IELTS Exam 2023– Best Guide to Latest Syllabus, Types, Registration & Fees

Share this post

The International English Language Testing System or IELTS is intended to make it easier for you to study, work, or immigrate to English-speaking countries like the UK, the USA, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand are among these nations. 

More than 3 million students take IELTS annually, and more than 11,000 organisations recognise IELTS scores, including colleges, schools, and immigration officials.

The exam scores show that the students won’t encounter any communication issues in the country during their stay as they reflect a good command of the English language. In the blog, we have shared a detailed guide on the types of IELTS examinations you can take, the exam pattern, fees, and dates.

IELTS Exam: An Overview

IELTS examines listening, reading, speaking, and writing as the primary English language skills. You can give the IELTS exam in two ways: computer-based and paper-based. For computer-based tests: listening, writing, and reading are conducted virtually.

But the speaking test is performed in front of a certified IELTS examiner.  There are two types of IELTS scores, the overall band and section band scores. The Overall Band Score is the average of the four section scores and is rounded to the nearest whole. In contrast, the Section Band Scores are the scores acquired in each IELTS test section.

Before learning more about the score criteria, let’s check out some key facts about the exam:

Crack IELTS Exam in first attempt

Attend Leap’s free masterclass to get tips, tricks and advance strategies to crack IELTS exam in first attempt

IELTS Exam 2023– Best Guide to Latest Syllabus, Types, Registration & Fees
  • IDP administers all IELTS exams in India. The British Council has stopped since July 25, 2021.
  • The IELTS Computer-Based test is available three times a day, 7 days a week, and the results are available in 3-5 days. At the same time, the IELTS Paper-based exam results are released after 13 calendar days.
  • The Academic IELTS exam is offered four times monthly, whereas the General Training IELTS exam is offered twice a month. A total of 48 academic and 24 general training tests are administered annually.

Why is the IELTS exam required? 

With 379 million speakers globally, English is the third most widely spoken language. IELTS assesses a wide range of English language abilities, such as speaking, listening, writing, and reading. The exam aims to prepare candidates for situations they may encounter in the real world, such as interacting with international students at college, coworkers, or even travelling abroad.

Crack IELTS Exam in first attempt

IELTS Exam 2023– Best Guide to Latest Syllabus, Types, Registration & Fees

Attend Leap’s free masterclass to get tips, tricks and advance strategies to crack IELTS exam in first attempt

For the following reasons, the IELTS test is necessary if you intend to pursue a career abroad:

1. IELTS Academic is mandatory for Students 

IELTS scores, a degree, and academic performance are equally required for admission. The higher the university ranking, the higher the IELTS score requirement. Foreign universities consider these IELTS scores at the undergraduate, graduate, and professional levels to determine if a student can keep up with the program’s medium of instruction, i.e. English.

 IELTS scores are required for courses that are taught in English in many non-English speaking nations as well. Universities typically set minimum IELTS requirements for applicants to be considered for admission.

Over 3,400 USA institutes recognise IELTS; 600 UK universities; 42 Australian universities accept IELTS scores of 5.5 or above; over 89 universities in Canada accept 6.5 IELTS scores and above; and 8 universities in New Zealand accept 5.5 scores and above.

If you want to get the above scores and go to your desired country, you need consistent preparation. The IELTS prep app by LeapScholar can be your prep assistant throughout the process. You will get access to guidance from the most efficient IELTS counsellors. Join us, download our IELTS prep app and get access to the timed mock tests, question types, samples and specially crafted lessons

2. IELTS for Immigration

The IELTS test is a part of the application process used by government agencies to seek citizenship or Permanent Residency (PR). They look at how well people can fit into society and the workforce and how strongly language proficiency smoothens the process.

If you want to immigrate to nations like Australia, Canada, New Zealand, or the UK, you might need to take the IELTS test. Immigration officials may ask you for proof of your English language proficiency if you intend to immigrate to an English-speaking nation. 

3. IELTS for employment opportunities

The most important reason, a high IELTS score is required to be granted a work visa. Large brands and organisations need an excellent IELTS score because communication is a fundamental skill for employment. Developed nations like the USA, Australia, Europe, Canada, and the UK value a high IELTS score when offering employment opportunities.

Types of IELTS Exams

The three types of IELTS exams can be taken online or offline:

1. IELTS Academic

This format is suitable for students wanting to pursue higher education in an English-speaking University. It is also ideal for professional registration purposes. 

2. IELTS General Training 

It is suitable for candidates pursuing studies below the degree level, including in schools and colleges. IELTS general training is also helpful for work experience or employment training.

3. IELTS UKVI

The IELTS for UK Visas and Immigration (IELTS UKVI) is a government-approved Secure English Language Test (SLET) required for work, study, and immigration purposes in the UK. This means that IELTS can verify your English language proficiency in support of a UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) application.

