The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) certifies the level of English language proficiency appropriate for higher education or migration. First launched in 1989, IELTS has already developed into a global leader. Almost three million candidates take the IELTS each year and IELTS scores are accepted by over 9,000 organisations worldwide, including the eight most prestigious institutions of higher education in the North-Eastern United States, known as the Ivy League.

IELTS is jointly owned by the British Council, IDP IELTS Australia and Cambridge English Language Assessment. The exam has two different modules you can sit: Academic Module and General Training Module. A result from the Academic Module of IELTS is a typical entry requirement of many educational institutions worldwide when the language of instruction is English. A result from the General Training Module of IELTS is required as proof of your language abilities for gaining professional experience or for migration to Australia, New Zealand and Canada.


Exam Format

IELTS (International English Language Testing System) consists of four parts of equal length in both exam modules. Two of the parts (Listening and Speaking) are the same for all candidates. With the other two parts (Reading and Writing) there is a difference between the Academic and the General Training module. The Academic Reading and Writing sections assess whether a candidate is ready for instruction in English at an undergraduate or postgraduate level. The General Training Reading and Writing sections emphasise basic survival skills in a broad social context. About 80% of the candidates take the Academic module, 20% choose the General Training module. Please check the requirements of the receiving organisation before deciding whether the Academic or General Training module would suit you best.




30 minutes

4 parts – 40 questions



60 minutes

3 parts – 40 questions



60 minutes

2 writing tasks



11-14 minutes

3 parts – Interview


Grades and Results




There are no pass or fail grades in IELTS. Each educational institution or agency sets its own requirements for the minimal acceptable score. The scores fall within a 1 to 9 band scale, each band corresponding to a level of English competence. You are given a score for each part of the test (Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking) as well as an Overall Band Score. The scores can be reported in whole and half bands – for example, 6.0, 6.5, 7.0, etc. The exam results (the so called IELTS Test Report Form) can be accessed online on the 13th day after the test date and are valid for a period of two years.

The possible dates to sit the Reading, Writing and Listening components of the test are fixed. For Bulgaria there is usually one date a month. The fourth component (Speaking) may be taken up to seven days before or after the date of the other three papers. The registration for each session closes about five weeks before the test date.


Preparation for IELTS at MINERVA
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