IELTS: “The International English Language Testing System” is an international standardized test of English language proficiency for non-native English language speakers.
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 organizations across the world. It is also a requirement for immigration to Australia, New Zealand and for Canada.
IELTS is the world’s most popular high stakes English-language test for study, work and migration.
The IELTS Listening lasts 30 minutes. There are four sections and 40 questions in all. You will hear a conversation (for example someone wanting to buy something), a general talk, often giving you some kind of information - for example about a town or museum, A conversation related to learning or training, and an educational or training lecture. Recordings are played only once. This is common for both academic and General Tests.
The IELTS Reading takes 60 minutes. It has three parts, and like the listening, have a total of 40 questions. The academic test is three passages. These come from books, magazines and newspapers, and at least one of these presents an argument (arranges facts to persuade you of something), which you must show you have understood. The GT reading has a wider mixture of material, mostly the sort of thing that someone living in an English-speaking country would come across every day. As well as books and magazines, there is material from advertisements, pamphlets and instruction manuals. One text will be longer and descriptive.
The IELTS Writing also takes an hour. There are two parts. The academic writing has a report of about 150 words for the first part, in which you have to describe the information shown in a schematic (e.g. a graph, table or diagram). The second is about 250 words, in which you have to discuss an opinion or a situation. In the GT the first part is also 150 words, in which you have to ask for information or explain something. The second part is 250 words, and is discursive (that is, you have to explain your opinion on something).
The IELTS Speaking is somewhere between 10 minutes and a quarter of an hour. You have to answer some questions from the interviewer, about things like where you live and your hobbies or other personal details. You then have talk for some time on a particular topic, though you are given a minute to prepare what you are going to say, and the final few minutes are spent in a more general conversation with the interviewer.