Cambridge exams: IELTS | CPE | CAE | FCE | PET (for Schools) | KET | BEC | BULATS | Michigan

IELTS

IELTS, the International English Language Testing System, is designed to assess the language ability of candidates who need to study or work where English is used as the language of communication. IELTS is required for entry to university in the UK and other countries.

Who is it for?

IELTS is recognised by universities and employers in many countries, including Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the UK and the USA. It is also recognised by professional bodies, immigration authorities and other government agencies.
More than 1.4 million people a year take the test.

What is the IELTS test like?

You can choose between the Academic or General Training versions of the test. All candidates do the same Listening and Speaking sections.
The test has four sections:

  1. Listening - 4 sections, 40 questions, 30 minutes
  2. Speaking - interview, 15 minutes
  3. Reading - different for Academic or General Training - 3 sections, 40 questions, 60 minutes
  4. Writing - different for Academic or General Training - 2 pieces of writing, 60 minutes
This site also contains vocabulary tests, including practice tests for the academic wordlist, as well as grammar tests that are relevant to IELTS.

Level and scores

Multi-level. You get a score between 1 and 9. Half scores such as 6.5 are possible. Universities often demand an IELTS score of 6 or 7. They may also demand a minimum score in each of the 4 sections.

Please click here to see an explanation of IELTS Band Scores. You can use the IELTS Band Score Calculator on this site to convert your reading and listening raw scores.

Click here to see a comparison of IELTS scores with other exams.

Click here to see our IELTS Exam Tips and IELTS articles.

Where do I take the test?

IELTS tests are administered at accredited Test Centres throughout the world - there are currently more than 500 Centres, in over 120 countries. Click here to find a test centre.

When can I take the test?

Arrange with your closest test centre. There are frequent dates, usually on Thursdays or Saturdays.

How much does it cost to take IELTS?

Fees are set by test centres and vary from country to country. Expect to pay around £115 GBP, €190 Euros or $200 USD.

What materials do I need?

Click here to see the exam books recommended by Exam English