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IELTS Academic

IELTS, the International English Language Testing System, is designed to assess the language ability of candidates who need to study or work where English is used as the language of communication. IELTS is required for entry to university in the UK and other countries.

Who is it for?

IELTS is recognised by universities and employers in many countries, including Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the UK and the USA. It is also recognised by professional bodies, immigration authorities and other government agencies. More than 1.4 million people a year take the test.

What is the IELTS Academic test like?

The Academic version of IELTS is harder than the general version. All candidates do the same Listening and Speaking sections. The test has four sections:

Listening

4 sections, 40 questions, 30 minutes Section 1: a conversation between two people Section 2: a monologue set in an everyday social context Section 3: a conversation between up to four people set in an educational or training context Section 4: a monologue on an academic subject (e.g. a university lecture) Each section is heard once only

Speaking

An interview, 15 minutes Part 1 Introduction and interview Part 2 Individual long turn (you have to talk about a topic) Part 3 Two-way discussion (The examiner asks further questions which are connected to the topic of Part 2.)

Reading

3 long reading passages, 40 questions, 60 minutes Each section contains one long text. Texts are from books, journals, magazines and newspapers.

Writing

Part 1: describe, summarise or explain the information in a graph, table, chart or diagram Part 2: write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem

Level and scores

Multi-level. You get a score between 1 and 9. Half scores such as 6.5 are possible. Universities often demand an IELTS score of 6 or 7. They may also demand a minimum score in each of the 4 sections.

The IELTS Band Scores

Multi-level
IELTS is a multi-level exam. You get a score between 1 and 9 for each section. Half scores such as 6.5 are possible. Universities often demand an IELTS score of 6 or 7. They may also demand a minimum score in each of the 4 sections.
You can use the IELTS Band Score Calculator on this site to convert your reading and listening raw scores.

IELTS Listening marking schemes

For the listening test, which contains 40 questions, the approximate band scores can be calculated using this table.
Band Score 9 8.5 8 7.5 7 6.5 6 5.5 5 4.5 4 3.5 3 2.5
Score / 40 39-40 37-38 35-36 32-34 30-31 26-29 23-25 18-22 16-17 13-15 10-12 8-10 6-7 4-5

IELTS General Reading marking schemes

For the general reading test, which contains 40 questions, the approximate band scores can be calculated using this table.
Band Score 9 8.5 8 7.5 7 6.5 6 5.5 5 4.5 4 3.5 3 2.5
Score / 40 40 39 37-38 36 34-35 32-33 30-31 27-29 23-26 19-22 15-18 12-14 9-11 6-8

IELTS Academic Reading marking schemes

For the academic reading test, which also contains 40 questions, but is more difficult, theapproximate band scores can be calculated using this table.
Band Score 9 8.5 8 7.5 7 6.5 6 5.5 5 4.5 4 3.5 3 2.5
Score / 40 39-40 37-38 35-36 33-34 30-32 27-29 23-26 19-22 15-18 13-14 10-12 8-9 6-7 4-5

IELTS Writing marking schemes

The two writing questions are marked out of 9 according to the following criteria:
* Task Achievement
* Coherence and Cohesion
* Lexical Resource
* Grammatical Range and Accuracy

IELTS Speaking marking schemes

The speaking test is also marked out of 9 according to the following criteria: * Fluency and coherence
* Lexical resource
* Grammatical range and accuracy
* Pronunciation

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