what is IELTS Exam


IELTS stands for International English language testing system, it is the exam that tests your knowledge in English exam and It is, however, you can read, write, speak and understand the English language. IELTS is widely accepted by all Universities globally. Though TOEFL was earlier preferred by American Universities. IELTS is now being considered by many universities as an equivalent/substitute to TOEFL. TOEFL is a bit harder than IELTS, both the exams need basic preparation and a good grip on English Grammar. 

The IELTS is an English language test that is used for educational/immigration and is accepted by thousands of institutions across many countries worldwide. Jointly administered by the British Council and IDP Education. Depending on the entry requirements of your study program, you might need to take either the Academic or General Training IELTS exam.

The layout of the exam:

Regardless of whether you are taking the Academic version or the General version, the layout of the exam is exactly the same. The listening, reading, and writing tests will all take place on the one day where you do not have any breaks in the test. The order of the tests may change but you normally have the listening test first, then the reading, and then the writing. Regarding the speaking test, you will sit the speaking test up to seven days before or after the day you have the other three tests. The listening the speaking test is the exact same for both Academic and General Training versions of the IELTS exam.

There is NO pass or fail mark in the IELTS exam. Instead, you are marked on a band scale of 1- 9 in each of the four sections of the exam.       

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1 = the lowest mark
9 = the highest mark

For IELTS Academic version, most universities have a band scale requirement that falls between 5.0 and 7.0. It is best to contact the university first to find out exactly what band score you need to study at that university. If you are doing the General Training version, you will need to check the IELTS scores for visa requirements needed in the country of your choice to find out exactly what band score you need.  

How to obtain the highest possible score on the listening part of the IELTS exam?

The listening test is exact the same test for both Academic and General training versions of the IELTS exam. It is normally the first part of the IELTS exam. The listening test is 30mins long with an additional The listening test is exact the same test for both academic and general training versions of the IELTS exams. The listening test is 30mins long with an additional 10mins transfer time to transfer your answers to the answer sheet. 

It is important to remember that the tape is played only ONCE, So you need to listen carefully! There are four sections in listening part of the IELTS exam with 10 questions in each section. Each question is worth one mark so listening test is worth of 40 marks. A variety of question types are used such as, multiple questions, label a plan, map or diagram, fill a form, complete a table, complete a flow chart or give short answers.

Section1 is the easiest section and section 4 is the hardest section. In section 1 you will hear a conversation between two people. It tests basic English. In section 2 you will hear only one person talking. It will be on general everyday topic. In section 4 you will hear anywhere from 2 to 4 speakers having a conversation in an academic situation. In section 4 you will hear one person speaking about an academic subject. 

You have an extra time at end of each section to check your answers and to look at the questions in the next section before it is played. IELTS is based on British English so you will be listening British speakers, Australian speakers and speakers from New Zealand.

The key to getting a high mark is understanding the layout of the exam.

  1. Knowing the exam lasts for 30minutes
  2. 4 section in the exam
  3. Each section has 10 questions
  4. You will hear two people having a conversation in section 1
  5. You will hear one person speaking in section 2
  6. Each question is worth 1 mark.

The second key to getting a high mark is, practice as many IELTS exams as you can and practice each exam over and over. The more you practice the better you will become!

IELTS Academic Reading test

As the reading test is different for the Academic and General training version exam of IELTS exam. The reading test is 60mins long. Second part of the IELTS exam after listening test. It is important to remember that you do not get extra time at the end of the test to fill in the answer sheet. You have to fill the answer sheet during the 60 minutes of the test. You should spend no more than 20 minutes on each section. The tests that will come up in the reading test is from books, journals, newspaper and magazines. Section 1 is the easiest section and section 3 is the hardest. In section 1 and section 2 you have 13 questions to answer. In section 3 you have 14 questions to answer.

Top tip for the Reading test is to only read the title of the passage so that you know what the text is about, and THEN go and read the questions. Take each question one at a time and spend no longer than 15minutes on each section to ensure you answer all sections. You should try really hard not to leave any blank answers as the examiner cant give you the marks if you write nothing. A variety of question types are used such as, multiple type questions, short answer question, sentence completion, write a writers views or claims, fill in or label diagrams, match a heading with the correct paragraph or match phrases.  Reading test is only for 60 minutes concentrate really hard on what you are doing as you don’t have time to waste.  

IELTS Academic writing test Task 1

There are two tests in Academic writing test Task 1 and Task 2. In task 1 you will be given either a graph, a pie chart, a diagram, or a table. You will be asked to write a report on what you see in at least 150 words. This is very important it must be at least 150 words.

To get the highest possible score in your report: you should be able give an proper introduction, summarise the most important points in the diagram, compare and contrast the most important changes in the diagram and give a conclusion. You will be marked on your ability to answer the question, grammar and vocabulary, ability to structure your answer and use of connective words. The writing exam is 60 minutes in total so you should spend 20 minutes on task 1 as it is worth 150 marks and the other 40minutes is on task 2 as it is worth a lot more marks.

IELTS Academic writing test TASK 2

In task 2 of Academic writing test you have to write a response to the question giving reasons and examples. It is an eassy type question and the topics are always of general interest. You have 40 minutes to write your essay and you must write atleast 250 words. If you write less than 250 words then there is no way you can get a band score of nine.

IELTS Speaking test

What happens in IELTS speaking test?

Whether you are taking academic IELTS exam or the IELTS General Training exam, the speaking test is the exact same for both the exams. The IELTS speaking test is a one-to-one conversation with you and the examiner. It is basically an interview whereby the interviewer will ask you a series of questions. The test takes 11- 14 minutes and it is recorded.

There are three parts of speaking test:

In Part 1 of the speaking test, the examiner introduces himself and checks your name and ask you a series of questions in general. Part 1 usually lasts about 4-5 minutes and is the easiest part of the test. 

In Part 2 of the speaking test, the examiner will give you a written task card which will ask you to speak about a particular topic. You will get one minute to prepare your talk and you will then speak 2-3 minutes and examiner will ask you one or two questions. 

Part 3 is the final part of the speaking test, the examiner will ask you questions linked to part 2. It is two way discussion but you are expected to do most of the speaking.