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IELTS Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: Am I required to take the IELTS?

A: Probably, if you are not a native English speaker. Some universities in the United States require or prefer the TOEFL.

Q: Where can I take the IELTS?

A: The IELTS is available at about 1,100 test centers in 140 countries, usually in or around major cities.

Q: How often is the IELTS offered?

A: As many as four times per month and 48 times per year, but availability at individual test centers may be less.

Q: Are there any limits to the number of times I can take the IELTS?

A: Students may take the IELTS as many times as they wish. There are no limits on the total number of test attempts or the number of attempts allowed within a given calendar year. There is also no waiting period to re-register for the exam.

Q: How long should I plan on preparing for the IELTS?

A: This depends on the level of your English, but we recommend at least two months for all students.

Q: What are the IELTS score ranges?

A: Each paper is awarded a band score of 0 to 9 in half-point increments. The total band score is the average of these four paper scores.

Q: What are the most common IELTS scores required by universities?

A: The average is probably about 6 or 6.5, but requirements usually range from 5.5 to 7.0. A few schools may expect higher scores.

Q: What is the average IELTS score for all test-takers?

A: According to IELTS, the mean total band scores are about 5.9 (academic) and 6.2 (general training).

Q: How widely is the IELTS accepted?

A: IELTS acceptance is universal in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. Most (though not all) universities in the United States will consider IELTS scores.

Q: What's the best book for IELTS study?

A: The most reliable source is the Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS for Academic and General Training.

Q: Aside from universities, who else uses the IELTS?

A: IELTS scores may be used to qualify for immigration visas in some countries, and the test may also satisfy the language requirement for professional licenses (the general training and life skills tests are most often used for these purposes).

Q: How do I learn about IELTS policies and procedures?

A: The IELTS website provides downloadable documents that describe the rules for registration and testing.