What is IELTS?

IELTS is the International English Language Testing System that measures the language proficiency of people who want to study, migrate or work where English is used as a language of communication. 

Click on each of the sections below to find out the answers to some of the frequesntly asked questions about IELTS.

Why take IELTS tests?

• IELTS is accepted as evidence of English language proficiency by over 11,000 organisations in more than 140 countries, for education, immigration and professional purposes. To find out more about IELTS please follow www.britishcouncil.ug/exam/ielts 

• Having successfully taken an IELTS test, you are able to study at many international schools, universities, employers, immigration authorities and professional bodies, which recognize and ask for this English language test on their admission requirements. Popular destinations for students are the UK, USA, Australia and Canada

• To find out if the institution you are interested in accepts IELTS, please follow this link: www.ielts.org/recognition 


What are the different versions of the IELTS test and which one should I take?


There are two modules of the IELTS test:  

• IELTS Academic 

• IELTS General Training

UKVI: IELTS for UK Visas and Immigration:

There are two modules of the IELTS for UKVI test: 

• IELTS for UKVI Academic

• IELTS for UKVI General Training

There are two modules of the IELTS life skills

• IELTS life skills A1

• IELTS for Life skills B1

Read the explanation of the Academic, General Training, A1 and B1 tests, and then contact the organisation or institution to which you are applying to find out what it requires. 

Note that you must know which version to take when you complete the online application form.

British council does not advise on which Test version a candidate must take.

What are the components of the tests?

The IELTS test assesses your abilities in listening, reading, writing and speaking – in less than three hours.

Test Format-Listening

You will listen to four recordings of native English speakers and then write your answers to a series of questions.

• Recording 1 – a conversation between two people set in an everyday social context.

• Recording 2 - a monologue set in an everyday social context, e.g. a speech about local facilities.

• Recording 3 – a conversation between up to four people set in an educational or training context, e.g. a university tutor and a student discussing an assignment.

• Recording 4 - a monologue on an academic subject, e.g. a university lecture.

Test format – Reading

IELTS Academic test - this includes three long texts which range from the descriptive and factual to the discursive and analytical. These are taken from books, journals, magazines and newspapers.  They have been selected for a non-specialist audience but are appropriate for people entering university courses or seeking professional registration.

IELTS General Training test - this includes extracts from books, magazines, newspapers, notices, advertisements, company handbooks and guidelines. These are materials you are likely to encounter on a daily basis in an English-speaking environment.

Test format – Academic Writing

IELTS Academic test

There are two tasks:

• Task 1 - you will be presented with a graph, table, chart or diagram and asked to describe, summarise or explain the information in your own words. You may be asked to describe and explain data, describe the stages of a process, how something works or describe an object or event.

• Task 2 - you will be asked to write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem. Responses to both tasks must be in a formal style.

IELTS General Training

Topics are of general interest. There are two tasks:

• Task 1 - you will be presented with a situation and asked to write a letter requesting information, or explaining the situation. The letter may be personal, semi-formal or formal in style.

• Task 2 - you will be asked to write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem. The essay can be fairly personal in style.

Test format – Speaking 

The speaking component assesses your use of spoken English. Every test is recorded.

• Part 1 - the examiner will ask you general questions about yourself and a range of familiar topics, such as home, family, work, studies and interests. This part lasts between four and five minutes.

• Part 2 - you will be given a card which asks you to talk about a particular topic. You will have one minute to prepare before speaking for up to two minutes. The examiner will then ask one or two questions on the same topic.

• Part 3 - you will be asked further questions about the topic in Part 2. These will give you the opportunity to discuss more abstract ideas and issues. This part of the test lasts between four and five minutes.


What are the scores for the IELTS test?

9 Expert User
8 Very good user
7 Good user
6 Competent
5 Modest user
4 Limited user
3 Extremely limiteed user
2 Intermittent user
1 Non user
0 Did not attempt test

What are the dates for IELTS for this year?

Follow the link https://www.britishcouncil.ug/exam

Select an exam of choice (version of IELTS). Click Register now and search for appropriate Test date.


How much does IELTS cost?

Candidates must check with British Council to ensure that they are paying the right price for any given MONTH in order to avoid making additional payment (s). Each month has a unique IELTS price based on British Council monthly book keeping rate.

To find out the current prices please follow this link: https://www.britishcouncil.ug/exam/ielts/dates-fees-locations

Payments are made either online electronically or through Stanbic Bank Uganda, any branch across the country.

For more details about payments, please follow this link: https://www.britishcouncil.ug/exam

To learn more about IELTS, follow this link: https://www.britishcouncil.ug/exam


How can I contact the British Council IELTS team?

By phone: +256 312 560 800

By email: IELTS-Uganda@britishcouncil.or.ug 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/BritishCouncilUganda

Office Hours;

Monday to Thursday, 08.00 – 16.30

Friday, 08.00 – 13.00

Saturday, Sunday & public holidays – Closed

Office location: 

Plot 4 Windsor loop, off Kira Road 

(British High Commission complex) after the Uganda Museum