Other IELTS tests are available for the UK immigration process, like the IELTS Life Skills A1, IELTS Life Skills A2, and IELTS Life Skills B1. IELTS Life Skills A1 is for people applying to UK Visas “family of a settled person” visas IELTS Life Skills A2 is about applying for a UK visa and immigration for a family, spouse, or partner visa. IELTS Life Skills B1 is for indefinite leave to remain or get UK citizenship.

Similarities and differences between the types of IELTS Exam

Types of IELTS ExamSimilaritiesDifference
IELTS AcademicIELTS Academic and General Training both contain four sections: listening, speaking, reading, and writing.The academic test covers subjects more suited to academic or professional settings, like periodicals.
IELTS General TrainingThe listening section of the IELTS Academic and General Training is similar and lasts for 30 minutes.It includes topics on general interest tests, including newspapers, advertising, and announcements.
IELTS UKVIIn terms of format, subject matter, scoring, and degree of difficulty, IELTS UKVI is similar to IELTS.The Test Report Form that contains your results will be slightly altered. To show you have taken the test from an official IELTS UKVI location that the UK Home Office approves.

IELTS Test Format

IELTS Listening, Reading, and Writing tests are conducted on the same day, while the Speaking test is taken up to a week before or after the exam day. The total exam duration is 2 hours and 45 minutes. Let’s look at each of the four academic and general training modules.

1. IELTS Reading Test

  • Academic: You must read three passages and answer 40 questions in 60 minutes. The tasks are designed to test a wide range of skills, such as reading for gist, skimming, reading for detail and main ideas, recognising the author’s perspective and attitude, understanding logical arguments, etc.
  • General Training: The IELTS Reading section for General Training also has a 60-minute time limit. There are three sections. The first consists of two or three short texts, while the second comprises two tests. There is one long text in the third section. 
IELTS exam

2. IELTS Writing Test

  • Academic: This section consists of two tasks. The test format is suitable for candidates interested in enrolling in postgraduate and undergraduate courses or seeking professional registration. The time allotment for completing the two tasks is 60 minutes.
  • In Task 1, you will need to describe a form of visual information (graph, chart, or diagram) in your own words and write around 150 words in 20 minutes. For Task 2, you will need to write an essay responding to an argument, view, or problem. The writing style for both these tasks needs to be formal.
  • General Training: Topics are of general interest, and the time allotted is 60 minutes. You will need to complete two tasks in this timeframe. The writing style can be personal. Task 1 will require you to respond to a given situation by writing a letter, requesting information, or explaining the problem or situation. Task 2 will entail writing an essay responding to a view or crisis.

 3. IELTS Listening Test

  •  Academic: The four sections of the academic listening test take 30 minutes to complete. Here you will listen to 4 recordings and then respond to 40 questions based on them.
  • The first two recordings cover topics you might encounter in daily life. However, the final two recordings concentrate on scenarios that could happen in an educational or training setting.
  • General Training: The General Training IELTS Listening Test will evaluate your ability to comprehend the main points, specifics, viewpoints, goals, and attitudes of the speakers, as well as your capacity to trace the evolution of ideas. The rest is similar to the general training listening test, i.e., you must listen to 4 recordings and respond to 40 questions. 

 4. IELTS Speaking Test

  •  Academic: The IELTS Academic Speaking Test will evaluate your ability to speak English fluently, consists of three sections and has a time limit of 11 to 15 minutes. All speaking tests are recorded and are given face-to-face with an IELTS examiner. This section is an interview between the examiner and the student.
  • General Training: The IELTS General Training Speaking test has three components and lasts between 11 and 14 minutes. This section involves the interaction between the examiner and the student.

IELTS Exam Pattern and Syllabus 2022

SectionSyllabusQuestion DistributionDuration
Listening– 4 sections
– Monologues, dialogues
– Multiple choice
– Short answers
– Note completion, sentence completion
– Labels and diagrams, etc.
40 questions based on 4 recordings30 mins
Reading– Multiple Choice, Summary completion
– Matching list or phrases
– Note completion
– Flow chart completion
– Identify the author’s view or attitude
40 questions60 mins
Writing– Writing Test – 1 1 (Diagram, Tables, Graph)
– Writing Task – 2 (Formal Essay Writing – Arguments or opinions with relevant examples)
2 questions
– Writing task (Minimum 150 words)
– Essay (minimum 250 words)
60 mins
Speaking– Personal Interview
– Little Speech and discussion
3 questions
– Part 1: Questions and Answers
– Part 2: Speaking on a familiar topic in detail
– Part 3: Structure discussion
11-14 mins

Eligibility Criteria for IELTS Exam

  • Applicants need to have a valid passport.
  • Standards for IELTS eligibility have not been established by the IDP. The IELTS IDP exam is open to everyone who desires to pursue higher education or employment abroad (Academic and General Training). No bar is set regarding race, gender, country, or religion.
  • Before applying, candidates should thoroughly review the organisation’s or institution’s eligibility conditions. 
  • Younger applicants (16 and younger) are not encouraged to apply. But if they choose to, they can take the exam.

