The IELTS exam is a system for evaluating a candidate’s English proficiency level. Candidates who want to go for higher education in foreign countries or aim for global migration, have to appear on this test and get a good band score.

The British Council and IDP organize the language proficiency test. The test is conducted in 140 countries and has more than 1200 test centres.

Students who want to go abroad for higher studies have to prepare for the IELTS Academic exam. IELTS General Training is for those who are willing to shift to a foreign country for professional reasons. Read this article to know how many years an IELTS score is valid.

IELTS- International English Language Testing System

The IELTS or International English Language Testing System is a standardized English proficiency test for non-native English speakers. It is co-owned by the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australian and Cambridge Assessment English. It is one of the most popular and major English language tests in the world.

It is widely accepted by more than 11,000 organizations in different English speaking nations. Moreover, it is the only language accepted to immigrate or apply for a visa in the UK. It is also accepted for immigration in Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

Candidates are given band scores ranging from band 1 to 9 according to their performance. There are no such passing marks in it.

Exam Name IELTS
IELTS full form International English Language Testing System
Official Website
Conducted by IDP Education Ltd.
Mode of Exam Computer and Paper-based test
IELTS Fee Rs. 14,700
Score Range On a scale of 1 (the lowest) to 9 (the highest)
IELTS Contact # British Council

0120-4569000 / 0120-6684353, Mon-Sat 09.00 to 18.00

Email: [email protected]

# IDP Head Office

+91-124-4445999/ 1800-102-4544

Email: [email protected]

Also Read: Best Online IELTS Preparation Course: How You Can Prepare for IELTS at Home using Online Resources

Types of IELTS

There are two major types of IELTS based on its usage, IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training. These tests aim to test the ability of the test takers.

# The IELTS Academic version is taken by candidates who want to continue their higher studies or seek a professional certificate in any English speaking country.

# The IELTS General Training version is designed for test-takers who want to work, train, study at secondary school or simply migrate to an English speaking country.

Features of IELTS

Both IELTS Academic and General Training incorporates the following features:

# The IELTS exam is designed to test the ability of the test taker to listen, read, write and speak.

# The most important section of IELTS is the Speaking module. It is similar for both types and consists of an interview with the examiner.

# There are a variety of accents and writing styles incorporated in the test. This includes British, Australian, New Zealander and American.

# The IELTS exam is designed by experts at Cambridge English Language Assessment with other experts from other nations.

# Candidates are scored in-band scale scores ranging from 0 to 9.

IELTS Exam Pattern

Candidates preparing for the exam, no matter if Academic or General, have to go through four sectional tests.

Section Types of Questions Time Allotted Number of Questions
Listening # Multichoice

# Diagram label

# Sentence completion

# Summary completion

30 minutes 40 questions
Writing # Multiple choice

# Sentence completion

# Summary completion

# Matching features

# Matching headings

60 minutes 40 questions
Reading Two writing tasks 60 minutes 2 questions
Speaking Three parts: Interview, Cue card and discussion 11-15 minutes Varies

Candidates have to prepare for all these four sections as well as the overall band score will be counted based on the average marks of these sections.

All the sections are conducted on the same day for 2 hours 45 minutes. The speaking part might be conducted on the same day or can also help before or after the test date.

Time Distribution in the IELTS Exam Pattern

As already said above, this test has four sections and the total time duration is 2 hours and 45 minutes. Now let us see how much time a candidate can get in each section.

Listening Section

Out of the 2 hours 45 minutes, 30 minutes is allotted for the listening section. This section of the exam has four parts consisting of 40 total questions. These sections are used by the examiner to check the ability of the candidate to understand ideas and information.

Writing Section

Candidates get 1-hour time to complete the writing part that includes two parts. Here the candidate has to write about his/ her personal opinion on the given topic.

Reading Section

For this section also, candidates get 60 minutes. In this section, the candidate’s reading skills are tested.

Speaking Section

This is a face-to-face interaction round with the examiner where the candidate gets time ranging from 10 to 14 minutes. The candidate’s English communication skills are checked here.

Also Read: The Ultimate Guide for IELTS Preparation Online: Get Your Desired Band Score 

IELTS Result and Score

The IELTS result is made available on the Test taker portal. Candidates need to log in to get access to their results. For computer-based exams, the results are declared on the 3-5th day after your test and for the paper based on the 13th day.

You can check your result via four modes, online, offline, SMS and email.

For online mode, you need to visit the British council’s official website and select the link to the result. Select your test date, enter your details, and then click on the find button. Your result would be displayed on the screen.

