Pushpinder Bhatia
Alumni Said Business School, University of Oxford, UK

Study Abroad: 10 things you did not know about the IELTS exam

What is IELTS?

The world's most well-known English language test is the IELTS or International English Language Testing System. Over 10,000 organisations worldwide, ranging from universities to immigration offices, governmental organisations to multinational corporations, demand that individuals learning English as a second language demonstrate their proficiency in accordance with the stringent IELTS requirements.
It's a difficult test. In addition to being able to communicate clearly in English, you'll need to develop a variety of tactical test-taking strategies. But getting the necessary IELTS score doesn't have to be tedious!
Here are some things you should know about IELTS before attempting the exam:

1. Understanding the distinctions between the Academic and General versions of this test is crucial. The Academic version is for people who want to continue their education abroad, while the General Training test is for educated people who want to immigrate abroad. The applicants must decide based on their preferences initially because there are significant disparities between the two.

2. There are more than 1000 testing facilities worldwide. To find the most convenient location close to your home, visit

3. Excluding the speaking portion, which takes about 15 minutes, the test lasts for 2 hours and 40 minutes. The test is given four times a month at different locations worldwide.

4. IELTS scores are given on a scale from 0 to 9, known as a band score. IELTS also offers half-band scores; you could receive 6.5 or 7.5 in hearing, reading, writing, or even speaking.

5. There are two options to take this test: on paper or online. The candidate can take the test when it is most convenient for them. While the Speaking interview takes place two to three days before or after the written exam in a pen and paper exam, on the other hand, the Listening, Reading, and Writing modules take place on the same day.

6. In the Speaking module's cue card, the interviewee has just 60 seconds to prepare the topic before speaking for at least two minutes in response to a series of questions delivered immediately. The subject matter is typically well-known, but it can be challenging for some people to prepare an answer on the spot and talk for a long time. As a result, it's crucial to routinely practise for this exam section.

7. The reading module is scheduled for one hour. The candidate must respond to forty comprehension-based questions. While the General Training edition has five passages, the Academic version only has three. Even the evaluation standards differ. In the Academic Test, 30 accurate answers are needed to receive a 7-band score; however, for candidates for General Training, the scoring required is 34–35.

8. Your scores are based on reading and listening comprehension and will be graded according to how many of your answers are accurate, which will then be converted to your band score. For instance, if you successfully respond to 30 listening questions, you will receive 7.

Four criteria will be used to evaluate both speaking and writing.

The following criteria will be used to evaluate your speaking: fluency and coherence, lexical resource, grammatical range and accuracy, and of course, pronunciation. Your writing will be graded according to how well it completes the task or responds to it, as well as its coherence and cohesiveness, lexical resource, grammatical range, and accuracy.

9. A candidate needs to improve their English abilities in order to pass this exam. Focusing on the fundamentals of English grammar, vocabulary, and fluency/pronunciation is encouraged.

10. You should be aware that the length of both tests—the computer version and the paper version—is the same before making any decision. The next thing to be aware of is that you cannot take the speaking portion of the test on a computer; you must do it with a human interviewer.

The most significant difference may be that the computer version is best for you if you are strong at typing. Also, if you rush to take the exam, the computer version's results are available in 5 to 7 days, whereas those of the paper version require a two-week wait.
We hope we covered some major points that might help you plan for your IELTS exam better. If you need any further assistance, contact us @MapMyStudy, and we shall help you with everything study abroad!