A female student writing in a notebook preparing for the Academic IELTS test

What is the IELTS Exam?

What is the IELTS Exam?

The meaning of ‘IELTS’ explained and exam taking tips

If you are thinking about taking an English exam and not sure which to choose you may be asking what is the IELTS exam.
The International English Language Testing System (IELTS), is the most popular English proficiency test in the world. It is designed to assess your language ability to determine if you can adequately study or work where English is the primary language.


A female student writing in a notebook preparing for the Academic IELTS test


Since 1989, IELTS has proven to be a secure and valid test recognised by universities and employers in over 130 countries, including:  the UK, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. It is also recognised by immigration authorities, professional bodies and other government agencies.

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IELTS Essay Correction Service

The IELTS test score is a reliable indicator of your ability to communicate in English for education, immigration and professional accreditation and continues to set the standard for English language testing. It remains the world’s number one English language test being taken by more than a million people each year, around the world.

Backed by forty years of intense and thorough research, the IELTS was developed by the British Council in partnership with Cambridge ESOL and IELTS Australia.

If you want to sufficiently prepare yourself for the IELTS exam, you’ve come to the right place!


IELTS Test taking tips

1)  IELTS Listening:

a)      Familiarise yourself with the sound, the situation, and the speakers by using the example at the beginning of the first section.
b)      Listen until the recording stops; look at only the questions relating to the part being played.
c)      Use the pauses between sections to prepare for the next set of questions.
d)      Answer questions in the order they appear on the question paper.
e)      Skip a question if you’re not sure of the answer but remember to go back to it later, if you have time, and guess if you need to.


2)  IELTS Reading: 

a)      Begin academic reading by reading quickly through each passage, identifying: topic, style, the likely source, the writer’s purpose and intended reader.
b)      Don’t try to understand the exact meaning of every word or phrase.
c)      Reading task will sometimes provide an example answer; study it to determine why it is correct.


3)  IELTS Writing:

a)      Check the instructions carefully. Some tasks require you to use words from the text in the answer, while others may ask you to use your own words.
b)      Pay attention to word limits in the instructions to avoid unnecessary words in your answer.
c)      In academic writing, always keep to the topic set.
d)      Show your ability to discuss ideas and express opinions (in Task 2) by appropriately organising and connecting your ideas and sentences.
e)      You will lose marks if you write fewer than 150 words in Task 1 or fewer than 250 in Task 2.
f)       Stick to the recommended timing:  more marks are possible for Task 2 than for Task 1. Plan ahead to allow plenty of time at the end to check your work.


4)  IELTS Speaking:

a)      Speak directly to the Examiner and only about the topic you are asked to discuss.
b)      Aim to explain at least one point each after replying, ‘Yes’ or ‘No’, to the Examiner’s questions.
c)      Organise and connect your ideas and sentences. Speak clearly at your normal speed.
d)      Keep in mind that you are being tested on your ability to communicate effectively, not on your general knowledge.
e)      Remember: The answers are in the passage so you don’t have to know everything.

[Note: This website is not associated with any IELTS Test Partners.]



More about the IELTS exam:
– How the Academic IELTS Writing is Assessed
– How the Academic IELTS Speaking is Assessed
– IELTS Test Format
– IELTS Test Centres in London
– How to Register for IELTS Exam
– IELTS Courses in London for B1 English Exam

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