IELTS, or International English Language Testing System, is an international
standardised test of English language proficiency. It is jointly managed by University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations, the British Council and IDP
Education Pty Ltd, and was established in 1989.
There are two versions of the IELTS: the Academic Version and the General Training
- The Academic Version is intended for those who want to enrol in universities and other institutions of higher education and for professionals
such as medical doctors and nurses who want to study or practise in an English-speaking country.
- The General Training Version is intended for those planning to undertake non-academic
training or to gain work experience, or for immigration purposes.
IELTS is accepted by most Australian,
Irish, New Zealand
and South African academic institutions, over 3,000 academic institutions
in the United States, and various professional organisations. It is
also a requirement for immigration to Australia, New Zealand and Canada.
No minimum score is required to pass the test. An IELTS result or Test Report Form is issued to all
candidates with a score from "band 1" ("non-user") to "band 9" ("expert user") and each institution sets a different threshold.
There is also a "band 0" score for those who did not attempt the test. Institutions are advised not to consider a report older
than two years to be valid, unless the user proves that he has worked to maintain his level.