IELTS is an International English Language Testing System. IELTS has three versions: IELTS Academic for students, IELTS General for Immigration and IELTS LifeSkills for Spouse Visa. IELTS has four modules:
IELTS Test Structure
The total test time is 2 hours and 45 minutes. Candidates are tested in listening, reading, writing and speaking. All candidates take the same Listening and Speaking Modules. There is a choice between Academic and General Training in the Reading and Writing Modules. The General Training Reading and Writing Modules emphasize basic survival skills in a broad social and educational context.
- Listening module (4 sections, 40 questions) —> duration 30 minutes
- Academic reading/general training reading module (3 sections, 40 questions) —> duration 60 minutes
- Academic writing/general training writing (2 tasks, 150 and 250 words) —> duration 60 minutes
- Speaking module (a face-to-face interview) —> duration 11 – 14 minutes
There is no break between the modules. The Speaking Module may be taken, at the discretion of the test centre, in the period seven days before or after the other modules.
Follow simple IELTS tips
IELTS is not a test of intelligence. The main purpose of IELTS Speaking is communication. They want to test your ability to communicate so they can band you accordingly. IELTS Examiners don’t want to test your knowledge, your intelligence, your accent, your personality or your educational level. They want to test how well you can communicate in English?
Speak fluently without stop. Don’t worry about grammatical mistakes. Never give a short answer.
Listening is the easiest part for most students. The first two parts are mainly focused on MicroListening which means they test your ability to understand specific items i.e. dates, names and spelling while the last two parts of Listening are focused more on MacroListening which means they test your ability to understand global aspect of listening, the main theme, situational chunk and the type of information you can infer from the listening situation and how you can use it to answer the questions. The best way to improve listening is not to watch movies or listen to songs, the best way is to listen to guided structured listening material that will improve critical listening skills in different aspects of the listening test.
When the speaker says, “You have some time”, You must read the questions and make predictions. This will greatly improve your understanding of IELTS Listening.
IELTS Reading is the most difficult for most people. The best thing to do in IELTS Reading is not to read the passage first. You should read the questions first and circle the key words and find the relevant answers in the passage. Don’t try to understand the whole passage, you never can in 60 minutes.
Don’t worry about vocabulary. IELTS Reading is built for keywords and synonyms. Improve your synonyms, not vocabulary.
Writing can be a challenging test. It is recommended that students should make some notes prior to writing their tasks. Most students jump into writing quickly. Planning in writing is crucial. Plan for 5 minutes in Task 1 and 10 Minutes in Task 2. Once you have your plan in hand, you can easily start writing and you can focus more on choice of words and sentence structure rather than coherence of ideas.
Always revise your writing so you can correct any mistakes you made.