The IELTS Exam Pattern you should know

The IELTS Exam Pattern

 

The IELTS exam pattern is designed to evaluate you in four different areas- listening, reading, writing, and speaking.

There are two types of IELTS examination: Academic IELTS and General IELTS.

Academic IELTS is necessary for international students and the peoples who want to migrate to any English speaking country needs general IELTS.

The listening and speaking sections are the same for both examinations but there are some differences in the writing and reading section.

The test needs 2 hours and 55 minutes to complete.

  • Listening= 40 minutes (30 minutes test+10 minutes to transfer your answers to an answer sheet)
  • Reading= 60 minutes (Here no extra minutes are allocated to transfer your answers to the answer sheet)
  • Writing = 60 minutes.
  • Speaking = 11-15 minutes.

The Listening, Reading, and Writing tests are taken on the same day without any break but depending on your test center Speaking test can be taken up to a week before or after the other tests.

In this article, we will only talk about the test format of Academic IELTS.

 


IELTS Listening Format (30+10 minutes)

Ielts Listening

In the listening test, the test center will provide you with a headphone and you will have to listen to four different recordings. Every section will contain 10 questions each so there will be a total of 40 questions. Each recording will be played only once so you need to answer the questions as you listen.

  • Recording 1 – You will listen to a conversation between two people based on daily life. 
  • Recording 2 – You will listen to a monologue based on the social context. For example, a speech about something. 
  • Recording 3 – You will listen to a conversation between up to four people based on educational or training context. For example, a teacher and students conversation about an assignment. 
  • Recording 4 – You will listen to a monologue based on an academic subject. For example, a lecturer. 

 

Types of questions in the listening section 

Around 6 types of questions may appear in the listening test. These are-

    1. Multiple choice 
    2. Matching 
    3. Plan, map, diagram labelling 
    4. Form, note, table, flow-chart, summary completion
    5. Sentence completion 
    6. Short answer questions


IELTS Academic Reading Format (60 minutes)

In the reading section, you need to answer 40 questions from three passages. These passages are taken from books, magazines, journals and newspapers. To answer the questions you need to manage your time and read quickly and efficiently. 

The reading test is designed to check your wide range of reading skills, including how efficiently you:

  • Catch the main idea 
  • Read for detail
  • Understand the inference and implied meaning
  • Follow the development of an argument 
  • Understand the general sense of a passage 
  • Also recognize a writer’s opinions, attitude and purpose.

 

Types of questions in Academic Reading section

Around 11 types of questions may appear in a reading test. These are-

    1. Multiple choice 
    2. Identifying information
    3. Identifying the writer’s views/claims 
    4. Matching information
    5. Matching headings 
    6. Matching features 
    7. Matching sentence endings 
    8. Sentence completion
    9. Summary, note, table, flow-chart completion
    10. Diagram label completion
    11. Short answer questions

 


IELTS Academic Writing Format (60 minutes)

Writing

In the writing section, you have been given two tasks (Writing task 1 and task 2), and both of them need to be completed within 60 minutes. These tasks are designed to test your writing skills, and how well you: 

  • Organize your ideas 
  • Write a response properly 
  • Use a range of vocabulary and grammar accurately. 

 

Academic Writing Task 1

Here, you are asked to describe some visual information, like Graph, table, charts, diagram, and maps in your own words. You must describe the most important and relevant points in your answer within 150 words. You can leave out some minor points and details. 

You should be careful to manage your time properly. It is wise not to spend more than 20 minutes on task 1. 

You will be severely penalized if you: 

  • Write off-topic
  • Do not compete 150 words.
  • Use bullet points
  • Copy from other sources.
  • Use informal words.

 

Academic Writing Task 2

Here, you need to write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem. You should read the given task very carefully and give a full and relevant response. For example, if the topic is about a particular use of a mobile phone, so you should write only about this particular topic without writing the use of mobile phone in general. 

You should spend no more than 40 minutes on this task, and you are asked to write at least 250 words. You will not be penalized for writing more than 250 words. 

You will be severely penalized if you: 

  • Write off-topic
  • Do not compete 250 words.
  • Use bullet points
  • Copy from other sources.
  • Use informal words.

 


IELTS Speaking Format (11-15 minutes)

Speaking

This test is designed to assess your ability in communication using the English language. The test is taken in 3 parts. Where the examiner will look for how well you:

  • Organize your ideas.
  • Express and present your opinions.
  • Speak at length on a given topic.
  • Grammatical range and accuracy.

Part-1: Introduction and interview 

In this part, the examiner will ask you some general questions about yourself and other familiar topics, such as family, home, work etc. It’s better to answer the questions using 2 or 3 lines. It will take around 4-5 minutes to complete part 1. 

Part-2: Long turn

In this part, the examiner will give you a task card with a topic written on it. You have to talk on this topic around 1-2 minutes by covering some questions given on this particular topic. You will be given one minute to prepare your talk, and also you are given paper and a pencil so make some notes. This part will take around 3-4 minutes to complete, including the preparation time. 

Part-3: Discussion

In this part, the examiner will ask you some questions related to part 2. Here, you need to answer the questions more elaborately. It will take around 4-5 minutes to complete.

 


 

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