International English Language Testing System
The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) assesses the English language proficiency of people who want to study or work where English is used as the language of communication. IELTS tests are held in over 1,000 locations across the world with tests up to four times a month.
IELTS Test Structure
All candidates must complete four Modules – Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking to obtain an IELTS Test Report Form.
Candidates are tested in Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. All candidates take the same Listening and Speaking Modules. There is a choice between Academic and General Training in the Reading and Writing Modules.
- The Academic Version is intended for those who want to go abroad for higher education and for professionals such as medical doctors and nurses who want to study or practice in an English-speaking country
- The General Training Version is intended for those planning to gain work experience, or for immigration purposes.
Total Test Time ( 2 hours 44 minutes )
The tests are designed to cover the full range of ability from non-user to expert user. Listening, Reading and Writing modules must be completed in one day. The Speaking module may be taken, at the discretion of the test centre, in the period seven days before or after the other modules.
The module comprises four sections of increasing difficulty. It takes 40 minutes: 30 – for testing, plus 10 for transferring the answers to an answer sheet. Each section, which can be either a monologue or dialogue, begins with a short introduction telling the candidates about the situation and the speakers. Then they have some time to look through the questions. Each section is heard only once. At the end of this section students are given 10 minutes to transfer their answers to an answer sheet.
In the academic module the reading test comprises three sections, with 3 texts normally followed by 13 or 14 questions for a total of 40 questions overall. The General test also has 3 sections. However the texts are shorter, so there can be up to 5 texts to read.
In the Academic module, there are two tasks: in Task 1 candidates describe a diagram, graph, process or chart, and in Task 2 they respond to an argument. In the General Training module, there are also two tasks: in Task 1 candidates write a letter or explain a situation, and in Task 2 they write an essay.
Speaking (11 – 14 minutes)
The speaking test contains three parts. The first part takes the form of an interview during which candidates may be asked about their hobbies, reasons for taking IELTS exam as well as other general topics such as sports, singing, dancing, internet, communication, transportation and many more.. In the second part candidates are given a cue card and then have one minute to prepare after which they must speak about the given topic maximum for 2 minutes.
The total test duration is around 2 hours and 44 minutes for Listening, Reading and Writing modules.
- Listening: 40 minutes, 30 minutes for which a recording is played centrally and additional 10 minutes for transferring answers onto the OMR answer sheet.
- Reading: 60 minutes.
- Writing: 60 minutes.