IELTS – International English Language Testing System

IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is an English test which measures the language ability of people who want to live, study or work where English is used as the language of communication and it is internationally recognized. IELTS is accepted for immigration purposes by all countries that require one.

Over 3 million tests are taken each year! More than 10,000 organizations in 140 countries accept IELTS, including government, academic and employment institutions from USA, Australia, Canada, UK, New Zealand and Europe.

Difference between IELTS Academic and IELTS General

There are two types of the IELTS test:  IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training. 
IELTS Academic is usually required for educational purposes whereas IELTS General Training is usually required for immigration purposes.
The difference between both versions is the content, context and purpose of the tasks. All other features, such as timing allocation, length of written responses and reporting of scores, are the same.

Test Format

The Test Format is paper-based. There are four components: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking.

The Listening, Reading and Writing components of all IELTS tests are completed on the same day, with no breaks in between them.

The Speaking component, however, can be completed up to a week before or after the other tests.

The total test time is 2 hours and 45 minutes.

 

Test format – Listening

Test format – Listening
Length: 30 minutes

You will listen to four recordings of native English speakers and then write your answers to a series of questions.

  • Recording 1 – a conversation between two people set in an everyday social context.
  • Recording 2 – a monologue set in an everyday social context, e.g. a speech about local facilities.
  • Recording 3 – a conversation between up to four people set in an educational or training context, e.g. a university tutor and a student discussing an assignment.
  • Recording 4 – a monologue on an academic subject, e.g. a university lecture.

Assessors will be looking for evidence of your ability to understand the main ideas and detailed factual information, the opinions and attitudes of speakers, the purpose of an utterance and evidence of your ability to follow the development of ideas.

Test format – Reading

Test format – Reading
Length: 60 minutes

The Reading component consists of 40 questions, designed to test a wide range of reading skills. These include reading for gist, reading for main ideas, reading for detail, skimming, understanding logical argument and recognising writers’ opinions, attitudes and purpose.

IELTS Academic test – this includes three long texts which range from the descriptive and factual to the discursive and analytical. These are taken from books, journals, magazines and newspapers. They have been selected for a non-specialist audience but are appropriate for people entering university courses or seeking professional registration.

IELTS General Training test – this includes extracts from books, magazines, newspapers, notices, advertisements, company handbooks and guidelines. These are materials you are likely to encounter on a daily basis in an English-speaking environment.

Test format – Academic Writing

Test format – Academic Writing
Length: 60 minutes

IELTS Academic test – Topics are of general interest to, and suitable for, test takers entering undergraduate and postgraduate studies or seeking professional registration. There are two tasks:

  • Task 1 – you will be presented with a graph, table, chart or diagram and asked to describe, summarise or explain the information in your own words. You may be asked to describe and explain data, describe the stages of a process, how something works or describe an object or event.
  • Task 2 – you will be asked to write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem. Responses to both tasks must be in a formal style.

IELTS General Training – Topics are of general interest. There are two tasks:

  • Task 1 – you will be presented with a situation and asked to write a letter requesting information, or explaining the situation. The letter may be personal, semi-formal or formal in style.
  • Task 2 – you will be asked to write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem. The essay can be fairly personal in style.

Test format – Speaking

Test format – Speaking
Length: 11–14 minutes

The speaking component assesses your use of spoken English. Every test is recorded.

  • Part 1 – the examiner will ask you general questions about yourself and a range of familiar topics, such as home, family, work, studies and interests. This part lasts between four and five minutes.
  • Part 2 – you will be given a card which asks you to talk about a particular topic. You will have one minute to prepare before speaking for up to two minutes. The examiner will then ask one or two questions on the same topic.
  • Part 3 – you will be asked further questions about the topic in Part 2. These will give you the opportunity to discuss more abstract ideas and issues. This part of the test lasts between four and five minutes.

Preparation

Preparation Centres

The Asociación Escola Rosalía de Castro is the authorized Cambridge Assessment English Examination Center ES269. As such, it does not impart classes for other students than from the Escola Rosalía de Castro, thus maintaining its independence and support for all its Preparation Centers.

There are many centers which have put their trust in us and which are part of our network. In this section you can find information about them and find the one you are looking for to receive professional training and quality advice during the preparation of your exam. Find your Preparation Center by using our search engine.

