International English Language Testing System
||Standardised test (either computer-delivered or paper-based). Available in 2 modules: "Academic" and "General Training". The IELTS test partners also offer IELTS Life Skills, a speaking and listening test used for UK Visas and Immigration.
|Developer / administrator
||British Council, IDP Education, Cambridge Assessment English.
|Knowledge / skills tested
||Listening, reading, writing and speaking of the English language.
||To assess the English language proficiency of non-native English speakers.
||Listening: 40 minutes (including 10-minute transfer time in paper-based test),
Reading: 60 minutes,
Writing: 60 minutes,
Speaking: 11–14 minutes.
Total: 2 hours, 55 minutes.
|Score / grade range
||0 to 9, in 0.5 band increments.
|Score / grade validity
||Up to 4 times a month. Up to 48 times a year.
|Countries / regions
||More than 1,600 test centres in over 140 countries
|Annual number of test takers
|| Over 3.5 million in 2018
|Prerequisites / eligibility criteria
||No official prerequisite. Intended for non-native English speakers.
||Around 250 USD
|Scores / grades used by
||More than 10,000 colleges, agencies and other institutions in over 140 countries
The International English Language Testing System, or IELTS (), is an international standardized test of English language proficiency for non-native English language speakers. It is jointly managed by the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge Assessment English, and was established in 1989. IELTS is one of the major English-language tests in the world.
IELTS is accepted by most Australian, British, Canadian, European, Irish and New Zealand academic institutions, by over 3,000 academic institutions in the United States, and by various professional organisations across the world.
IELTS is the only Secure English Language Test approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) for visa customers applying both outside and inside the UK. It also meets requirements for immigration to Australia, where Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and Pearson Test of English Academic are also accepted, and New Zealand. In Canada, IELTS, TEF, or CELPIP are accepted by the immigration authority.
No minimum score is required to pass the test. An IELTS result or Test Report Form is issued to all test takers with a score from "band 1" ("non-user") to "band 9" ("expert user") and each institution sets a different threshold. There is also a "band 0" score for those who did not attempt the test. Institutions are advised not to consider a report older than two years to be valid, unless the user proves that they have worked to maintain their level.
In 2017, over 3 million tests were taken in more than 140 countries, up from 2 million tests in 2012, 1.7 million tests in 2011 and 1.4 million tests in 2009. In 2007, IELTS administered more than one million tests in a single 12-month period for the first time ever, making it the world's most popular English language test for higher education and immigration.