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IELTS: Exam Pattern and Test Format - Notes | Study How To Prepare For IELTS - IELTS

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IELTS Exam Pattern
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IELTS Exam Pattern

The exam is divided into four sections that check your proficiency in the English language. These sections are reading, writing, speaking, and listening.
IELTS: Exam Pattern and Test Format - Notes | Study How To Prepare For IELTS - IELTS

You need to work on all aspects of the English language to get a good IELTS exam score. The table below highlights the exam pattern and discusses the topics and the time allotted to attempt each of the sections:

IELTS: Exam Pattern and Test Format - Notes | Study How To Prepare For IELTS - IELTS

IELTS Paper Pattern

In order to understand the IELTS Pattern deeply, you should also know the IELTS Syllabus. IELTS Syllabus includes different sections, Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking. The complete test duration is 2 hours and 45 minutes.

  • Listening: The total length of this section is 30 minutes and it is divided into four parts. You have to answer different types of 40 questions.
  • Reading: The reading section comprises three texts of general interest that deals with issues that are suitable for candidates going to pursue post-graduate or undergraduate program. The total time for this section is 60 minutes and it comprises almost 40 questions.
  • Writing: The duration of this section is 60 minutes and it comprises of two tasks. In Task 1, a candidate has to write a summary based on a graph/table/process in at least 150 words. In Task 2, you have to write a discursive essay of at least 250 words.
  • Speaking: The total time of this section varies from 11 to 14 minutes in which you have to give a face-to-face interview. With the help of this section, you are checked whether you can communicate effectively and present your ideas coherently in English.

IELTS Test Format

There are two types of IELTS - Academic and General Training. All test takers take the same Listening and Speaking tests but different Reading and Writing tests. You need to prepare for the right type of test.

IELTS Test Format - Listening

In this section, you listen to four recordings of native English speakers and then write their own answers to the list of questions.

  • Recording 1: a conversation between two people set in any everyday social context
  • Recording 2: a monologue set in an everyday social context
  • Recording 3: a conversation between up to four people set in an educational or training context
  • Recording 4: a monologue on any academic subject

Types of IELTS Listening Questions

  • Matching
  • Multiple-choice questions
  • Sentence completion
  • Short answer questions

IELTS Test Format - Reading

The Reading section includes 40 questions that aim to test a wide range of reading skills of the test taker. These include understanding the logical argument, reading for main ideas, and reading for details. There are three long texts that range from factual and descriptive to discursive and analytical.

IELTS: Exam Pattern and Test Format - Notes | Study How To Prepare For IELTS - IELTS

These texts are selected from magazines, journals, newspapers, and books for those looking to enter universities. Apart from the IELTS format, we have also given the types of IELTS Reading questions below.

Types of IELTS Reading Questions

  • Identifying information
  • Matching features
  • Sentence completion
  • Short-answer questions
  • Identifying the author’s claims

IELTS Test Format – Writing

IELTS: Exam Pattern and Test Format - Notes | Study How To Prepare For IELTS - IELTS

Task 1 - You get 60 minutes to complete both tasks. One task is for 20 minutes and the other is for 40 minutes. On the IELTS Academic Module, in Task 1, you have to write a summary of at least 150 words of a table/graph/process. On the IELTS General Training Module, in Task 1, you have to write a letter of at least 150 words.

Task 2 - Task 2 is the same for both Academic and General Training Modules, and involves an essay of at least 250 words. You will be asked to write an essay in a response to an argument, problem, or point of view. Make sure to give responses to both tasks in a formal way.

Test Format – Speaking

The speaking section monitors your spoken English. Every test is recorded.
IELTS: Exam Pattern and Test Format - Notes | Study How To Prepare For IELTS - IELTS

  • Part 1: The examiner will ask you general questions about yourself and familiar topics like work, studies, or home. The first part is of four to five minutes.
  • Part 2: You will be given a card that asks you about a specific topic. Here, you will be given one minute to prepare before speaking for two minutes. The examiner will then ask one or two questions on the selected topic.
  • Part 3: You will be asked questions about the topic selected in Part 2. Here, you will get the opportunity to discuss more the ideas and issues. This part lasts for four to five minutes.
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