If you want to be part of the network and become a preparation center and obtain your advertising space on our website, please contact us by calling us at 986 420 433 or by emailing us: cambridge@escolarosaliadecastro.edu.es.

Resources

There are lots of free resources and sample test questions available. Following the links, you only have to select which paper you would like to practice:
http://www.cambridgeenglish.org/exams-and-tests/ielts/preparation/
https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/cambridge-english-ielts/1

Results

Results will be available 13 days after the test. Test centers are not permitted to give results out over the phone or by scan or email. A preview of your results is available online 13 days after the test and will remain online for 28 days. Please note that the online preview of your results should not be used as an official confirmation of your performance.

There is no pass or fail in IELTS. You are graded on your performance in the test, using scores from 1–9 for each part of the test: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. Your results from the four parts then produce an overall score.

All parts of the test and the overall band score can be reported in whole and half bands, e.g. 6.5, 7.0, 7.5, 8.0. A half band score indicates a strong performance at a particular band level. For example, if you score an overall band score of 6.5, you have performed strongly within the Band 6 level.

The IELTS 9-band scale
Each band corresponds to a level of English competence.

BandDescription
Band 9: Expert userHas fully operational command of the language: appropriate, accurate and fluent with complete understanding.
Band 8: Very good userHas fully operational command of the language with only occasional unsystematic inaccuracies and inappropriacies. Misunderstandings may occur in unfamiliar situations. Handles complex detailed argumentation well.
Band 7: Good userHas operational command of the language, though with occasional inaccuracies, inappropriacies and misunderstandings in some situations. Generally handles complex language well and understands detailed reasoning.
Band 6: Competent user Has operational command of the language, though with occasional inaccuracies, inappropriacies and misunderstandings in some situations. Generally handles complex language well and understands detailed reasoning.
Band 5: Modest user Has generally effective command of the language despite some inaccuracies, inappropriacies and misunderstandings. Can use and understand fairly complex language, particularly in familiar situations.
Band 4: Limited user Has partial command of the language, coping with overall meaning in most situations, though is likely to make many mistakes. Should be able to handle basic communication in own field.
Band 3: Extremely limited user Basic competence is limited to familiar situations. Has frequent problems in understanding and expression. Is not able to use complex language.
Band 2: Intermittent user Conveys and understands only general meaning in very familiar situations. Frequent breakdowns in communication occur.
Band 1: Non-user Essentially has no ability to use the language beyond possibly a few isolated words.
Band 0: Did not attempt the testNo assessable information provided.

At what level of the European Framework is the examination equivalent?

To help test users understand the relationship between IELTS band scores and the six CEFR levels, Cambridge Assessment English has conducted several studies to map the IELTS 9-band scale to the CEFR, drawing on the interrelationship between IELTS and other Cambridge Assessment English qualifications and the known relationship of these latter qualifications to the CEFR.

 

What is the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages)?

To find out more, follow the links below:

http://www.cambridgeenglish.org/exams/cambridge-english-scale/

http://europass.cedefop.europa.eu/es/resources/european-language-levels-cefr

Test Dates in Vigo and Registration

Test fee: € 212

Test dateIELTS AcademicIELTS GeneralLast registration dayResults
Saturday, December 1stRegistration ACRegistration GTTuesday, Noviembre 27thFriday, December 14th
Saturday, March 23thRegistration ACRegistration GTTuesday, March 17thFriday, April 5th
Saturday, July 27th


Important notes:
The registration process consists of several steps, all indispensable:
Fill the form, upload your ID and choose the payment method.
Payments must be made within 24 hours after registration.
Registrations will only be considered valid when payment of the full price has been received.
To avoid errors in the issuance of final certificates, it is very important that you pay special attention when covering your data. The Asociación Escola Rosalia de Castro is not responsible for spelling errors or accents in the certificates.

Candidates who apply for the Academic IELTS and General IELTS tests must be photographed at the center at the same day of the exam. The photograph will appear on the certificate.

The availability of exams is related to a minimum number of registered candidates. The Escola Rosalía de Castro Association reserves the right, in case of not reaching this minimum, to cancel the exam. In this case the Escola Rosalía will reimburse the registration fee to the candidates enrolled in the test not held.

 

Librería IELTS – International English Language Testing System