There are two types of IELTS: Academic and General Training. All test takers take the same Listening and Speaking tests but different Reading and Writing tests. Make sure that you prepare for the correct test type.
The Listening, Reading and Writing sections of all IELTS tests are completed on the same day, with no breaks in between them.
The Speaking section, however, can be completed up to a week before or after the other tests. The total test time is 2 hours and 45 minutes.
Test format – Listening (30 minutes)
You will listen to four recordings of native English speakers and then write your answers to a series of questions.
Assessors will be looking for evidence of your ability to understand the main ideas and detailed factual information, the opinions and attitudes of speakers, the purpose of an utterance and evidence of your ability to follow the development of ideas.
Test format – Reading (60 minutes)
The Reading section consists of 40 questions, designed to test a wide range of reading skills. These include reading for gist, reading for main ideas, reading for detail, skimming, understanding logical argument and recognising writers' opinions, attitudes and purpose.
IELTS Academic test
This includes three long texts which range from the descriptive and factual to the discursive and analytical. These are taken from books, journals, magazines and newspapers. They have been selected for a non-specialist audience but are appropriate for people entering university courses or seeking professional registration.
Test format – Academic Writing (60 minutes)
Topics are of general interest to, and suitable for, test takers entering undergraduate and postgraduate studies or seeking professional registration. There are two tasks :
Test format – General Training Writing (60 minutes)
Topics are of general interest. There are two tasks :
Test format – Speaking (11–14 minutes)
The speaking section assesses your use of spoken English. Every test is recorded.