IELTS

The International English Language Testing System

IELTS

What is The IELTS test?

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is the world’s most popular English language test.

It evaluates all of your English skills – reading, writing, listening and speaking.

It measures the language proficiency of people who want to study or work where English is used as a language of communication. It uses a nine-band scale to clearly identify levels of proficiency, from non-user (band score 1) through to expert (band score 9).

IELTS is accepted by more than 10,000 organisations in over 140 countries. These include governments, academic institutions and employers.

IELTS was developed by The British Council, IDP – International Development Program of Australian Universities and Colleges and Cambridge English Language Assessment.

Which IELTS test is right for me?

IELTS is available in: Academic or General Training.

In general, the Academic IELTS is designed for students who want to:

  1. Study at the university or post-graduate level in an English – speaking country.
  2. Join a professional organization in an English – speaking country.

In general, the General Training IELTS is designed for students who want to:

  1. Study below the university level in an English – speaking country.
  2. Work or pursue work-related training in an English-speaking country.
  3. Emigrate to an English-speaking country (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK, etc)

Both versions provide a valid and accurate assessment of the four language skills: listening, reading, writing and speaking.

Find out the differences and similarities between the IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training in greater detail to find out which IELTS is right for you.

The Test Formats

IELTS Academic Test

The total test time is 2 hours and 45 minutes.

The IELTS Academic test measures whether you have the level of English language proficiency needed for an academic, higher education environment. It reflects some of the features of academic language and assesses whether you are ready to begin studying or training.

Take this test if you want to:

  • study at either undergraduate or postgraduate level anywhere in the world
  • apply for Tier 4 Student Visa at a university that is a Tier 4 Sponsor in the UK
  • work in a professional organisation in an English speaking country. You can choose between paper-based or computer-delivered IELTS Academic. Both test formats will take place at one of the British Council official test centres.

Fee for IELTS Academic: KES 28,000

Duration: 2 hours and 45 minutes.

Format: There are four sections to the test: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. The test will take place in an official British Council IELTS test centre.

If you take a paper-based test, your Speaking test may be offered on the same day as the other sections of the test, or up to a week before or after. You will receive notification in advance if your Speaking test is on a different day to your main test day.

If you choose a computer-delivered test, you have a free choice of Speaking test dates and venues.

For more information on the IELTS Academic test format, please visit https://www.britishcouncil.co.ke/exam/ielts/which-test

IELTS General Training Test

IELTS General Training – prove you have practical, everyday English language skills

IELTS General Training measures English language proficiency in a practical, everyday context. The tasks and tests reflect both workplace and social situations.

Take this test if you would like to:

  • train or study at below degree level
  • work or undertake work related training in an English speaking country
  • emigrate to an English speaking country
  • get a better job in your own country.

You can choose between paper-based or computer-delivered IELTS General Training. Both test formats will take place at one of British Council official test centres.

Fee for the IELTS General Training test: KES 28,000

Duration: 2 hours and 45 minutes.

Format: There are four sections to the test: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. The test will take place in an official British Council IELTS test centre, whether you choose paper-based or computer-delivered.

If you take a paper-based test, your Speaking test may be offered on the same day as the other sections of the test, or up to a week before or after. You will receive notification in advance if your Speaking test is on a different day to your main test day.

For more information on the IELTS General Training test format, please visit https://www.britishcouncil.co.ke/exam/ielts/which-test

NB: Individual organisations have different requirements. Make sure you check which IELTS test the organisation you are applying to recognises.

What does The IELTS test?

There are to types of IELTS: Academic & General Training.

Listening and Speaking sections are the same for both tests, but the subject matter of the Reading and Writing sections differs depending on which test you take.

The Listening, Reading and Writing sections of all IELTS tests are completed on the same day, with no breaks in between them.

The Speaking section however, can be completed up to a week before or after the other tests. The test center will advise upon completion of your registration.

The total test time is 2 hours and 45 minutes.

IELTS test format

SECTIONTIME LIMITQUESTIONSTEST FORMATTASK TYPESSKILLS TESTED
LISTENING30 Minutes 40 Questions (4 recordings – 10 questions per recording)You will listen to 4 recordings of native English speakers and then write your answers to a series of questions.

