What is IELTS

What is the IELTS Test?

What is the IELTS Test?

International English Language Testing System is an international standardized test of English language proficiency for non-native English language speakers. It is jointly managed by the British Council, IDP and Cambridge English, and was established in 1989.

IELTS test contain two types:

  1. IELTS Academic
  2. IELTS General
You can calculate your IELTS Score HERE
IELTS Academic

The purpose of the IELTS Academic exam is to evaluate your proficiency in the English language, particularly in areas that are important for undergraduate or graduate study. Find out which universities accept IELTS and what scores are necessary to be admitted to their degree programs.

Vocabulary from the IELTS Academic test is frequently used in academic contexts and may also be necessary to register with professional associations.

You can take the exam on paper or on a computer at our designated testing locations. The test may also be available for online administration. Learn more about the IELTS testing process.

There are four components to the IELTS Academic test: Speaking, Reading, Writing, and Listening. More information about these sections is provided below.


Each of the four sections of the paper has ten questions. The answers to the first question will come before the answers to the second, and so on, because the questions are presented in the same order as the information in the recording.

The topics of Parts 1 and 2 are common social situations. In Part 1, there is a dialogue between two speakers (for instance, discussing trip plans). In Part 2, there is only one speaker (a lecture about local facilities, for example).

Training and instructional scenarios are covered in Parts 3 and 4. Part 3 is a dialogue between the two primary speakers, who could be two college students having a tutor-guided discussion. Part 4 features a single speaker discussing an academic subject.


Time allowed: Approximately 30 minutes (plus 10 minutes to transfer your answers to an answer sheet)

Number of parts: 4

Number of questions: 40

Marking: Each correct answer receives 1 mark. Your final score is given as a band score in whole or half bands, e.g. 5.5 or 7.0.


Academic Reading:

Time allowed: 60 minutes (including transfer time)

Number of sections: 3; the total text length is 2150–2750 words

Number of questions: 40

Marking: Each correct answer receives 1 mark. Your final score is given as a band score from 1–9 in whole or half bands, e.g. 4 or 6.5.


Academic Writing:

Time allowed: 60 minutes

Number of tasks: 2

Marking: Task 2 contributes twice as much as Task 1 to the Writing score.



The Speaking exam involves the test taker and the examiner having a face-to-face interview. The Speaking exam is videotaped. The test consists of three sections, each of which has a set of tasks designed to assess your speaking abilities in a different way. You will be asked questions about yourself and common subjects in Part 1, like your studies, hobbies, and home and family. You are shown a card in Part 2 that asks you to discuss a certain subject. You have one minute to prepare, then you have to speak for up to two minutes before responding to general inquiries about the subject. There will be more questions concerning the subject in greater detail in Part 3.

Time allowed: 11–14 minutes

Number of parts: 3

IELTS General

Demonstrate your ability to speak English in a real-world setting.

Take the IELTS General Training test if you would like to:

  • Train Or Study At Below Degree Level.
  • Explore Overseas Jobs Or Do Work-Related Training In An English Speaking Country.
  • Emigrate To An English Speaking Country.
  • Get A Better Job In Your Own Country.

Duration: 2 hours and 45 minutes.

Format: There are four sections to the IELTS General training test: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking.

Understanding IELTS General :

Understanding GT IELTS

  • The GT listening test is the same as the academic test. Everyone takes the same listening test with the same scoring.

Duration: 30 minutes +10 minutes to transfer your responses to the answer sheet


4 audio recordings in varying accents. You will write your answers using:

  • The GT speaking test is the same for everyone. There is one speaking test only with the same scoring.

Duration: 10 – 15 minutes


  • Face-to-face interview.
  • Short questions and speaking at length about a familiar topic.
  • The GT reading test is slightly different. The question types are 100% the same as the academic test, but the passages have a different content and layout.

Duration: 60 minutes

Format: Three reading passages with tasks:

  • Section 1 – two short or three short factual texts
  • Section 2  – two short work-related, factual texts
  • Section 3 –  one longer text on a topic of general interest

*To understand GT writing (both task 1 and task 2), see all the tips and information listed below.

IELTS Writing Task 1:

you are asked to write a letter on a given situation. The letter could be formal in tone and may be a request, complaint, explanation, or offering recommendations. Alternatively, you may be asked to write an informal letter to a friend, for example, asking them to visit and suggesting activities you can do together.

