This blog covers everything you need to know to take your English proficiency IELTS exam in Ethiopia. The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is the world’s most popular English language proficiency test for higher education and global migration.

As one of the pioneers of four skills English language testing 30 years ago, IELTS continues to set the standard for English language testing today. Governments in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom use IELTS to process immigration applications. IELTS has been developed by some of the world’s leading language assessment experts and will test the full range of English skills needed for success in your new job or study placement abroad including

  • Listening
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Speaking

Types of IELTS

There are two types of IELTS: Academic and General Training.

IELTS Academic – measures whether your level of English language proficiency is suitable for an academic environment. Take this test if you want to: 

  • study at an undergraduate level or postgraduate level anywhere in the world
  • apply for Student Route visa (Tier 4) at a university that is a Student route (Tier 4) Sponsor in the UK
  • work in an English-speaking country for a professional organization.

IELTS General Training – measures English language proficiency in a practical, everyday context. The tasks and tests reflect both workplace and social situations.Take this test if you would like to:

  • study or train below degree level
  • work or undertake work related training in an English-speaking country
  • emigrate to an English-speaking country
  • get another job in your own country.

Listening and Speaking are the same for both tests, but the subject matter of the Reading and Writing sections differs depending on which test you take.Both tests are graded in exactly the same way.

IELTS Test Format

You’ll take the first three parts of the test on the same day, in the following order: Listening, Reading and Writing (there are no breaks between these tests). Your Speaking test will be held either on the same day or seven days before or after that, depending on local arrangements.

Listening test:

You will listen to four recordings of native English speakers and then write your answers to a series of questions with a total of 40 questions.Each correct answer receives one mark. Scores out of 40 are converted to the IELTS 9-band scale.1

  • 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

The IELTS Listening test takes approximately 30 minutes, and you are allowed an extra 10 minutes to transfer your answers from your question booklet to your answer sheet.

Reading test:

You will need to read quickly and efficiently, and manage your time. You will be asked to read three different passages and respond to related questions. The IELTS reading test takes 60 minutes including the transfer time. There are 40 questions which each correct answer receives one mark. Scores out of 40 are converted to the IELTS 9-band scale.

Writing test:

The IELTS Writing test is designed to assess a wide range of writing skills

  • Task 1 you will be presented with a graph, table, chart or diagram. You will be asked to describe, summarize or explain the information in your own words. You will be asked to write at least 150 words in 20 minutes.
  • Task 2 you will be asked to write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem. You will be asked to write at least 250 words in 40 minutes.

Your Writing test will be marked by a certificated IELTS examiner. Task 2 is worth twice as much as Task 1 in the IELTS Writing test.

Speaking test:

There are 3 parts in this section which will be marked on the four criteria: fluency and coherence, lexical resource, grammatical range and accuracy, pronunciation.It takes 11-14 minutes.

  • Part 1: The examiner will introduce him or herself and ask you to introduce yourself and confirm your identity. The examiner will ask you general questions on familiar topics, e.g. home, family, work, studies and interests.
  • Part 2: The examiner will give you a task card which asks you to talk about a particular topic, including points to include in your talk. You will be given one minute to prepare and make notes. You will then be asked to talk for 1-2 minutes on the topic. You will not be interrupted during this time, so it is important to keep talking. The examiner will then ask you one or two questions on the same topic.
  • Part 3: The examiner will ask you further questions which are connected to the topic of Part 2.

N.B:In total it takes 2 hrs and 40 mins to finish the IELTS


How to register for the IELTS in Ethiopia

1. Go to the website

2. Select your country territory

3. Find your test date

4. Choose a date and a test center that would fit your schedule and if available click apply

Available test centers in Ethiopia include

  • British Council Ethiopia – Azzeman Hotel(Addis Ababa)
  • British Council Ethiopia – Ararat Hotel(Addis Ababa)
  • British Council Ethiopia – Addis Ababa University(Addis Ababa)
  • British Council Ethiopia – Tegen Hotel(Addis Ababa)
  • British Council – NejashiEthio – Turkish School(Mekelle)

5. Read the terms and condition of the examination and click on the box at the end to proceed

6. Fill in all the required information on the space provided

7. Select Institutions you want your grades sent to

8. To finalize click on the box “I’m not a robot “then finish by choosing the Apply Now option

9. Print the summary page and proceed to payment options.

10. Payment: Your registration shall be canceled if you fail to complete your payment within five working days.

Deposit through Commercial Bank of Ethiopia Account No: – 1000004548446

The current application fee for IELTS Academic and  IELTS General Training (paper or computer) is ETB 12,850.00

N.B Please keep your cash deposit slip and present to British Council upon completing registration.

Test Day Advice

Getting to the test centre

Before the day of your test, check the start time of your IELTS test. Remember to also check the location of your IELTS test location, as it may be different to the test centre where you booked your test.

Arriving for your IELTS test

Turn off your mobile and any other electronic devices. These will be kept outside of the test room along with other personal belongings. You cannot bring food or drink into the test room – with the exception of water in a transparent bottle.

Your identity documents

The documents you received when you registered for the test will confirm which ID you’ll need. If you arrive without the correct ID you will not be able to take the test.

During your test

Follow these rules when sitting your IELTS test:

  • You are only allowed to have a pencil, pen, your ID, and an eraser on your desk.
  • Raise your hand to attract the invigilator’s attention if you want to ask a question during the test or if you need to use the toilet.
  • When it’s time to take the Listening test, check that you can hear the recording clearly. If you can’t, raise your hand and inform the invigilator.
  • After the Listening section, you will have 10 minutes to fill in the answer sheet. However, you will not have 10 minutes after the Reading section, so be sure to write your answers on your answer sheet when completing each section.

At the end of the test

  • Remain in your seat until you have the invigilator‘s permission to leave the test room.
  • If you believe that your performance may have been affected by any issues, inform the invigilator straight away.
  • If you want to make a complaint about your test day, you must do this within one week of the test date by filling in the Complaint Form.
  • You will be able to access your results online 13 days after the test and you will receive your official Test Report form in the mail.

Special Arrangements

If you requested special arrangements  as a result of a disability or other condition, adjustments will be made for you on the day of your test.


  • Upon registration you will recieve Road to IELTS and mock tests from the british council via email 
  • If you need the extra push, you can register for a preparatory training course at the british council 

Download Cambridge English 1 to 17

Join the Cambridge IELTS Practice telegram channel 

Watch the IELTS UP Writing Practice Videos

Watch E2 IELTS Practice Videos

Also see, A Guide to PLAB Exam for Ethiopian Medical Graduates


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