A standardized English language test The International English Language Testing System, in short IELTS is a test for those non-native speakers or foreign citizens in purpose of studying, working and living in English countries. The IELTS certificate unlocks many academic and professional opportunities in institutions worldwide where English is used as the language of communication. Its main purpose is to assess the aptitude of English language of non-native English speakers. The IELTS test was established in 1969 A.D. and its joint ownership and management belongs to the British Council, IDP Education Australia and Cambridge English Language Assessment. IELTS tests are available at over 1,100 locations. There are 48 test dates in one year.
IELTS is accepted by academic institutions around the world in countries such as Great Britain, Australia, Canada and New Zealand and also in over 3,000 academic institutions in America. It is also valued by many professional organizations all over the world.
2.5 million Tests were conducted in over 140 countries In 2014 increasing significantly from 2 million tests in 2012, 1.7 million in 2011 and 1.4 million as of 2009. IELTS conducted above one million tests in a single year for the first time in 2007, making it the world's most famed English language test targeted towards those seeking higher education and immigration.
IELTS has two modules: Academic Module and General Training Module. Academic module is intended for those wanting to study at English speaking countries, while General Training module is the IELTS test for those planning to work in an English speaking country. However, there is another separate test called IELTS Life Skills, which is a test intended to those wishing to immigrate to or obtain the United Kingdom’s citizenship. The Life Skills test evaluates only speaking and listening skills. There are two levels A1 for UK visas and B1 for obtaining citizenship or permanent residence.
Both Academic Module and the General Training Module are similar in terms of the time of the test, total no. of questions and the scores. There are four parts of the IELTS test and the total duration of the test is 2 hours and 44 minutes. The IELTS test is composed of Listening, Writing, Reading and Speaking tests. Listening test bears 4 sections with 40 questions and lasts 30 minutes. Reading test has 3 sections with 40 questions lasting 60 minutes. Writing test offers 2 tasks and lasts 60 minutes. The last test, Speaking test consists 3 sections and lasts for 11 to 14 minutes.
The scores ranges from 1 to 9 as a measuring scale of competence, where 1 is for unable users of English language, 6 is for competent users and 9 is for Expert users.
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