What is the IELTS?
The International English Language Testing System, or IELTS is an international standardised test of English language proficiency for non-native English language speakers. It is jointly managed by Cambridge English Language Assessment, the British Council and IDP Education Pvt Ltd and was established in 1989. IELTS is one of the two major English-language tests in the world, the other being the TOEFL.
The main four papers on the test are scored individually on a scale of 1–36, and a Composite score is provided which is the whole number average of the four scores. The ACT is more widely used in the Midwestern, Rocky Mountain, and Southern United States, while the SAT is more popular on the East and West coasts. Recently, however, the ACT is being used more on the East Coast.
What is the structure of the IELTS?
All candidates must complete four Modules – Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking – to obtain a band score, which is shown on the IELTS Test Report Form (TRF). All candidates take the same Listening and Speaking Modules, while the Reading and Writing Modules differ depending on whether the candidate is taking the Academic or General Training Versions of the Test. The total test duration is around 2 hours and 45 minutes for Listening, Reading and Writing modules.
How is the IELTS scored?
IELTS is scored on a nine-band scale, with each band corresponding to a specified competence in English. Overall Band Scores are reported to the nearest half band
The following rounding convention applies: if the average across the four skills ends in .25, it is rounded up to the next half band, and if it ends in .75, it is rounded up to the next whole band.
The nine bands are described as follows:
|9||Expert User||Has full operational command of the language: appropriate, accurate and fluent with complete understanding.|
|8||Very Good User||Has full operational command of the language with only occasional unsystematic inaccuracies and inappropriacies. Misunderstandings may occur in unfamiliar situations. Handles complex detailed argumentation well.|
|7||Good User||Has operational command of the language, though with occasional inaccuracies, inappropriateness and misunderstandings in some situations. Generally handles complex language well and understands detailed reasoning.|
|6||Competent User||Has generally effective command of the language despite some inaccuracies, inappropriacies and misunderstandings. Can use and understand fairly complex language, particularly in familiar situations.|
|5||Modest user||Has 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.|
|4||Limited User||Basic competence is limited to familiar situations. Has frequent problems in using complex language.|
|3||Extremely Limited User||Conveys and understands only general meaning in very familiar situations.|
|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.|
|1||Non User||Essentially has no ability to use the language beyond possibly a few isolated words.|
|0||Did not attempt the test|
No assessable information provided at all.
What is the TOEFL?
Test of English as a Foreign Language or TOEFL, is a standardised test of English language proficiency for non-native English language speakers wishing to enroll in U.S. universities. The test is accepted by many English-speaking academic and professional institutions. TOEFL is one of the two major English-language tests in the world, the other being the IELTS.
What is the structure of the TOEFL?
Internet-based test (iBT)
|Reading||3–5 passages, each containing 12–14 questions||60–100 minutes|
|Listening||6–9 passages, each containing 5–6 questions||60–90 minutes|
|Speaking||6 tasks||20 minutes|
|Writing||2 tasks||50 minutes|