IELTS Exam - A Complete Overview


IELTS Exam - A Complete Overview

What is IELTS Exam?

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is a globally recognised English language test. It is conducted in more than 140 countries worldwide, and every year, millions of students appear for the IELTS exam for immigration, job, and education purposes. The test was initially launched in 1980 as the English Language Testing Service (ELTS) and has evolved significantly and administered to students since 1989 to become the primary index for measuring English language proficiency.

This language assessment test is developed by some of the world's leading language experts. It is designed to evaluate your English skills in reading, writing, listening, and speaking and your effectiveness in using the language to study, work and live in an English-speaking country.

Aspect Detail
Types Academic, General Training
Sections Listening, Reading, Writing, Speaking
Duration 2h 45m
Scoring 0-9 band scale
Purpose Academic, professional, migration
Test Format Computer & Paper Based
Recognition Globally accepted
Fees PHP 12,350
Validity 2 years

Importance of IELTS Exam

IELTS is one of the most trusted English language tests across the globe with more than 11,000 organizations recognizing it internationally. The IELTS certification is recognized by the UK, USA, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Singapore, Europe and 140 more countries across the globe. The certification is accepted by academic institutions, companies, professional bodies and government organizations. The test is considered the standard for English language testing and their certification is recognized for both academic and immigration purposes. This test assesses the English language skills of a candidate by testing their reading, writing, listening and speaking skills. Tests are available throughout the year in more than 1600 centres in over 140 countries.

Working, studying, or integrating into an English-speaking community requires a high level of English proficiency. IELTS is the world's most popular English language test for higher education and global migration. IELTS is the only English language test accepted by all key immigration authorities for visa applications and migration purposes, including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the UK.

Types of IELTS Exam:

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is designed to help individuals make various life decisions, from enhancing their English language skills to relocating abroad for studies or career development. There are three main versions of the IELTS test:

  • IELTS Academic
  • IELTS General Training

The appropriate test for you will depend on whether your primary objective is to study or work in your selected country. Below are some key differences between the two tests that will help you decide which IELTS test is suitable for you.

IELTS Academic Test

The IELTS Academic test is crafted to evaluate your English language proficiency and determine its suitability for an academic setting. This test reflects elements of academic language and assesses whether you are prepared to start training or studying in English.

You should take the IELTS Academic test if you aim to:

  • Study at an undergraduate or postgraduate level in an English-speaking country.
  • Apply for a Student Route visa (Tier 4) to study at a UK university that is a Student Route (Tier 4) Sponsor.
  • Work for a professional organisation in an English-speaking country.

IELTS General Training

The IELTS General Training test is devised to evaluate your English language proficiency in practical, everyday scenarios. This test mirrors both workplace and social situations.

You should take the IELTS General Training test if you aim to:

  • Train or study below degree level.
  • Work or undertake work-related training in an English-speaking country.
  • Emigrate to an English-speaking country.
  • Secure another job in your own country where recognised proficiency in the English language is required.


The IELTS UKVI denotes the "International English Language Testing System for UK Visas and Immigration." This specialized edition of the IELTS assessment has received official recognition from the UK government for the explicit purpose of visa and immigration proceedings. It has been specifically designed to cater to non-native English speakers who are obligated to showcase their competence in the English language as an integral part of their visa application to reside, work, or study in the United Kingdom.

IELTS Exam Modes

The IELTS exam can be taken online (Computer-delivered IELTS) and offline (IELTS paper-based test). The exam format for both modes is the same. The listening and speaking sections are the same for both academic and general, while the writing and reading sections differ slightly.

IELTS Academic vs General

IELTS Academic IELTS General
Designed for students planning to study at the undergraduate or postgraduate level. Aimed at individuals going for secondary education, work experience, or training programs.
Focuses on academic language and skills. Emphasizes basic survival skills in a broad social and educational context.
Reading and Writing sections are more abstract and academically oriented. Reading and Writing sections are more practical and workplace-oriented.
Ideal for those pursuing higher education or professional registration in an English-speaking environment. Suitable for those looking to migrate to English-speaking countries for work or training purposes.

