The IELTS exam is an English language exam that is required to be taken by international candidates considering studying or working in a country where English is the main language of communication. Most popular countries where International English Language Test is accepted for university admissions are the UK, Australia, New Zealand, USA, and Canada. The exam mainly measures the ability of test-takers to communicate in the four basic English language skills – listening, reading, speaking, and writing.


Why IELTS Exam is required?

IELTS exam is required for migration as well as academic purposes abroad in English speaking countries like Australia, UK, New Zealand, USA, and Canada. It is the only English Language Test approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) for visa applicants applying both outside and inside the UK. A lot of students get confused about why are the IELTS scores required. The simple answer to this is that foreign universities and visa granting authorities need to be sure that you will not have communication issues while staying in the country. You need to show a good understanding and strong command of the English language and that is why your overall IELTS scores are so important.


Types of IELTS Exam

There are two types of IELTS exams: IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training. Listening and speaking sections are the same for both these tests, however, the subject matter for the writing and reading sections are different depending on which test one takes. The Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening sections of the IELTS tests are completed on the same day of the test with no breaks between them.


IELTS Academic Test                                                                  

IELTS Academic is taken by those who apply for higher education or professional registration abroad.


IELTS General Test

IELTS General Test is taken by those who wish to migrate to major English speaking countries like Canada, Australia, and the UK.


IELTS Eligibility

IELTS can be taken by anyone irrespective of age, gender, race, nationality or religion, however, the IELTS test is not recommended for those under 16 years of age.


What is the age limit to appear for the IELTS exam?

As such, there is no age limit set by the IELTS administrators (IDP or British Council), however, it is not recommended for candidates below 16 years


What is the educational eligibility to give the IELTS exam?

As such, there are no minimum eligibility criteria for IELTS set by the conducting bodies of IELTS. Anyone who wishes to pursue higher studies abroad or want to work abroad can attempt the IELTS exam (both Academic and General Training). However, candidates should always check the eligibility criteria set by the educational institution or organization where they are applying. 

What is 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 the refund after deducting the local administrative cost.

What is 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.

IELTS Exam Pattern and Syllabus

It is important for candidates looking to score well in their IELTS Test to understand the IELTS Exam Pattern and Syllabus in detail. IELTS Syllabus includes four sections, Reading, Listening, Speaking and Writing. You get marked on these four sections and you get the IELTS total score as well. The total score is the sum of the scores in the four skill areas. The total test duration is 2 hours and 45 minutes.


Listening 40 30 Multiple choice

Diagram Labelling

Sentence completion

Summary completion

Reading 40 60 Multiple choice question

Sentence completion

Summary completion

Matching features

Matching Headings

Writing 2 60 Two writing tasks
Speaking 3 11-14 The face-to-face interview includes short questions, speaking at length about a familiar topic, and a structured discussion

How is IELTS Scored?

IELTS is designed to assess English language skills at all levels. Your total IELTS score will be a combination of the band scores from the four sections. You will receive IELTS scores based on each of the four skills on a band of 1 – 9, and you will also be awarded an overall band score. You can score whole (example 5.0, 6.0, 7.0) or half (example 5.5, 6.5, 7.5) bands in each part of the test.


How to get your IELTS Exam Result?

Once you are done with the IELTS, then comes your wait for the result. The good thing about these exams is that the results are usually declared within a fortnight. In this case, if you have given the computer-based exam, your results will be declared within 5-7 days or within a week.

  • Offline Mode: For offline or paper-based test, you will receive your results within 13 calendar days from the day of your exam.
  • Online Mode: On the day of your result, you will receive an intimation from your Test Centre about the results. You can simply login with your ID, password, passport number, and test date information to view your result. From the time of declaration of result, your results will be available online for the next 28 days


IELTS Band Scale


Band 9 Expert user Has fully operational command of the language
Band 8 Very good user Fully operational command of the language with only occasional unsystematic inaccuracies
Band 7 Good user Has operational command of the language, though with occasional inaccuracies and misunderstandings in some situations
Band 6 Competent user Can use and understand fairly complex language, particularly in familiar situations
Band 5 Modest user Has partial command of the language, coping with overall meaning in most situations, though is likely to make many mistakes
Band 4 Limited user Have frequent problems in understanding and expression. Is not able to use complex language
Band 3 Extremely limited user Conveys and understands only general meaning in very familiar situations. Frequent breakdowns occur in communication
Band 2 Intermittent user Has great difficulty understanding spoken and written English
Band 1 Non-user Essentially has no ability to use the language beyond possibly a few isolated words
Band 0 Did not attempt the test No assessable information provided


IELTS Score validity period

From the time you obtain your IELTS results, your IELTS score is valid for two years.

IELTS Registration

Fees vary by testing location

IELTS Academic – Paper or computer 205 USD
IELTS General Training – Paper or computer 205 USD
IELTS for UK Visas and immigration (Academic and General Training) 222 USD
IELTS Life skill (A1 and B1) 187 USD


Steps to register for the IELTS exam

Step 1: Visit the official IELTS website.

Step 2: Go to ‘Register for Test’ option.

Step 3: Select your preferred test, Test type, and available Test Date in the city.

Step 4: Give your personal details.

Step 5: Give your registration details.

Step 6: Upload copies of your Passport.

Step 7: Select the list of colleges where you want to send your Score Report.

Step 8: Review your details one last time before making payment.

Step 9: Pay test fee.

Step 10: Once the payment has been made. Candidates can take a print out of the acknowledgment receipt.

IELTS Result

After you are done with your IELTS exam, your result will be available after 13 days from the test date. The result will be issued in the Test Report Form (TRF) format, and you will receive only one TRF. The TRF shows your scores in all four sections: reading, listening, writing, and speaking, along with your overall band. All five scores are given on a 9-Band scale.

After the completion of your IELTS exam, you will receive IELTS scores for each of the four sections on a band of 1 – 9. Along with that, you will also get an overall band score. In this article, we will inform you of everything about the IELTS Results and scores.

How to calculate IELTS score?

To calculate your IELTS score you just need to simply take out the mean (average) of all the sections’ scores, namely, Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking. That is the sum of all the scores divided by four. If the average comes out in a decimal point, then it will be rounded off to the nearest half or whole band. For instance, if the average comes out in .25, then it is rounded up to the next half band. So, in this case, if your average score is 6.25, then the final score will be counted as 6.5. In other cases where the average is .75, then it will be rounded off to the next whole band. Therefore, if you get a 6.75 band, the final score will be taken as 7.

How to check IELTS results?

Students can check their IELTS results online through different modes – online, email, SMS, or at the test centre.

How to check IELTS results online?

Candidates can check IELTS results online through the following steps:

  • Step 1: Visit the British Council’s official website
  • Step 2: Click on ‘Results’ link
  • Step 3: Select the test date
  • Step 4: Submit all details like candidate number, ID number, date of birth and proceed

Provisional Online Result

You will be able to view your provisional result online after 13 days of your test. The provisional test results are not formal results, and printed copies or screenshots of the result page will not be accepted as your IELTS result. Provisional results will be available to view online only for 28 days.

How to check through Email?

When the results for IELTS are declared, students receive an email from the British Council. Students should keep an eye on their email account for such notifications.

How to get IELTS Results from the test centre?

Students also have the option of IELTS exam score at the test centre:

  • Students need to show their ID number or passport
  • Students need to show the candidate number received on the test day
  • Candidates who registered for the IELTS exam from the test centre will not be able to receive the results through phone, email, or fax
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