IELTS Exam Registration process

IELTS registration is available online or offline at the nearby IDP branch.

1. Visit www.ieltsidpindia.com

2. Click the “Register for IELTS” option

3. Select a preferred test IELTS computer or paper-based (IELTS, IELTS for UKVI or Life Skills)

4. Choose your test module: A1 or B1 for Life Skills, Academic or General Training for IELTS, and IELTS for UKVI

5. Select the test centre

6. Choose from the list of dates & times that fit your preferences

7. Complete your online application by entering the necessary information

8. To finish the process, upload a clear, colour copy of your passport9. Pay your IELTS exam fee

IELTS Exam Fees

The IELTS exam fee varies according to the test type. Detailed information is added in the table below: 

IELTS Exam TypeExam Fees (INR)
IELTS Academic₹ 15,500
IELTS General Training₹ 15,500
IELTS Computer-Based₹ 15,500
IELTS UKVI Computer-Based₹ 15,750
IELTS Paper-Based₹ 15,500
IELTS Life Skills (A1 and B1)₹ 14600
IELTS for UKVI₹ 15,750

Payment Mode For IELTS Exam Fee in India

 The IELTS fee can be paid in the following ways: 

  1. Net Banking, Credit or Debit Card (Visa or Master)
  2. Bank deposits must be made in ICICI Bank or HDFC Bank. 
  3. Demand Draft must be drawn as “IDP EDUCATION INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED, New Delhi”

Rechecking Fee For IELTS Exam

You can request a recheck if you are dissatisfied with your IELTS scores within six weeks of the test dates. You must complete the application process and submit ₹ 11,625 as a rechecking fee. 

IELTS Exam Rescheduling or Cancellation Fee

Medical emergency or last-moment cancellation? You need to know these points if you are expecting a refund. 

  1. You will get a refund less the administrative fee if you move your test date or cancel more than five weeks before the test date.
  2. Unless you have a medical reason, you will be charged the entire price if you reschedule or cancel within five weeks of the test date.
  3. If you submit a medical certificate within five days of the test date, you will be given a refund minus the local administration fee.

IELTS Exam Results

  • The result of the IELTS computer-based test usually takes 3-5 days after the test, and the paper-based test takes 13 days after the exam.
  • For IELTS UKVI, the result will be out in 13 days, and for IELTS Life Skills within seven days after the written test. 

IELTS Exam Updates 2023

Recently, IELTS Online has been introduced, where you can take the test from the comfort of your home. You have freedom regarding where and when you can take your test.

It contains the same topics and features as IELTS tests taken in a testing facility on paper or computer. The IELTS Online test’s Listening, Reading, and Writing sections are administered similarly to the IELTS computer test. But an accredited IELTS examiner will make an online video call for the Speaking test. 

Only a small number of nations, including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Cameroon, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, Columbia, Ecuador, Egypt, France, Germany, Ghana, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Italy, Jamaica, Macao, Malaysia, Morocco, Myanmar, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Ukraine, and Zimbabwe, offer IELTS Online.

IELTS experts said there is rising demand for the IELTS Online, which offers the same features and substance as the IELTS Academic test-centre version but with more flexibility.

Upcoming IELTS Exam Dates 2023

You need time to prepare for taking the IELTS Academic, General Training, or UKVI tests. By booking your test date in advance, you will have time to prepare or a higher chance of earning a good band score. We have listed below the IELTS test dates for October, November, and December: 

February 2023

Test DatesTest Type
Saturday, 4 FebruaryAcademic
Saturday, 11 FebruaryAcademic and General Training
Thursday, 16 FebruaryAcademic
Saturday, 25 FebruaryAcademic and General Training

March 2023

Test DatesTest Type
Thursday, 2 MarchAcademic
Saturday, 11 MarchAcademic and General Training
Saturday, 18 MarchAcademic
Saturday, 25 MarchAcademic and General Training

April 2023

Test DatesTest Type
Saturday, 1 AprilAcademic and General Training
Saturday, 15 AprilAcademic
Thursday, 20 AprilAcademic
Saturday, 29 AprilAcademic and General Training

May 2023

Test DatesTest Type
Saturday, 06 MayAcademic
Thursday, 11 MayAcademic and General Training
Saturday, 20 MayAcademic
Saturday, 27 MayAcademic and General Training

Here is a final fact-sharing, you can schedule the computer-based IELTS speaking test within 5 days before your Listening, Reading, and Writing (LRW) test date. Additionally, a slot within 7 days before or after your Writing, Reading, and Listening (WRL) exam can be booked for the IELTS Speaking test, which is administered on paper.

