International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Exam Format


The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is developed by the world’s leading language assessment experts and marked as the world’s most popular English language proficiency test required for global migration. It is needed to test your English skills in order to get study placement and job in abroad. Sign up today for FREE IELTS preparation course from Dr. Roma BDS for IELTS Exam.

The IELTS Exam consists of four sections- Reading, Writing, Speaking & Listening. Listening, Reading and Writing parts sections of ILETS test are taken on the same day, one after another with no breaks in between. However, the speaking test is generally scheduled on the afternoon of the test or can be scheduled within the seven days of the test. All this information is delivered to you by your local IELTS Exam centre.

Listening Test Format

IELTS listening section is about 30 minutes plus extra 10 minutes to write your answers on the sheet. The listening test is same for both IELTS Academic & IELTS general test. In this, one will listen the recorded monologues, conversations and texts through speakers and further they have to write answers on the sheet. Listening sections tests the ability to understand the opinions, understand the purpose of what is said and answer accordingly. Various kinds of native speakers’ accent are used to hear each section but only once.

IELTS Listening Test Consists of four sections:

No. Of Questions: 40                                                                      

Time: 30 Minutes + 10 Minutes (Transfer Time)

Marking Each Question Carries 1 Mark

Section 1 Conversation between two people in an everyday social context. example: Conversation about travel arrangements.

Section 2 Monologue set in an everyday social context. Example Speech about local facilities.

Section 3 Conversation between 4 people on educational or training topic. Example: Student discussing assignment.

Section 4 Monologue on an academic subject. Example: University Lecture.

Reading Test Format

No. Of Questions: 40

Time: 60 Minutes

IELTS reading test takes 60 minutes to get completed. Test is designed with variety of question types for analysis reading skills of the candidate. It includes reading of gist, detail, skimming, main ideas, recognizing writers, logical argument and so on. The texts used in reading are authentic and taken from books, magazines, journals and newspaper.

Difference Between Reading of Academic Version & General Training Version?

Reading of academic version consists of paragraphs are selected by non-specialist audience and appropriate for anyone entering undergraduate or postgraduate seeking professional registration.

Reading material given in General Training version are most likely to be encountered on daily basis in English Speaking environment.

Speaking Test Format

Speaking test examines your spoken English skills and takes approximately 11- 14 minutes to get completed. Every speaking test is recorded. Speaking test is divides into 3 sections:

Section 1 Task 1 of the speaking section is about you. Candidates are asked general questions about their home, family, work, studies and so on. This lasts between 4 and 5 minutes.

Section 2 In task 2 the examiner gives you a cue card and asks you to prepare on the assigned topic. One minute is assigned to candidate to prepare his/her thoughts on the given topic and then he/she is asked to speak for at least 2 minutes on the given topic. The task takes 3-4 minutes to get completed.

Section 3 In task 3, candidates are asked further 2 questions connected to section 2. These provide a candidate with an opportunity to discuss more abstract issues and ideas. Speaking is a one-to-one discussion of the candidate with the examiner. It is the last section of the IELTS speaking exam and takes approximately 4-5 minutes to get completed.

Writing Test Format

Time Taken- 60 Minutes

Academic Writing Test

IELTS Academic writing test is divided into two parts suitable for the candidates seeking professional registration.

Task 1 A graph, table, chart or diagram are provided to the student and he/she is asked to describe, summarize or explain the information in their own words.

Task 2 In the second task a candidate is asked to write an essay on a particular of view, argument or problem. Responses must be written in a formal style.

General Training Writing Test Format

Writing part of the general training version includes two tasks that are based on general interest.

Task 1 Student will be presented with a situation and asked to write a letter regarding the explanation of the situation. The letter can be written in personal, formal or semi-formal in style.

Task 2 Candidates are asked to write an essay in response to point of view, problem and argument. The essay writing in this task can be more personal in style as compared to writing in Academic writing task 2 essay.

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