IELTS & Language Courses

IELTS introduction

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is a test that measures the language proficiency of people who want to study or work in environments where English is used as a language of communication. An easy-to-use 9-band scale clearly identifies proficiency level, from non-user (band score 1) through to expert (band score 9).

Academic or General Training

IELTS is available in two test formats – Academic or General Training. Therefore, providing a valid and accurate assessment of the four language skills: listening, reading, writing and speaking.

Fair to all 

IELTS treats all candidates with the utmost fairness and respect. They do this by actively avoiding cultural bias and by accepting all standard varieties of native-speaker English. Including North American, British, Australian and New Zealand English.

IELTS

Our IELTS preparation courses help you get the results you need for the Cambridge International English Language Testing System (IELTS) examination.

IELTS preparation courses are made up of intensive lessons focusing on the academic skills. Reading, listening, speaking and writing English – needed to gain the results you need from the IELTS test.

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is one of the world’s most popular English language proficiency tests. For higher education and global migration, with more than 2 million tests taken last year.

IELTS evaluates all of your English skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking). Furthermore, it is designed to reflect real-life use of English – at study, at work.

Internationally recognised

The IELTS test is developed by some of the world’s leading experts in language assessment. Therefore, it has a strong international reputation, and is accepted by over 8,000 organisations worldwide. Including schools, universities, employers, immigration authorities and professional bodies.

Real-life conversation

IELTS is the most widely accepted English language test that uses a one-to-one, face-to-face speaking test to assess your English communication skills. Furthermore, this means that you are assessed by having a real-life conversation with a real person. Therefore, this is the most effective and natural way of testing your English conversation skills.

The test is designed to assess the language ability of candidates who want to work or study in countries where English is the primary language of communication.

Two IELTS tests: Academic and General

Why you’re doing the IELTS test will effect which kind of test you choose:

• The Academic module is normally for people who want to study an undergraduate or postgraduate degree course. Or who wish to register with a professional body.

• The General Training module focuses on basic survival skills in a broader social and educational setting. General Training is suitable if you are joining a training programme or doing work experience in English speaking countries. It is not designed for degree level.

Please note, if you are applying to an organisation you must check with them to make sure you choose the correct IELTS test.

The IELTS 9-band scale

Each band corresponds to a level of English competence. All parts of the test and the Overall Band Score can be reported in whole and half bands, eg 6.5, 7.0, 7.5, 8.0.

 Band 9 Expert user: has fully operational command of the language: appropriate, accurate and fluent with complete understanding.
 Band 8 Very good user: has fully operational command of the language with only occasional unsystematic inaccuracies and inappropriacy. Misunderstandings may occur in unfamiliar situations. Handles complex detailed argumentation well.
 Band 7 Good user: has operational command of the language, though with occasional inaccuracies, inappropriacy and misunderstandings in some situations. Generally handles complex language well and understands detailed reasoning.
Band 6 Competent user: has generally effective command of the language despite some inaccuracies, inappropriacy and misunderstandings. Can use and understand fairly complex language, particularly in familiar situations.
 Band 5 Modest user: has partial command of the language, coping with overall meaning in most situations, though is likely to make many mistakes. Should be able to handle basic communication in own field.
 Band 4 Limited user: basic competence is limited to familiar situations. Has frequent problems in understanding and expression. Is not able to use complex language.
 Band 3 Extremely limited user: conveys and understands only general meaning in very familiar situations. Frequent breakdowns in communication occur.
 Band 2 Intermittent user: no real communication is possible except for the most basic information using isolated words or short formula in familiar situations and to meet immediate needs. Has great difficulty understanding spoken and written English.
Band 1 Non-user: essentially has no ability to use the language beyond possibly a few isolated words.
 Band 0 Did not attempt the test: No assessable information provided.

 

Information for candidates

The IELTS publication Information for Candidates has a lot of information about the way the test is run and what to expect on the day.

IELTS is jointly owned by the British Council; IDP: IELTS Australia and University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations (Cambridge ESOL).

IELTS for migration

IELTS is a requirement for skilled migration and permanent residency in many English-speaking countries.

Accepted for Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK

IELTS is accepted as evidence of English language proficiency for study, work and migration in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK. As well as for study and work in the USA.

Each country sets its own IELTS requirements. For up-to-date information, please visit the relevant government websites.

Australia

Australia

IELTS is accepted for many visa categories as well as permanent residency in Australia. IELTS is also a requirement for professional recognition from some Australian professional organisations and accrediting bodies.

Canada

Canada

Are you applying for a work visa, professional recognition or for permanent residency in Canada? It is likely that you will be required to present evidence of English language proficiency as part of your application. Furthermore, IELTS General Training is the only internationally available test of English proficiency accepted by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) for immigration to Canada.

New Zealand

New Zealand

The New Zealand government requests IELTS as evidence of English language proficiency for many visas. Including those within the Skilled Migrant, Investor and Entrepreneur, Residence from Work and Parent categories.

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UK

Evidence of English language ability is a requirement when applying to settle permanently in the UK (also known as applying for ‘leave to remain’ or ‘long residence’).

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IELTS for study

Accepted as evidence of English proficiency by over 9,000 institutions

Organisations in over 140 countries rely on IELTS to select the right people. These include all universities and the vast majority of education providers in Australia, New Zealand, the UK, over 3,000 institutions in the US as well as most universities in Canada. Some universities in non-English speaking countries where English is the language of instruction also require an IELTS score.

Two Types of IELTS test

There are two versions to choose from – Academic and General Training.

Most people will take the Academic version of IELTS for study but organisations set their own entry requirements. In some cases both Academic or General Training may be accepted. If students are in doubt as to which version of the test to take, they are advised to contact the organisation they are applying to in order to check their requirements.

Students have the opportunity to nominate up to five organisations to which copies of their IELTS test results will be sent. Results will be sent to these nominated organisations automatically free of charge.

student

IELTS Academic

IELTS Academic is suitable for entry to study at undergraduate or postgraduate levels, and also for professional registration purposes.

General Training – IELTS

IELTS General Training is for test takers wishing to migrate to an English-speaking country (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK), and for those wishing to train or study at below degree level.

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