What Is IELTS? 10 Key Things To Know

What Is IELTS? An Overview

If you are preparing for the IELTS exam, it could be very useful to have an understanding of what the IELTS exam design is – following are 10 questions (of many possible) with answers, to help you gain some better understanding of What Is IELTS, for your study.

1. What does “IELTS” mean?

“IELTS” means “International English Language Testing System” – make sure you pronounce it correctly in the speaking exam: “i-elts” – not “i-lets” as some candidates mistakenly say.

2. How many parts does the IELTS exam have?

Overall, the IELTS exam has 4 sections, which are:

  • First of all “Listening” – this also has 4 parts, with 40 questions and is 30 minutes long. There are also 10 minutes at the end to transfer your answers to the answer sheet.
  • Secondly “Reading” – this part has 3 sections (and the first 2 parts are easier for the General exam) – it takes 60 minutes in total.
  • Thirdly “Speaking” – 3 sections and 11-14 minutes in total.
  • Last of all “Writing” – the first section is a letter (General) or report (Academic) and requires 150 words and takes 20 minutes. The second part is an essay which requires 250 words and takes 40 minutes.

3. What are the two different types of the IELTS exam?

These are the Academic and General IELTS exams. The former is more for university/work requirements such as a doctor, etc. and the latter for immigration requirements.

4. What can one take into the IELTS writing exam?

Currently only pens, pencils and erasers, normally.

We suggest going full-calligraphy for style points.

5. Is a regrade possible?

Yes, however you should note that for the listening/reading sections they are unlikely to increase and it may take some weeks or longer for the speaking/writing remarking. Furthermore, a refund is only available when the grade improves. Do full research with IELTS before making a decision and proceed with caution.

6. Are there alternatives to the IELTS?

Usually there may be depending on the relevant organisation grade, such as the PTE exam – however the IELTS exam has a huge amount of material available.

7. Where can the IELTS be used?

Nowadays, the IELTS is very much accepted in countries such as the UK for universities and doctors who want to join the NHS, etc. and is spreading around the world, including America.

8. What is the IELTS scoring system?

For the IELTS exam, it is possible to get from grade 1 to 9 and the total grade can also be averaged to a half grade. Additionally, a requirement may be to get an average and minimum band score(s), such as for UK doctors who need 7.5 average and a minimum of 7 per section.

9. What material is available for the IELTS?

Fortunately, there is a very large amount of free and paid material available for the IELTS exam, such as the commercial Cambridge IELTS book series.

10. Self-study Vs. Tutor Led Study

Whilst for the reading and listening sections, it might be possible to study mostly/wholly by yourself, for the writing and speaking sections, it can be useful to have a tutor for any errors and to give advice.

We hope that this information has given you some answers to the question of What is IELTS? What’s next for your IELTS preparation? If you are looking for a highly experienced UK native IELTS tutor, check out IELTS tutor Philip at The Profs, who has helped many IELTS students to pass during numerous years.

Click here for the next instalment in the IELTS series. This blog will give you tips on how to score high.

Reference: British Council