IELTS has two versions of tests, namely –


both the versions have 4 sections : Reading, Writing, Speaking & Listening. The Speaking & Listening sections remains the same in both the versions, but the Reading & Writings sections of the Academic version are slightly tougher than the similar sections in General version of the test.

All candidates must complete four Modules – Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking to obtain an IELTS Test Report Form. The Listening, Reading and Writing modules must be completed in one day. The Speaking module may be taken, at the discretion of the test centre, in the period seven days before or after the other modules.

The typical structure of IELTS test is :-

Listening (30 minutes)

Timing: Approximately 30 minutes (plus 10 minutes’ transfer time)

Questions:  40

Test Parts: 4 sections

Section 1 is a conversation between two people set in an everyday social context

Section 2 is a monologue set in an everyday social context (e.g. a speech about local facilities or a talk about the arrangements for meals during a conference)

Section 3 is 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, or a group of students planning a research project)

Section 4 is a monologue on an academic subject (e.g. a university lecture)

Each section is heard once only
A variety of voices and native-speaker accents is used.

Skills assessed: The listening section assesses a variety of skills which enables the judgement of the candidate on grounds of their understanding of the basic factual information delivered by the speaker and how well the listener is able to comprehend the ideas and attitude of the speaker.


Each correct answer receives 1 mark
Scores out of 40 are converted to the IELTS 9-band scale
Scores are reported in whole and half bands.

Reading (60 minutes)

Timing: 60 minutes (no extra transfer time)

Questions: 40

Test Parts: 3 sections

Academic Reading

Each section consists of one long text. Texts are based on academic topics of general interest and are appropriate to assess candidates entering undergraduate or postgraduate courses or seeking professional registration. Texts may contain non-verbal materials such as diagrams, graphs or illustrations. If texts contain technical terms, then a simple glossary is provided.

General Training Reading

Section 1 contains two or three short factual texts. Topics pertain to everyday life context of an English speaking country.

Section 2 contains two short factual texts focusing on work-related issues.

Section 3 contains one longer, more complex text on a topic of general Interest.

Skills assessed: A wide range of reading skills is assessed which includes grasping the main ideas and the development of the argument that the writer wants to get across.

Marking: Each correct answer receives 1 mark

Scores out of 40 are converted to the IELTS 9-band scale

Scores are reported in whole and half bands.
Writing (60 minutes)

Timing: 60 minutes

Tasks: There are 2 tasks

Candidates are required to write at least 150 words for Task 1 and at least

250 words for Task 2

Test Parts: There are 2 parts

Academic Writing

 In Task 1, there are a variety of questions based on a graphical representation of data, a tabular description of information, pie chart or diagram and candidates are asked to describe, summarize or explain the information in their own words.

In Task 2, candidates are asked to write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem.

Responses to Task 1 and Task 2 should be written in a formal style.

General Training Writing

 In Task 1, candidates are presented with a situation and are asked to write a letter requesting information or explaining the situation. The letter may be personal, semi-formal or formal in style.

In Task 2, candidates are asked to write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem. The essay can be slightly more personal in style than the Academic Writing. Task 2 essay

Topics are of general interest

Skills assessed:

Candidates are assessed on their writing abilities including the structure and form of the essay and how well they are able to present their argument in terms of content, correct grammar and range of vocabulary, comprehend and compare data, engage in personal correspondence thereby expressing factual information, opinions and views,  present a solution after recognizing the problem and express opinions and ideas effectively.

Marking: Candidates are assessed on their performance on each task by certificated IELTS examiners according to the four criteria of the IELTS

Writing Test Band Descriptors:

Task achievement/response
Coherence and cohesion
Lexical resource
Grammatical range and accuracy

Speaking (11 – 14 minutes)

Timing: 11-14 minutes

Tasks: The Speaking test is a face-to-face oral interview with an examiner.

The Speaking test is recorded.

Test Parts: 3

Part 1 Introduction and interview (4-5 minutes)

It starts with the examiner introducing him following the introduction of the candidate as asked by the interviewer. The examiner asks the candidate general questions related to topics, e.g. home, family, work, studies and interests.

Part 2 Individual long turn (3-4 minutes)

The examiner gives the candidate a task card which asks the candidate to elaborate on a particular topic. The candidate is given 1 minute for preparing his response and is given a pencil and paper to make notes. The candidate talks for 1-2 minutes on the topic. The examiner then asks the candidate one or two questions on the same topic.

Part 3 Two-way discussion (4-5 minutes)

The examiner asks further questions in relation to the topic of Part 2.

Skills assessed: A wide range of speaking skills is assessed, including the ability to get across information and to speak in a fluent manner with coherence.

Marking: Candidates are assessed on their performance throughout the test by certificated IELTS examiners according to the four criteria of the

IELTS Speaking Test Band Descriptors:

Fluency and coherence
Lexical resource
Grammatical range and accuracy

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