IELTS 2023: Full Form, Test Format, Exam Fees, Band 7+ Tips

The IELTS stands for International English Language Testing System, an exam started in the year 1980. It is now among the globally recognised English language proficiency examinations used for higher education, work visas and immigration. It has become the preferred language assessment methods for countries such as US, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

In this post, you will find A to Z of IELTS from its full form, types, format, test modules, and registration process to login, scores, results, online tests, and difference between Paper-based and Computer-delivered IELTS.

Before diving into the path of IELTS success, let’s first have a look at some key highlights:

IELTSExam Highlights
IELTS Full FormInternational English Language Testing System
Purpose of IELTSFor migration, study or work visas in native English speaking countries – UK, USA, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada
Official Website 
IELTS Exam TypesPen & Paper-based, Computer-delivered
IELTS Exam FeesRs. 15,500 since 1st April 2022
IELTS IDP Contact InformationIDP Head Office

+91-124-4445999/ 1800-102-4544

IELTS BC Contact InformationBritish Council

0120-4569000 / 0120-6684353

IELTS Band ScoresRanges between 0 (lowest) and 9 (highest)

Types of IELTS Test

The IELTS is available in two formats: Academic IELTS and General Training IELTS.

  • IELTS Academic: People who want to enrol in undergraduate and postgraduate courses, as well as those who want to gain work experience at the graduate or postgraduate level, take the Academic IELTS.
  • IELTS General Training: The General Training IELTS is taken by those who want to complete their secondary education, work experience, or training programmes in an English-speaking nation, or who want to emigrate to the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, or New Zealand.

This website prepares you for both the IELTS Academic and General Training. The Listening and Speaking modules are the same for both the test versions, but the Reading and Writing modules are different.

Which version of English?

Because the IELTS is commonly utilised in the United Kingdom and Commonwealth countries, it is written in British English. Anyone who has studied English in an English-speaking country will understand its vocabulary and syntax completely.

However, you are not required to use only British English. You can use either one of British or American English accents during the exam.

Who owns the IELTS?

IELTS test is collectively owned and conducted by:

  • British Council
  • IDP-IELTS Australia
  • Cambridge ESOL

These organisations jointly conduct the IELTS in over 1,000 test centres across 140 countries. These test centres oversee the test’s local administration and recruit, train, and monitor examiners. Besides, these organisations also certify tutors to teach at various IELTS coaching institutes.


The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) has wide acceptance for work, study, and migration purposes. More than 11,000 organisations rely on IELTS as a credible assessment of actual English communication competence.

IDP IELTS has over 1,400 test centres in 56 countries. This contains over 260 computer-delivered IELTS testing centres.

IDP India acquired the British Council’s IELTS business in India in August 2021.

IELTS with British Council:

The British Council’s high profile work in English, the Arts and Education and Society helps hundreds of millions of people worldwide.

Every year, thousands of candidates visit BC test centres to take an exam to advance their studies or careers. British Council provide tests ranging from Young Learners to Cambridge Preliminary, First, Advanced, and Proficiency, as well as the IELTS test and particular British professional exams such as ACCA or CIMA.

IELTS Exam Format

IELTS test has 4 modules – Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking. Have a look at the table below to know more about the format of the test:

IELTS ModuleTotal TimeTasks
Listening Section30 minutes– Listen to 4 audio tracks (2 conversations, 2 monologues)
– Answer all 40 questions (10 questions per track)
Reading Section60 minutes– Read 3 passages for Academic Test and 5-6 passages for General Test
– Answer all 40 questions (13-14 per section)
Writing Section60 minutesTask-1: Describe information given in a chart, graph, table or diagram in at least 150 words in Academic Test. Write a letter in at least 150 words in General Test
Task-2: Write an essay in response to an opinion or a question in at least 250 words
Speaking Section11-14 minutes– Answer questions about yourself and some familiar topics in a face-to-face interview with the examiner

The modules of Listening, Reading, and Writing will take place taken on the same day, in that order, with no breaks. The IELTS exam duration is 2 hours and 45 minutes. The Speaking module can be scheduled on the same day as the previous modules, or up to a week before or after.

