The IELTS test is the International English Language Testing System. It tests all four language skills:
It is intended for people who want to study or work in an English-speaking country.
Versions of The IELTS Test
There are two versions of the test, the Academic and the General Training module.
The Academic module
The Academic module is for those who want to study or train in an English-speaking university. University admission to undergraduate and postgraduate courses is based on the results of the Academic test.
The General Training module
The General Training module is mainly for those who are going to English-speaking countries to do secondary education or get a job and focuses on basic survival skills in social and workplace environments.
The Parts Of Each Version of The IELTS Test
The IELTS test is divided into four parts, taken in the order below.
IELTS Listening (30 minutes)
In each section, you will hear a recording. The four sections become progressively more difficult and each recording is played once only.
There are pauses to divide the recording into smaller parts. For each part, you need to answer a series of questions of one type.
30 minutes + 10 minutes to write
answers on the answer sheet.
- 40 questions.
- Four recordings (two monologues, two
IELTS Reading (60 minutes)
The three passages contain 2000-2750 words in total and become progressively more difficult, but they are always suitable for non-specialist readers. If any technical terms are used, they will be explained in a glossary.
- 40 questions.
- Three long passages (from books, journals or
- It can include diagrams, graphs, and pictures.
IELTS Writing (60 minutes)
There is no choice of task, either in Part 1 or 2, so you must be prepared to write about any topic. However, the topics in the exam are of general interest and you do not need to be an expert to write about them.
- Task 1 (150 words): summarise a table, graph,
chart or diagram).
- Task 2 (250 words): a short essay.
IELTS Speaking (11-14 minutes)
You will be interviewed, on your own, by one Examiner, and the conversation will be recorded on audio cassette. The three-part structure of the interview is always the same, although the topics will vary from candidate to candidate.
11 to 14 minutes
- A face-to-face interview comprising
- short questions.
- speaking at length on a familiar topic (‘long
- a structured conversation.