What is IELTS?


IELTS is International English Language Testing System.

There are two types of IELTS – IELTS Academic and IELTS General.

I am going to talk about IELTS Academic. If you want to study at a college or university in the English speaking world you need to do this IELTS Academic test

Academic IELTs has four papers – reading, writing, listening and speaking.

You do reading, writing and listening on the same day. Altogether these take about 2 hours

you do speaking on another day. Speaking takes about 20 minutes.

There is no pass mark in IELTS

The maximum score is 9.

The scores are decimal as in 0 is the bottom score and they go up 0.1, 0.2, 0.3 , 0.4 and so on.

You are given a different score for each paper. For example you might get 5 in speaking, 6 in reading, 6 in writing and 7 in listening. There is then an average score. In this example it would be an average of 6.

What score do you need? It depends on the course or university that you are applying to.

Many universities demand and average of 6.  However, they might say your average must be 6 and you must get a minimum of 6 in all four papers.

Others say you must get an average of 6 and you must get 7 in writing and so on.

Courses which demand a lot of writing and a precise knowledge of English such as a Law degree will require a higher score.

This is a very challenging exam. I would not get 9. The highest I ever heard of was 8.5.

The instructions are harder than the questions. The instructions are deliberately confusing. You must follow the instructions to the letter!

In the listening you get to hear things only once. You are given a chance to read the questions first and then a long time after you to listen to the text to write your answers. The listening texts will involve hearing native speakers. The people speaking are all from major anglophone nations such as the United States, the UK and Australia so their accents are standard.

You answer on an answer sheet and no the question paper.

The are various textbooks and past papers that you can use to study for this course.

There are no set texts to read. This is not about literature. You definitely need an experienced teacher to study for this course.

You can do IELTS at various educational companies or schools in Russia. It costs about $200 to do.

You can do it any month of the year. If you are not satisfied with your exam result you can retake as many times as you want. However, you have to pay the full fee every time.

It is not a fun course but it needs to be done.

If you want to know more about IELTS or any other educational please contact me.


  1. What does IELTS stand for?
  2.  What are the two types of IELTS?
  3. What is Academic IELTS needed for?
  4. What are the four papers?
  5. How long does the exam take?
  6. Does speaking have to be done on the same day as the others?
  7. How long does speaking take?
  8. What is the pass mark?
  9. What is the maximum score?
  10. Explain decimal scores.
  11. What scores do universities usually insist on?
  12.  In the listening the speakers are usually from which lands?

About Calers

Born Belfast 1971. I read history at Edinburgh. I did a Master's at UCL. I have semi-libertarian right wing opinions. I am married with a daughter and a son. I am allergic to cats. I am the falling hope of the not so stern and somewhat bending Tories. I am a legal beagle rather than and eagle. Big up the Commonwealth of Nations.

2 responses »

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