Students who aspire to study abroad in English-speaking countries must submit proof of their English proficiency. The IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is a common test organized by the British Council in association with Cambridge English Language Assessment and IDP.
Universities accept IELTS scores in over 120 countries worldwide, including the USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and more. Candidates aged 16 years or older are eligible to appear for this exam. They can take the test in any of the 4,500 centers spread across 165 countries worldwide. The IELTS score is accepted by more than 10,000 organizations across the globe. With the right IELTS training and preparation for the exam, you can get through with a good band score.
The IELTS assesses a candidate’s proficiency in English and is taken by over 3 million candidates globally. A good test score indicates that students will not have communication issues while staying in a foreign country. It is also an assurance that they will understand the study material provided for the course and will be in a position to pursue the program without any issues with the English language.
Students who wish to study abroad must know this examination and IELTS score validity. So, continue reading this article to understand all about IELTS.
IELTS Exam Pattern and Band Scores
The pattern of the IELTS exam is the same for all candidates. The module includes listening, reading, writing, and speaking tests. Each section is for 25% of the total band score and has equal importance. The duration of the test is 2 hours and 45 minutes.
The reading, writing, and listening tests are done on the same day, while the speaking test is conducted a week after or before the test.
The exam is assessed through band scores ranging from 1 to 9. Each of these numbers indicates a distinct level of English proficiency. Students who take the exam will get band scores for every section and an overall band score.
Your overall band score is the average of the section scores. For example, the candidate is considered skilled if the band score is 6. Despite a few misconceptions and errors, the student is said to have an efficient command of the language.
Considering this, students need to prepare for all the above-listed four sections.
What Is the Validity of IELTS Score?
IELTS scores have validity for two years after the results are announced. After these two years, the score is considered invalid.
This exam is conducted offline and online, so the results are announced on different dates. For offline mode, it takes around 13 days for the results to be announced, while it is out within 5-7 days for the online mode.
If candidates want to extend the validity period, they can appear for the exam again post-expiration of the validity. The IELTS exam is conducted 4X a month, almost 48X in a year. So, candidates can schedule accordingly and extend the validity period of their IELTS scores.
The reason why the IELTS score is valid for just two years is to make sure that the candidate’s knowledge remains intact. People generally tend to forget things as time passes by. A validity greater than two years may deteriorate the knowledge of candidates.
Another point to be noted here is that though the IELTS exam validity period is two years for most countries, it is different for different countries. It is two years for Canada, the US, and the UK. For Australia, it was two years, but now, it has been extended to three years.
IELTS Band Score Interpretation
The IELTS exam evaluates a candidate’s ability to write, speak, read, and understand audio conversations in English. No minimum score is needed to pass the exam. However, each candidate who passes the exam gets their results as a Test Report Form (TRF) in the IELTS certificate.
The total score of the IELTS exam is typically ranked from 0 to 9. The band score is interpreted like this:
- Band 0: Test not taken
- Band 1: Non-user
- Band 2: Intermittent user
- Band 3: Extremely limited user
- Band 4: Limited user
- Band 5: Modest user
- Band 6: Competent user
- Band 7: Good user
- Band 8: Very good user
- Band 9: Expert user
When Will You Get Your IELTS TRF?
Candidates must show their ID proof (the same ID proof they showed for registration) to check their IELTS results. They can expect to get their TRF depending on the exam format they appeared for:
- Online IELTS: Results are announced between 5 and 7 days
- Paper-based test: Results are announced 13 days
- IELTS Life Skills: Results are announced within seven days after the exam.
- IELTS for UKVI: Results are announced thirteen days after the exam.
Candidates will get a copy of their TRF for a majority of purposes. However, they will get two copies if they apply to the IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada).
Overall, IELTS is a popular and important test taken by millions of candidates every year. If you are planning to take this exam, devise an efficient study plan, improve your English, learn the IELTS exam pattern and format, and go through several IELTS sample papers.
Before preparing for the exam, check the language proficiency exams your desired universities accept and the minimum band score cut-off set by the specific university. Practicing and clarifying what you need to prepare for and what score you are expected to get is great. So, this is all that you need to know about IELTS!