The International English Language Testing System, or IELTS, is a globally recognized examination of English language proficiency for people who are non-native English speakers.
It is jointly owned and managed by the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge.
IELTS is honored by the majority of Australian, British, Canadian, European and New Zealand academic organisations, by more than 3,000 American universities and colleges, and by different corporate and business establishments all over the world.
The test result is valid for 24 months.
Institutions do not consider IELTS test results older than two years, unless the test takers prove that they have maintained their level of language proficiency.
There is actually NO requisite score to pass the IELTS test. The Test Report Form is given to all IELTS candidates after taking the test with a score from "Band 1" ("non-user") to "Band 9" ("expert user"). A score of "Band 0" is given to those who never attempt the test. Every institution has its own different band requirement.
IELTS has two modules:
Academic Module - to be taken by those who will study in the universities and higher education institutions, as well as by professionals such as medical doctors or nurses who wish to study or practice in English-speaking countries.
General Training Module - to be taken by those who would like to undergo non-academic training or obtain work experience or for immigration purposes.
Just recently, IELTS test partners offer a separate test known as IELTS LIFE SKILLS.
IELTS Life Skills - to be taken by those who need to prove their English speaking and listening skills at CEFR levels A1 or B1 and may be used also to apply for a ‘family of a settled person’s visa‘, indefinite leave to remain or citizenship in the UK.