IELTS Exam 2021

Update by: on March 2, 2021, 3:15 p.m.

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The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is a standardised English language test format, which is conducted for admissions in universities across the world.  The test was initially designed in 1989 by the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge Assessment English to judge the proficiency of a person in the English language for study and work purposes. 

Presently, IELTS is conducted across 1,600 locations worldwide at designated centres. The IELTS test has a nine-band scale to identify the level of proficiency of the candidate. 

IELTS Test is conducted in two formats i.e IELTS Computer Based Test (CBT) and IELTS Paper-Based Test (PBT). One can choose to take the test in either of the two formats based on their convenience.

The test is conducted unbiased and with utmost fairness at all locations and follows the same pattern no matter where the test is conducted. It uses a nine-band scale to identify the proficiency level of candidates. 

IELTS 2021 Updates 

IELTS has introduced a new format to take the test as a response to the Covid-19 situation. Now, students can take the test at home where they are safe and comfortable. The new online test at home is named as IELTS Indicator. 

IELTS Indicator is conducted once a week. The option is available for students taking the test in India. The test covers all four sections Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking.

IELTS Indicator option is available for a limited time period where the test centres are currently suspended due to COVID- 19. 

Many universities and educational institutions are currently using IELTS Indicator for application purposes. However, candidates must note that IELTS Indicator is not a substitute for in-person IELTS. The candidate may be required to take the in-person IELTS test if needed by the university or institute as and when the test centres are available in a specific location. 

Highlights of IELTS Exam

Following are the major highlights of the IELTS test: 

Conducting Body

British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge Assessment English

Mode of Test 

Computer-Based or Paper Based 

Types of Test 

IELTS Academic

IELTS General Training

IELTS Indicator (Newly added post-COVID- 19 outbreak)


2 hours 45 minutes


  • Listening 

  • Reading 

  • Writing 

  • Speaking 


On a band scale of 1 to 9 

Registration Fee 

Rs 14,000

Test Centre 

IELTS Designated Centres in More than 140 Participating Countries

Types of IELTS Exam

IELTS test is conducted in two formats which are discussed below: 

IELTS Academic

IELTS Academic is designed for students who want to apply for higher education or professional courses in different institutions across the world where the language of communication and studies in English. This test is used to judge the candidates' command in the English language so that they can cope up with the studies at the institute. 

The scorecard of IELTS Academics is widely accepted by universities and colleges across the world. The IELTS academics test has four sections in Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking.

The Listening and Speaking section is the same as the IELTS General Training but the subject matter of the Reading and Writing sections are different. The total test time is 2 hours and 45 minutes.

IELTS General Training

The IELTS General Training test is designed for students who visit a country where English is the primary language of communication. The purpose of the visit could be higher education, training programmes or work experience. 

Those who wish to migrate to the UK, Canada, Australia or New Zealand also need to take the IELTS General Training test. The test is used to judge the basic English language skills of a person for a social and professional conversion.

Just like IELTS Academics, the IELTS General Training Test also comprises four sections  Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. Listening and speaking section format is the same with variation in the Reading and Writing sections. 

Why Should You Take the IELTS Test?

IELTS is the most popular English Language test that is widely accepted by universities and organisations across 140 countries for various purposes. The reasons why taking IELTS will be the right choices for you is as follows:

  • IELTS test score can be used for multi-purpose purposes like getting accepted for admission at the university, moving abroad, getting a job or completing a short term course in a foreign nation.

  • IELTS test score is accepted by over 10,000 universities and organisations across 140 countries.

  • The IELTS test evaluates your level of proficiency in the English language suitable for a specific purpose. 

  • You must take the IELTS Academics Test if you want to study at an undergraduate or postgraduate level of studies/ want to apply for a Student Route Visa in the UK or want to work in a professional organisation in an English-speaking country.

  • You must take the IELTS General Training Test if you want to study below a degree level in a foreign country/ work or undertake training in an English-speaking country/ Emigrate to an English-speaking country.

Stages Involved in IELTS Test

From IELTS registration to IELTS Test score download, the IELTS test is divided into various stages which the test takers must know to complete the process on time before admission at universities.

Various stages of IELTS test is highlighted below:

Stage 1: Know about the IELTS Test

The first step involved with IELTS is to know all about the exam like the test pattern, registration, how to prepare, universities accepting IELTS scorecards etc.

Step 2: Register for IELTS Test 

Once you are sure of taking the IELTS you must register for IELTS test and schedule the time to appear in it. You need to pay a minimum registration fee each time you appear for the IELTS test. 

Step 3: Select Date, Time and Test Centre 

Once the registration process is complete, select the most appropriate date, time and designated centre to appear in IELTS test. The slot must be booked early to get the most suitable date, time and test centre. 

Step 4: Appear in IELTS Test 

Once the IELTS admit card is released, download it from the official website and appear for the test as per the details mentioned in the admit card. Strictly follow the instructions mentioned in the admit card to avoid any confusion on the day of the test.

Step 5: Wait for Official IELTS Test Score 

If you have taken the IELTS PBT test, you can expect the test report within 13 days after taking the test. 

The result of IELTS CBT is released within 3 to 5 days after taking the test. Results can be checked online one of the following websites:

British Council network of test centres
IDP IELTS Australia network of test centres
IELTS USA network of test centres

You must have a valid ID number and candidate number to login to the account and access the result. 

Note: IELTS results are available to view online only for 28 days. 

FAQs about IELTS

1. What is IELTS?

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is the most popular English language test conducted to analyse the proficiency of a candidate in the English language. It is used for admission purposes at abroad universities or immigration purposes. 

2. Who conducts IELTS?

IELTS is jointly conducted by the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge Assessment English

3. Why should I take IELTS? 

IELTS can be taken for admissions at universities abroad. Universities in countries like the US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand accept IELTS scores to ensure that the candidate has a good command of English to study at the university. 

4. Is the IELTS a paper-based test? 

IELTS is conducted in both online and computer-based mode. 

5. What are the types of IELTS? 

IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training are the two types of IELTS. 

6. Is IELTS an online exam? 

IELTS is conducted in both online and offline mode. 

7. Should I take IELTS CBT or IELTS PBT? 

You can choose to take IELTS in either of the two formats CBT and PBT based on your convenience. Ensure to check the availability of the test centre as the IELTS PBT test is conducted in limited centres. 

8. What is the difference between IELTS academics and IELTS general training test? 

IELTS academics is designed to apply for higher education or professional courses whereas  IELTS general training is used to apply for immigration, work experience or training in a country where the medium of communication is English. 

9. Is IELTS conducted in India? 

Yes. There are several test centres in major cities in India where candidates can appear for IELTS. 

10. Is there any fee to appear in IELTS? 

Yes. The candidate will have to pay to appear in IELTS at the time of registration. One time IELTS registration fee in India is Rs 14,000. 

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