IELTS stands for: International English Language Testing System
Four skills of English language are tested: reading, writing, listening and speaking.
Test has two categories:
IELTS (General Training)
The IELTS (GT) is different in reading and writing. All students take same listening and speaking test. Usually listening, reading and writing are on the same day however, speaking test can be before or after the same day as other skills. As it is an international test, most of the examiners speak with British or Australian accents. For spellings, students are supposed to take either US or UK, but you cannot mix both.
IELTS listening has four sections for testing. First two sections are based on social topics whereas, section two has academic topics. Same listening test is usually given to everyone. It has 40 questions, and all are compulsory to attempt. This test lasts for 40 minutes. Every section has 10 questions in it and you listen every recording for once to answer. You will be given 10 minutes extra to transfer your answers on the answer sheet.
Listening band score can be easily calculated like this:
If you have 23/40 correct answers: 6 bands
If you have 30/40 correct answers: 7 bands
If you have 35/40 correct answers: 8 bands
Never leave an empty space as there is no negative marking in IELTS. You will be given extra time before and after listening test to see your questions and answers. Moreover, you can write on your question paper. Your answer sheet will be marked for your result. It is a useful way to keep notes for your listening on your question paper.
Reading test comes right after your listening test and no extra time is given to transfer your answers on answer sheet. Three reading passages are given in academic and general training reading tests. Each passage is long and usually taken from authentic sources like books, magazines and newspapers. Language of these passages is complex academic vocabulary, a variety of sentence structures and some diagrams, maps and illustrations are there to unravel.
GT reading also contains three passages, each one getting complex and difficult in terms of language, vocabulary and topics. Both test types have 40 reading questions. You get one point for every correct answer and there is no negative marking in this section too. Many students fail this test due top their poor time management skills. It is strongly recommended to spend almost 20 minutes on each passage to successfully complete the test on time.
There are many issues in non-native students’ reading test which can be discussed with you. Please feel free to talk to us on the tips/suggestions to improve your reading test score. You can use our page Improving your Listening to get better scores in IELTS listening.
This test has two parts: Task one is about a report for the academic test
Task two is mostly an essay for both tests. This test is also of one hour and no extra time is given to read your answers. Task one is of 20 minutes whereas task two is of 40 minutes. Task one is of 150 words and task two is of maximum 250 words. To have better advice on Essay types and word limit, use our page IELTS Essay Advice
IELTS general training test is usually taken from immigrant who want to get their permanent residence in native countries. In this paper, students are asked to write a letter for task one. You can find different types of letters in IELTS GT Writing Task 1page.
IELTS Academic is for those who want to enter in college and universities. Most people take this test before getting admission in any English-speaking country.
There are three parts in speaking test. In first round, you have an interview with your examiner about yourself. The second round consists of a talk and the last round is a discussion on a topic with your examiner.
The total length of this test is around 11-14 minutes which can be 4-5 minutes for part one, part two 2-3 minutes and part three 4-5 minutes. Speaking test will be face to face with your examiner and examiner will record your response in a recorder for transparency purposes. The test is usually marked on your fluency, vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation. All of these categories are accounted for 25% each. For the common topics in speaking, you can find this link IELTS Common Topics. Part one will consist of 12 questions and in part three you are supposed to answer five more questions. Also, try to answer in detail and expand the information for section three in speaking. Please note that examiner is only interested in your speech production and language. There is no need to intentionally use body language in your speaking test until you possess it naturally with you.