The International English Language Testing System, or IELTS™, is an international standardised test of English language proficiency for non-native English language speakers.
IELTS is the most popular English proficiency test, and globally over 3 million tests have been taken in the last year. It is recognised and accepted as a qualification by thousands of institutions across the world, including schools, universities, companies and governments.
There are two types of IELTS test available - IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training. Universities often only accept IELTS Academic, which includes a strong focus on skills which students will need to study at university level, such as interpreting data, essay writing and a higher vocabulary level. IELTS General Training however is more suitable for those who are travelling to an English-speaking country for secondary education, work experience or long-term migration.
Both tests follow the same format. The assessment is split into four parts which assess your skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening. The Listening and Speaking sections of the test are the same for both Academic and General Training, but the Reading and Writing components are different for each.
The overall score is calculated on a scale of 0-9, with a score of at least 5.5 usually being required to enter an English speaking university.