IELTS

International English Language Testing System

IELTS or ‘International English Language Testing System’, is an international standardised test of English language proficiency. It is jointly managed by University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations, the British Council and IDP Education Pty Ltd, and was established in 1989.
There are two versions of the IELTS: the Academic Version and the General Training Version:
The Academic Version is intended for those who want to enroll in universities and other institutions of higher education and for professionals such as medical doctors and nurses who want to study or practise in an English-speaking country.
The General Training Version is intended for those planning to undertake non-academic training or to gain work experience, or for immigration purposes.
IELTS is accepted by most Australian, British, Canadian, Irish, New Zealand and South African academic institutions, over 3,000 academic institutions in the United States, and various professional organisations. It is also a requirement for immigration to Australia, New Zealand and Canada.
No minimum score is required to pass the test. An IELTS result or Test Report Form is issued to all candidates with a score from 1 (no knowledge) to 9 (expert user) and each institution sets a different threshold. Institutions are advised not to consider valid a report older than two years, unless the user proves that he has worked to maintain his level.
IELTS characteristics

The IELTS incorporates the following features:
A variety of accents and writing styles have presented in text materials in order to minimise linguistic bias.
IELTS tests the ability to listen, read, write and speak in English.
Band scores used for each language sub-skill (Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking). The Band Scale ranges from 0 (“Did not attempt the test”) to 9 (“Expert User”).
The speaking module – a key component of IELTS. This is conducted in the form of a one-to-one interview with an examiner. The examiner assesses the candidate as he or she is speaking, but the speaking session is also recorded for monitoring as well as re-marking in case of an appeal against the banding given.
IELTS is developed with input from item writers from around the world. Teams are located in the USA, Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and other English-speaking nations.

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