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IELTS. Arguably one of the most feared 5 letters when you are applying for PLAB, GMC registration after passing a Royal College exam, or for a course in university. This article will help you understand the basics which you need to know about the IELTS exam.

Types of IELTS:

There are two types of IELTS - General: Tests day-to-day knowledge of English

- Academic: Tests academic expression of English

Which one to choose:

If you are giving your PLAB exam as a prerequisite to registering for PLAB or to get GMC registration after passing your Royal College Exams (MRCS, MRCP, MRCOG, etc), or are applying to a university, the ACADEMIC IELTS is the right choice for you.

Parts and Duration of the Exam:

The IELTS is taken in 2 days, and the exam consists of 4 sections, the Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking. You will usually be given one date for the Listening, Reading, and Writing parts and another date for the Speaking part.

Breakdown of the Exam:

Listening: 40 questions ------------------30 minutes (plus 10 minutes’ transfer time)

Reading: 40 questions-----------------------60 minutes

Writing: 2 tasks-------------------------------60 minutes

Speaking: 3 parts-----------------------------11–14 minutes

Exam Venue:

The exam is held in a number of approved centres around the world, the most centres organised by the British Council. Both days of the exam are usually held in the same venue.

What to Bring to the Exam: You will need a valid passport as your identification document. You may bring a pencil and an eraser; however, many centres will provide this.


The results are generally available within 2 weeks. You can find your results online or in person by picking up your Test Report Form.

Interpretation of Results:

The IELTS result come as a total band score, which is an average of the individual band scores obtained in the listening, reading, writing, and speaking sections.

Minimum requirements:


In order to be able to register for PLAB, one must have a total band score of 7.5 and above, with a minimum of 7 in each section.

GMC registration after passing a Royal College Membership Exam:

For GMC registration, one must have a total band score of 7.5 and above, with a minimum of 7 in each section.


This varies between universities; however, most UK universities accept a total band score of 6.5 and above as a minimum to apply for a course.

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1 comentário

ashurnazepal mihai
ashurnazepal mihai
22 de jun. de 2021

How insightful! Always excited for new posts from Academiko!

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