Format of IELTS

by Robin Thakur
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The IELTS (International English Language Testing System) exam consists of four main sections: Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking. Here’s an overview of the format for each section:

  • Listening (30 minutes):
    • Four recorded monologues and conversations.
    • 40 questions in total, 10 questions for each section.
    • The recordings are played only once.
  • Reading (60 minutes):
    • Three reading passages with a variety of question types (multiple choice, matching information, matching headings, True/False/Not Given, and others).
    • Academic Module: Texts are taken from books, journals, magazines, and newspapers.
    • General Training Module: Texts are taken from notices, advertisements, company handbooks, official documents, and other sources.
  • Writing (60 minutes):
    • Academic Module:
      • Task 1: Describing a graph, table, chart, map, or diagram (150 words).
      • Task 2: Writing an essay in response to a point of view, argument, or problem (250 words).
    • General Training Module:
      • Task 1: Writing a letter requesting or explaining a situation (150 words).
      • Task 2: Writing an essay in response to a point of view, argument, or problem (250 words).
  • Speaking (11-14 minutes):
    • Face-to-face interview with an examiner.
    • Part 1: Introduction and Interview (4-5 minutes).
    • Part 2: Long turn (1-2 minutes to prepare, 1-2 minutes to speak).
    • Part 3: Discussion (4-5 minutes).

IELTS scores are reported on a 9-band scale, with each section (Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking) assigned a separate band score. The overall band score is the average of these four individual scores.

It’s important to note that there are two versions of the IELTS test: Academic and General Training. The Academic version is typically taken by those planning to study at a higher education institution, while the General Training version is often used for immigration purposes or for work-related training. The Listening and Speaking sections are the same for both versions, but the Reading and Writing sections differ.

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