IELTS is designed to assess the ability of candidates who need to study, work or live where English is used as the language of communication. IELTS is accepted by educational institutions in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Canada, the USA and other countries, as evidence of the language skills necessary for entry to university or college courses.
Many other organisations around the world use IELTS scores for a range of purposes – from immigration to recruitment and entry to training courses. Millions of candidates who have taken the test in the past two decades have benefited from better life opportunities.

Four key language skills

IELTS assesses the ability of candidates to use English effectively in the four key language skill areas - listening, reading, writing and speaking as well as their knowledge of grammar and vocabulary in the context of language use.

There are four modules that correspond with the four key language skill areas. All candidates take the same Listening and Speaking modules, but they can choose to take either the Academic or General Training Reading and Writing modules.

The Academic modules assess candidates' ability to use the kind of language needed to follow a course of study - for example, following complex arguments, discussing abstract ideas and concepts and dealing with information effectively.

The General Training modules assess a broader range of language skills. They are more suited to candidates wanting to take work-related training courses, complete their secondary education or work in an English speaking country.