The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is the most popular standardized test of proficiency in the English language. IELTS scores are accepted in almost all the universities and colleges of Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the UK and the USA. Apart from education, IELTS is also the recognized test for immigration, non academic training or to just work in an English speaking nation.
There are two variants of the IELTS test depending on the purpose of entry to the country.
The IELTS Academic version of the test is for those who would like to enroll in universities and colleges in pursuit of higher education.
The IELTS General Training version is for those planning to take non educational training, work and immigration to English speaking countries.
IELTS results are issued with score bands of 0 to 9 with scoring spread across 4 sections: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking.
The Listening, Reading and Writing test is conducted in one sitting while the Speaking part could be held on either the same day or on any of the 7 days before or after the earlier tests. The total test time is 2 hours and 45 minutes.
The Academic and General Training variants have the same Listening and Speaking tests and differ only in the Reading and Writing sections.