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Test Dates Top

IELTS is not held on set dates during the year. Test centres can arrange an IELTS administration at any time, according to local need. Most centres conduct a testing session at least once a month and more often at peak times. Special test sessions are easily arranged for particular sponsors or institutions. Individual test centres should be contacted for their current programmes.

Candidates are not allowed to repeat the test within three months at any centre.

Academic and General Training candidates Top

Candidates must select either the Academic or General Training Reading and Writing Modules depending on the stated requirement of their sponsor or receiving institution.

The Academic Reading and Writing Modules assess whether a candidate is ready to study or train in the medium of English at an undergraduate or postgraduate level.

Admission to undergraduate and postgraduate courses should be based on the results of Academic Modules.

The General Training Reading and Writing Modules are not designed to test the full range of formal language skills required for academic purposes.

The emphasis of General Training is on basic survival skills in a broad social and educational context. It is suitable for candidates who are going to English speaking countries to complete their Secondary education, to undertake work experience or training programmes not at degree level, or for immigration purposes to Australia and New Zealand.

Test Format Top

All candidates are tested in listening, reading, writing and speaking. All candidates take the same Listening and Speaking Modules. There is a choice of Reading and Writing Modules.

The first three modules - Listening, Reading and Writing - must be completed in one day. The Speaking may be taken, at the discretion of the test centre, on the same day or up to two days later.

Candidates in some test centres are required to take additional pretest sections of up to 20 minutes. Performance on these pretests does not affect a candidate's results in any way but pretesting is an essential part of IELTS question paper production.

A computerised version of IELTS Listening, Reading and Writing Modules (CBIELTS) will be available at selected centres during 2001. Candidates who choose to take CBIELTS Listening and Reading can opt to take the Writing Module on screen or on paper.

CBIELTS centres will continue to offer paper-based IELTS; candidates will be given the choice of the medium in which they wish to take the test.
More information on CBIELTS will be made available prior to the implementation of live CBIELTS testing. The modules are always taken in the following order:

Time: 30 minutes
Candidates listen to a number of recorded texts, which increase in difficulty as the test progresses. These include a mixture of conversations and dialogues and feature a variety of English accents and dialects.

The recording is heard only once, but candidates are given time to read the questions and record their answers.

Academic Reading
Time: 60 minutes
General Training Reading
Time: 60 minutes
There are three reading passages with tasks. Texts are taken from books, magazines, journals and newspapers, all written for a non-specialist audience. At least one of the texts contains a detailed argument. The texts are based on the type of material candidates would be expected to encounter on a daily basis in an English speaking country. They are taken from sources such as newspapers, advertisements, instruction manuals and books, and test the candidate's ability to understand and use information. The test includes one longer text, which is descriptive rather than argumentative.

Academic Writing
Time: 60 minutes
General Training Writing
Time: 60 minutes
For the first task, candidates write a report of around 150 words based on material found in a table or diagram, demonstrating their ability to describe and explain data.
For the second task candidates write a short essay of around 250 words in response to an opinion or a problem. They are expected to demonstrate an ability to discuss issues, construct an argument and use the appropriate tone and register.

The format of the test is the same as the equivalent Academic module. The first task requires candidates to write a letter either asking for information, or explaining a situation.

The second task is a short essay of around 250 words, and is written in response to a given point of view or problem. Candidates are expected to be able to present their own ideas and challenge other ideas, using appropriate tone and register.

Time: 10 - 15 minutes
The test takes the form of a face to face interview between one candidate and one examiner. Candidates are assessed on their use of spoken English to answer short questions, speak at length on a familiar topic, and also to ask questions and interact with the examiner.

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