IELTS for MS in Australia

Being an international student, English might not be your first language. Even if you are good with the language, to apply for a master’s program in Australia, you would still need to prove your language proficiency by writing any English Language Tests. The IELTS and the TOEFL are two of the most popular choices for English knowledge assessments. These standardized exams are preferred by a majority of the universities in Australia.

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These exams assess every aspect of the English language – be it reading, speaking, writing or listening. Both the exams have fairly similar testing patterns. Although we recommend the IELTS as a more feasible option, which test you opt to take primarily depends on the requirements specified by the universities you apply to. The following section will assist you with the steps and processes involved in the IELTS exam.

Typical time required: 2-8 weeks

Test Fee: Rs. 12,100- Rs. 13,250 as of June 2019

Before You Start

  • Note down the minimum band score for eligibility at the university you are applying to.
  • Some universities might also mention the minimum band score per section. Prepare accordingly.
  • The IELTS language test can be given as a computer-based exam or a paper-based one.

Required Documents

  • Your Passport
  • Credit/Debit card
  • List of 5 universities to which the TRFs or Test Report Forms are to be sent. This is optional.

Step by step guide

  • Visit the official IELTS website to register for the IELTS Test.
  • Go to the “Find Test Date” option and give the criteria mentioned below; click on ‘Find’.
  • Date: Enter the month on which you wish to write the test.
  • Town/City: Select the test centre closest to you.
  • Module: Academic
  • As you need the IELTS exam score for your master's application, you should attempt the Academic Module.
  • (Find Test Date and Check Availability): A list of available dates at your chosen town will be displayed with the respective fee for the exam. If nothing is shown, change the city/ test date and retry. Choose a suitable date and ‘Apply’ for the test.
  • TERMS & CONDITIONS: Read the Terms and Conditions; click the radio box and click on ‘Continue’.
  • CANDIDATE DETAILS: Enter your details correctly. Almost every field is pretty self-explanatory. Fill in all the information as they appear in your passport. Then click on ‘Continue’.
  • PAYMENT DETAILS: You can pay using a debit/credit card.
  • You can also choose to complete the payment offline. The fee needs to be paid within three days of application. You can pay by cash at any ICICI Bank Branch by filling in an ICICI challan. You can also pay by a DD in the name of “British Council” (payable at ‘New Delhi’).

After You Register

  • You will get an e-mail confirming the payment. It will also contain access details to the free IELTS preparation course – Road to IELTS Points. Make good use of this free and official guide from IELTS.
  • Your chosen Test Centre will provide you with written confirmation of the test venue, date and time, at least about a week before the test.
  • The Speaking test time may be either on the same day as the IELTS exam or on a different day. This would be within a 7-day window, either before or after the other 3 sections. The test centre will also inform you of the Speaking test venue, date and time.
Listening4 sections - 40 questions30 minutes
Reading3 sections - 40 questions60 minutes
Writing2 Tasks (150 words, 250 words)60 minutes
Speaking3 parts11 – 14 minutes

On the Test Day

  • Arrive 25 minutes earlier for the IELTS Test. It will give you some time to relax your nerves and get ready for the exam.
  • At the test venue, the IELTS test staff will verify your identity with the Passport. Please note that if you haven’t carried your Passport, you will not be allowed for the test.
  • For security purposes, your photograph will be taken on the test day.
  • Once you are present at the test centre, switch off your mobile phone and any other electronic devices you have carried. You will be informed to keep all your personal items in a separate room. You will only be allowed to take a pen/pencil, a sharpener, an eraser and your ID proof (Passport) with you into the exam hall.
  • The Reading, Listening, & Writing sections are carried over a total duration of 2 hours 40 minutes, and there will be no/small breaks between each section. The speaking section takes a maximum of 14 minutes and is often scheduled on a different day.

Test Results

  • The IELTS band score (‘band’ 1 to 9) is an indicator of your proficiency level in the English language.
  • The IELTS test results will be available 5-7 days after the exam if you have attempted the computer-based test, or after 13 calendar days if you have given the paper-based test. Your test centre will send you the Test Report Form (TRF) by post after the test.
  • You can also view your results on the online portal 5-7 calendar days/13 calendar days after the date of the test, depending on the test you have taken. Your result remains online for 28 days.
  • You need to have details like your test date, date of birth, your passport number & the candidate number to check the results online.
  • You can request for five additional TRFs to be sent to your preferred Institutions within a month of your IELTS exam.

Useful Tips

  • It takes anywhere between 2 weeks to 2 months to study for the IELTS exam, depending on your current level of proficiency in the English language. Also, it takes a while for the test results to come. If you need to send the IELTS score along with your master’s application, plan your exam date accordingly.
  • If you are not sure if the IELTS exam is necessary for the course you want to apply to, search the university website, send an e-mail to the admission officer of the university and ask for the information. If you still don’t get the required information, take the test and send your scores anyway.
  • Attempt mock exams to get an idea of the exam.
  • You can predict the overall band score using theIELTS score calculator when you do your mock tests.
  • An overall test band score of about 6.0 is usually the minimum prerequisite for most master’s programs in Australia.
  • You can directly submit the IELTS scores to up to five universities within a month of your test.
  • The IELTS TRF has a 2-year validity.
  • You can write the IELTS exam repeatedly and forward your best scores to the universities. However, multiple attempts may/may not improve your results unless you learn from your weaknesses and prepare accordingly.


There are several free online resources to help you get that perfect IELTS score. Self-study will suffice as long as you prepare regularly and diligently. The resources mentioned below cover every section of the IELTS test.

Make optimum use of the free online preparation course – Road to IELTS. It will give you deep insights about your core strengths and weaknesses via tables and graphs.

Links and Downloads

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