The IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is jointly owned and run by The British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge English Language Assessment. It is accepted not only by universities and corporations but by immigration departments of several countries.
There are two basic forms of the test. Both use the same listening and speaking sections, but they have different versions of the reading and writing tests. The academic test, like the TOEFL is for people who want to study at universities or colleges in English speaking countries. The general test is for employment, immigration or high school purposes.
The listening, reading and writing component of all IELTS tests are completed on the same day, with no breaks in between them. The speaking component, however, can be complete up to a week before or after the other tests. Your test centre will advise.
The total test time is 2 hours and 45 minutes.