1. Overview
  2. IELTS Results
  3. Band Scores
  4. Four Skills

What factors set IELTS apart?

First released in 1989, IELTS is a test of all four language skills. The IELTS test has established strong credentials for consistently assessing proficiency in listening, reading, writing and speaking.

The effectiveness of IELTS rests on four key test qualities:

Validity: the extent to which test results can be considered a true measure of underlying ability

Reliability: the extent to which test results are both consistent and accurate, and therefore dependable

Impact: the positive effect of a test on test takers and society as a whole

Practicality: the extent to which a test is workable in terms of the resources needed.

IELTS is jointly owned by a global partnership of education and language testing experts:

       The British Council: The UK's international organisation for educational opportunity and cultural relations, represented in over 100 countries worldwide.

      IDP: IELTS Australia: Established by the Australian universities, this international education organisation manages a network of IELTS test centres in over 50 countries worldwide.

         Cambridge Assessment English: Part of the University of Cambridge, providing the most valuable range of qualifications for learners and teachers of English in the world.

Benefitting from the shared expertise of these three global partners, the IELTS test combines the world renowned language and research expertise of Cambridge Assessment English and the international delivery, evaluation and security expertise of the British Council and IDP: IELTS Australia.

IELTS USA is the Los Angeles, CA based division of IELTS that is responsible for stakeholder relations and the administration of the test across the USA.


IELTS Writing and Speaking assessments are carried out by trained and certificated examiners, all of whom are qualified and experienced English language specialists. The examiners work to clearly defined criteria and are subject to extensive and detailed quality control procedures.

To ensure that all examiners are appropriately qualified and have the relevant professional experience, they must have:

  • An undergraduate degree or qualification(s) that can be demonstrated to be equivalent to an undergraduate degree
  • A TEFL/TESOL qualification from a recognised institution
  • Substantial relevant teaching experience, the majority which must relate to adult students (16 years and over)

Applicants must then be approved by a qualified examiner trainer. After approval, the applicant undergoes face-to-face training conducted by an accredited IELTS trainer and then undertakes certification assessment.

Examiner marking standards are maintained through the IELTS Professional Support Network, a quality assurance system designed and managed by British Council and IDP: IELTS Australia.

The IELTS test is developed to provide a fair, accurate and reliable assessment of English language proficiency.

IELTS has rigorous test design, development and validation processes. These processes ensure that every version of the test is of a comparable level of difficulty and every test around the world provides valid, consistent results.

IELTS test material is developed using the following stages: commissioning; editing; pretesting; analysis and banking of material; standards fixing; and question paper construction.

Test writers from different English-speaking countries develop IELTS content so it reflects real-life situations around the world. It is unbiased and fair to all test takers whatever their background.

Page 5 of 12