IELTS 2020 Registration, Application Fee, Exam Pattern, Sample Papers, Results

International English Language Testing System(IELTS) is an international standardized test that measures the level of proficiency of English Language of Non-native English Speakers. It is conducted in two formats- Academic and General Training. In 2017, more than 3 million candidates took the IELTS Exam in more than 140 countries.

  • IELTS Score is used for study, work or migration purposes. Read Why take IELTS? 
  • IELTS Registration can be done both online and offline.
  • IELTS Test Score is valid for 2 years from the date of its release. Check IELTS Result
  • IELTS Registration fee varies from country to country depending upon the local currency. The test fee in India is INR 13250 (inclusive of all taxes).
  • IELTS is no longer a requirement for healthcare professionals who wish to practice in the U.K, Occupational English Test (OET) scores will now be accepted for all Tier 2 (General) U.K. visa applications submitted from October 1, 2019. Also Read IELTS 2019, Fee Hike, Computer Delivered Testing Introduced
  • IELTS is available on 48 test dates for the Academic Version and 24 test dates for General Training in a year. The availability of test dates depends upon the demand at the local test center. 
  • Confusion regarding the right English proficiency test is common among candidates. To pick the right test for you, read IELTS Vs TOEFL: Which is Best for You?

IELTS Test Score is widely accepted in Australian, British, Canadian and New Zealand academic institutions. More than 3000 academic institutions also accept it in the USA and various work organizations across the globe.Read IELTS Preparation Tips

IELTS 2019 Highlights

About IELTS Administrators

Three bodies jointly manage IELTS- Cambridge ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages), IELTS IDP (International Development Program):IELTS Australia, British Council.

IDP IELTS (International Development Program)

  • International Development Program is an educational organization with an experience of 45 years in international higher education.
  • IDP education has a global network of test centers which offer the candidate with more than 400 test locations in 50 countries. Candidates can locate nearest test centers by their country or city. 
  • IDP IELTS helps various governments to assess migration. It also plays a major role in the admission of prospective candidates in international Universities or Institutions. 

British Council IELTS

  • The British Council is a co-owner of the IELTS Exam.
  • It is known to have more than 75 years’ experience in teaching and testing English. IELTS British Council aid candidates in more than 90 countries in gaining the English language qualifications.
  • There are 500 IELTS test locations around the world owned by British Council in the world.

Why should one take the IELTS Test?

  • IELTS is an English language assessment examination. IELTS Exam can be taken for three fundamental purposes-study, work, migration in countries where English is considered as the main language of communication.

    • There are two formats of IELTS Exam Pattern  IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training.
    • For those who are taking IELTS for study purposes, academic format is suitable.
    • General Training is for those who wish to migrate to another country for employment purposes.

IELTS for Study

    • Universities and institutions across the globe consider IELTS score to judge the proficiency of a candidate in the English language.
    • The examination helps to determine the English speaking and comprehension capability of a candidate seeking admission in an institution where English is the primary language.
    • Candidates taking IELTS to pursue an education in English speaking country need to take IELTS Academic test.

IELTS for Work

    • Evidence of acceptable English language skills is a prerequisite for applicants and international graduates seeking professional registration in English speaking countries.
    • The required level of proficiency varies among organizations, professions, by country and by jurisdiction. The organization thus decides the IELTS band score and version of the test (Academic or General Training) as per their requirements.
    • Candidates applying for employment and professional reasons need to take IELTS General Training version.
Industries that require IELTS in the English Speaking Countries
    • Registration bodies representing the healthcare professions, such as nursing, medicine and pharmacy
    • Professional bodies from sectors such as accounting, engineering, law and veterinary practice
    • Range of employers from sectors such as finance, government, construction, energy, aviation and tourism

IELTS for Migration

    • An individual seeking permanent residency in an English speaking country are required to take an English language test.
    • The governments of English speaking countries accept IELTS Score for granting visas/ permanent residency.
    • It is accepted as evidence of English Proficiency in countries like Australia, UK, Canada, New Zealand and many more

How to find organizations accepting IELTS score

    • Over 9000 organizations and educational institutions in over 140 countries all over the world accept IELTS score for ascertaining English language proficiency. Follow the steps given below to access the complete list.

