IELTS Exam Pattern
There are two types of IELTS test exam: IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training. Both these tests have four sections: Listening, Speaking, Writing, and Reading but they differ in Writing and Reading sections of the test only.
There are no breaks between 3 tests: Listening, Reading and Writing. You’ll take the first three parts of the test on the same day and your Speaking test will be held either on the same day or within 7 days or after, depending on IELTS test center/provider.
The IELTS Listening test is designed to evaluate the candidate’s listening skills. Candidate will listen to 4 recordings of native English speakers in which you will have to answers 40 questions in 30 minutes. These questions will test your ability to understand the main ideas and determine factual information, recognized to understand the opinions and purpose of speaker and the ability to follow the development of arguments. You can hear recording only once in each sections.
- Recording 1: It consists of a conversation between two people set in an everyday social context.
- Recording 2: It consists of a monologue set in an everyday social context. (Ex. a speech about local facilities)
- Recording 3: It consists of a conversation between up to four people set in an educational or training context.
- Recording 4: It consists of a monologue on an academic subject, e.g. a university lecture
The IELTS Reading test is designed to evaluate the candidate’s Reading skills. Candidate will read 3 long texts which range from the descriptive and factual to the discursive and analytical. These are taken from newspapers, books, magazines and Journals. It has been selected for a non-specialist audience but is appropriate for people entering university courses or people seeking for professional registration.
It consists of 40 questions to be answered in 60 minutes including the transfer time. These questions will test your ability on reading the main ideas, to understand the writer’s opinion, purpose and attitude, to understand the arguments and reading details.
Reading (General Training)
The IELTS Reading test for General Training is designed to evaluate the candidate’s Reading skills and how quickly they can read and manages their time. These are extracted from newspapers, books, magazines, advertisement, company handbooks, notices and guidelines. These materials are likely to encounter on a daily basis in an English-speaking environment.
It also consists of 40 questions to be answered in 60 minutes including the transfer time. These questions will test your ability on extracting main ideas, to understand the writer’s opinion, purpose and attitude, to understand the arguments and details.
The IELTS Writing test is designed to evaluate the candidate’s writing skills. The IELTS academic writing section includes 2 tasks to be written in a formal style.
It consists of 2 questions to be answered within 60 minutes. You need to write 150 words in about 20 minutes for Task 1 and 250 words in about 40 minutes for Task 2. These questions will test your ability regarding how well you write a response properly, how well you use a range of vocabulary and grammar accurately and with organize ideas.
In this task, you will be presented with a graph, table, chart or diagram and will be asked to describe, summarize or explain the information in your own words. Candidates might be asked to describe and explain the data, an object or an event, the stages of a process or how something works.
In Task 2, you will be asked to write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem and should make the issues interesting and easy to understand.
Writing (General Training)
The IELTS Writing test is designed to evaluate the candidate’s writing skills on the topic of general interest. The IELTS academic writing section includes 2 tasks and you can use a fairly personal style.
It consists of 2 questions to answer in 60 minutes. You need to write 150 words in about 20 minutes in Task 1 and 250 words in about 40 minutes in Task 2.
In this task, you will be presented with a situation and asked to write a letter requesting information, or explaining the situation, and the letter can be written in a personal, semi-formal or formal style.
In Task 2, you will be asked to write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem and the essay can be written in a fairly personal style.
The IELTS Speaking test is designed to evaluate the candidate’s speaking skills. The examiner will wish to see you will speak for a long time on a given topic using appropriate language, expression and justifiable opinions. They will watch how you can analyze and discuss about issues, and how well you can communicate your opinions and information on every day topics and common experiences.
IELTS Speaking test consists of 3 parts and answers can be completed in total 11-14 minutes. Do make sure that you relax yourself first and talk fluently, clearly and naturally.
The examiner will ask you to introduce yourself and ask general questions about you along with a range of familiar topics like home, family, work, studies and interests.
The examiner will give you a card with a topic and ask you to talk on that particular topic. You will get 1 minute to prepare and to make notes and then the examiner will ask one or two questions on the same topic .You are asked to talk for 2 minutes on the topic to finish this part of the test.
The examiner will ask further questions related to the topic in Part 2. These questions are designed to give you time to discuss abstract ideas and issues. You will have no more than 5 minutes to finish your answers.