Students aspiring to study in the topmost universities and colleges of the English-speaking world need to clear an English language proficiency test. Non-native speakers of English have to show that they can read, write, speak, and understand English, so as to be able to follow lectures, study, take exams, and interact comfortably with fellow students, teachers and the local population. For this purpose as well as for the purpose of immigration, a standardised English language proficiency test for non-native English spea-kers has been established as a pre-requisite for the selection process. IELTS is the world’s most popular English language proficiency test and a world of opportunity awaits those who clear the required scores.
What is IELTS?
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 the most impartial and trustworthy English proficiency test available for the purposes of study, work, and immigration.Most academic institutions in English-speaking countries, like, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and an increasing number of educational institutions in the United States, accept IELTS for study. And for work purposes, many professional organisations recognise IELTS as the standard test.
There are two versions of the IELTS test: IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training. The purpose of both tests is different and the one you take will depend on the requirements of the academic institution you plan to study in, your work/professional or visa requirements.
- IELTS Academic: This test is meant for students wishing to study at universities and institutes of higher education in countries where English is the medium of instruction in the classroom. Many professions, like, medical, nursing, engineering etc., also require an IELTS Academic result for registration. The Academic test is designed to assess the proficiency in English required in an academic and higher learning environment.
- IELTS General Training: This test is usually a visa requirement for those applying for permanent residency to English speaking countries, such as, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. Persons going to these countries for training programmes, employment or secondary education, are required to take this test. IELTS General Training is intended to test the English skills that an immigrant or a worker would need for communication in the workplace and in an everyday environment.
SCORING TABLE :
- The IELTS test does not pass or fail a student, instead, the IELTS scoring system uses a band scale of 0 – 9 to assess the proficiency of the candidate.
- There are different band requirements for each country, institution, organization, and candidates will need to score accordingly.
- Sometimes the band requirements differ for visa and your chosen institution/organization/profession/employer.
- The IELTS test results have a validity of two years and you will be required to retake the test beyond that time period.