IELTS Test Format

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To succeed in the IELTS exam, a candidate has to know the test pattern and the particular techniques for answering questions. Make sure you are fully prepared with this knowledge. Don’t believe people who tell you that IELTS needs no preparation if your English is good. Even if it is, you still require learning the right abilities for the test. Experts suggested a period of two weeks as preparation time, though this would vary depending on your level of familiarity with English. The test fees are high and if you don’t get the band score that you need, you have to take test again. Like in all other exams, practice is the key to doing well in the IELTS. Make sure you have done it before you appear for the test. Make well-known yourself with the test format.

All candidates must complete four Modules:

  1. Listening
  2. Reading
  3. Writing
  4. Speaking


This module consists of four sections and each has 10 questions. Candidates will be given question paper consisting of variety of questions including: multiple choice, short answer questions, and sentence completion, summary, labeling a map/diagram/plan, matching etc. Candidates will hear the recording once only and answer the questions as they listen. Ten minutes are allowed at the end of recordings.


There are two types of reading modules one for Academic Version another for General Training Version, each has three sections with 40 questions. Candidates will be given three readings which may be taken from advertisements, leaflets, newspapers, books and magazines. The first section contains texts relevant to basic linguistic survival in English while the next sections are more difficult. Candidate has 20 minutes for completion of each section.


There are two types of writing modules one for Academic Version another for General Training Version. In each module candidates have 20 minutes for the task 1 and write 150 words and 40 minutes for task 2 which requires 250 words.

Candidates will be given a diagram or some data (graphs, table or chart) in task 1 and they have to present the given information in their own words.

In task 2 there is a point of view, argument or problem and candidates have to give their opinion with arguments and illustrations.


This module consists of an oral interview between the candidate and an examiner. It takes 11 to 15 minutes. It has three parts, in first part candidate will introduce himself to the examiner and answer the general questions asked by examiner. It takes 4 to 5 minutes.

In second part candidates have to talk on a particular topic for 2 to 3 minutes and he has one minute to prepare himself or make notes about the topic. Examiner can ask questions about the discussion. In third part examiner and candidate engage in a dialogue on an abstract issue which is linked to the topic of second part for 5 minutes.

This module will assess whether candidates can communicate effectively in English. The assessment takes on fluency, consistency and grammatical accuracy.

The first three modules Listening, Reading and Writing (always in that order) are completed in one day, and in fact are taken with no break in between. The Speaking Module may be taken, at the discretion of the test centre, in the period seven days before or after the other Modules.