The International English Language Testing System,or IELTS, is an international standardized test of English language proficiency for non-native English language speakers.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) is also accepted.There are two modules of the IELTS: Academic Module(Academic Purpose)and General Training Module(Non Academic and Immigration purpose) The test total time is 2 hours and 45 minutes. Listening, Reading and Writing are completed in one sitting. The Speaking test may be taken on the same day or up to seven days before or after the other tests.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.For a computer-delivered test, results are released between 3–5 days . For a paper-based test, a Test Report Form is posted to test takers 13 days after their test. The IELTS academic and general training tests (often referred to as "modules") consist of four sections that evaluate listening, reading, speaking, and writing in English. The listening and speaking sections are identical on both tests. The listening section is 40 questions in 30 minutes, while the speaking section is an 11-14-minute interview with a trained IELTS examiner. The academic reading module includes 40 questions on three different texts, which students are given one hour to complete. Academic writing, also one hour, presents two separate writing tasks (a description of visually presented information and a "discursive essay"). The general training reading section differs from the academic test in terms of length (40 minutes) and reading topics (which are more general). The general training writing section, like the academic writing assessment, lasts for one hour, but the first writing task is a letter about a given situation rather than a description.
Test-takers receive IELTS "band" scores for each section, which range from 0 to 9 in half-point increments (with 9 being the highest possible score). The IELTS total score is the average of all four section scores, rounded to the nearest half-point. Score classifications are given for each score level of a full point. Students who receive top scores of 9 are considered "expert" users, while scores of 8 and 7 are designated "very good" and "good" respectively. A score of 6 is regarded as "competent," and a score of 5 is "moderate." The lower score classifications are "limited" (4), "extremely limited" (3), "intermittent" (2), and "non-user" (1). Only students who do not attempt the test at all receive the lowest possible score of 0. Half-point scores are associated with the same classification as the next-lowest full-point score (e.g. a score of 7.5 would be considered "good").
The IELTS has been widely studied by independent educational researchers. Some of these studies show correlations between IELTS scores and academic performance. One study conducted at Worcester Business School, where the minimum IELTS standard is a relatively low 6.0, found that international students often struggled with their English skills, and this was one of the "key obstacles in learning and teaching activities." Another study conducted at the University of Sydney asserted "significant correlations between writing, speaking, and listening subtests and GPA."