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What is IELTS test? Know Fees and Test Format?(2021)

Here’s all you need to know about IELTS






Salient Features of IELTS

  • The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is an English language proficiency test for study, work, and migration

  • The Aspirants took approximately four million tests in the past year.

  • More than 15,000 organizations considered the IELTS results, including educational institutions, employers, professional associations, and governments.

  • 140 countries around the world accepted IELTS.


Which formats you can take IELTS test?

  • You can choose to take your IELTS test either on paper or computer, as convenient to you.

  • There is no difference in the content, format, or level of difficulty between the two options.

  • Remember, you will have to carefully choose which module you wish to take - IELTS Academic or IELTS General Training, depending on the purpose of your taking the test.

  • However, to study in the UK, you’ll have to take the IELTS test approved for UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI).

What are various IELTS test format?






  • IELTS is a test of all four language skills: Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking.

  • You will take the Listening, Reading, and Writing tests all on the same day one after the other, with no breaks in between.

  • For the Speaking test, you can book a slot online on your preferred date and time. If you fail to choose a slot within the stated time period, a time slot will be automatically allocated to you.

  • The total test time is under three hours.

IELTS Listening test (30 minutes)


You will have to listen to four recordings and then answer the questions asked. The recordings are of native English speakers and the duration of the test is 30 minutes.


IELTS Reading test(60 minutes)


The IELTS Reading test requires you to answer 40 questions and is designed to test you on an array of reading skills. You would have to read for gist, main ideas, details, logical arguments, skimming, and figuring out the writers’ attitudes, opinions and intentions.


IELTS Writing test (60 minutes)


The IELTS writing test requires you to complete two tasks and covers topics of general interest based on the module you are taking.IELTS Speaking Test (11-14 minutes)The IELTS Speaking test assesses your spoken English skills. The test is recorded and conducted in three parts.


IELTS Section-wise Syllabus

  • Writing syllabus

  • Reading syllabus

  • Listening syllabus

  • Speaking syllabus

IELTS Writing Section

  • Responses to the academic writing module are short essays or general reports, addressed to an educated non-specialist audience.

  • There are two compulsory tasks. Task 1 requires 150 words, and candidates are asked to look at a diagram, table, or data and to present the information in their own words.

  • Task 2 requires at least 250 words, and all candidates are presented with a point of view, argument, or problem and asked to provide general factual information, present a solution, justify an opinion, evaluate ideas and evidence, etc.

  • Total no. of questions: 2

  • Total time: 60 minutes


Writing- IELTS Academic

  • It includes two tasks wherein the topics are of general interest and relatable for candidates applying for an undergraduate or postgraduate program.

  • For your first task, you will be handed a paper that would contain either a diagram, table, or graph. You will be required to recapitulate and define the given data in your own words. You may be asked to explain a certain data entry, process the given information, or a flowchart to logically arrive at a conclusion.

  • In the next task, you need to write an essay as a response to your deduction from the given data and support your argument with relevant examples, through the given data. Please note that the writing style should be strictly formal.

Writing- IELTS General Training

  • It also includes two tasks, yet, it is much easier than that of the academic format.

  • You will be asked to write a letter as per the given situation. The letter can be formal, semi-formal, or personal depending upon the situation presented. You will be asked to explain, request for something, or support your argument to a certain authority.

  • Based on the above viewpoint, you will be asked to draft an essay on the same. The arguments and opinions mentioned here should be supported by relevant instances and the writing style can be a bit personal.


IELTS Reading Section

  • The reading module consists of three texts of general interest dealing with issues that are appropriate for candidates entering postgraduate or undergraduate courses.

  • Both reading modules consist of three passages or sections with forty questions.

  • Question types include multiple-choice, sentence, or summary completion, identifying data for short-answer questions, matching lists or phrases, and identifying writers’ views/attitudes.

  • Total no. of questions: About 40

  • Total time: 30 minutes


Reading - IELTS Academic

  • This includes three long paragraphs which can be either descriptive, factual, or analytical.

  • These paragraphs are basically excerpts taken from newspapers, research works, journals, books, or even magazines.

  • Targeting a non-specialist audience, the texts are ideal for testing higher education aspirants or for professionals seeking work abroad.

Reading- IELTS General Training

  • Similar to the academic format, here the excerpts can be passages from advertisements, company guidelines, brochures, and so on.

  • This is relatively easier than the academic format as the selected text is generally something that one encounters on a day-to-day basis.

IELTS Listening Section

  • The Listening module is divided into four sections.

  • The first two conversations are concerned with social needs, while the last two are concerned with situations more closely related to education.

  • They will all be around three minutes long.

  • The conversations could be both monologues and dialogues.

  • These conversations can be heard once only. A variety of question types are asked, like multiple-choice, short-answer questions, note completion, sentence completion, labeling a diagram, etc.

  • Total no. of questions: 40+

  • Total time: 30 minutes


Sections 1 and 2 are about every day, social situations.

  • Recording 1: The first recording would have a conversation between two people set in an everyday social context.

  • Recording 2 – The second recording would happen to be a monologue set in an everyday social context.

Sections 3 and 4 are about educational and training situations

  • Recording 3 – The following recording would be a conversation between four people set in an educational or training context.

  • Recording 4 – And the final recording would be a monologue on an academic subject

IELTS Speaking Section

  • The Speaking section is like a structured interview with an emphasis on general speaking skills.

  • It assesses whether candidates have the required knowledge and skills to communicate effectively with native speakers of English.

  • Total no. of questions: 3 parts – Personal Interview, Little Speech, and a Discussion

  • Total time: 11 to 14 minutes


Part 1 introduction and interview (4–5 minutes) For the first five minutes, you will be asked some mundane questions about yourself such as family, home, studies, hobbies and interests, and so on. Part 2 long turn (2–3 minutes) Next, the examiner will hand you a flashcard that would contain a certain topic. You will be given a minute or two to familiarize yourself with the topic as you would need to speak on that topic for about two minutes. Post your speech, the examiner might ask a few questions based on your understanding of the topic. Part 3 discussions (5–6 minutes) Deeper questions and abstract discussions would take place based on the given topic and your speech. You will get the opportunity to explore your given topic and delve into deeper issues. You can expect this part to last for five-six minutes.

Preparation tips for IELTS

There are two ways to prepare for IELTS: one was is self-study and another is attending coaching classes. Which way you will choose depends on your language proficiency and comfort level. If you are already fluent in English, you need not attend coaching classes, you can prepare for the exam on your own.


Where and how do I Book IELTS test dates?

  • The IELTS test dates in India are available four times a month or 48 times a year (for paper-based).

  • Tests are generally held on Saturdays and Thursdays to provide flexibility and convenience to the test seekers.

  • With the computer-delivered IELTS, you can choose from multiple dates and time slots in a day and get your results within 3-5 days.

  • Availability of the IELTS dates may differ as per the test type and module you have opted for - Academic or General Training.


Why choose IELTS?


For Study Abroad

  • The world’s most reputable universities and colleges will accept your IELTS results as evidence of your English language proficiency.

Professional Job Seekers

  • Professional registration bodies in many fields will accept an IELTS result, including accounting, engineering, law, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, and teaching bodies in many countries.

  • This means that after completing your studies, you may need to take the test in order to gain professional registration in an English-speaking country.

Migration Qualifying Test

  • IELTS scores are required by governments in more countries than any other English language test as a requirement for permanent residency.

  • IELTS General Training test is the only non-academic test available for migration to Australia, New Zealand, Canada, United Kingdom, and the USA.


Take a look at the informative video from The Urban Fight on IELTS!




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