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IELTS - The Test for Everyone around the World

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April 2016

The International English Language Testing System is an assessment of the language skills for candidates who need to study or work where English is the language of communication. The IELTS measures English language skills in the areas of Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. The test lasts for duration of 2 hours and 44 minutes, and is graded on a band scale of 0-9; generally a band of 6 is required for UG and 6.5 for PG in each section. Results for the IELTS is available in 15 working days

All candidates take the same Listening and Speaking tests, the Reading and Writing tests differ in accordance to whether a candidate takes the Academic or General module

What is the Test Format

The test is taken in the following order

  • Listening has 4 sections, with 40 questions and time allotted is 30 minutes
  • Academic Reading OR General Training Reading has 3 passages and 40 questions with a time of 60 minutes for this section
  • Academic Writing OR General Training Writing consists of 2 tasks each with a duration of 60 minutes
  • Speaking lasts for 11 to 15 minutes

Listening

The test consists of four sections, with ten questions each. The candidates can hear the recording only once and are required to answer the question as they listen. The type of questions includes multiple choice, short answer questions, sentence completion, flow chart completion, labelling a diagram/plan. Candidates can write the answers on the question paper itself, and are then given 10 minutes once the recording is over to transfer their answers on to the answer sheet

Academic Reading

This test consists of three reading passages with 40 questions. These texts are based on topics of general interest. This test includes a variety of questions like multiple choice, short answer, sentence completion, labelling of diagrams, table/flow chart completion, selecting paragraph headings from a list and matching them with the appropriate paragraphs, identifying with information in the text- True, False, Not given/Yes, No, Not given

General Training Reading

This test consists of three sections with a total of 40 questions. These texts are taken from notices, advertisements, books, leaflets and magazines. The test includes a variety of questions like multiple choice, short answer, sentence completion, labelling of diagrams, table/flow chart completion, selecting paragraph headings from a list and matching them with the appropriate paragraphs, identifying with information in the text- True, False, Not given/Yes, No, Not given

Academic Writing

This part consists of two writing tasks. Candidates should spend a minimum of 20 minutes on task 1, which requires them to write 150 words, 40 minutes on task 2, which required them to write 250 words.

In Task 1, candidates are required to look at a diagram or some data and present information in their own words. They are assessed on their ability to compare data, describe an object or explain the stages and functioning of a particular process.

In Task 2, candidates are presented with a point of view or an argument. They are assessed on their ability to present and justify an opinion they give, compare evidence and evaluate and challenge ideas. They are also assessed on their English written skills.

General Training Writing

This test consists of two writing tasks. Candidates are requested to spend 20 minutes on Task 1 which requires them to write at least 150 words, and 40 minutes on task 2, which requires them to write 250 words

In Task 1, candidates are asked to respond to a situation with a letter requesting information or explaining a given situation. They are assessed on their ability to engage in personal correspondence, express wants, dislikes and complaints etc

In Task 2, candidates are presented with a point of view or an argument. They are assessed on their ability to present and justify an opinion they give, compare evidence and evaluate ideas. They are also assessed on their writing style

Speaking

This test consists of two writing tasks. Candidates are requested to spend 20 minutes on Task 1 which requires them to write at least 150 words, and 40 minutes on task 2, which requires them to write 250 words

This test lasts between 11 to 14 minutes and is conducted by a trained examiner; it is further divided into three parts

In Part 1, the candidate and the examiner introduce themselves, candidates are then asked general questions about themselves, their friends, family, home, studies, hobbies

In Part 2, the candidate is given a task card with prompts and is asked to talk on the given topic, the candidate has one minute to prepare for this task, and can make notes if they wish to, before speaking on the topic for 1-2 minutes

In Part 3, the examiner and the candidate engage in a discussion which is related to the topic in Part 2

April 2016

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