Introduction to IELTS



What is IELTS?ielts photo1

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is the world's most popular high stakes English-language test for study, work and migration, with more than 2.5 million tests taken each year.

IELTS assesses all of your English skills - reading, writing, listening and speaking - and is designed to reflect real life use of English - at study, at work, and at play.

The IELTS test is developed by some of the world's leading experts in language assessment. It has an excellent international reputation, and is accepted by over 10,000 organisations worldwide, including schools, universities, employers, immigration authorities and professional bodies.

IELTS is the most widely accepted English language test that uses a one-on-one speaking test to assess your English communication skills. This means that you are assessed by having a real-life conversation with a real person. This is the most effective and natural way of testing your English conversation skills.

You can choose from two versions of the test - IELTS Academic or IELTS General Training - depending on the organisation you are applying to and your plans for the future.

For more information about the IELTS please visit Take IELTS

Test Format

The test consists of four parts: listening, reading, writing and speaking.

The Listening, Reading and Writing components of the test are held on Saturday morning. No latecomers are allowed into the test room once the test has started.

Interviews for the Speaking section are either held on Saturday afternoon or on the Friday before. You will be notified of the interview time approximately 5 days before the test. If you wish to request a speaking test on the same day as the main test please email  (only requests submitted at least 2 weeks prior to the test date will be considered). Spaces are limited and same day speaking is not guaranteed.

For more information on the format of the IELTS test, please refer to the IELTS Information for Candidates booklet.


Recent Changes to IELTS

Our test IELTS test centre administers the General Training and Academic tests. Please note the rules around English language tests have changed. If you are unsure what tests to take, please look at the IELTS FAQs.

Further to our Enquiry on Results (EOR) and Candidate Complaint procedures, if you believe that your exam result is not fair, you must contact us immediately. There is then an appeals process that may take place, at an added cost. An appeal is only carried out if an EOR or candidate complaint form has been completed. To find out more about the appeals process, please follow the link below:

IELTS Cambridge English Appeals


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