What is IELTS? International English Language Testing System

What is IELTS?

Learn more about the most trusted form of English
language testing for international students in the world.

IELTS Preparation Centre

What is IELTS?

The International English Language Testing System is a test of English language proficiency and one of the world’s most popular and respected forms of English in education and migration.

Intended for non-native speakers who are looking to study or work in an English-speaking environment, IELTS training is an internationally recognised system for testing English language ability in four categories:

  • Listening
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Speaking

Since its introduction in 1989, IELTS preparation has become one of the most trusted forms of English-language assessment and is accepted by over 8,000 universities, employers and immigration organisations worldwide. IELTS testing methods focus on the candidate’s practical ability to use English in real-life situations. There are two different types of IELTS test:

  • Academic IELTS is for international students who wish to study at a UK university or join an institute of higher education.
  • General IELTS classes focus on English survival skills and social and workplace language, ideal for those who are planning to migrate to English-speaking countries such as Australia, Canada and New Zealand.

Once graded, your IELTS score is valid for two years.

IELTS 9-Band Scale

Students will be given a score of 1-9 for each part of the test. Your average score produces an overall IELTS band score, and you can be graded on whole or half points.

ScoreSkillSkill Overview
Band 9 Expert user Fully operational command of the language: appropriate, accurate and fluent with complete understanding.
Band 8 Very good user Fully operational command of the language with only occasional inaccuracies and inappropriacies. Misunderstandings may occur in unfamiliar situations. Handles complex detailed argumentation well.
Band 7 Good user Operational command of the language, though with occasional inaccuracies, inappropriacies and misunderstandings in some situations. Generally handles complex language well and understands detailed reasoning.
Band 6 Competent user Generally effective command of the language despite some inaccuracies, inappropriacies and misunderstandings. Can use and understand fairly complex language, particularly in familiar situations.
Band 5 Modest user Partial command of the language, coping with overall meaning in most situations, though is likely to make many mistakes. Should be able to handle basic communication in own field.
Band 4 Limited user Basic competence is limited to familiar situations. Has frequent problems in understanding and expression. Is not able to use complex language.
Band 3 Extremely limited user Conveys and understands only general meaning in very familiar situations. Frequent breakdowns in communication occur.
Band 2 Intermittent user No real communication is possible except for the most basic information using isolated words or short formulae in familiar situations and to meet immediate needs. Has great difficulty understanding spoken and written English.
Band 1 Non-user Essentially has no ability to use the language beyond possibly a few isolated words.
Band 0 Did not attempt the test No assessable information provided. Did not take the test.

Learn more about studying IELTS

If you are interested in studying IELTS preparation classes in London, get in touch today for further information.

Contact SI-UK and begin your path towards hitting your target IELTS score!

The IELTS class is a very effective way of preparing yourself for the IELTS test. I learned to use my English in new ways.
Louise Karlsson

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