      1. Visit the official website –
      2. Click on “About the test
      3. In the drop-down, select “Who accepts IELTS scores?”
      4. Either type in the name of institution/organization in the search box and click on Search IELTS Organisation or
      5. Click on Advanced option and select the type of organisation you are looking for
      6. Alternatively, visit
      7. Enter Location – country, cities/states and band score.
      8. Click on Search IELTS Organisation

How to register for IELTS?

    • IELTS Registration is available in both the modes – online and offline. The candidates can opt for any of the modes according to their convenience. However, the most easily accessible and convenient way of IELTS Registration is the online mode.

Step 1- Find the nearest IELTS test location

      1. Visit the official IELTS website –
      2. Click on “Book a Test
      3. Click on “Find a test location” from the menu
      4. Select between IELTS or IELTS for UKVI and IELTS Life Skills
      5. Choose the country/territory from the provided list. 
      6. Click on “Find Test Location”. All the available locations shall be displayed on the screen.
      7. Choose your preferred test location and click on “Book Now”. This will lead to redirection to the local registration website of IDP or British Council.

Step 2- IELTS Registration-Online mode

      1. On your country’s page of IDP/ British Council page of your country/ territory, Select “Register For Test
      2. Select Test, Test city, test type. 
      3. Pick the Test Date from the list of available dates for a month. 
      4. Fill in the required details in the application form:

Personal Details:

Registration Details:

  1. Uploading the Documents
    • Candidates should upload the scanned images of the first and last page of the candidate’s passport. This is an optional step though. 
    • Files should be up to 1 MB in size in JPG, PNG. JPEG or PDF format.
  2. Review all the information filled. If any changes are required, use the“Edit Details” options and if not then click on “Proceed”

IELTS Registration-Offline mode

  1. Visit the official IELTS website –
  2. Click on “Book a Test
  3. Select “How do I register?” from the drop-down menu
  4. Click on “Download an Application Form”.
  5. The application form will open in a new window. Download it and fill in all the details asked.

Step 3 – IELTS Application Fee and Payment

  1. The Application fee for IELTS varies from country to country. It is charged in the local currency of the region a candidate is applying from. For eg: the IELTS Test fee in India is INR 13250.

    • Online Payment:
      • The option to pay the application fee online is only available for candidates filling the registration form online
      • Candidates can pay the fee using VISA/MASTER Debit or Credit Card or Netbanking.
    • Offline Payment –  In person:
      1. Visit the nearest offices of IDP or British Council
      2. Complete the online form online or a paper application with the assistance from the staff
      3. Fee payment can be made by credit card/ debit card or cash. Instant confirmation of reservation will be provided.
    • Offline Payment via courier:
      1. Candidates can complete the IELTS application form and send it by courier to your local IELTS Test Centre
      2. You can find the address for your local test center on the official website.

Enclosures to be sent with the IELTS Application Form

  1. In case of offline IELTS Registration, the documents to be sent with the application form vary according to the mode of application and mode of fee payment. The details can be found below:

    1. In case of online application and fee payment using a Credit or Debit card, there are
      • No documents required.
    2. In case of online application and fee payment by Cash or Demand Draft, the following documents must be sent with the application form:
      • A copy of the IELTS Test application acknowledgment (to be received after registering online).
      • Proof of fee payment made (either the demand draft or the ‘British Council copy’ of the ICICI payment slip).
    3. In case of offline application and fee payment by Cash or Demand Draft, the following documents must be sent with the application form:
      • The completed IELTS application form.
      • Proof of fee payment made

IELTS Exam Pattern

  • The IELTS Exam tests a candidate’s reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills in the English language.
    • The duration of the exam is 2 hours and 45 minutes.
    • The two types of IELTS- Academic and General Training, have the same Listening and Speaking section. The subject matter for Reading and Writing parts differs for both.
    • The Listening, Reading and Writing sections of the IELTS are completed on the same day without any breaks in between two sections. 
    • IELTS Speaking, however, can be taken up to a week a before or after the other three tests. You can approach your local test center to take advice on the same.

IELTS Speaking

  • IELTS Speaking test assesses a candidate’s fluency in spoken English. This is a face to face interview round between an examiner and the test taker. This component of IELTS is divided into 3 parts and every part is recorded. The duration of IELTS Speaking is 11-14 minutes.