Concluding the blog with a few handy LeapScholar’s IELTS preparation tips- Don’t memorise; solve the easy questions first; use a wide range of grammatical structure; ask for clarification if any doubt arises during the speaking test, and practice well before the exam. Or simply join Leap’s IELTS courses to ensure your performance is strong on the test day.

After joining, you will have access to daily live courses, study materials, writing and speaking assessments, mock tests, class recordings, a certificate of completion, grammar classes, and one-on-one doubt clarification with India’s Best Educators. If you are yet to apply for a visa or cannot decide which University to choose, book a demo with Leap’s Expert Counsellors to get all your study-abroad journey sorted. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the purpose of an IELTS exam?

    IELTS is a language proficiency test to assess your proficiency in English and serves as a crucial certificate of your English language comprehension skills. The purpose of the IELTS exam is to provide an objective and reliable assessment of an individual’s English language proficiency, helping various institutions and organizations make informed decisions regarding education, employment, immigration, and more.

  • What is the passing score for IELTS?

    IELTS does not have a passing or minimum score. The raw points are converted into a band score for easy interpretation. Every university has its own minimum band score requirement. The IELTS exam does not have a pass or fail score. Instead of a pass/fail system, IELTS provides test-takers with a score on a scale of 1 to 9 for each of the four language skills: Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking. These individual scores are then averaged to calculate an overall band score.

  • How to apply for the IELTS exam 2023?

    You can book your IELTS exam, preferred date and slot by either visiting the nearest IDP branch or by logging in to the IELTS India website. You can select your test type and slot by providing details. Visit the official IELTS website or contact your local IELTS test center to find out where and when the IELTS exam is offered in your area.
    Decide whether you need to take the Academic or General Training version of the IELTS exam based on your purposes, such as academic study, work, or immigration. Many test centers allow you to register for the IELTS exam online through their website. Follow the instructions provided on the website to create an account and complete the registration process. You will need to provide personal information, choose the test date and location, and pay the exam fee.

  • Can I take IELTS online test from home?

    Yes, you can take IELTS Indicator, the new IELTS online test introduced by the IELTS administration. You can take this exam online from your home. You just need to have the equipment set up as asked by the IELTS administrator

  • How many times is the IELTS conducted every year?

    There is no fixed number for the IELTS exam. It is conducted several times every year to allow the students to choose a date and attempt the test whenever they are exam ready. The IELTS exam is typically conducted multiple times throughout the year. The exact number of test dates can vary depending on the location and demand in a particular region. Generally, IELTS test centers aim to offer the exam on a regular basis to accommodate the needs of test-takers.

  • Is 7 a good IELTS score?

    IELTS band scores decide your level of competence in English. So, if you have scored 7 or more then you are marked as a good user of the language. A band score of 7 on the IELTS exam is generally considered a “Good User” level of English proficiency according to the IELTS band descriptors. This means that you have a reasonably good command of the English language and should be able to handle most communication situations in English.

  • Can I reschedule my IELTS test?

    If you want to change the date of your IELTS Exam, you need to request a transfer up to five weeks before the originally booked test date. Yes, in most cases, you can reschedule your IELTS test if you need to change the test date. The ability to reschedule, as well as the specific policies and procedures for doing so, can vary depending on the test center and the country you are taking the test in.

  • Where can I find official IELTS study materials?

    Official IELTS study materials, including practice tests, sample questions, and study guides, can be found on the official IELTS website. These resources are designed to help test-takers prepare for the exam and familiarize themselves with the test format and content.

  • What is considered a good IELTS score?

    A “good” IELTS score depends on the purpose of the test and the requirements of the institution or organization you are applying to. A band score of 7 is generally considered a “Good User” level, indicating a strong command of the English language. However, some universities or programs might require higher scores, especially for competitive admission.

  • How is IELTS scored?

    IELTS is scored on a nine-band scale, with each band representing a level of language proficiency. The four components of the test—Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking—are individually scored on this scale. The scores are then averaged to calculate an overall band score, which is used to evaluate a test-taker’s English proficiency.

  • Is there a pass or fail in IELTS?

    IELTS does not have a pass or fail result. Instead, you receive a band score for each skill and an overall band score. Institutions and organizations set their own requirements for minimum band scores based on their specific needs.

  • How long is the IELTS exam?

    The total duration of the IELTS exam varies. The Listening section takes approximately 30 minutes, Reading takes 60 minutes, and Writing takes 60 minutes. The Speaking test is conducted separately and usually lasts around 11 to 14 minutes. Thus, the total test time is approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes.

Avatar photo
Manisha Angre

Experienced IELTS prep trainer and education management industry veteran. Specializes in public speaking, international education, market research, mentoring, and management.

Articles: 136