There are two modules of the IELTS:
IELTS Academic is intended for those who want to enroll in universities and other institutions of higher education and for professionals such as medical doctors and nurses who want to study or practice in an English-speaking country.
IELTS General Training is intended for those planning to undertake non-academic training or to gain work experience, or for immigration purposes.
The 4 parts of the IELTS test
The test total time is : 2 hours and 45 minutes.
Listening, Reading and Writing are completed in one sitting. The Speaking test may be taken on the same day (only in Computer Delivered) or up to seven days before or after the other tests. (Paper Based Test)
All test takers take the same Listening and Speaking tests, while the Reading and Writing tests differ depending on whether the test taker is taking the Academic or General Training versions of the test.
The module comprises four sections, with ten questions in each section. It takes 40 minutes: 30 - for testing, plus 10 for transferring the answers to an answer sheet.
Sections 1 and 2 are about every day, social situations.
Sections 3 and 4 are about educational and training situations.
Each section begins with a short introduction telling the test taker about the situation and the speakers. Then they have some time to look through the questions. The questions are in the same order as the information in the recording, so the answer to the first question will be before the answer to the second question, and so on. The first three sections have a break in the middle allowing test takers to look at the remaining questions. Each section is heard only once.
At the end of the test, students are given 10 minutes to transfer their answers to an answer sheet. Test takers will lose marks for incorrect spelling and grammar.
The speaking test is a face-to-face interview between the test taker and an examiner.
The speaking test contains three sections.
The Reading paper has 3 sections and texts totaling 2,150-2,750 words. There will be a variety of question types, such as multiple-choice, short-answer questions, identifying information, identifying writer's views, labelling diagrams, completing a summary using words taken from the text and matching information / headings / features in the text / sentence endings. Test takers should be careful when writing down their answers as they will lose marks for incorrect spelling and grammar.
Texts in IELTS Academic
Three reading texts, which come from books, journals, magazines, newspapers and online resources written for non-specialist audiences. All the topics are of general interest to students at undergraduate or postgraduate level.
Texts in IELTS General Training
The Writing paper has two tasks which must both be completed. In task 1 test takers write at least 150 words in about 20 minutes. In task 2 test takers write at least 250 words in about 40 minutes. Test takers will be penalised if their answer is too short or does not relate to the topic. Answers should be written in full sentences (test takers must not use notes or bullet points).
IELTS General Training