What is the IELTS?


IELTS: International English Language Testing System or commonly called IELTS is an exam that assesses a person’s English skills. There is no passing or failing score in the IELTS exam. Unlike other English exams such as TOEFL wherein you need to acquire a certain score to pass the test, IELTS is more focussed in gauging the individual’s English skills. Each score in the IELTS exam expresses an individual’s English level.


All About IELTS

The IELTS exam is recognised by most universities around the world like Australia, UK, New Zealand, US and Canada. Most of these countries offer studies abroad as well as migration programs in their country either for permanent residency or work programs making the test an integral part of their application. Each area requires a certain level of English competency that will allow the examinee to be admitted at the university, gain entrance for permanent residency and get hired for a job application.

There are two versions of the IELTS Exams and each serves its own purposes. An examinee should know which of the two versions he must take before applying for the exams. Scores are not interchangeable and knowing the specific type of IELTS exam is necessary in completing your requirements for your study, immigration or work application.

IELTS Academic Version

Academic IELTS is commonly taken by those who are trying to obtain a degree in a university either for graduate or undergraduate studies. It is used basically in determining the student’s English skills where English is the main language used during their course study. Meeting the required IELTS score is essential to gaining acceptance for your studies.

Academic IELTS is an improved English skills test for those who want to gain acceptance for their studies and are especially planning to study abroad. It consists of the four main areas of English skills (listening, reading, writing and speaking) wherein reading and writing are entirely different from that of the General IELTS. These two areas are more comprehensive and needs a thorough analysis by the examinee.

Academic IELTS exam is necessary as well for those who are applying for professional work abroad like nurses, doctors, dentists and physical therapists.


IELTS General Training (GT) Version

General IELTS is for individuals who are applying for immigration or working abroad. Employers and countries where English is the medium of instruction want to know the English levels of the migrants or workers before they accept their application. Obtaining the required score is important in being accepted for the job as well as in entering the country where you applied for your migration.

General IELTS is a much simpler test compared to the Academic IELTS consisting of the four main areas of English skills. Its main purpose is generally focussed on the individual’s social survival at work and in the country s/he wishes to live. This gauges the individual’s English skills in communicating at his/her work and living environment. Generally, the English skills required when migrating and applying for work is to have a basic and simple understanding of the English language allowing the person to express himself. Moreover, General IELTS for work application is for those applicants that are applying as skilled workers like carpenters, masons, waiters and plumbers.


However, considering the fact that the IELTS scores are not interchangeable, applying for an
Academic IELTS exam can serve the purpose of all three applications. A minimum score of 5 will be accepted in getting into a university. Generally your score is dependent on the school’s requirement. Some schools require a score of 5 while others require a score as high as 7 or 8. For immigration and job purposes a score of 5 is acceptable.