IELTS is the International English Language Testing System. It measures ability to communicate in English across all four language skills - listening, reading, writing and speaking - for people who intend to study or work where English is the language of communication.
IELTS was established in 1989 and is now used worldwide to provide an effective test of language ability based on real life situations in English. More than 700,000 people a year are now using IELTS to gain a recognised level in terms of language skills. The test is taken every year across 120 countries and provides a final grade based on the integrity, research and innovation of this testing body. Regular analysis is conducted on test materials to ensure that IELTS remains fair and unbiased regardless of nationality, background, gender or lifestyle. Regular analysis is also conducted on the test takers' performance to ensure that it produces accurate assessments for every student. Studies are also carried out by external bodies.
IELTS is internationally available and internationally recognised. Having an IELTS grade enables students, for example, to start university and doctors to obtain a teaching post. It is widely trusted as a valid indicator of ability to communicate in English.
Comprehensive information on how IELTS is marked and what the band scores mean is made available.