What Is IELTS?
Jan 27, 2011 Career Development 2413 Views
The International English Language Testing System or IELTS is a proven test, which is managed by the British Council, IDP Education Pty Ltd, and the University of Cambridge Examinations. Annually, more than 1.4 million people take the test and IELTS is internationally recognized by more than 6 000 organizations and institutions. Worldwide, there are more than 500 test centers in more than 130 courtiers and each one of these centers can administer the test up to four times per month.
IELTS is offered in two different forms - general and academic, and while all candidates are given the same speaking and listening modules, the writing and reading modules are different for the academic and general tests. The writing, reading, and listening modules have to be completed on the same day, while the speaking module could be completed up to a week after or before the other modules. The speaking part has duration of between eleven and fourteen minutes, listening has duration of thirty minutes, and all other parts last for sixty minutes.
Once the candidate completes the test, he or she receives a test report form, which is valid for two years. The test uses a nine-band scale, where each scale corresponds to different English competence and the ninth scale, expert user, is given to candidates that are perfectly capable of understating accurately and fluently the language, and the lowest scale, non user, is given to candidates that could only understand and use a few words.
Most Universities that recognize the IELTS test require Band between 5.5 and 7, but certain programs and some institutions such as the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University, require foreign candidates to have Band 8 and even 8.5. The top three countries, where candidates took the test are China, India, and Pakistan, while the highest scores have been achieved by candidates from Germany, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Russia.