Road to IELTS

Understand What Lies Ahead on the Road to IELTS

The IELTS is an examination that provides a perfect analysis of your proficiency with the English language. The score is essential if you wish to study or work in a primarily English speaking nation and your mother tongue is not English. But before you start preparing for the examination you should know what lies ahead on the road to IELTS. Before you start preparing for the examination you should know what it consists of. To understand what lies ahead of you in this, you should know more about the examination which is discussed in the following section.

Know the IELTS Examination

There are 2 types of the examination, viz, the Academic and the General Training versions. However, both the versions comprise 4 parts, which are as follows:





  • Listening section
  • Reading section
  • Writing section
  • Speaking section

The Listening and Speaking questions are same for both the versions of the test whereas you will get different types of Reading and Writing questions based on the version of the test you choose. The number of questions that you will need to solve in each section is as follows:

  • The Listening section is divided into 4 parts in which you will have to listen to 4 different audio clips. Based on the audio clips you hear, you will have to answer 40 questions. This entire process should be completed in 30 minutes.

  • The Reading section for the Academic version is divided into 3 parts. Based on the texts that you read, you will have to answer 40 questions in 60 minutes. If you appear for the General Training version of the test then you will have to answer the same number of questions, but they will be based on 4 to 5 different texts.

  • In the Writing section you will have to write 2 samples for both the versions of the test in 60 minutes. But for the Academic version you will have to write an analysis of a graph, diagram or a similar thing and an argumentative essay. For the General Training version you will have to write a letter and an essay on a given topic.

  • The Speaking section is in the form of an interview with a trained examiner. This takes about 11 to 40 minutes.

From the afore-mentioned list you can now understand what the examination consists of, how long it takes and hence chart your road to IELTS. But your preparation for the test is incomplete if you do not know the types of questions that are asked in it. The question types in the test are discussed in the following section.

What Should You Expect from the IELTS

Your preparation is incomplete if you do not know the types of questions you will come across in the examination. The types of questions that you will come across in each section of the test are as follows:

  • In the Listening section you will have to listen to and analyze conversations, monologues, announcements or academic lectures. Based on the audio clips played you will have to answer the questions. The questions maybe multiple choice, match the following or even completing a table. The instructions regarding the answering process will also be given in the audio clips. Remember the clips will be played only once. This section will analyze you skill in being able to understand instructions given in English.

  • The Writing section for the Academic version will test your proficiency in analyzing a given diagram and your skills in writing a coherent argumentative essay. The first and the second essays are of 150 and 250 words respectively. If you are appearing for the General Training version then the sample letter that you write should be a response to a given situation or an explanation of it. The other sample is an essay expressing your views on a given topic.

  • The Reading section for the Academic version comprises texts taken from newspapers, magazines or journals. The questions are usually multiple choice, sentence completion, summary completion etc. The questions in the General Training version comprise flow chart completion, match the following, providing headings to diagrams etc. (For a complete list click on the following link:
    http://www.ielts.org/test_takers_information/test_sample.aspx )

  • The Speaking section is divided into 3 parts. In the first part you will have to talk about yourself. In the second part you will have to speak on a given topic. In the third part you will have discussion with your interviewer regarding what you have spoken. This section of the test will examine your capacity to speak coherently and reasonably.

The afore-mentioned list outlines your way to test by giving you pointers regarding how you should prepare for the examination. A lot depends on the method of preparation you choose for the examination. So gather the information you need, make a schedule and start preparing for this test of great importance.




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