Scheme of IELTS Examination

In IELTS, there are four sections viz. Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. There are two different IELTS modules: Academic and General Training. Both the versions differ in the sense that the Speaking and Listening tests are the same in both versions but the Reading and Writing tests are different.

  • Academic module: This module is choosen if you wish to go for academic training in foreign country, might be an undergraduate or postgraduate level study or professional registration, e. g. Doctors and nurses.
  • General Training module: It is generally undertaken if a person wants to migrate or settle in an English-speaking country (e. g. Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK), or if you wish to train or study at below degree level.

Exam Format

Paper

Content

Time

Listening

40 questions

Approximately 30 minutes (plus 10 minutes transfer time)

Reading

40 questions

60 minutes

Writing

2 tasks

60 minutes

Speaking

3 parts

11 − 14 minutes

Listening and Speaking sections are common for all while the reading and writing sections differ among the two versions/modules.

Listening

Common for academic and general training.

  • Section 1 includes a conversation between two people set in an everyday social context, e. g. a conversation in an accommodation agency.
  • Section 2 plays a monologue set in an everyday social context, e. g. a speech about local facilities.
  • Section 3 provokes a conversation between up to four people set in an educational or training context to the listener, e. g. a university tutor and a student discussing an assignment.
  • Section 4 is of a monologue on an academic subject, e. g. a university lecture.

Reading

A very many number of questions are asked in the test to check up on your different abilities while reading. This ability test would include testing of reading for understanding gist, reading for main ideas, reading for detail, skimming, understanding logical argument, recognising writers'opinions, attitudes and purpose.

  • Academic version: The Academic version, in the reading section includes three long texts which may range of a subject which is descriptive and factual to discursive and analytical. The texts are authentic and are taken from books, journals, magazines and newspapers. These texts are such which do not require any speciality in the readers but at the same time, it is of the level which is required to get into graduation or post-graduation level.
  • General Training version: The General Training version requires you to read extracts from books, magazines, newspapers, notices, advertisements, company handbooks and guidelines. These texts are those which are likely to come about in a day to day basis in an English speaking environment.

Writing

Academic version

The Writing component of the Academic version includes two tasks. The topics are of general interest which do not require any speciality but at the same time, it is of the level which is required to get into graduation or post-graduation level.

  • Task 1: You will be presented with a graph, table, chart or diagram and on the basis of what you understand from it, you will be asked to describe, summarise or explain the information in your own words. Furthermore, you may be asked to describe and explain data, describe the stages of a process, how something works or describe an object or event.
  • Task 2: Essay writing is the second task of this section. This essay is based on a point of view, argument or problem. Responses to both tasks must be written in a formal style.

General Training version

The Writing component of the General Training version includes two tasks which are based on topics of general interest.

  • Task 1: You will be presented with a situation. Representing the situation, you will be asked to write a letter requesting information or explaining the situation. The letter may be personal, semi-formal or formal in style.
  • Task 2: Essay writing is the second task of this section. This essay is based on a point of view, argument or problem. Academic Writing Task 2 essay is to be wriiten in formal style while in general training this can be more of a personal sort of letter.

Speaking

Speaking component is the same for both Academic and General Training versions.

  • Part 1: The duration of this part is 4 − 5 minutes in which you have to answer some questions regarding yourself, your home, family, work, studies and interests.
  • Part 2: A card will be given to your on which particular topic will be staed and you have to speak for 2 minutes extempore on that topic. You will be given 1 minute in order to prepare for the topic after the card is given to you. The examiner then asks you one or two questions on the same topic to finish this part of the test.
  • Part 3: You will be asked further questions connected to the topic in Part 2. These questions give you an opportunity to discuss more abstract issues and ideas. This part lasts between four and five minutes.