Test format

IELTS for study

Test format

The IELTS test assesses your abilities in listening, reading, writing and speaking – in less than three hours.

There are two types of the IELTS test: IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training. Listening and Speaking are the same for both tests, but the subject matter of the Reading and Writing components differs depending on which test you take.

The Listening, Reading and Writing components of all IELTS tests are completed on the same day, with no breaks in between them.

The Speaking component, however, can be completed up to a week before or after the other tests. Your test centre will advise.

The total test time is 2 hours and 45 minutes.

Test format – Listening

This IELTS test is suitable for those applying to train or study at below degree level, as well as those wishing to migrate to Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK. The test focuses on basic survival skills in broad social and workplace contexts.

Test format – Reading

This IELTS test is suitable for those applying to train or study at below degree level, as well as those wishing to migrate to Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK. The test focuses on basic survival skills in broad social and workplace contexts.

Test format – Academic Writing

This IELTS test is suitable for those applying to train or study at below degree level, as well as those wishing to migrate to Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK. The test focuses on basic survival skills in broad social and workplace contexts.

Test format – Speaking

11–14 minutes.

The speaking component assesses your use of spoken English. Every test is recorded.

  • Recording 1 – a conversation between two people set in an everyday social context.
  • Recording 2 – a monologue set in an everyday social context, e.g. a speech about local facilities.
  • Recording 3 – a conversation between up to four people set in an educational or training context,
    e.g. a university tutor and a student discussing an assignment.
  • Recording 4 – a monologue on an academic subject, e.g. a university lecture.

  • 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.

    IELTS for study

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