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Frequently Asked Questions

IELTS
International English Language Testing System
IELTS is the world's most popular English language test for education and emigration. Take IELTS with the British Council to help you on your way.
        
What is IELTS?
The international English language testing system (IELTS) is the world’s leading English language proficiency test. It has grown tremendously in the last 20 years. Over 2 million people sat for the test last year.

IELTS assesses all of your English skills - reading, writing, listening and speaking, and is designed to reflect how you will use English at study, work and play, where English is the language of communication

Over 8,000 organisations worldwide, including schools, universities, employers, immigration authorities and professional bodies recognise IELTS scores as a trusted and valid indicator of your ability to communicate in English.  Find out more.
         
Where is IELTS recognised?

IELTS is recognised by universities and employers around the world, including the UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the USA. It is also recognised by professional bodies, immigration authorities and other government agencies.

You can find out the score you need to access the education, emigration, employment, professional registration or training opportunity of your choice by searching here.

IELTS is not recommended for candidates under the age of 16.

Find out more information about IELTS.
          

Why take IELTS with the British Council in Kuwait?

The British Council in Kuwait offers:

unrivalled availability of IELTS test dates
IELTS preparation courses to help you achieve your goals
friendly, helpful and highly professional staff
Online booking
' Road to IELTS’ - 30 hours of free online tuition when you book your test online
free IELTSELTS test practice
expert advice on how to prepare for the test
IELTS pre briefing sessions
IELTS Speaking and Writing practice tests
online results preview available 13 days after your test

Take your test with us and gain your passport to international opportunity and global mobility!
             

Which version of IELTS is right for you?

IELTS is available in two versions - Academic and General Training. The right version for you depends on the organisation you are applying to and your plans for the future.

The Academic Module assesses whether a candidate is ready to study or train in the medium of English at an undergraduate or postgraduate level. Admission to undergraduate and postgraduate courses may be based on the results of these Module tests; you need to check with the institution asking for the IELTS test about the required score.

The General Training Module emphasises basic survival skills in a broad social and educational context. General Training is suitable for candidates who are going to English-speaking countries to complete their secondary education, to undertake work experience or training programmes below degree level, or for immigration purposes for Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK.

What's the difference between the two versions?
The difference is in the Reading and Writing tests only. The Listening and Speaking tests are the same for both versions.

Search for the organisations you want to apply to, and find out which version you need.

What does an IELTS test look like?

The IELTS test assesses your abilities in all four skills - listening, reading, writing and speaking - in under three hours.

The IELTS test format is tried and trusted by organisations and test takers worldwide.

IELTS format

You will take the Listening, Reading and Writing tests all on the same day and one after the other, with no breaks in between. The test is always taken in this order.

Your Speaking test will either be on the same day or up to seven days before or after your Listening, Reading and Writing tests.

LISTENING

The Listening test is the same for both Academic and General Training modules. You will listen to language spoken in a social or academic context and answer a series of questions.

The listening test measures how well you can listen for main ideas, specific information, supporting information, facts and opinions.

The test takes around 30 minutes plus 10 minutes for transferring answers to the answer sheet.
The text is recorded on a CD which contains all the instructions and necessary pauses.
The supervisor will conduct a sound check before beginning the test.
Once the CD has started it can not be stopped for questions so please make sure you ask any relevant questions before the CD begins.
You must use a pencil and not a pen on the answer sheet.

Find out more.

READING

The IELTS General Reading Module contain texts from social, academic, and work contexts.
The IELTS Academic Reading Module includes more advanced texts, at an undergraduate or graduate level, from academic sources.

The test takes 60 minutes, contains 3 sections of increasing difficulty and 40 questions.
Regular time checks will be given by the supervisor.
Please note that there will be NO extra time to transfer answers to the answer sheet.
You must use a pencil and not a pen on the answer sheet.
Some of the questions may appear before a passage, some may come after, depending on the nature of the questions.

Find out more.

WRITING

The IELTS Academic Writing tasks measure your ability to write in clear, formal English, as is generally required in an academic context.

The IELTS General Writing tasks measure your ability to communicate about common, practical issues and expand on topics of personal interest. You may be asked to provide factual information, make suggestions, express likes and dislikes, or present complaints, opinions, or views.

The test takes 60 minutes and contains two tasks.
Task one requires at least 150 words and should take about 20 minutes.
Task two requires at least 250 words and should take about 40 minutes.
You must use your own ideas. Pre-prepared answers will lose marks.
You will lose marks for essays which are under the specified word count.
Regular time checks will be given by the supervisor.

Find out more.

SPEAKING

The Speaking test rates your ability to communicate clearly, correctly and meaningfully in English in a variety of situations.

The test is a 14 minute face to face interview with a trained examiner and the conversation is recorded.

Find out more.
       

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