How did IELTS start?

Well immigration is not a new concept; it has been going on since decades. Same way IELTS is not new, it started long back in as ELTS (The English Language Testing Service) was then launched in 1980 by Cambridge English Language Assessment (then known as UCLES) and the British Council; having an innovative format based on “communicative language learning and English for specific Purpose”. The test tasks were intended to reflect the use of language in the “REAL WORLD”.


You will be surprised to read that the number of test takers in 1981 were hardly 4,000 which grew to 10,000 in four years giving tough time to the test taking authorities as a result revision project was launched to give it a new shape to meet its growing demand. In order to have international participation in the redesigning, the International Development Program of Australian Universities and Colleges (IDP), now known as IDP: IELTS Australia, joined Cambridge Language Assessment and the British Council to form the international IELTS partnership which delivers the test to this date. This new partnership reflects in the new name of the test: The International English Language Testing System (IELTS).


You won’t believe IELTS went live again in 1989. The modules were divided as two non specialized modules, Listening and Speaking, and two specialized modules, reading and Writing. Every year the number of test takers rose by 15% and by 1995 there were 210 test centers around the world with approximately 43,000 test takers. Just think about the growing demand of IELTS and the burden on the test taking authorities to manage the growing demand of the test takers. This was again a time when revision was needed to cope up with the problem…

Can you think what did the authorities do to tackle the growing demand? Well wait for my next blog to find the answer... Keep guessing by that time & have a “Good Day”.

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