The International English Language Testing System, or IELTS, as it is popularly called, is an English Language proficiency test that is required to be taken by non-native students so as to study in countries where the medium of instruction is English.
IELTS is accepted by Universities in UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. It has become a mandatory test for study in Australia. One cannot be granted an Australian Student Visa without an IELTS Score.
All other study destinations require one to appear for either the TOEFL or the IELTS. The IELTS tests all four language skills that are important for effective communication: speaking, listening, reading, and writing.
Reading (60 minutes) (Scoring scale: 0-9 bands)
Reading has 3 passages and 40 items (questions). Each item is worth one mark.
Writing (60 minutes) (Scoring scale: 0-9 bands)
It consists of 2 tasks (Writing Task 1 and Writing Task 2) and candidates must answer BOTH tasks.
Listening (40 minutes) (Scoring scale: 0-9 bands)
IELTS Listening has four sections, each with 10 items (or questions). Each item is worth one mark.
Speaking (11-14 minutes) (Scoring scale: 0-9 bands)
IELTS Speaking is a one-to-one interaction between the candidate and an examiner.