What is IELTS?

IELTS is the world's most popular English language certification test. It has been developed by some of the world's leading experts in English language testing and assesses your level of English in all skills: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking.

The IELTS English test reflects your ability to study, work and live in an English-speaking environment. You can take this English test at any of our official IELTS centers worldwide.

What is the IELTS English test for?

  • To apply for jobs and pursue university studies abroad
  • To support a visa application to live in an English-speaking country
  • To certify your level of English upon graduation from high school or university
  • To get a better job or a promotion in Peru

Who accepts the IELTS English test?

The IELTS test is the English language certification test with the widest coverage abroad. Today, more than 12,500 organizations in 140 countries rely on the IELTS English test.

So when you choose this certification of your level of English, you can be sure that it will be recognized by educational institutions, employers, governments, and professional bodies around the world, 3,000 of which are located in the United States.

► See which organizations accept the IELTS English test

How does the IELTS test work?

The IELTS English test has been developed by some of the world's leading language testing experts and tests all four language skills (Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking). The IELTS Listening and IELTS Speaking tests are the same for all candidates. However, the Reading and Writing tests vary between the IELTS Academic test and the IELTS General Training test.

The Listening, Reading and Writing sections of the IELTS English test are taken on the same day. The order in which these tests are taken may vary. There are no breaks between these three tests. The Speaking test can be taken on the same day as the other sections or during the week before or after the date you have selected for your written IELTS English test.

► Learn more about IELTS test results and scores

Which IELTS English test is right for you? 

The IELTS English test you should choose will depend on your objectives:

  • IELTS Academic Test: If you are going to study higher education or apply for a job in an English-speaking environment, this is the IELTS certificate that you must obtain. It reflects some of the characteristics of academic language and certifies whether you have the level of English required to start studying or training.
  • IELTS General Training Test: If you are emigrating to an English-speaking country or want to train or study at a non-university level, this is the IELTS certificate for you. It measures your English language proficiency in a practical, everyday context.
  • IELTS UKVI test: If you need to support a UK visa application to work, live or study in the UK, you may need to take the IELTS Academic or General Training for UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) test, or the IELTS Life Skills test.

Please note that each organization sets its own requirements. In some cases, both the IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training certificates may be accepted. If you are in doubt about which module to choose, contact the organization you are applying to to check their requirements.

► Find out which IELTS English level test is right for you

Why take your IELTS English test with the British Council?

Find out more about the IELTS English test

If you want to know more about this English level test, read our section in spanish here

In this section