Structure of IELTS Exam

Reading Section- Academic

The Reading section lasts for about an hour and is divided in to three sections of forty questions. If the candidates write on the question paper they cannot take it outside the exam hall. No extra time will be provided for the candidates. Mostly the questions are based on

  • multiple choice
  • short answer
  • sentence completion
  • notes/summary/diagram/flow chart completion
  • choosing from a heading bank to identify paragraphs or parts of the text
  • identification of writers opinions/ideas - yes/no/not given
  • yes/no/not given OR true/false/not given
  • classification
  • matching lists or phrases

The tests given are taken from books, local newspapers, magazines and journals. No specific preparation can be done for this section. One logical argument text will surely be given. One text will have a diagram or illustration. A short glossary will be provided for texts that are given with technical nature.

Writing Section- Academic

Two tasks are to be completed in a span of one hour in the writing section. Task 1 expects the candidates view on a picture given. The picture might be anything from a line graph to a bar chart or a pie chart or just a table or even a picture describing any process. A minimum of 150 words should be used to write this task. Task 2 comprises of

Speaking Section-Academic

Both Academic (AC) and General Training (GT) have a similar Speaking module. It is a recorded test which lasts for about one hour and one candidate per session is tested. This section is divided in to 3 sub sections as follows.

Sub-section 1 comprises of introductory question followed by questions relating to personal information. This is followed by four to five minutes of questions on topics of general interest.

In Sub- Section 2 the candidate is provided with a card with a topic mentioned in it. The candidate must talk for 1 or 2 minutes on the given subject. The Candidate can make brief notes about the topic in the minute given before the real talk starts. After the candidate finishes his talk the examiner will ask a few questions and this finishes the section. Overall this section lasts for about 3 to 4 minutes.

Sub- Section 3 is a continuation of the second sub-section. A few questions based on the topic spoken in the second sub-section are asked. The questions are usually more demanding and need a lot of critical thinking.

Listening Section-Academic

This section remains the same for both the Academic and General modules. Questions have to be answered after listening to a tape. The tape will not be played more than once. This section is further divided in to four sub-sections with 10 questions each. Overall this section has 40 questions. About 30 minutes are given to complete this section. A bonus 10 minutes are given to copy answers from the question paper to the answer sheets. There is no fixed type of questions that candidates get to appear in this section. Multiple choice, sentence completion, brief answers, diagram or flow charts to complete etc.