The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is a test of English Language proficiency of non-native English speakers. The test scores are a pre-requisite for getting addmission in UK, Australian, New Zealand and Canadian colleges and universities. of late American universities too have started accepting IELTS scores. This test is an important step forward for those seeking to study or work in a foreign country.

Who administers IELTS?
The three main institutions that manage IELTS are the British Council, IDP IELTS Australia and the University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations (Cambridge ESOL).

IELTS Test Format
There are two versions of the IELTS exam - Academic and General. Students must know in which category they are supposed to take the test. The first three parts of the tests i.e. Listening, Reading, Writing have to be taken on the first day without any break. While the Speaking test can be taken either on the same day, or 7 days before or after the Listening, Reading, Writing test. Listening and Speaking tests are same in both the versions of the test.

The Speaking section consists of six tasks: two independent tasks and four integrated tasks. In the two independent tasks, test-takers answer opinion questions on familiar topics. They are evaluated on their ability to spea spontaneously and convey their ideas clearly and coherently. In two of the integrated tasks, test-takers read a short passage, listen to an academic course lecture or a conversation about campus life and answer a question by combining appropriate information from the text and the talk. In the two remaining integrated tasks, test-takers listen to an academic course lecture or a conversation about campus life and then respond to a question about what they heard. In the integrated tasks, test-takers are evaluated on their ability to appropriately synthesize and effectively convey information from the reading and listening material. Test-takers may take notes as they read and listen and may use their notes to help prepare their responses. Test-takers are given a short preparation time before they have to begin speaking. The responses are digitally recorded, sent to ETS's Online Scoring Network (OSN) and evaluated by three to six raters

The Writing section measures a test taker's ability to write in an academic setting and consists of two tasks: one integrated task and one independent task. In the integrated task, test-takers read a passage on an academic topic and then listen to a speaker discuss the same topic. The test-taker will then write a summary about the important points in the listening passage and explain how these relate to the key points of the reading passage. In the independent task, the test-taker must write an essay that states, explains, and supports their opinion on an issue, supporting their opinions or choices, rather than simply listing personal preferences or choices. Responses are sent to the ETS OSN and evaluated by four raters.