The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is a standardized English test designed for foreigners who wish to study, work and live in an English speaking environment.

The IELTS language certificate can open doors to international academic and professional opportunities in many institutions and places around the world where English is used.

It was founded in 1989 and has grown to become the world’s most popular high-stakes English language certificate.

There are currently around 1,000 test sites in over 140 countries, performing over two million tests each year. Over 9,000 organizations worldwide accept the certificate as proof of English language proficiency.

The IELTS is jointly owned and managed by the British Council. The test materials are written by international teams of writers from different English speaking countries, so the content reflects real-life situations.

The oral portion of the IELTS test is an individual assessment with a real person, not with a computer. This will give you conversations with an examiner who can effectively assess your language skills, without being distracted by other candidates or by technical issues.

Types of IELTS Tests

There are currently three versions of the IELTS test: Academic, general training and life skills. They differ in content and are aimed at different target groups.

  1. Academic IELTS 

This test is intended for people who wish to take study programs at universities and other higher education institutions that are taught in English. You will need an academic result to enrol in an undergraduate or graduate degree when instruction is in English.

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You can also follow this version of IELTS to register with a professional body in an English speaking country. Therefore, if you intend to join professional associations in disciplines such as medicine, nursing, law or engineering, you may need to take the IELTS academic exam.

  1. IELTS General Training

This is the right choice if you want to migrate to an English speaking country and work there, or if you intend to attend a high school.

The IELTS score is often required by government authorities in English-speaking countries, including the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. These countries accept the general IELTS certificate as proof of language skills from immigration and study visa applicants.

Sometimes even native English speakers of English need an English qualification to migrate to some English speaking countries.

  1. IELTS Life Skills 

If you wish to immigrate or obtain UK citizenship, then you will need a UK visa and immigration test.

Unlike the other two versions, the daily life skills test only assesses your skills in oral and written English, at levels A1 or B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages ​​(CEFR).

You will need the IELTS Life Skills A1 to apply for a family visa, spouse or partner visa, and the IELTS Life Skills B1 to obtain citizenship or the right of permanent residence in the UK.

The purpose of this exam is to determine how well you communicate with other people in everyday English.

The IELTS Test Procedure

The three versions of IELTS do not all have the same scoring system.

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There is no minimum score required to pass academic or general education tests. But you will be graded with marks ranging from 1 to 9 for each of the four parts of the test: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking.

After the exam, you will get a total score. Essentially Band 1 indicates non-speaking people while Band 9 signifies expert skill level. Band 6 corresponds to a “competent user”, who generally has an effective command of the English language.

IELTS Life Skills has only two possible outcomes: pass/fail.

Universities, schools, governments and employers all over the world require different levels of English depending on their profile and goals.

So it is very important to check the results you need before taking any of the IELTS exams. The results of the IELTS Academic and General Training test are valid for two years from the day you receive your results.

Likewise, a candidate who has passed an IELTS Life Skills A1 or Life Skills B1 test cannot retake the exam within two years. If you fail, there is no restriction on retaking the test.


The International English language testing system (IELTS) is one of the most recognized exams in the world to prove your English proficiency before moving to the UK.

As said earlier, the test serves different purposes, so it is left for you to understand this purpose before taking it.

Ensure that you share this piece with your colleagues online who might find the IELTS useful.

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