For offline mode, you need to go to your test centre and then show your ID number which was used at the time of registration. Also, show your candidate’s number and then the test centre would hand you the hard copy of your result.

To check your request via SMS you need to send the code to 9289892898 afternoon on the result date. The format is like this:

RESULT<space>Candidate number<space>Passport or ID number

You can also check your result via mail. You need to check your inbox for mail sent by the British council.


Candidates are scored for different sections individually. Then these scores are combined to find an average and hence the overall band score is produced.

Band Scale

IELTS has nothing to pass or fail in. It scores candidates on a band scale system ranging from 0-9 according to their competence. Here are nine bands:

9 Expert User Full operational command over the language: appropriate, accurate and fluent.
8 Very Good User Fully operational command of the language with only occasional unsystematic inaccuracies and inappropriacies.
7 Good User operational command of the language, though with occasional inaccuracies, inappropriateness and misunderstandings in some situations.
6 Competent User Has generally effective command of the language despite some inaccuracies, inappropriacies and misunderstandings.
5 Modest user Has partial command of the language, coping with overall meaning in most situations, though is likely to make many mistakes.
4 Limited User Basic competence is limited to familiar situations. Has frequent problems in understanding and expression.
3 Extremely Limited User Conveys and understands the only general meaning in very familiar situations. Frequent breakdowns in communication occur.
2 Intermittent User No real communication is possible except for the most basic information using isolated words or short formulae in familiar situations and to meet immediate needs.
1 Non User Essentially cannot use the language beyond possibly a few isolated words.
0 Did not attempt the test No information was provided at all.

Also Read: Is IELTS Validity Extended to 3 years? Debunking Rumours Regarding IELTS Exam Validity

IELTS Scores Conversion Table

As explained earlier, candidates are given scores individually for each section. Here is a table describing how much score you need to attain to get the desired band scale.

Band Score 9 8.5 8 7.5 7 6.5 6 5.5 5 4.5 4 3.5 3 2.5 2 1.5 1 0.0
Listening score (out of 40) 39 37 35 33 30 27 23 20 16 13 10 8 6 4 3 2 1 0
Reading score (A, out of 40) 39 37 35 33 30 27 23 20 16 13 10 8 6 4 3 2 1 0
Reading score (G, out of 40) 40 39 38 36 34 32 30 27 23 19 15 12 9 6 5 3 2 0

How Long is IELTS Score Valid?

After a candidate goes through the exam procedure, they are provided with the result. For the online method, the results are out within 5 to 7 days but for offline methods, it takes around 13 days, from the date of the exam given.

The validity of the IELTS score is of two years counting from the date of receiving it. For all candidates, the IELTS validity period is the same.

IELTS Certificate Validity

The IELTS certificate validity expiration date can be calculated once the candidate gets his/ her result. The certificate will be considered expired once the date crosses the validity period, which is for two years.

Candidates can appear for the examination as many times as they want in a year and can use the most recent result for an extended validity period.

Is IELTS Validity Extended to 3 Years?

This question is being asked by many students as there is a rumour going on regarding the extension of IELTS score validity. The validity period is still two years as there is no update regarding the extension on the official website of IELTS.

Also Read: How IELTS Ninja Helps You to Get 8+ Bands? Try the IELTS Indicator Test Now on IELTS Ninja

Validity of IELTS Score  in Different Countries

IELTS Scores Validity for the USA

IELTS Scores are accepted by more than 3,000 institutions in the USA. The score validity is around two years from the issuing day.

IELTS Scores Validity for Canada

IRCC or Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada consider two years as the IELTS validity period from the result issuing date.

Candidates have to sit for the exam once again after their IELTS certificate exceeds the expiry date.

IELTS Scores Validity for Australia

Previously IELTS scores were valid in Australia for two years but now it has extended up to three years.

IELTS Scores Validity for the UK

In the UK, the IELTS scores are valid until 2 years from the result date. If you are unsatisfied with your result then you can request an inquiry or proceed with an EOR service within 6 weeks.


No matter which IELTS exam you are preparing for, the above-mentioned details will be helpful for both the Academic and General Training candidates. Aspirants can keep their eye on trusted IELTS online coaching portals for any updated news regarding the extension of validity.

Do share with us if you have any doubt regarding the IELTS certificate validity by commenting on your thoughts in the below box. Moreover to get admission to your dream university and to get the desired band scale to visit the IELTS Ninja website. It is the best website exclusively designed to help IELTS test takers. This site has customized courses, professional mentorship, information, etc.

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