IELTS is a test of your language skills in Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. IELTS is available in two test formats: Academic or General Training. There are four parts – Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. The total test time is 2 hours and 45 minutes.
Listening Section: The timing is approximately 30 minutes (plus 10 minutes’ transfer time). There are 40 questions. A variety of question types are used, chosen from the following: multiple choice, matching, plan/ map/diagram labeling, form completion, note completion, table completion, flowchart completion, summary completion, sentence completion, short-answer
Reading Section: The timing is 60 minutes (no extra transfer time). There are 40 questions. A variety of question types are used, chosen from the following: multiple choice, identifying information (True/False/Not Given), identifying a writer’s views/claims (Yes/No/Not Given), matching information, matching headings, matching features, matching sentence endings, sentence completion, summary completion, note completion, table completion, flowchart completion, diagram label completion, short-answer questions.
Writing Section: The timing is 60 minutes. There are 2 tasks. You are required to write at least 150 words for Task 1 and at least 250 words for Task 2. The writing tasks depend upon the choice of Academic or General Training test.
Academic test writing: In Task 1, you are presented with a graph, table, chart or diagram and are asked to describe, summarize or explain the information in your own words. While for Task 2, you are asked to write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem.
General Training Writing: In Task 1, you are presented with a situation and are asked to write a letter requesting information or explaining the situation. In Task 2, you are asked to write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem.
Speaking Timing is 11-14 minutes and there are 3 parts. Part 1 is for introduction and interview (4-5 minutes). The examiner introduces him/herself and asks you to introduce yourself and confirm your identity. The examiner asks you general questions on familiar topics, e.g. home, family, work, studies, and interests.
Part 2 is for an individual long turn (3-4 minutes). In this, the examiner gives you a task card which asks you to talk about a particular topic and which includes points you can cover in your talk. You are given 1 minute to prepare your talk and are given a pencil and paper to make notes. You talk for 1-2 minutes on the topic. The examiner may then ask you one or two questions on the same topic.
While Part 3 is for two-way discussion (4-5 minutes). The examiner asks further questions which are connected to the topic of Part 2. These questions give you an opportunity to discuss more abstract issues and ideas.
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