About the Test
The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is widely recognized as a reliable means of assessing the language ability of candidates who need to study or work where English is the language of communication. IELTS is owned by three partners, Cambridge English Language Assessment, part of the University of Cambridge, the British Council and IDP Education Pty Limited (through its subsidiary company, IELTS Australia Pty Limited). This is a paper-pencil based test. More information can be found on the official website ielts.org
The test has two main purposes:
- Academic – for education/profession purpose
- General Training – for immigration/training purpose
Registration can be done both online and offline with varying fees based on location. There are more than 1,100 IELTS test locations in over 140 countries.
Photograph and valid ID which must be presented at the test center.
Bring pen, pencil, eraser and sharpener.
No other paper or instruments are allowed at the test center.
- IELTS consists of four components. The test total time is around 2 hours and 55 minutes.
The listening section has 4 parts, 40 questions with 25-30 minutes (plus 10 minutes transfer time). The 4 parts are:
- Section 1 has a conversation between two speakers on social aspect
- Section 2 is a monologue on social issue
- Section 3 is a conversation between up to four people on educational/training situation
- Section 4 is a monologue on training/educational context
- Variation of question types includes multiple choice, matching, plan/map/diagram labelling, form/note/table/flow-chart/summary completion, sentence completion and short-answer questions.
Reading section contains 3 parts, 40 questions with 60 minutes. The questions vary for the Academic and General Training module.
- For the Academic module three Reading texts come from books, journals, magazines, newspapers written for non-specialists and the topics are of general interest.
- For the General Training module three sections contain 5-6 reading texts from notices, advertisements, job descriptions, contracts and staff development, training materials, timetables, newspapers, magazines and fictional and non-fictional book extracts.
- Question types include multiple choice, identifying information, identifying the writer’s views/claims, matching information/headings/features/sentence endings, sentence/summary/note/table/flow-chart/diagram label completion and short-answer questions.</li>
Writing includes 2 tasks to be completed in 60 minutes.
- Task 1 is a guided writing of 150 words where Academic candidates describe some visual information (graph/table/chart/diagram) and the General Training candidates respond to a situation by writing a letter.
- Task 2 is creative writing of 250 words where describing or providing opinion on an issue is required.
The Speaking section has 3 parts for 11–14 minutes. The three parts are, answering familiar questions, then giving a 1-2 minute speech, (with a 1-minute preparation) followed by a detailed discussion generally based on the theme of part two.
The Listening, Reading and Writing sections are completed in one sitting. The Speaking test may be taken on the same day or up to seven days before or after the other tests.
Score & Result
The test report is provided 13 days after their test where an Overall Band Score (from 1-9), individual band score (from 1-9) is given for each section. The results are valid for 2 years.
Multiple Choice Strategy
The Reading Comprehension section is multiple choice – here are some tips on improving your score on multiple choice tests
How to Prepare for a Test
How to avoid common mistakes on test
Terrified of tests? You are not alone! Tips on handling test anxiety
Increase your score with Multiple Choice Strategy! Winning multiple choice strategies for reading comprehension. Plus how to take an oral exam, test tips and more!
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