FAQ about the IELTS exam

What is the difference between the Academic module and the General Training module?

Both modules cover all four language skills – listening, reading, writing and speaking. All candidates take the same Listening and Speaking tests, however, there are different Reading and Writing tests for the Academic and General Training modules.

Are the two modules interchangeable?

No. The two test differ in their purpose. The Academic module tests your ability to study in  English at undergraduate or postgraduate levels. The purpose of the General Training module is to test your survival skills in a social and educational context. Therefore, the two modules are not interchangeable.

Which module should I sit if I want to emigrate to an English speaking country?

You should sit the General Training module.
Which module should I sit if I want to enter a below degree program in English language?

You should sit the General Training module.

What score do I need to get into university?

It depends on the institution to which you are applying. Most universities require a minimum score of 6.5 overall, with the minimum of 6.0 in each section, however, there may be differences among institutions and programmes, therefore, you should seek advice from the faculty or university to which you are applying.

Where can I take the IELTS test?

IELTS test centres are listed here: http://www.ielts.org/test_centre_search/search_results.aspx

Do I have to sit all parts of the test the same day?

The Listening, Reading and Writing tests must be completed on the same day. There are no breaks between the three written tests. The Speaking test may be taken up to seven days before or after the other three tests.

How many times can I re-take IELTS?

There are no restrictions on re-taking IELTS. If you are not happy with your test results, you may register for another IELTS test as soon as you feel you are ready to do so. However, your score is unlikely to increase unless you make a significant effort to improve your English before re-taking the test.

Do I have to sit the whole test again if I do not reach satisfactory results, or can I re-take individual sub-tests?

You need to sit  the whole test each time you sit IELTS.

How long does it take to get an IELTS result?

Results are issued 13 days after the test. At some test centres you may collect the results on the 13th day; at others, results are mailed on the 13th day. Test centres do not give results over the phone or by fax or email.

How often is IELTS available?

IELTS is offered up to four times a month in more than 125 countries. You should look up the nearest centres, see information on test venues above, and check the test dates announced.

What is the pass level in IELTS?

There is no such thing as a pass or fail in IELTS. Results are reported as band scores on a scale from 1 (the lowest) to 9 (the highest).

The IELTS Band Score Scale

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 user
0 Did not attempt the test

Do I have to study in an English language school before I take IELTS?

No. However, you need to be familiar with the question types and have the necessary test-taking skills. Participating in a preparatory course will certainly increase your final IELTS band score.

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