Paper-Based v/s Computer-Delivered IELTS

If you’ve taken the pen and paper test before, you may notice some major changes between it and the computer based test. Here are the key differences between Paper-based and Computer-delivered IELTS:

Paper-Based v/s Computer-Delivered IELTS difference
Differences between Pen & Paper and Computer-Based IELTS
  • Pencil v/s Keyboard: In Paper-based IELTS, you’ll be provided with a pencil and an answer sheet. You must write your responses on the answer sheet before the timer runs out. On the other hand, you type your answers into the corresponding boxes on the screen in Computer-based IELTS.
  • Test venue: Paper-based IELTS exams are frequently conducted in a larger hall. Sometimes at a university or a centrally placed hotel. Whereas, Computer-delivered examinations are administered in smaller, custom-built rooms that are new and less crowded. Everything in the test area will make you feel at ease.
  • Quality of the Headphones: The majority of headphones in the Paper IELTS are relatively old, and hence the quality has degraded. On the other hand, because computer-delivered IELTS is new, the infrastructure is modern. The noise suppression headphones allows you to focus better on the recording.
  • Test results: The paper based IELTS results are available after 13 days of the test, while, the results will be available in 3-5 days in CD IELTS.
  • Test availability: The Paper version of IELTS held up to 48 days per year (on Thursdays and Saturdays). On the contrary, Computer version of IELTS is available up to 7 days a week and up to 3 times a day.
  • Shorter Listening: The Listening module takes about 32 minutes in Computer-based IELTS test which includes extra 2 minutes to review your typed responses. Whereas, the Listening module takes about 40 minutes in Paper-based IELTS which includes extra 10 minutes to write your answers on the printed sheet.
  • Convenient Writing: In a computer-based IELTS test, the word count will display at the bottom of the screen during the writing test. So, you do not need to bother about counting the words after the test; instead, you may focus entirely on the substance. In paper-based IELTS, you must count or guess the words after completing the task. As a result, the process is time-consuming and lengthy.

How to Register for IELTS exam?

You can easily book your IELTS exam by following our Step-by-Step process which is applicable for both IDP and British Council IELTS.

IELTS Eligibility Criteria & Age Limit

The IDP or BC IELTS examination has no explicit eligibility requirements. The only condition may be that candidates who intend to take the examination must be at least 16 years old. This is the only condition they will consider.


The cost of IELTS exam in India was INR 14,700 for both Computer-delivered IELTS & Pen and paper IELTS in 2021. Since 1st April 2022, the registration fee has been revised to INR 15,500.

Here’s the detailed information on IELTS test fees in India:

Test TypeCost in INR
IELTS Life Skills – A1 and B114,600
IELTS for UK Visas and Immigration15,750
Pen and paper based IELTS15,500
Computer-delivered IELTS15,500
Computer-delivered IELTS for UKVI15,750

Also Read: IELTS IDP exam fee, Test dates, and locations (2023)

Also Read: IELTS BC exam fee, Test dates, and locations (2023)

Exam Cancellation & Rescheduling fees in IELTS:


  • If you cancel or reschedule the exam more than 5 weeks before the test date, the candidate receives a refund, deducting an administrative fees.
  • If you cancel or reschedule the exam within 5 weeks of the test date, you will be charged the full fee unless you have a serious medical reason.
  • In case the candidate registers and stay absent during the exam, no amount will be refunded.
  • If any candidate produces a medical certificate within 5 days of the test, the amount will be refunded deducting some administrative fees.


