It is one of the world’s popular English language proficiency tests for higher education and global migration. Around the world, International English Language Testing System is recognized as the trusted, secure, valid and reliable indicator, which helps the people to communicate in English for higher education, immigration, etc. It is jointly managed and owned by British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge English language assessment. It measures the proficiency of people who want to study for their future where English is used as a language of communication.
In 1989, Exam format was divided into two modules called non- specialized module, which includes listening and speaking tests; two specialized modules includes reading and writing tests. In 1995, these specific modules were replaced with academic reading and academic writing modules. In 2001, the revised IELTS speaking test was introduced and in 2005, new assessment criteria for writing test and computerized version of International English Language Testing System were introduced.
IELTS is a unique and 9 points scoring system, which is used to measure and report test scores. The scores of each subtest i.e, listening, reading, writing and speaking tests are reported, equally weighted and overall band score is calculated by taking the mean of total four individual subtest scores. The overall band score should be from one to nine on a band scale.
According to the IELTS administrators, this test is most advantageous for the candidates because it is fair and unbiased. There are 3 types of IELTS tests. They are academic, general training and life skills tests. IELTS academic is intended for the people who want to study at universities, institutions for higher education. IELTS general training is essential for the people who want to migrate to other countries like the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. These countries accept the IELTS general training certificate as the evidence for immigration and study visa applicants.
Whereas IELTS life skills test is essential for UK visas and immigration. If the people want to obtain citizenship in the UK, then the life skills test estimates the speaking and listening English skills. There is no minimum score required to qualify academic or general training test. Only the band score ranging from 1 to 9 is required for each of the test i.e, listening, reading, writing and speaking. For example, band 1 indicates non-speakers, while band 9 indicates the expert level of competence. Band 6 corresponds to the competent user, who has an effective command on the English language. For International Englislh Language testing system life skills test, there are only two possible results i.e, pass or fail.
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