Recording 1 – a conversation between two people set in an everyday social context.

Recording 2 – a monologue set in an everyday social context, e.g. a speech about local facilities.

Recording 3 – a conversation between up to four people set in an educational or training context, e.g. a university tutor and a student discussing an assignment.

Recording 4 – a monologue on an academic subject, e.g. a university lecture.
– Multiple choice
– Sentence completion
– Matching
– Plan/map/diagram labelling
– Form/note/table/flow-chart/summary completion
– Evidence of your ability to understand the main ideas and detailed factual information.
– Opinions and attitudes of speakers.
– The purpose of an utterance and evidence of your ability to follow the development of ideas.
READING60 Minutes40 Questions – Tests your reading comprehension.
– This may include reading for gist, reading for main ideas, reading for detail, skimming, understanding logical argument and recognising writers’ opinions, attitudes and purpose.
– Multiple choice
– Identifying information
– Identifying writer’s views or claims
– Matching information
– Matching headings
– Matching features
– Matching sentence endings
– Sentence completion
– Summary, note, table, flow-chart completion
– Diagram label completion
– Short-answer questions
* If you’re taking the Academic version, you will read 3 passages. The General Training version contains 3 sections. Section 1 may contain two or three short texts or several shorter texts. Section two comprises two texts. In section 3, there is one long text.
– In General Training, you are being tested on “life reading”, the ability to understand extracts from books, magazines, newspapers, notices, advertisements, company handbooks and guidelines.
– These are materials you are likely to encounter on a daily basis in an English-speaking environment.
– Academic reading ability is also tested in General training.
– In IELTS Academic, you are being tested on your ability to comprehend academic and educational passages.
WRITING60 Minutes 2 Writing Tasks – In Academic writing, you will have 2 tasks – In task 1, you will be required to describe some visual information (graph/table/chart/diagram) in your own words. – You will need to write 150 words in about 20 minutes.
– In task 2, you will be required to respond to a point of view or argument or problem and here you will need to write 250 words in about 40 minutes.

– In General Training, there are also 2 writing tasks to complete.
– In task 1, you will be required to respond to a situation, for example, by writing a letter requesting information or explaining a situation.
– You will be given 20 minutes to write about 150 words.
– In task 2, you will be required to write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem in less than 250 words and 40 minutes.
– In Academic writing, you will have 2 tasks – In task 1, you will be required to describe some visual information (graph/table/chart/diagram) in your own words.
– In task 2, you will be required to respond to a point of view or argument or problem.
– In General Training, there are also 2 writing tasks to complete.
– In task 1, you will be required to respond to a situation, for example, by writing a letter requesting information or explaining a situation.
– In task 2, you will be required to write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem.
– The focus for IELTS Academic Writing is purely academic.
– IELTS Academic writing tests your ability to write a short source-based academic essay (the source is the graph, table, chart or diagram).
– It also tests your ability to write an academic-style opinion essay.
– The opinion essay is also tested on the IELTS GT.
– Additionally, on the IELTS General, you will be tested on a life skill by asking you to write a letter to a friend or colleague.
SPEAKING11 – 14 Minutes 3 Parts to the test – The Speaking test is the shortest section of the test.
– It assesses your use of spoken English and is broken into 3 parts.
– Every test is recorded. – It consists of an oral interview between the test taker and the examiner.

Part 1 – The examiner will ask you general questions about yourself, and a range of familiar topics such as home, family, work, studies and interests.
– This part lasts between four and five minutes.

Part 2 – This requires you to speak on a topic in what is called the “long turn”. You will be given a card which asks you to talk about a particular topic. You will have one minute to prepare before speaking for up to 2 minutes.
– The examiner will then ask one or two questions on the same topic.

