
Ques. Is IELTS exam too difficult?
Ans. IELTS is no more difficult than any other type of exam, you will be asked straightforward questions that are designed to assess how well you can use your English.
Ques. Is it true that if I give the test in my home country, I might get a better result?
Ans. This is a common myth, you must understand that the IELTS test will have the same level of difficulty no matter from where you are giving the test.
Ques. Will I lose marks if I am unable to speak with an American, Australian or British accent?
Ans. You are not supposed to change the accent for the IELTS test, rather focus on speaking clearly and at a natural pace so that the examiner can understand what you are saying.
Ques. How can I improve my chances of scoring high in the exam?
Ans. You must practice your English every day and listening to many other native speaker accents will help you a lot in pronouncing difficult words clearly.
Ques. Will practising sample tests help me?
Ans. Yes, by practising sample tests you will learn a lot and will understand what is expected in each part of the test. This is one of the best ways of preparation to score high in the exam.
Ques. Is IELTS more difficult than other English tests?
Ans. ince several educational institutions, employers and professional registration bodies accept IELTS so you can expect that the exam is of a high quality. Even IELTS is also accepted by more governments for migration purposes than any other test.
Ques. Where can I take IELTS?
Ans. You can take IELTS test at any of 200 test locations in 50 countries. You can find a test centre that is near you by exploring the available test dates.
Ques. What are the rules for giving the test?
Ans. You can check test rules and guidelines on the official website and at the time of filling the IELTS Application Form as well.
Ques. Is using capital letters in the exam allowed?
Ans. Yes you are allowed to use all the capital letters in the IELTS Reading and Listening section and in the Writing section of the IELTS test as well.
Ques. Is it possible that my second time score is higher than the first attempt?
Ans. Yes it is possible. Many people score higher on their second sitting as they understand the exam pattern and know how the exam can be finished within the allotted time.
Ques. What is the Age Limit to apply for the test?
Ans. There is no upper age limit for IELTS Test. It is recommended for the candidates who are above 16 years.
Ques. Can I pay the fees of the test fee through cheque or cash?
Ans. Yes test takers can pay fees via demand draft or cash in favor of either British Council or IDP while filling up the form.
Ques. Can IELTS test result be used at the time of applying for a UK visa?
Ans. In case you wish to use an IELTS or IELTS Life Skills test result as part of your application for UK visa purposes, then you must take the test at an IELTS test centre which is specifically authorised by UK Visas and Immigration for this purpose.
Ques. How often is an IELTS or IELTS Life Skills test available?
Ans. For IELTS and IELTS Life Skills, the dates of the test will be available within 28 days of booking your test.
Ques. What is the validity of the score in this test?
Ans. The IELTS Test Report Form comes with a validity of maximum 2 years.
Ques. Which factors will help in scoring high in the exam?
Ans. You will be judged based on your performance throughout the Speaking and Listening test based on obtaining information, conveying information, speaking to communicate and getting involved in discussions.Test takers should focus on watching English movies or news. Reading books, magazines, handbooks will also help in scoring well in IELTS.
Ques. Do non-native countries also accept IELTS Score?
Ans. There are more than 140 countries that accept the IELTS score, English speaking countries such as the UK, US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand accept IELTS score. Besides many non-English speaking countries as well accept IELTS score while giving admission to the students in different colleges and universities where the medium of education is English.
Ques. What is the procedure to register for IELTS?
Ans. You must visit the official IELTS website and then register for the test. You can select the test type and date and then fill your details in the application form.
Ques. When can I take this exam?'
Ans. You can give the exam on any of the 48 fixed dates in a year up to four times a month. So according to the dates, you can give the exam.
Ques. What things are allowed inside the test center?
Ans. You can only carry pens, pencils and erasers. You need to carry your passport/national identity card you used on the IELTS Application Form to the test. Mobile phones, pagers and other kinds of electronic devices must be switched off and kept at the area designated by the supervisor.
*The article might have information for the previous academic years, which will be updated soon subject to the notification issued by the University/College