IELTS Test Format: Academic/General Training

IELTS Academic Test Format

IELTS Academic has four sections:
  1. Listening
  2. Reading
  3. Writing
  4. Speaking

IELTS Academic – Listening Test

At the test centre you will listen to four recordings of native English speakers and then write your answers to a series of questions. You are required to answer 40 questions in 30 minutes.

  • Recording 1 – a conversation between two people set in an everyday social context.
  • Recording 2 – a monologue set in an everyday social context, e.g. a speech about local facilities.
  • Recording 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 4 – a monologue on an academic subject, e.g. a university lecture.

IELTS Academic – Reading Test

You are required to answer 40 questions designed to assess your English reading skills in 60 minutes.
You will be provided three long texts which range from the descriptive and factual to the discursive and analytical. Text materials are taken from books, journals, magazines and newspapers.  These include reading for gist, reading for main ideas, reading for detail, skimming, understanding logical argument and recognising writers’ opinions, attitudes and purpose.

IELTS Academic – Academic Writing

The duration of test is 60 Minutes. Two writing tasks will be given and both the tasks are compulsory.

Task 1 – you will be presented with a graph, table, chart or diagram and asked to describe, summarise or explain the information in your own words. You may be asked to describe and explain data, describe the stages of a process, how something works or describe an object or event. To complete Task 1 you need to write 150 words in about 20 minutes.

Task 2 – you will be asked to write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem. Responses to both tasks must be in a formal style. To complete Task 2, you need to write 250 words in about 40 minutes.

IELTS Academic – Speaking

This is 11–14 minutes Test

The speaking component assesses your use of spoken English. Every test is recorded.

Part 1 – The examiner will ask you general questions about yourself and a range of familiar topics, such as home, family, work, studies and interests. This part lasts between four and five minutes.

Part 2  – You will be given a card which asks you to talk about a particular topic. You will have one minute to prepare before speaking for up to two minutes. The examiner will then ask one or two questions on the same topic.
Part 3 – You will be asked further questions about the topic in Part 2. These will give you the opportunity to discuss more abstract ideas and issues. This part of the test lasts between four and five minutes.

IELTS General Training Test Format

IELTS General Training – Listening

This section has same format as of IELTS Academic

IELTS General Training – Speaking

This section has same format as of IELTS Academic

IELTS General Training – Reading

You are required to answer 40 questions in 60 minutes.. There are three sections.
  • Section 1 may contain two or three short texts or several shorter texts.
  • Section 2 comprises two texts.
  • In Section 3, there is one long text. The test material is taken from books, magazines, newspapers, notices, advertisements, company handbooks and guidelines.

IELTS General Training: Writing

This is a 60 Minutes test. You need to complete two task.
Task 1 – you will be presented with a situation and asked to write a letter requesting information, or explaining the situation. The letter may be personal, semi-formal or formal in style.
Task 2 – you will be asked to write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem. The essay can be fairly personal in style.


The Testing Agency offers these questions as a free resource for practice to IELTS test takers. However, much more than this is enough to adequately prepare and score a band high enough to maximize your chances in a competitive pool of other test takers. Contact us if you need more resources (e-books & hard copy books) for your IELTS preparation journey. Our counsellors will get in touch with you with an offer of a free assessment in order to know exactly what you need to attain distinction on the test.


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