2021 Exam - Dates, Registration, Test Format, Eligibility & Fees

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The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) generally has 2 formats- IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training. You can opt for either one of them depending upon your need or the university/ course you will be applying to. students should be well informed that both the versions of the IELTS test are instrumental in providing a valid and accurate assessment of a candidates’ listening, reading, writing, and speaking language skills.

Types of IELTS

As mentioned earlier, the IELTS exam is of two types:

IELTS Academic

IELTS Academic is for students who are interested in applying for higher education or professional registration to countries that use English as their fundamental language of communication. The main purpose of the examination is to judge whether a student is ready to begin studying or training in the English language. Countries that widely recognize IELTS for studying are US, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

IELTS General Training

IELTS General Training is for students who are looking to migrate to New Zealand, Australia, Canada, US, and the UK or applying for secondary education, training programs, and work experience in an English-speaking environment. Here the examination focuses on the basic survival skills of a student in a broad social and workplace environment.

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Highlights of IELTS Exam Pattern

Section

Description

Questions/Duration

Listening

It encompasses four recorded monologues and conversations

4

30 minutes

Reading

Three long reading passages with tasks. Texts range from descriptive and factual to discursive, and analytical includes non-verbal material like diagrams, graphs, and illustrations texts are authentic (taken from books, journals, and newspapers)

40

60 minutes

Writing

A writing task of at least 150 words where the candidate must summarize, describe or explain table, graph, chart or diagram, and another short essay task of at least 250 words

2

60 minutes

Speaking

The face-to-face interview includes short questions, speaking at length about a familiar topic, and a structured discussion

3

11 to 14 minutes

IELTS Section-wise Syllabus

  • Writing syllabus
  • Reading syllabus
  • Listening syllabus
  • Speaking syllabus

IELTS Writing Section

Writing: Students take an academic writing section. Responses to the academic writing module are short essays or general reports, addressed to an educated audience. There are two compulsory tasks. Task one requires 150 words, and candidates are asked to look at a diagram, table, or data and to present the information in their own words. Task two requires at least 250 words, and all candidates are presented with a point of view, argument, or problem and asked to provide general information, present a solution, justify an opinion, evaluate ideas and evidence, etc.

Total no. of questions: 2
Total time: 60 minutes 

Writing- IELTS Academic

  • It has two tasks wherein the topics are of general interest and relatable for candidates applying for an undergraduate or postgraduate program.
  • For your first task, you will be given a paper that would contain either a diagram, table, or graph. You will be advised to summarize and define the given data in your own words. You may be asked to explain a certain data entry, process the given information, or a flowchart to logically arrive at a conclusion.
  • In the next task, you need to write an essay as a response to your deduction from the given data and support your argument with relevant examples, through the given data. Please note that the writing style should be strictly formal.

Writing- IELTS General Training

  • It also includes 2 tasks, yet, it is much easier than that of the academic format.
  • You will be asked to write a letter as per the situation given. The letter can be formal, semi-formal, or personal depending upon the situation presented. You will be asked to explain, request for something, or support your argument to a certain authority.
  • Based on the above given point, you will be asked to draft an essay on the same. The arguments and opinions mentioned here should be supported by relevant instances and the writing style can be a bit personal.

IELTS Reading Section

Reading: The reading section consists of 3 texts of general interest dealing with issues that are corrected for candidates entering postgraduate or undergraduate courses. Both reading sections consist of 3 passages or sections with forty questions. Question types include multiple-choice, sentence, or summary completion, identifying data for short-answer questions, matching lists or phrases, and identifying writers’ views/attitudes.

Total no. of questions: About 40
Total time: 30 minutes

Reading- IELTS Academic

This includes three long paragraphs which can be either descriptive, factual or analytical. These paragraphs are basically extract taken from newspapers, research works, journals, books, or even magazines. Targeting a non-specialist audience, the texts are ideal for testing higher education aspirants or for professionals seeking work abroad.

Reading- IELTS General Training

Similar to the academic format, here the extracts can be passages from advertisements, company guidelines, brochures, and so on. This is relatively easier than the academic format as the selected text is generally something that one encounters on a day-to-day basis.

IELTS Listening Section

Listening: The Listening module is divided into 4 modules. The first two conversations are concerned with social needs, while the last two are concerned with situations more closely related to education. They will all be around 3 minutes long. The conversations could be both monologues and dialogues. These conversations can be heard only once. A variety of question types are asked, like multiple-choice, short-answer questions, note completion, sentence completion, labeling a diagram, etc. 
Total no. of questions: 40+
Total time: 30 minutes

Sections 1 and 2 are about every day, social situations.

  • Recording 1: The first recording would have a conversation between two people set in an everyday social context.
  • Recording 2 – The second recording would happen to be a monologue set in an everyday social context.

Sections 3 and 4 are about educational and training situations

  • Recording 3 – The following recording would be a conversation between four people set in an educational or training context.
  • Recording 4 – And the final recording would be a monologue on an academic subject

IELTS Speaking Section

Speaking: The Speaking section is like an interview with an emphasis on general speaking skills. It evaluates whether candidates have the required knowledge and skills to communicate effectively with native speakers of English.

Total no. of questions: 3 parts – Personal Interview, Little Speech, and a Discussion
Total time: 11 to 14 minutes

Part 1 introduction and interview (4–5 minutes)

For the first 5 minutes, you will be asked some mundane questions about yourself such as family, home, studies, hobbies and interests, and so on.

Part 2 long turn (2–3 minutes)

Next, the examiner will hand you a flashcard that would contain a particular topic. You will be given a minute or two to familiarize yourself with the topic as you would need to speak on that topic for about 2 minutes. Post your speech, the examiner might ask a few questions based on your understanding of the topic.

Part 3 discussions (5–6 minutes)

Deeper questions and abstract discussions would take place based on the given topic and your speech. You will get the opportunity to explore your given topic and delve into deeper issues. You can expect this part to last for five-six minutes.

 


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