IELTS insight: What IELTS test takers must read

If you are new to IELTS and have no idea about it, this blog post will give you a quick look but very detailed about the test.

Some highlight about IELTS:

–  It measures the language proficiency

– There are two types of IELTS: ACADEMIC (for higher education or professional registration) and GENERAL (for secondary education, work experience /training programs, and  requirement for migration to Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK.)

– Test format: The test assesses your abilities in listening, reading, writing and speaking – in less than three hours.

Listening and Speaking are the same for both tests, but the subject matter of the Reading and Writing components differs depending on which test you take. The Listening, Reading and Writing components of all IELTS tests are completed on the same day, with no breaks in between them. The Speaking component, however, can be completed up to a week before or after the other tests. Your test center will advise.

– Score band: IELTS results are reported on a 9-band scale and the test result will be available after 13 days from the test date.  For the detailed description of each band score please visit


A detailed exploration into IELTS:

– Listening and Speaking:

  Listening Speaking
Time last 30 mins+ 10 mins transfer answers to answer sheet 11-14 minutes
Number of question 40 Variable
What in the test? Four recordings:

1. a conversation between two people in an everyday social context.

2. a monologue set in an everyday social context

3. a conversation between up to four people set in an educational or training context

4. a monologue on an academic subject, e.g. a university lecture

Three parts:

Part 1: Introduction and Interview (4-5 mins): general questions about yourself and a range of familiar topics, such as family, work

Part 2:  Long-turn (3-4 mins) a card will be given which asks you to talk about a particular topic. You have 1 minute to prepare before speaking for up to2 minutes. The examiner will then ask 1or 2 questions on the same topic.

Part 3: Discussion (4-5 mins). Further questions about the topic in Part 2

Abilities to master Follow the development of ideas

Understand main ideas

Understand detailed factual information

Understand opinions and attitudes of speakers

Understand purpose of an utterance

Fluency and Coherence

Lexical resource(Vocabulary)

Grammatical range and accuracy


Question types 1-Multiple choice


3-Plan, map, diagram labeling

4-Form, note, table, flow-chart, summary completion

5-Sentence Completion

6-Short-answer questions



Academic General
Time last 60 minutes. No extra time for transferring answers to answer sheet
Number of question 40
What in the test? Three LONG texts. Texts are taken from books, journals, magazines and newspapers, and have been written for a non-specialist audience. Three sections:

Section 1: two or three short texts or several shorter texts.

Section 2: two texts.

Section 3: one long text.

Abilities to master Reading for gist

Reading for main ideas

Reading for detail


Understanding logical argument

Recognizing writers’ opinions, attitudes, and purpose

Question types 1-Multiple choice

2-Indentifying information

3-Identifying 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

– Writing:

Academic General
Time last 60 minutes 60 minutes
Number of question 2 2
What in the test? Task 1: describe some visual information(graph/table/chart/diagram) in their own words. write at least 150 words in about 20 minutes

Task 2: respond to a point of view or argument or problem. Need to write 250 words in about 40 minutes.

Task 1: respond to a situation, for example, by writing a letter requesting information or explaining a situation. write at least 150 words in about 20 minutes

Task 2: write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem. Need to write 250 words in about 40 minutes.

Abilities to master Task 1:

-Identify the most important and relevant information and trends in a graph, chart, table or diagram

-Well-organized overview using language accurately in an academic style.

Task 2:

-Present a clear, relevant, well-organized argument

-Give evidence or examples to support ideas

-Use language accurately.

For both task:

– Use language accurately and appropriately

– Organize and link information coherently and cohesively

Task 1:

-Follow English letter-writing conventions (i.e. what order to put information in, what style to use, how to start and finish a letter)

Task 2:

– Follow English discursive writing conventions (i.e. what order to put information in, what style to use, how to start and finish discursive writing, how to paragraph)

Question types Task 2:


Discussion + (opinion)

Problem + solution

2-part question

Advantages/Benefits outweigh Disadvantages/Drawbacks


I hope it gives you a clear brief on the IELTS test. In the next posts, I will show you the strategies to tackle each type of questions in each skill.

Thank you for reading my blog.


Hope you enjoy this picture, I took it from pexels 



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