The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) measures your language proficiency out of a 9 band score. IELTS General Training (GT IELTS) has four components – Writing, Speaking, Listening and Reading. You will be assigned a band score for each component (Writing, Speaking, Listening and Reading) and then an overall band score.
IELTS General Training test measures a candidate’s English language proficiency in a practical, everyday context. People take IELTS General Training to study or get training in secondary education/at a college (below degree level) or migrate to an English-speaking country. However, a host of other countries also demands IELTS to accept admission to an educational institute or for migration.
Your speaking test can be scheduled up to a week before or after the other tests based on the country you take the test. Nevertheless, other components of the test (Listening, Reading and Writing) would be on the same date with no breaks in between. Your test centre will advise you about the schedule prior to your test. Once you take the test, your score will be valid for the next two years.
IELTS Test Format
Duration: 60 minutes. (It is advised to spend 20 minutes on task 1 and 40 minutes on task 2)
Total Questions/ Tasks: 2.
Task 1: Letter Writing (word requirement minimum 150). An informal, semi-formal or formal letter for requesting information, inviting someone, explaining a situation and so on.
Task 2: Essay Writing (word requirement minimum 250). An essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem.
NB. The assessment of Task 2 (Essay) carries more weight in marking/band score than Task 1 (Letter).
Duration: 11-14 minutes.
Total Questions: 11-12.
IELTS speaking component assesses a candidate’s use of spoken English. The whole conversation is recorded to assign an accurate band score.
Speaking Part # 1 – In this part, the examiner asks 4-5 general questions about yourself and a range of familiar topics, such as home, family, hometown, work, studies and interests. This part lasts for 2-5 minutes.
Speaking Part # 2 – In this part, you will be given a card (known as Cue Card or Candidate Task Card) which asks you to talk about a particular topic. You will be given one minute preparation time before you start speaking. You need to speak up to two minutes. The examiner will then ask one or two questions on the same topic which are called round-off questions.
Speaking Part # 3 – In this part, the examiner asks 5-7 questions which are related to the topic in Speaking Part 2. You need to discuss more abstract ideas and issues in this part. This part of the test lasts between four and five minutes.
Duration: 30 minutes. (Extra 10 minutes to transfer your answer to the answer sheet if you take the paper-based IELTS test.)
Total Questions: 40.
In the Listening section of your IELTS test, you will listen to recordings (divided into four sections) of native English speakers and answers to a series of questions (usually 40 questions).
Recording Part # 1 – A conversation between two people set in an everyday social context.
Recording Part # 2 – A monologue set in an everyday social context, e.g. a speech about local facilities.
Recording Part # 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 Part # 4 – A monologue on an academic subject, e.g. a university lecture.
Task Types: A variety of question types are used in IELTS GT listening section including multiple choice, matching, plan/map/diagram labelling, form/note/table/flow-chart/summary completion, and sentence completion.
Duration: 60 minutes.
Total Questions: 40.
IELTS GT Reading test has three sections. Each section comes with 13-14 questions.
Section 1 contains 2-3 short texts or several shorter texts.
Section 2 comprises two texts/passages.
Section 3 has a long reading passage.
Test source: IELTS GT Reading passages are taken from books, notices, advertisements, magazines, newspapers, company handbooks and guidelines.
Task Types: A variety of questions types are used in IELTS GT Reading section including multiple choice, matching headings, identifying information, short-answer questions, identifying writer’s views/claims, matching information, matching features, matching sentence endings, summary completion, sentence completion, note completion, table completion, flowchart completion, and diagram label completion.
Book your IELTS General Training test
Success starts with IELTS. If your goal is to study below degree level or emigrate to an English speaking country, then you will need to take the IELTS General Training test.