What is IELTS? Structure and procedure of the test


What is IELTS? Structure and procedure of the test
University education
Foreign languages

Quite often knowledge of English must be confirmed by certificates of international exams. The most popular is IELTS. We will talk in our article about what kind of exam it is, why to take it, how to prepare, and how much the test costs. 



The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is an international test that shows the level of English language proficiency. This certificate is authoritative and is recognized everywhere. 

In which cases is it necessary to pass this exam? The most common cause is:

  • emigration to another country (to America, England or Europe);
  • education abroad;
  • employment in another country
  • desire to get a position in an international company;
  • to confirm the level of their knowledge and obtain a certificate

Along with the TOEFL, the IELTS exam certificate is accepted for admission to universities in Canada, Australia, the United States, New Zealand and English-speaking countries. Of course, if you plan to enter a foreign university, you need to clarify all the information about the required exams. And if IELTS is among them, then be patient and start preparing. 

 prepare for ielts


The test was first created in 1980. It was called ELTS (The English Language Testing Service). 6 profiles were developed for the examinees: social sciences, biological, medical, physical, technical and applied, general academic. The exam consisted of 3 parts of questions that allowed to test: the ability to read, the ability to understand English by ear, the ability to speak. The test has existed in this format for 9 years. 

Later, in 1989, the number of modules was reduced and the test procedure was simplified. That's how IELTS came about. The inventors of the exam are: 

  • University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations (Cambridge ESOL);
  • British Council;
  • IDP: IELTS Australia.



To pass IELTS it is necessary for all who are going to go abroad to get a job, study, internship. They also pass the exam "for themselves". 

This exam is taken by people whose first language is not English. The situation of moving (study, work or permanent residence) implies that it will be necessary to use English every day. That is why it is so important to confirm your level of knowledge. 

Depending on the specific situation, you need to select a module:

  • General module.
  • Academic module.

In the case of university studies, you will need to choose the Academic module, because it is designed specifically for those who are going to receive higher education abroad. During the exam, the entrant's ability to use scientific vocabulary, operate with concepts, clearly explain their opinion on topics in the scientific environment will be tested. In addition to entering the university, the reason for compiling the Academic module can be work in scientific organizations. 

The General module is usually made up of people who are moving to an English-speaking country for permanent residence or for work that does not require knowledge of special terminology. 

Remember that you do not have to get an IELTS certificate if you are planning to move. It will also be needed if you are going to work for an international organization, an IT company, apply for a manager's position, etc. Having a certificate will be a huge advantage over other candidates. 



This international English test consists of the following parts:

  • listening;
  • reading;
  • letter;
  • spoken language (speaking).

It is worth noting that the parts "Listening" and "Speaking" are the same for everyone. But the tasks in the parts "Reading" and "Writing" differ depending on the module. 

The structure of the exam begins with listening and ends with speaking.



On average, the tasks of this part take about 30-40 minutes. What to do:

  • listen to texts (they start small and easy, and end more complex);
  • answer questions related to the listened material.

About 40 tasks are waiting for the entrant. This is a fairly large volume. Therefore, when preparing for an audition, you must understand that dialogues and monologues will be of varying complexity. It is possible that dialects, different terms, book concepts, etc. will be used in a foreign language. Take responsibility for this during preparation. 



This part is already divided into modules (Academic and General). In the Academic module the examinee is waiting for 3 texts with which it is necessary to get acquainted and to execute tasks. Texts are used not from one source, but from different ones. Most often, these are excerpts from various publications, which express the views of experts on certain events. 

The General module offers a simplified part of "Reading". Here the texts will relate to some everyday news from newspapers and magazines. The texts are mainly informative and descriptive. That is, there are no arguments and considerations, and the tasks are simpler. They are given about 1 hour to complete the tasks.



The academic module involves writing a work of medium volume, which will use different methods of explaining the data: statistics, charts, lists. Thus, the entrant will prove that he can express himself accurately, concisely and reasonably. The second task of the academic module requires the participant to respond to a situation with his detailed thought. The style can already be more free, the main thing is to explain your point of view. 

In the first task of the General module it is necessary to make the letter where there would be a description of a situation, or the request to provide the information would sound. The second task should include substantiating your reasoning about a particular situation. 



Here, a dialogue is simply held with the test participant. The examiner communicates, asks questions on various topics, and the student must answer them in detail. 

The IELTS test is quite difficult, but if you prepare well, you will be able to confirm a sufficient level of knowledge. The most important thing is to choose an effective training option for you personally. 



If you decide to take an international IELTS test, you should not save on training. The exam itself costs a lot, and if you fail it, it will be quite annoying. You can prepare for the exam on your own only if you really know the language well, you have had the experience of successfully passing the external examination in English, you regularly visit abroad and are fluent in a foreign language. And if you have mediocre knowledge, it is better not to take risks. Choose for yourself 1 of 2 options: 


Intensive preparation for IELTS in courses or specialized centers.

Training in specialized centers will cost more than attending regular courses. However, students then show better results. All classes are aimed at mastering each section of the exam. That is, you listen to texts of different formats, learn to perceive information by ear, you are taught to write detailed works that are ideal for the IELTS format. That is, a specific structure emerges to help you pass the test. 


Preparation for the exam with a tutor.

In this format, too, everything is simple and clear. You need to find a specialist who prepares students for IELTS. The huge advantage is that you work with the teacher individually, so there is always the opportunity to ask questions. Classes can be held online, which is very convenient. Especially if you have a busy schedule.

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