IELTS Writing Task 2 :

As mentioned above, Task 2 is the same for both Academic and General Training as it would be required to respond to a statement or premise in a formal essay. However, in the General Training Writing test, the essay topics are more general in nature.

Computer Based IELTS VS Paper Based IELTS

Computer Delivered IELTS:

Advantages and Disadvantages of the Computer Based IELTS test (CBT).

Comments below come from various IELTS candidates. This known as CD IELTS (computer delivered IELTS) or CBT (computer-based test).

Is the computer based IELTS test different?

No. The test is the same, except instead of writing down your answers, you enter them on the computer.

Is the marking the same?

It is exactly the same, yes. The test and its marking are identical. The only thing that’s altered is that you input your responses via a keyboard.

Are there any differences between Computer and Paper IELTS?

Just one difference. In the listening of the paper-based recording, you have 10 mins to transfer your answers from the question paper to the answer sheet. In the computer- based test, this is not the case. You will type your answers directly into the computer and at the end of the recording you will be given only 2 mins to check your answers. For reading, writing, and speaking, the timing is the same. Every other aspect of the test is the same regardless of whether it is on computer or paper.

Why take Computer Delivered IELTS?

The aim of offering CD IELTS is for people who are more accustomed to typing than to writing. If you prefer to type and can type at speed, this is the best way to take IELTS. If you are poor or very slow at typing, you should stick with the paper- based test. It also allows for people to take the test online at home.

Pros & Cons of Computer IELTS


  • Simple to write or type your responses if you have decent typing skills.
  • The supplied screens are a fair size, making them practical for reading.
  • On the screen, there is a timer.
  • Less crowded: currently, fewer people take it at a time.
  • Fast result (3-5 days).
  • Greater availability of slots.
  • It is still possible to take notes and highlight text on the screen.

Cons —

  • You must have exceptional typing skills. If you have trouble typing, you might choose to take the test on paper.
  • You won’t be able to make any last-minute adjustments because screens will lock at the exact moment indicated.
  • Nevertheless, the timer will not show seconds for the previous minute. thus you’re not sure exactly when the screen will lock.
  • The computer won’t proofread your grammar or spelling. Given that spelling and grammar are factors in the marking process, this makes sense.

IELTS Academic Reading scores:

The IELTS Reading test consists of 40 questions. Every right answer receives one mark. The scores out of 40 are converted using the IELTS nine-band scale. Whole and partial bands scores are given. The General Training Reading test and the Academic reading test have the same grades. Text genre essentially determines how the two tests differ from one another. However, the vocabulary or writing style of the items used in Academic Reading exams may be more difficult. It is typical for a given band score on a General Training Reading test to require the correct answers to more questions. The average number of marks needed in Listening, Academic Reading, and General Training for a certain band score is listed below.

Your listening and reading scores are calculated by the number of correct answers you have out of the 40 questions in the test. You do not lose points for incorrect answers.

Note: There is only one listening test for both GT and Academic candidates. This means you all take the same test with the same marking.

Listening scores:

Band Score Out of 40


Academic Reading:

Band Score Out of 40


General Training Reading:

Band Score Out of 40


IELTS Speaking scores

Note: There is only one speaking test. Regardless of whether you are a G or

Academic candidate, you will take the same test with the same marking.

Examiners use the assessment criteria below to determine a band score for each of the four categories:

  • Fluency and Coherence
  • Lexical Resource
  • Grammatical Range and Accuracy
  • Pronunciation

The average score for the task is calculated by measuring the criteria equally and the Speaking band score is the average.

IELTS Writing scores


Note: Both GT and Academic candidates will have the same marking criteria and scoring for task 2, even though the GT essay questions are often slightly easier. However, for writing task 1 GT candidates must write a letter, while Academic candidates must write a report. For this reason, marking for Task Achievement is slightly different, but for the other three criteria, the marking is the same.

Examiners assign a band score for each of the four categories using assessment criteria:

  • Task Achievement (for Task 1), Task Response (for Task 2)
  • Lexical Resource
  • Coherence and Cohesion
  • Grammatical Range and Accuracy

The average score for the task is calculated by measuring the criteria equally and the Writing band score is the average.

IELTS Score Validity

What is the validity of the IELTS score?

2 years.

Enroll Now

Ace Your IELTS, Open Doors to Global Opportunities!

× How can I help you?