    • Part 1: A candidate is asked general questions about himself/herself, his/her home, family, work, education, interests, and hobbies. This part lasts for 4-5 minutes.
    • Part 2: Candidate is given a card with a particular topic stated on it. The candidate is then given one minute to prepare himself and then to speak on the given topic for two minutes.
    • Part 3: Candidate is asked a question on the topic given in Part 2. Here, a candidate gets an opportunity to discuss more abstract ideas and issue with the examiner. This part lasts for 4-5 minutes

IELTS Listening

  • IELTS Listening test is 30 minutes long.  Candidates are required to listen to four separate recordings of native English speakers and answers a series of questions based on these recordings. 

    A candidates ability to comprehend the main idea and detailed factual information, opinions, and attitude of the speakers are tested in this test. 

    • Recording 1: It involves of an everyday conversation between two people in english. For eg. Two people talking about the weather.
    • Recording 2: It is a monologue framed in an everyday social scenario. For eg: A speech about local facilities for the public.
    • Recording 3: It is a conversation taking place between up to four people in an educational or training context in. For eg: A professor discussing an assignment with a group of three students.
    • Recording 4: It consists of a monologue on an educational/academic subject. For eg: A lecture in a philosophy class of some university.

IELTS Reading

  • IELTS Readingtest is of 60 minutes and consists of 40 questions created to test a candidate’s English Reading skills. The questions include reading for gist, reading for main ideas, reading for detail, skimming, understanding the logical argument and identifying writers’ opinions, attitude and purpose.

  • IELTS Academic Test:
    • This consists of three long texts which can be descriptive, factual, discursive and/or analytical.
    • These excerpts are taken from newspapers, journals, books, and magazines. 
    • The selected text is intended for a nonspecialist audience. These texts are appropriate for people seeking admissions into university courses and professional training.
  • IELTS General Training Test:
    • This contains three sections. Each section consists of extracts from books, magazines, newspapers, notices, advertisements, company handbooks and guidelines. 
    • It is intended for candidates applying for jobs in the English speaking countries.
    • The material used to prepare IELTS General Training Reading test is what a candidate likely encounters on a day-to-day basis in an English speaking domain.

IELTS Writing

  • The IELTS Writing test is 60 minutes long and consists of two compulsory tasks. The two tasks are designed to test candidates in English writing skills, grammar, etc. The answers are to be written in complete sentences in a paragraph and not as notes, phrases or in bullet points.

    • IELTS Academic Test:
      • Answers to both the tasks must be written in a formal language style.
      • Task 1: Candidates are presented with graphs, tables, charts or diagrams and are required to describe, summarise or explain the presented information in their own words.
      • Task 2: Candidates are required to write an essay in response to the point of view, argument or problem.
    • IELTS General Training Test:
      • Task 1: Candidates are given a situation and required to write a letter requestion information or explaining the presented situation. The writing style of the letter can be personal, formal or semi-formal.
      • Task 2: An essay is to be written in response to the point of view, argument or problem in the candidate’s own words (personal style).

IELTS Sample Papers

  • Sample papers are a must during the preparation of any exam, specially IELTS because of it’s unfamiliar exam structure. The benefits of going through sample papers are as follows:

    • You can strategize well during preparation if you’re aware of the test structure.
    • Sample papers help you identify your strengths and weaknesses.
    • You can have your test day tricks ready for a smooth process.
    • You can cope up better with issues like time limitations.

IELTS Exam Dates

  • IELTS is available on 48 dates for the Academic version and 24 dates for General Training Version throughout the year. It is the discretion of the candidates to choose when and where to take the IELTS Exam. The information regarding the can be accessed from any one of the following websites

    1. British Council IELTS
    2. IDP IELTS
    3. IELTS –official website

    Steps to be followed for this purpose through each website are provided below.

British Council IELTS

    1. Visit the official link: British 
    2. Click on “Register for IELTS
    3. Provide the test date, test city, and version of the exam in the left-hand box and click on “Submit
    4. Select the appropriate date and venue

IELTS-official website

    1. Visit the link: 
    2. Click on “Register for IELTS
    3. All available dates and cities will be shown
    4. Select the test date and venue according to your convenience


    1. Visit the official website 
    2. Under the “Register your Exam” head
    3. Choose the format-Academic or General
    4. Click on “Book Now
    5. You will be redirected to the page where you have to choose the IELTS Exam Date and Centres

Cancellation or Requesting a Transfer of IELTS Test Date

Request for cancellation or postponement of  IELTS test is available. The request, however, must be made strictly 5 weeks before the test date via email or in person only. Telephone cancellation or postponement will not be accepted.

