There are a few major English language tests in the world. One of the most famous is the TOEFL test, which we also offer TOEFL tutoring for, but another is the IELTS, which is the test run by the UK and Australia to test proficiency in the English language for non-native speakers. It might be run by a triumvirate that includes the British Council, IDP of Australia, and Cambridge Assessment Group (which is an exam board that is part of the University of Cambridge), none of which are in the US, this is an exam that is accepted by over 3,000 academic institutions in the United States. It is pretty safe to say that you are going to be fine if you take the test, but it is still important to research any specific institution that you are interested in before you take the test to make sure that you do not miss any requirements or find out that you need something else instead. IELTS is also accepted by most institutions in Australia, the UK, Ireland, Canada, and New Zealand. In addition, the IELTS test is the only language test accepted for UK visas and immigration. It can also be used for immigration in Australia and New Zealand, where the TOEFL and Pearson tests are accepted, and Canada, where TEF and CELPIP are also accepted. If you are looking to take the test for any of these reasons or more, you should hire private IELTS tutors to help you pass the test.
Before you take the test or even get into the material, it is important to note some of the facts about when you can take the test. It can be offered up to 4 times a month, which computes to up to 48 times per year. There are over 1200 test centers around the world in 140 different countries. The score will be valid for 2 years after you take the test, so you have to take care of whatever applications that you need to in that window before you have to go back and take it again. Your score will come as a grade from 0 to 9, which is done in increments of .5. Band 0 means that you did not take the test and Band 1 represents a non-user. Band 9 is reserved for expert users. You can get your scores validity extended if you prove that you have worked to maintain that level of competence. Every year, over 3 million tests are taken, so there are a lot of other people out there proving that they have competence in a language that they were not born speaking. That is a pretty impressive number, although potentially relatively small when you consider that the non-English speaking population of the world is in the billions. That said, it is growing and growing, gaining market share over some of the test competitors.
The actual test is actually pretty simple when you study for it properly with IELTS tutors near me and learn what to expect. The test is just under 3 hours in total, which is pretty easy to do in comparison to some of the other standardized tests you might take. The exam consists of four sections: listening, reading, speaking, and writing. The reading and writing sections are each timed out at an hour. The listening section is 40 minutes, which also includes a 10 minute transfer time. The speaking section can vary in length and takes between 11 and 14 minutes to complete. Learning to nail each section takes practice, which is why we suggest that you take time with a tutor to prepare.