What is IELTS
When migrating or studying overseas, especially in English speaking countries, it is necessary to prove your language proficiency. The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is the most popular English language test in the world. The IELTS assesses all English language skills- listening, reading, writing and speaking. Its format is designed to reflect the use of English in real life whether it is at work, study or at play.
IELTS is administered by 3 international organizations of repute- IELTS Australia, British Council and Cambridge ESOL (The University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations).
Types of IELTS
- Academic: This format is majorly aimed at aspiring students who wish to study in an English speaking educational Institute. Admissions into undergraduate and postgraduate courses are done on the basis of the IELTS Academic Test results.
- General Training: This format is for aspiring immigrants who wish to work and settle in English speaking countries. English is the main language spoken at the workplace and society in general in such countries. This test format assesses the candidate’s proficiency for basic survival in these countries. For immigration to Canada, New Zealand, and Australia you need to take this test.
Scoring in IELTS
The scoring in IELTS is done from 1 to 9 with 1 being the lowest and 9 the highest. Individual scores are given in each of the modules- Listening, Speaking, Writing and Reading. The Overall Score is produced from your scores in the individual modules. The 9-Band system of scoring is consistent irrespective of the place and country where the test is taken. Also, there is no fail or pass in IELTS.
The 9-Band scale in IELTS
All modules of the test and the overall score can be reported in whole or half Bands, Example: 6.5, 5, 8, and 7.5 etc. Each Band corresponds to a level of competence in English.
- Band 9: The test taker is an expert user who has full command, accuracy, fluency, and understanding of the English language.
- Band 8: The test taker is a very good user who has complete operational command of the English language with occasional inaccuracies.
- Band 7: The candidate is a good user who has good operational command of the language. However, there are occasional inaccuracies and misunderstandings in certain situations.
- Band 6: The test taker is a competent user who has effective command of the English language with some inaccuracies and misunderstandings.
- Band 5: The candidate is a modest user who has partial command of the English language. The candidate copes with the overall meaning but likely to make many mistakes.
- Band 4: The test taker is a limited user whose competence is limited to familiar situations and unable to use complex language.
- Band 3: The candidate is an extremely limited user who understands only the general meaning in familiar situations. The candidate also has a frequent breakdown in communication.
- Band 2: The candidate is an intermittent user who has great difficulty understanding the English language- spoken and written.
- Band 1: The test taker is a Non-user who has no ability to use the English language except for a few isolated words.
- Band 0: Did not take the test or no information provided which can be assessed.