IELTS Exam Fees for Filipinos

Here's a glance at the IELTS exam fees in PHP, tailored for Filipinos gearing up for their global aspirations. Whether it's for study, work, or migration, knowing the IELTS exam costs is your first step towards the IELTS exam.

IELTS Test Type Cost in PHP
IELTS Academic (in centre, paper or computer) PHP 12,350
IELTS General Training (in centre, paper or computer) PHP 12,350
IELTS Academic for UKVI (in centre, paper or computer) PHP 12,720
IELTS General Training for UKVI (in centre, paper or computer) PHP 12,720
IELTS Life Skills (A1 and B1) PHP 9,500

IELTS Exam Cancellation Fees

  • If a candidate cancels their IELTS application more than 14 days before the test date, the candidate will receive a 75% refund of the total IELTS exam fee.
  • If a candidate cancels their IELTS application within 14 days, the candidate will receive a 50% refund of the total IELTS exam fee.
  • If a candidate cancels their IELTS application within 2 days before the actual test date, the candidate will receive a 25% refund of the total IELTS exam fee.
  • If the candidate cancels the test on the day of the test or after the test, no refund will be provided.  

IELTS Rescheduling Fees

If a candidate wishes to change their test date, they can request to reschedule their exam date at least five weeks ahead of the previously booked test. The rescheduled date must be within three months of the original test date. For the process of rescheduling, the candidate will have to pay an administrative charge inclusive of all taxes.

IELTS Exam Duration

The IELTS exam is structured into four sections, each with a specific time allocation.

  1. Listening: 30 minutes
  2. Reading: 60 minutes
  3. Writing: 60 minutes
  4. Speaking: 11-14 minutes
Total Duration: 2 hours and 45 minutes (approximately).

Where IELTS Exam Centres are Available in Philippines?

Here is the list of Cities in Philippines where it have IELTS exam centres to take IELTS exam.
  • Metro Manila
  • Metro Manila-Quezon City 
  • Metro Manila-Pasig City 
  • Metro Manila-Pasay City
  • Metro Manila-Taguig City 
  • Cebu
  • Baguio
  • Pampanga
  • Dagupan
  • Tagaytay
  • Naga
  • Iloilo
  • Leyte
  • Davao
  • Batangas
  • Laguna
  • Legazpi
  • Dipolog
  • Vigan
  • Cagayan De Oro

How to Book for IELTS Exam?

  • Choose the Test Type: Decide whether you'll take the IELTS Academic or IELTS General Training based on your goals for studying, working, or immigrating.
  • Find a Test Centre: Locate a test centre near you. The British Council and IDP Education operate IELTS test centres in the Philippines. Major cities like Manila, Cebu, and Davao usually have multiple centres.
  • Check Test Dates: Available test dates will be listed on the website of your chosen test centre. Ensure the date you choose gives you enough time to prepare.
  • Register Online: Complete the online registration form. You'll need to upload a clear, scanned copy of your valid ID (usually a passport or national ID).
  • Payment: Pay the test fee, which varies but is typically around PHP 10,000 to PHP 13,000. You can usually pay via debit/credit card, bank transfer, or in person at the test centre.
  • Confirmation: After payment, you'll receive a confirmation letter with details about your test venue and schedule.
  • Prepare: Use the time leading up to your test date for focused preparation. Make use of online resources, attend preparation classes, or consult guidebooks to practice.

IELTS Online Registration

IELTS registration is now simple and quick. The IELTS exam may be booked in three phases. Candidates must first go to the official IELTS website and then:
  • Make an account
  • Determine an appropriate date slot based on the availability at the nearby IELTS testing locations.
  • Pay for your registration online to complete it.

Given its global significance, it is imperative for test-takers to prepare diligently for the IELTS test. Preparation is not limited to just understanding the English language but also mastering the test format and honing test-taking strategies. Leveraging available resources such as practice materials, expert-led masterclass sessions, and support tools can greatly enhance one's preparedness and confidence on test day. 

As with any examination, thorough preparation and practice are key to achieving a desirable score and, ultimately, realising one's academic, professional, or migration aspirations.

Frequently Asked Questions

The IELTS exam is a globally recognised English language proficiency test required for academic, professional, and migration purposes.
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