  • Cancellation more than five weeks ahead of the test date will receive a full refund (less a 25% administrative fee)
  • Cancellation less than five weeks ahead of the test date you will receive no refund
  • Failure to appear for the test without notification is considered a cancellation, no refund will be issued, and you must register and pay again if you wish to take the test on another date*

Candidates seeking cancellation or transfer within the 5-week period prior to the test date, or those who fail to appear for their scheduled test, can receive a refund (less a 25% administrative fee) if they can provide evidence within 5 days that their ability to sit for the test has been affected by serious illness or cause:

  • Serious Illness – hospital admission or serious injury
  • Loss or Bereavement – the death of a close family member
  • Hardship/Trauma – victim of a crime, victim of a traffic accident
  • Military Service

Candidates are required to fill a “Request for Refund” or “Test Day Transfer Form” and attach appropriate documentation and/or evidence:

      • A medical certificate from a qualified medical practitioner
      • A death notice or certificate
      • A police report. 

IELTS Result

  • IELTS Score is declared 13 calendar days after the candidate sits/appears for the examination. Candidates can access the IELTS Score online as well as offline.
  • An official IELTS Test Report Form is made available tentatively after the aforementioned duration.
  • In case, a candidate applies for Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), he/she can earn two copies of the Test Report Form.
  • The acquired IELTS Score is valid for two years.

Information required to access IELTS Scores

To access IELTS Scores, the candidate must keep the following the information in hand:

  • Candidate’s Identification document number.
  • IELTS Exam candidate number provided during an examination at the test centre.
  • Date of IELTS exam.
  • Date of birth.

Following are the modes and related steps to access the IELTS score:

Online mode

The Test takers can avail the IELTS Scores from the British Council IELTS website or IELTS IDP website of their country. Candidates must follow the steps mentioned below to access their IELTS Result:

  1. Visit the website stated above.
  2. Click on Results on the British Council IELTS website/ IDP website. Log in using your passport number and date of birth.
  3. Enter your identification document number.
  4. Enter Candidate number, Date of birth, Date of IELTS exam. 
  5. IELTS Score shall be displayed on the screen. 

Offline mode

  • IELTS Test Report Form or TRF will be sent to the canidates13 days after the exam via post.
  • A copy TRF from the local test center of British Council or IDP can be availed by the candidate. 
  • For those who have applied for CIC i.e. Citizenship and Immigration Canada, two copies of TRF / Test Result Form can be provided.

How IELTS is Scored?

  • Each section of IELTS has a rough score out of 40. This is to help candidates estimate the number of answers they got right.
  • Each rough score is then converted to Band Score out of 9.
  • This is then compiled into an Overall Band Score on a scale of 1-9.

IELTS Conversion Table

The Rough Score Equivalent of Band Score of each section is given in the table below:

IELTS Band Scale

IELTS is scored on a nine-band scale, with each band corresponding to a specified level of proficiency in the English Language. The table below enlists the Band Score and Skill level corresponding to that band score:

Minimum IELTS Score Required for issuing Visa

IELTS Score is used by English speaking countries like the UK, New Zealand, Australia, Canada to issue visas for educational, professional and immigration purposes. They have set a minimum score at which any visa will be granted.

United Kingdom

New Zealand



Canada has set a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) as the national standards for describing, measuring, and recognising proficiency in the English language. The IELTS equivalent of CLB is given in the table below:

The table below shows the minimum level of CLB required to acquire various types of visas in Canada:


Ques. What if I miss my IELTS exam for a medical reason, will I get a refund?

Ques.  Is there any negative marking in IELTS?

Ques. Who takes IELTS General Training test?

Ques.  Do I have to pay additonal fees for sending my scores to universities?

Ques.  Can I postpone my IELTS test?

Ques.  What is the eligibility for IELTS?

Ques.  When can I retake IELTS?

Ques.  How is IELTS scored?

Akhilesh Kumar
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