The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is designed to help you work, study or migrate to a country where English is the native language. This includes countries such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and USA. One’s ability to listen, read, write and speak in English will be assessed during the test.
The order of the IELTS test varies based on the mode of exam. The sequence in which the sections appear in the test are as follows.
Computer-delivered IELTS: Listening, Reading, Writing, Speaking (before or after test)
Paper-Based IELTS: Writing, Reading, Listening, Speaking (same day or 7 days before or after test)
Scoring: Band score on a scale of 1 (the lowest) to 9 (the highest) for each band.
Overall score- Average of four section band scores (1 to 9)
No. of Questions- 40
Time- 30 minutes
Scoring- 1 mark each for correct answers, no negative marking
This section is comprised of four recorded monologues and conversations.
Recording 1- Dialogues between two people based on social context
Recording 2- Monologue based on social issues
Recording 3- Conversation between up to four people about education/ training
Recording 4- Monologue on academic subjects such as a university lecture
The type of questions asked in the test includes:
Candidates have to listen to the recordings and answer the questions carefully. They will hear the recordings only once and it can be in different accents, including British, Australian, New Zealand, and North American.
In paper-based IELTS, there is a 10-minute transfer time given for the candidates to record their answers on the sheet whereas in a computer-delivered test the transfer time is 2 minutes. It is crucial for the candidate to be careful of grammatical errors and spelling mistakes as marks are deducted for the same.
Skills such as one’s ability to understand the opinions and attitudes of speakers, follow-up conversation and development of ideas, the purpose of utterance, and detailed factual information are assessed through the test.
No. of Questions- 40
Time- 60 minutes
Scoring- 1 mark each for correct answers
This section is comprised of three sections including three long paragraphs each which could be factual, descriptive, or analytical. Each section may be comprised of 10-17 questions.
The texts are usually taken from magazines, journals, newspapers, books, research, and online resources with topics for a non-specialist audience. Glossary will be given for unknown vocabulary.
The types of questions asked include:
Candidates shall record their answers on the sheet after reading the passages. No extra time will be given in this test unlike in the Listening test.
No. of Tasks- 02
Time- 60 minutes
Scoring- Task 2 contributes twice as much as Task 1 to marking score
Task 01- Describing a graphical or pictorial piece of information in at least 150 words. Candidates are given 20 minutes for completing this section.
Task 02- Discussing an argument or problem, an essay writing along with examples to support their viewpoint in at least 250 words. This task is more challenging than the previous one. Candidates are advised to spend 40 minutes on this task. The answers should be written in full sentences, no notes or bullets are to be used for this section.
Examiners assess candidates based on four criteria:
No. of parts- 03
Time- 11 to 14 minutes
Part 1- Questions on familiar topics such as family, friends, work, home, and interests. This lasts for 4-5 minutes.
Part 2- A task card is given and the candidate is asked to speak on the topic. One minute preparation time is given followed by 2 minutes of speaking. The examiner may ask you one or two questions on the same topic.
Part 3- The examiner will discuss and ask further questions in part 2. The discussion here is more general and abstract. This lasts for 4-5 minutes. This part of the test aims at assessing the ability to explain opinions, analyze and discuss the issue.
The examiner assesses candidates based on four criteria:
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