  • If you cancel your IELTS test up to five weeks before the Paper-based test date, you will receive a refund minus a 25% administration fee.
  • There will be no refunds for IELTS if there is less than 5 weeks time remaining in the test. However, a severe disease or a medical incident, bereavement or trauma etc; are exceptions to this policy.
  • If a medical certificate confirming illness on the date of the test is provided within five working days of the test date, together with the submitted cancellation request on the Test Taker Portal, the fee is refundable, deducting an 25% administration fee.
  • If you need to reschedule the date of your test from the date you originally booked, you can request a test day transfer from British Council up to five weeks before the test date for IELTS on Paper, free of charge.
  • In cases of illness, a transfer is possible if an original medical certificate is provided within five working days of the test date, together with the Test Date Transfer Form.

To cancel your IELTS test, please log in to the Test Taker Portal and submit a cancellation request, along with an upload of supporting documentation/evidence.

Mode of Payment:

The payment modes for IELTS test fee in India are:

  • Visa/Master Credit or Debit Card
  • Internet banking
  • Demand Draft (DD) drawn in favour of IDP EDUCATION INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED, Payable at New Delhi.
  • Cash deposit in ICICI/HDFC bank branches through a customized deposit slip.

Test Centres & Exam Dates

IELTS has exam centres all over India, so choose your centre depending on your location and travel convenience, so that you spend as little time as possible going to the centre on the day of the exam.

This is vital so that you do not have to rush into the examination hall and are fresh and ready when you arrive. IELTS Test Centres can be found here.

IELTS Scoring

Each IELTS component — Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking is graded on a scale of 0 to 9, with 0 being the lowest and 9 being the highest. The overall band score takes into account the average scores earned in all four distinct test components. This overall score might be a full or half band.

Each band corresponds to a global description that summarises the nine levels of English proficiency. Typically, the band scores required for admission to a UK university course range from 6.0 to 7.5 and above.

Remember that there is no pass/fail or negative marking in the IELTS exam. So, you can take your chances with confidence.

Also Read: How IELTS Score is calculated?

How to get band 7+ in IELTS?

Getting a high band score probably in the range of band 7, 8 or 9 is an uphill task that requires hard work, consistency, and good use of English vocabulary. So, here we present you some important tips on how to get band 7 and above in the IELTS exam:

  1. Answer every question in Reading & Writing modules

    To begin, make sure you answer every question in both the Reading and Writing modules. Even if you are well prepared for IELTS, you may find yourself missing some of the answers on the Listening module or running out of time on the Reading module. Because timing for the Reading module is quite tight.

    If you have a few questions that you haven’t been able to fully answer, it’s better to guess and increase your chances of getting 7+ band score than to leave them unanswered.

  2. Read the question statement carefully in Writing module

    Make sure you read the question carefully in the Writing module, double-check that you understand what you’ve been asked to accomplish, and answer the question as accurately and completely as possible.

    For example, if you are asked in Task 2 “To what extent do you agree or disagree?” you should address how much you agree or disagree with the statement, not how much other people agree or disagree with it.

  3. Make sure that you write enough words in Writing module

    In addition, you have to make sure that you write enough words. For Task 1, you must write at least 150 words and for Task 2, at least 250 words. If you write less than these numbers, you scores will be deducted.

  4. Speak as much as you can in Speaking module

    If you’re a quiet and shy person, you should know that the examiner can’t take this into consideration, so you need to speak as much as you can.

    Some candidates believe that there is a ‘right’ and a ‘wrong’ answer and that they will be evaluated based on this. This is not the case; the examiner is primarily concerned with how you articulate your ideas in English, regardless of what those ideas are.

  5. Make the most of this website

    The final tip for attaining a high IELTS score is to make the most of this website. Read our Listening Tips, Reading Tips, Writing Tips, and Speaking Tips. This website is jam-packed with online IELTS practice tests that will help you become acquainted with the various types of questions.

Vocabulary for IELTS

Vocabulary is the foundation of any language. It is to language what life is to humans. In IELTS Writing and Speaking, vocabulary accounts for 1/4th of the total marks, not to mention its importance in the Listening and Reading modules.

