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What Is The IELTS Exam All About?

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What is the IELTS exam

No wonder that you wanna know what is the IELTS exam, the test is one of the most popular and well known international exams. It stands for the International English Language Testing System Exam and was started in 1989 in Great Britain. Many English learners who plan to sit for the General IELTS test need to know the format of the exam and the way it is administered. In this post, we will learn about the format and modules of the IELTS exam in its different sections.


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Why is IELTS needed?

After we have answer, what is the IELTS exam? It is important to mention that the IELTS certificate measures the level of individuals in the English language and helps universities and colleges to select students who possess good English language skills to be able to understand university subjects, participate in lectures, and practice educational and research activities in the English language.

How Many Modules Are There In The IELTS Exam?

There are two types of tests, as follows:

IELTS Academic Test:

It is intended for students wishing to apply to universities or institutes to study in English, and it tests their ability and skills in academic English.

General IELTS test:

Suitable for those who wish to add an IELTS certificate to their CV as an enhancement of their skills. Obviously, this test is less difficult than the academic one.

What Does The IELTS Exam Consist Of?

Most candidates wonder which module comes first in IELTS. In fact, The exam is divided into four parts, which are listening, reading, writing and speaking:


  • 30 minutes duration period.


  • 60 minutes duration.
  • Three long passages for reading with 40 comprehension questions as assignments.
  • Section 1 contains two or three authentic texts.
  • Section 2 contains two short descriptive and a work-related authentic texts.
  • Section 3 contains a longer text on a topic of general interest.
  • Texts are authentic could be taken from brochures, official documents, writers, and newspapers.


  • 60 minutes
  • Writing an assignment of at least 150 words where test-takers must summarize, describe or interpret the table, chart, statistics or graph.
  • Write a short essay of at least 250 words.



  • From 11 to 14 minutes Face to face interview includes short questions, extensive discussion of a familiar topic, and structured discussion.


IELTS Band Scale … What Is It?

There is no pass or fail in the IELTS test, but after you pass the English language test, you will be evaluated on the basis of your performance and given a grade or scale. The following information shows what each score indicates.

  • • 9 — Expert user
  • • 8 — Very good user
  • • 7 — Good user
  • • 6 — Competent user
  • • 5 — Modest user
  • • 4 — Limited user
  • • 3 — Extremely limited user
  • • 2 — Intermittent user
  • • 1 — Non-practicing
  • • 0 — Did not attempt the test
N.B: Universities usually ask for a mark between 6 and 7, which varies according to specialization and study level.


How Much Does the IELTS Cost?

The cost of the IELTS test is around $145 in 2020.

How long is the IELTS exam valid?

The IELTS certificate is awarded to anyone who has completed the IELTS test, regardless of his or her score, there is no success or failure, but the examinee gets a score from 0-9, and the validity period of the certificate is just two years from the date of issuance, and he/she is renewed by taking another test.

It is worth noting that each university in the world determines the degree it accepts in the IELTS certificate according to the criteria it sets for evaluating students and the comparison between them.

Who recognizes the IELTS exam?

Educational institutions in the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Ireland, and South Africa and most universities, institutes, academic and professional bodies that teach English around the world all recognize the IELTS test including the New Zealand Immigration Service and the British General Medical Council. IELTS certificates are accepted by more than 6000 different institutions around the world. And that explains its popularity.

If that sounds tempting and you want to sit for this test, EnglEzz provides you with free IELTS and other international exams preparations, online courses, and even one-to-one assistance through our shop center.

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Ezzeddine Yahyaoui

A Senior teacher who is passionate about making lessons your students love and that are easy to implement for teachers. Teaching you how to navigate your way through balanced literacy brings me joy. My desire is to give you the tools needed to move your students forward! I have been creating high quality educational resources, tech tutorials, entertainment and training sessions and serving education & learning since 2009.

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