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What is the IELTS exam? the basics

What is the IELTS exam? the basics

Many English learners have heard of the IELTS but don’t exactly know what it is. Today we’re going to look at the basics.

If you want an in-depth explanation, we recommend going directly to the British Council. You can  Click here!

What is the IELTS exam?

International English Language Testing System

This exam has 4 parts:

  • Listening
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Speaking

Taking the IELTS exam will give you an internationally recognised English certificate.

There are two types of IELTS: Academic and General


Do I need the Academic IELTS  or the General IELTS ?

You can take either the Academic IELTS or the General IELTS depending on your situation. This information comes directly from the British Council:


The British Council



Do I really need the IELTS exam?

Before you consider doing the IELTS exam, please contact the university, government website, or establishment directly to see if you need to take the IELTS exam. Many organisations also accept a certificate from a Cambridge exam (PET, FCE, CAE etc.).

Or maybe, you don’t even need to do an exam!






What score will I get on the IELTS?



In the IELTS you cannot PASS or FAIL.

You will be given a score from 0-9.

You can get a whole score: 5, 6, 7, etc.

You can also get a half score: 5.5, 6.5 etc.

You CANNOT get a score like this: 6.25.

You will get a score for each part of the exam, AND your overall score. For example:




What score do I need?


Each university or organisation is different. Normally for a university, you would need a 6.5 which is the B2/C1 level. Please check which score you need before booking your exam!


Image: www.ielts.org



How long is the IELTS certificate valid for?

Your IELTS certificate is only valid for 2 years.



When and where are the IELTS exams?



You’re in luck! IELTS exams are usually held twice a month in larger cities. This gives you a huge amount of flexibility to plan your future!

To find your closest exam centre,  check out this British Council link.

(You don’t need to live in the UK to take the IELTS.)



How can I prepare for the IELTS?


There are many ways you can prepare for the IELTS. You can study alone, study online, study with a private teacher…


You can also join a course to help you with your IELTS step-by-step. With a teacher, you will go through different parts of the exam and build your skills in reading, writing, listening, speaking, grammar, and vocabulary. A course will also help you build your confidence, and you will be able to meet other lovely students who are in the same position as you.


A course will also teach you HOW to pass the exam. Your English can be amazing, but if you are not familiar with the IELTS format, you might not get the score that you are actually capable of.


In a lesson, your teacher will also correct your pronunciation. In the speaking part of the IELTS exam, pronunciation is 25% of your mark!






I want to take the IELTS, but am I ready?



Come and try our mock exam! You’ll be tested under exam conditions and go through the Listening, Reading and Writing parts of the exam. You will also receive valuable feedback and a provisional IELTS score.

This is an excellent way to see if you are ready for the real exam. It’s also a great way to test your mental stamina.


Date of next mock: Saturday May 19th, 2018

Location: Language Connected, Bristol

Time: 9:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Price per person: £25



We hope this blog has been helpful to you today!


Do you live in Bristol, England? Do you want to improve your English? Come to Language Connected for a free level test. Book your test online HERE!

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