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 3 million people take the test each year.

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 Academic version of IELTS is harder than the general version. The IELTS Academic test is suitable for those wanting to study in an English-speaking environment or university (higher education). You can also take IELTS Academic for professional registration purposes.

The test has four sections:

  1. Listening - 4 sections, 40 questions, 30 minutes
  2. Speaking - interview, 11-14 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 a minimum IELTS score of 6.0 or 7.0. They may also demand a minimum score of 6.0 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 1600 test centres in over 140 countries. Click here to find a test centre.

When can I take the test?

Arrange with your closest test centre. There are frequent dates, and IELTS on computer (Academic and General Training) is now available at several of the UK test centres. With IELTS on computer, there are more test dates available, you can take your test up to seven days a week, and you will receive your results in 3 to 5 days.

How much does it cost to take IELTS?

Fees are set by test centres and vary from country to country. For IELTS Academic and General Training, expect to pay around £170-195 GBP, €225 Euros or $245 USD.

What materials do I need?

You can download practice tests in pdf format from our partners at

IELTS Practice Tests

Click here to see the other exam books recommended by Exam English