What is IELTS?
The IELTS is an abbreviation of the International English Language Testing System. Simply put, it is an examination that assesses your English language skills in terms of spoken and written English. If you wish to study or work in a country where English is the primary language of communication, mainly Anglophone countries, you need to assure the university admission officers and visa officers that you are proficient in the language.

The IELTS exam measures your skills in listening, reading, writing and speaking through two test formats, namely IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training. While IELTS Academic can be taken up by those who wish to go for higher education or professional registration, IELTS General Training is for those who are looking at migrating to Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK. For academic and work purposes, the US also accepts the same.
The test has been designed and is jointly owned by the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge English Language Assessment.

Why IELTS Required?
IELTS is the only Secure English Language Test approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) for visa customers applying both outside and inside the UK. ... In Canada, IELTS, TEF, or CELPIP are accepted by the immigration authority. No minimum score is required to pass the test.

IELTS Eligibility Criteria
Anyone above the age of 16 years can take the IELTS test. If you wish to study, work or migrate to the UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand and study or work in the US, you can take this test.

IELTS Exam Pattern and Syllabus
In two hours and 45 minutes, the IELTS will aim to assess your listening, reading, writing and speaking skills in English language. As mentioned above, the two types of tests, IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training differ in their reading and writing components, while listening and speaking tests are same for both.

You have to take all three listening, reading and writing tests without any break, in that order. Speaking test can be the same day or seven days before or after the exam. You can check this option at your test center.

You will get 30 minutes to answer a number of questions basis four pre-recorded audio tapes you will hear. There will be conversations related to everyday life and in an educational setting. Two of the recordings will be monologues on an academic subject as well as in social context.

Your answers will give away your understanding of the crux of the conversation and detailed factual information, opinions and attitudes of speakers and your ability to follow how the ideas develop in the process.

Around 15 minutes are dedicated to this section wherein the examiner will speak to you on a wide range of topics as work, family, studies, interests, etc.

You will then be given a topic and one minute to prepare to be able to speak on the topic for two minutes. The examiner will ask you more questions on the same topic.

A 60-minute test, it involves reading long texts taken from a number of sources. For IELTS Academic test takers, the text will be descriptive suitable for those wishing to appear for university courses. As for IELTS General Training, you will get to read extracts related to life in general in English speaking environments.

Based on the above, you will be required to answer 40 questions. The purpose of these tests in both the contexts is to evaluate your reading skills and how well are you able to exactly grasp the logical argument and the writers’ opinion.

For both the tests, the assessors will judge you on the basis of your ability to describe/summaries some text, argument, data, figures, graph, and the like depending on what kind of test you are taking.

You will be required to write the same in formal, semi-formal or informal style, depending on the task at hand in 60 minutes.

IELTS Exam Fee
In India, the registration fee for IELTS exam for all tests administered up to 31st March 2018, the fee is INR 12,100 and for those administered after 1st April 2018, it is INR 12,650.

For online registrations, only credit/debit payment is accepted, for in person registrations, you will be required to pay by credit or debit card / DD / ICICI bank deposit slip.

IELTS Test Centre
In India, the British Council and IDP facilitate test centers for candidates. The British Council offers tests in 42 locations across the country, while IDP has presence in 40 cities, including Thimphu in Bhutan.
Once you register on their sites for the exam, you will be asked to select your city and date on which you wish to take the test. Five days prior to your scheduled test date, you will get venue details on email.
IELTS Exam Results: When and how they are obtained
Once you take the test, your results will be available 13 days after that in the form of a test report form. These will also be available online or if possible for the test center, you can also get a preview by SMS alert.
The results will be posted to you. You cannot, however, expect results on phone or fax. Check with your center if you can collect the results in person.

Keep the test report form safe with you. No replacements are given.
The test center will send your results to five recognizing organizations free of charge, if you want.