A conversation could soon get annoying if you keep repeating words on paper and in your speech. To help you with this, IELTS Progress has a dedicated section on high band vocabulary and its usage. Have a look!

How IELTS is different from other English proficiency exams?


IELTS is used for education, employment, and immigration. It recognises both British and American English accents for spelling, word choice, and grammar. IELTS is offered in over 140 countries and is broadly classified into two sections: IELTS Academic (for study permits) and IELTS General Training (for permanent residency). The IELTS General Training test is essential if you are taking IELTS to apply through Express Entry.

CELPIP, on the other hand, was created expressly to assess key language abilities required for permanent residency and citizenship in Canada. The test is written in Canadian English and permits both British and American English accents. You can apply through Express Entry after taking CELPIP exam.

Checkout the detailed differences between IELTS and CELPIP


While the IELTS and TOEFL is mostly comparable, with four fundamental areas of proficiency, the test designs differ significantly.

TOEFL questions are nearly all multiple choice, whereas IELTS examinations include a variety of question types throughout, including short answer, essays, and gap-filling exercises – in which you must fill in missing words.

Checkout the detailed differences between IELTS and TOEFL


The primary distinction between PTE and IELTS examinations is that PTE exams are Computer based only. On the contrary, IELTS exams have the both paper and computer options available.

Checkout the detailed differences between IELTS and PTE

How to Prepare for IELTS?

The first step in any IELTS preparation plan should be to test your current level. Take one of our online practice tests and find out yourself.

We’ve also posted highly useful preparation tips, study material and IELTS books on our website. Check them out!

Test Results

In Pen & paper based IELTS, your results will be available online after 13 days from the L,R,W test date. Whereas, results will be available in 3-5 days for Computer-delivered IELTS.

You can either obtain your Test Report Form via mail or pick it up at the Test Center. You can also have the option of requesting up to five copies of your Test Report Form to send them directly to listed colleges and universities.

Also Read: How to Check your IDP & BC IELTS results?

Importance of IELTS exam

  • It is a proven method for assessing English language proficiency in non-native English speakers.
  • Approximately 10,000 organizations accept IELTS, which include educational institutions, enterprises, government agencies, and professional regulatory bodies.
  • While studying for a test, a candidate can expand his vocabulary and improve his communication abilities.


In a nutshell, IELTS can be an important walk of life if you’re serious about moving abroad. It is essential to recognise that IELTS can be as challenging as other exams. But if you do your homework, listen to native accents, and practise reading, writing, and speaking in English; success isn’t too far.


Is IELTS exam difficult?

The IELTS exam is not difficult as such. The questions are basic in nature and are based on familiar topics. The exam is structure in a way to measure your ability to use English Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking skills.

How many times can I write IELTS?

There are no limitations on retaking the IELTS. You must, however, give enough time to finish the registration procedures anew and select an appropriate day to write the test.

How long is IELTS valid for?

The validity period of an IELTS Test Report Form (TRF) is 2 years. For instance, if you appeared for IELTS on 31 Jan, 2022; your scores will remain valid till 30 Jan, 2024.

Which countries accept IELTS for immigration?

You can take an IELTS exam for study, work, or immigration purposes, and the scores are widely accepted in over 140 countries, including the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, the United States, and Canada.

Which is better and easier between Computer-delivered and Paper-based IELTS?

The only difference between the computer-delivered and paper-based IELTS test is your test day experience. If you’re more familiar with conventional style of writing and using pen and paper in general, you’ll find Paper-based IELTS to be easier and better.

What is the current IELTS fees in India?

Currently, An IELTS exam will cost you INR 15,500. This is consistent across all exam centres in India.

What documents are required to appear in IELTS?

You will only need your Passport to register for the IELTS. You are also supposed to carry your original passport on the day of your test.

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