The Complete Guide to IELTS in Malaysia (Updated 2021)

Looking to take IELTS in Malaysia?
ielts malaysia

Looking to study overseas? The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is the most popular English language proficiency test for international study. Read our full guide.

Table of Contents

What is the International English Language Testing System (IELTS)?

The International English Language Testing System, more commonly known as IELTS, is an English proficiency test that is widely accepted around the world. If you’re looking to study or work abroad, you may be required to take the IELTS.

Once you have taken the tests, your results will come in the form of component or section scores and an overall band score. If you’re unhappy with your results, you can retake the IELTS – there are no limits for this, though you will have to pay the full fee each time you resit the test. IELTS scores are valid for two years.

Some countries will require proof of English proficiency to obtain certain types of visas. The following countries are known to accept IELTS for some visas:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • New Zealand
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

IELTS is also accepted in a number of other countries around the world. Aside from visa applications, English proficiency tests are a common requirement for entry into universities, professional accreditation bodies, and so on.

Do I have to take IELTS?

Here are some examples of people who might need to take the IELTS:

  • Future undergraduate student pursuing a Bachelor’s degree outside Malaysia
  • Malaysian university graduate pursuing postgraduate studies in Australia
  • Professional doctor, lawyer or other accredited professional moving to another country
  • A Malaysian who wants to migrate to the UK
  • Someone who has been offered a job in an overseas country

Be sure to check with the university or country’s visa office if proof of English proficiency is required. Some universities will require proof of English proficiency to apply to a programme while some may allow you to take the test after enrolment. However, you may not be given adequate time to study for the IELTS and repeating the exam can be costly.

If you’re a Malaysian and you intend to study, work, or live anywhere abroad, it’s recommended that you take IELTS because it is a common requirement. Malaysia is usually not seen as a majority native-English speaking country which would otherwise allow for exemptions from this requirement.

IELTS Format

You may take the IELTS in two formats – the first is a paper-based test and the second is a computer-delivered test.

Additionally, there are two types of IELTS tests for English: IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training. The IELTS Academic tests are designed for those pursuing tertiary education while the IELTS General Training paper is adequate for other purposes. According to IELTS, roughly 80% of test-takers sit for IELTS Academic.

The test has four sections:

  1. Listening – 40 questions, 30+10 minutes
  2. Speaking – interview, 15 minutes 
  3. Reading – 60 minutes
  4. Writing – 60 minutes

IELTS Listening Test

This is the first section of the test. You will listen to a number of audio recordings and answer a number of questions based on what you hear. Pay close attention as the recording will only be played once! You are allotted 30 minutes for this section and you are given an extra 10 minutes to write down your answers. Questions in this section have equal weight.

IELTS Speaking Test

The speaking test is conducted as an interview. There are three parts in this test. In the first exercise, you will be asked general questions about a familiar topic. In the following exercises, you will be given questions based on a topic. Be sure to discuss the topic before providing more detailed answers. This section will take about 15 minutes to complete.

IELTS Academic Reading Test

The IELTS Academic and General Training tests differ in the reading and writing sections. In the IELTS Academic reading test, you will be given a number of passages to read and you will answer a total of 40 questions based on these passages. There are many types of questions in this section so your answer may take the form of a short written answer or a multiple choice. You have 60 minutes for this section and all questions in this section have equal weight.

IELTS Academic Writing Test

There are two tasks in this test and they’re timed separately. You are given 20 minutes to complete the first section where you have to write a 150-word descriptive essay. The second section requires you to write a 250-word essay in 40 minutes. Try to do your best in the second section as it has double the weight of the first section. That means that your performance in the second section is more important for your final test score.

IELTS Band Score

You will receive individual section scores as well as an overall score. These scores go from 0-9 in .5 point increments. 9 is the highest score while 0 is the lowest possible score. The score of 9 is considered an expert level score by IELTS. UK universities will usually require a minimum overall score of 6.5, up to 7.5 for certain sections.

IELTS Band Score



Expert level, complete understanding of the language


Very good, fully operational command of the language


Good, effective command of the language with occasional misunderstandings


Competent with some misunderstandings




Extremely limited


Did not attempt to answer the test or non-user of the language


IELTS 2021 Exam Dates In Malaysia

IELTS is available three or four times a month. This means that it’s possible to sit for the test on any given week. However, IELTS is very popular so it’s recommended that you register a few weeks before you intend to sit for the test.

Where To Take IELTS Test In Malaysia

You can sit for IELTS at any official test centre which are available in the following locations:

  • Kuala Lumpur
  • Petaling Jaya
  • Subang Jaya
  • TTDI
  • Johor Bahru
  • Penang
  • Melaka
  • Ipoh
  • Kota Kinabalu
  • Kuching
  • Miri
  • Sibu

IELTS Registration In Kuala Lumpur

There are a few methods to register for IELTS in Kuala Lumpur:

  1. Book in person at a British Council office. There are British Council branches in Kuala Lumpur and Mutiara Damansara, you can find their contact details here.
  2. Register online on the official website here.
  3. Contact us and we can get you registered for the test. Get in touch with us via WhatsApp, email or a phone call. You can also fill in our contact form and one of our consultants will be in touch with you.

There’s usually a high demand for IELTS, so we recommend that you register a few weeks before you intend to sit for the test.

What is the IELTS Fee In Malaysia

As of 2021, the IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training UKVI tests costs RM 895 per attempt.

IELTS Practice Test and Preparation

We strongly recommend that you do a few practice tests before you sit for the real thing. Being familiar with the test format will help you know what to expect 

You could practice for the IELTS on a number of websites online before you sit for the real test. Here are some recommendations:

IELTS Liz – Liz is an IELTS teacher who has compiled a list of free practice tests and resources on their website here.

British Council Practice Tests – These are the practice tests provided by British Council.

Frequently Asked Questions

Your results will only be available on the 13th day after your written test. This applies to both the paper and computer tests.

If you took a paper test, you can collect your results in person. If you took a computer-delivered test, you can check your results on IELTS’ website here. IELTS will only keep your results for 90 days on their website, so you should save your results.

Test of English as a Foreign Language, or TOEFL, only offers an academic paper while IELTS has an Academic test and a General Training test. TOEFL only has multiple-choice questions while IELTS test questions have many formats including multiple-choice and fill in the blank questions.

There is no age limit for sitting for IELTS, but it is recommended for those who are aged 16 and above.

Most UK universities require a minimum overall score of 6.5 and a minimum of 6.0 in all sections, but this will vary depending on the university and course. Some programmes may require a minimum of 7.5 for certain sections of the IELTS test.

IELTS Registration - Take IELTS Exam In Malaysia Now

If you would like to register to take the IELTS, contact us immediately or visit us at our office in Mont Kiara, Kuala Lumpur. Book an appointment with us now!

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