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International students who are non-native English speakers are typically required to provide evidence of their English abilities before they are admitted into a US college or university. IELTS provides a fair, accurate and reliable measure of language skills, and is trusted by organizations worldwide as a proof of English proficiency. Since 1989, the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) has been a global standardized English test designed to measure the English language proficiency of people who plan to study or work where English is the language of communication.

IELTS is jointly owned by a global partnership of education and language experts – the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge English Language Assessment. Cambridge is responsible for IELTS test development due to their world-renowned language and research expertise. British Council and IDP are responsible for IELTS test delivery throughout the world due to their combined security and examination expertise.

If you’re applying to study at an institution that requires your English language testing scores, get more details on if the IELTS is the right test for you.

Details on Taking the IELTS

What can I expect with the test?

IELTS is a paper-and-pencil test with 4 sections: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking, and includes a live, face-to-face speaking interview with a trained and certified examiner. This allows for a more realistic measure of a speaker’s English proficiency and real-world communication abilities.

As a test of English as an “international” language, IELTS uses all standard varieties of English — American, Australian, and British, and includes different question task types (for example, matching plan/map/diagram labelling, multiple choice, short-answer, etc.). This is to ensure the test is relevant and fair to test takers regardless of cultural background or where they studied English.

What are the IELTS registration details?

IELTS has more than 1,000 official test centers in over 140 countries around the world, including more than 50 testing locations in major metropolitan cities across the United States. It is recommended that IELTS test takers register at least 1 month before they wish to take the test, so it is important to plan in advance. There is an application form that must be completed and payment must be received in order to confirm your seat for the test. The IELTS test fee is set in each market’s local currency, thus varying by country and eliminating the need for foreign currency exchange. The cost to take IELTS in the US ranges between $215 – $245 USD.

IELTS tests are available up to 4 times per month, and are offered on Thursdays or Saturdays. Test centers are responsible for selecting which test dates they wish to offer. Request details on registration by completing the form on this page.

What institutions accept IELTS?

More than 9,000 organizations in 140 countries around the world accept IELTS. Last year, over 2.9 million IELTS tests were taken, making it the world’s most popular high-stakes English language proficiency test for study, work, and migration purposes.

Which IELTS test should I take?

There are two IELTS tests to choose from — Academic and General Training. IELTS Academic is used for higher education and professional certification. IELTS General Training is used for work or migration purposes. The Listening and Speaking sections of IELTS are the same for both Academic and General Training, however, test takers take different Reading and Writing sections, depending on the test they choose.

The Academic Reading includes authentic texts from books, journals, newspapers, etc., whereas the General Training Reading includes authentic texts from company handbooks, official documents, books, newspapers, etc. The differences between the Academic Writing and General Training Writing are in the content, nature, and contextual parameters of the tasks.

How can I prepare for the IELTS?

All registered test takers in the US will receive a free IELTS Practice Test upon completion of their online application. In addition, Official IELTS Practice Materials (with CD and DVD), which includes numerous test samples with answers and explanations are available for purchase online from IELTS or from local IELTS test centers. Complete the form to request more information on IELTS.

When are IELTS test results provided?

Test results will be released by postal mail 13 days after the test is taken, and an online preview of results is available for 28 days.

How can I get more information on IELTS?

For more information complete the form on this page. You will be contacted soon by IELTS with further details.

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