Passing IELTS (international English language testing system)

Thanks to the British Council, it is possible to take the IELTS test, which will certify your level of English. Find out how the test is organised, the content of the tests and many tips for success.

How IELTS is organised

Developed by world-renowned experts in language testing, IELTS is for people who want to study at an English-speaking university (not just in the UK!), find an internship or job abroad, as it is recognised by 10,000 organisations worldwide, including 3,000 in the USA. Every year, 3.5 million people take IELTS in 140 countries.

IELTS is part of a global partnership in education and English language, represented by the British Council, IDP (IELTS in Australia) and the Cambridge English Language Assessment.

It is open to all applicants without any diploma requirements, but is not recommended for applicants under the age of 16. You can choose between two tests, the Academic for studies abroad and the General Training for immigration and work abroad. You can visit https://global-exam.com/ if you are interested in learning more about IELTS exam.

Registration for the test is done online on the British Council website. Sessions take place regularly throughout France: in Paris three times a month, in Lyon and Marseille twice a month, in Strasbourg and Bordeaux once or twice a month, in Nice once a month, and finally in Nantes, there are eight sessions a year. Do not hesitate to register in advance for the sessions to make sure you get a place. It will cost you 235 euros to pass. You will get your results 13 days after the date of the test writings.

IELTS test content

The test consists of four tests:

– Listening comprehension (40mn): from audio texts (mixing the voices and accents of several English-speaking people), answer 40 questions related to these recordings.

– Reading (60mn): test of 40 questions of different types (true or false, complete a sentence) about texts taken from books, newspapers or magazines.

– Writing (60mn): describe one or several diagrams in a 150-word text and then make a 250-word essay related to an article extract developing an argument or a point of view.

– Oral expression (10 to 15mn): discussion with an English-speaking person in 3 parts.

1/ Presentation, general questions (family, studies, work and interests);

2/ The examiner asks you to speak on a specific subject and you have one minute to prepare your short speech;

3/ The examiner asks you broader questions related to part 2.

As far as the results are concerned, you get an overall mark and a mark for each of the 4 tests, ranging from 1 to 9: 1 meaning “non-user” (i.e. almost unable to express yourself in English) and 9 “expert user” (close to bilingualism).

Training: Test / Corrected subjects

You can train on the British Council website thanks to a free online preparation (Road to IELTS): 10 hours free for anyone who wants to familiarise themselves with the test and 20 additional free hours once the candidate’s registration has been validated and online payment has been made.