Part 3 – You will be asked further questions about the topic in part 2.
– This will give you the opportunity to discuss more abstract ideas and issues.
– It lasts between 4 and 5 minutes.
– IELTS Speaking, mostly focuses on life skills.
– The interview focuses on light personal conversation.
– It’s the kind of talk you will have with many different people when you work or study in the English speaking world. – There is also an academic component, the “long turn” in part 2 which is similar to the kind of short speech you might be given in a university communications course.
– Fluency & coherence
– Lexical resource – range of vocabulary used and the precision with which meanings and attitudes can be expressed.
– Grammatical range and accuracy.
– Pronunciation.

Why take The IELTS test?

IELTS – is the world’s most popular English language test. It is developed by some of the world’s leading experts in language assessment and evaluates all of your English skills — reading, writing, listening and speaking.

The test reflects how you’ll use English to study, work and live in an English – speaking environment.

Study, work and live abroad

IELTS is accepted by more than 10,000 organizations in over 140 countries. Those organizations include governments, academic institutions and employers with 3,000 in the USA alone.

Get where you want to go

In most countries where English is the main language, you’ll need evidence of English language skills to apply for jobs and university courses.

Prove yourself at home

Proving your English language skills with an IELTS test can help you get a better job or a promotion in your home country.

Looking to emigrate?

Your IELTS test results will help you meet your immigration requirements. All immigration authorities that require an English language test will accept IELTS.

Which organizations accept IELTS?

IELTS is accepted by more than 10,000 organizations worldwide. These include universities, immigration departments, government agencies, professional bodies and multinational companies.

Who takes The IELTS test?

IELTS is accepted by more than 10,000 organisations in over 140 countries. Therefore, if you would like to study, work or live abroad, then taking the IELTS would be your best bet in proving your English competency. Passing the IELTS Academic can help you get into English speaking universities. Passing the IELTS General will help you get a job in an English-speaking country and acquire proper visas and residency.

When can I register for The IELTS test?

The IELTS in Kenya is offered by the British Council with test centers in Nairobi and Eldoret.

The test dates vary and are updated regularly but generally, there are two test dates in a month. 

Be sure to check with us for the upcoming test dates.

Please note that slots tend to fill out pretty fast so plan to register early.

How to register for IELTS

The fee for the IELTS Academic or IELTS General Training test is KES 28,000

To register, please follow the instructions below;

1. Make CASH payment at our office.

2. Submit a copy of both sides of your National I.D to us.

3. We will then assist you with the registration process.

IELTS registration requirements 

  • Valid ID document (National ID or Passport) – Make sure that your names match on your registration form.
  • Check which IELTS test you are required to take.
  • Follow the payment instructions above.
  • Once your booking is complete, you will receive the following emails; 
  1. Registration confirmation, along with your test venue (address) and the test start time.
  2. Speaking test confirmation. Your Speaking test may be scheduled on the same day as the other sections, or on a different day, 7 days before or after your main test day. You will receive a confirmation for the Speaking Test date.
  3. After booking your test, you will also receive an automatic email with your access codes to the free online course.
  4. You will also receive your IELTS Reference Number to access the Test Taker Portal.

Your Test Taker Portal allows you to check;

  • your test date 
  • your venue for the Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking sections (available 5 days before the test)
  • your payment information
  • your contact information
  • your results
  • test prep resources
  • British Council contact information

NB: Make sure you have included the correct email address when booking for the test.

 

PLEASE NOTE:

1. Refunds for cancellations, over-payment and duplicate payments are subject to a KES 3,000 processing fee.

2. CASH refunds will not be allowed.

3. Refunds will be processed within 14 business days.

4. When you hire an IELTS study book and return it in good condition after 2 weeks (includes rental date & return date) you will receive KES 1,000 refund. After 2 weeks, a fee of KES 200 will be charged per day.

NB: If your return date falls on a weekend or public holiday, it is forwarded to the next working day. A refund is only made if the book is returned in the same condition as it was at the time of renting.

 

RESOURCES

Test Dates & Locations https://www.britishcouncil.co.ke/exam/ielts/dates-fees-locations

How To Get Your Scores https://www.britishcouncil.co.ke/exam/ielts/results

Test Day Tips https://www.britishcouncil.co.ke/exam/ielts/test-day

General Information https://www.britishcouncil.co.ke/exam/ielts