Centre for Applied English Studies IELTS test preparation website

  Introduction to the IELTS test
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The University Grants Committee (UGC) announced in July 2002 the adoption of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) as the common English proficiency assessment for students graduating from UGC-funded institutions in Hong Kong.

IELTS is a test of English language ability for students and personnel worldwide. It is the preferred language test by institutions, universities and corporations in the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. IELTS is jointly managed by the University of Cambridge Examinations Syndicate, the British Council and IDP Education Australia: IELTS Australia.

IELTS assesses the ability to use English in communication in all of the four skills: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. The test lasts 2 hours and 45 minutes.

The modules are taken in the following order. The Speaking Module may be administered before or after the other three modules.

4 sections, 40 questions
30 minutes
3 sections, 40 questions
60 minutes
2 tasks
60 minutes
3 parts
11-14 minutes

There is no pass or fail mark. The assessment will be reported according to a scale from bands 1 to 9. Candidates receive a band score for each of the four modules of the test and an overall band score. Each Band corresponds to a descriptive statement which gives a summary of a candidate’s English language ability at that level. Band 1 indicates that the candidate has virtually no English at all while Band 9 is native speaker proficiency.

The test questions and tasks have been designed to reflect the general interests of people from an educated background. You will therefore not be required to have any specialist knowledge.

There are two different IELTS tests: Academic and General. The information on this site is about the Academic test as this is the test you will have to take.

For further information about the test, visit the official IELTS website.


You can take the test at various centres in Hong Kong. Check out the schedule of exam dates and venues, read the details of application procedure and download the application form from the Common English Proficiency Assessment Scheme website.

You pay HK$1,100 when you submit your application. If, eventually, you take the test on institutions’ premises (not off-campus locations), you will be refunded HK$200. You may get reimbursement of the test fee, see the FAQs page for details of the process and other information such as getting the Test Report Form (TRF).

IELTS Handbook

Everything about the IELTS test, how the exam is structured and how it is evaluated, is in the IELTS official handbook, you can view it online or download a copy for reference.

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