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For education or work, most of the English-speaking nations require you to take the IELTS test and also score high. And, to score a higher band in IELTS, what you need is preparation and rigorous practice with IELTS questions. 

Understanding the test format and score evaluation is the first step in preparing for IELTS, followed by a strategy for preparation to get the score you aim for

In this blog:

General Training or Academic? – Know Which One Is For You

As the names suggest– IELTS Academic is for potential international students while IELTS General Training is taken for employment related objectives and immigration.

The speaking and listening sections are the same for both the formats. However, the reading and writing sections differ a lot, focusing more on Academic English in the IELTS Academic. 

IELTS Test Format

IELTS section  Format  Duration 
  • 4 sections
  • 40 questions
30 minutes
  • 3 parts
  • Oral interview between test-taker & examiner 
11-14 minutes

(General Training) 

  • 3 sections 

(short + long)

  • 40 questions
60 minutes


  • 3 long reading passage
  • 40 questions
60 minutes

(General Training) 

  • 2 tasks (150 words in Task 1, 250 words in Task 2)
  • 2 questions
60 minutes


  • 2 tasks (150 words in Task 1, 250 words in Task 2)
  • 2 questions
60 minutes

Now let’s see how your scores are evaluated. 

IELTS Scoring Pattern

Each section is evaluated on a 9 band scale, ranging from 0-9 with .5 interval (i.e. you can score a 7.5 band). 

Note: Your exam scores are rounded to the nearest .5 which means, a 6.1 band score will become 6 and 6.25 will become 6.5. 

For the listening and reading section, you get one mark for each correct answer. 

IELTS score card: 

IELTS Band Correct Questions/ Total Questions
Band 5 16/40
Band 6 23/40
Band 7 30/40
Band 8 35/40
Band 9 36 and above

For the IELTS writing section, the examiner evaluates your cohesiveness, clarity in communication, use of appropriate vocabulary and on grammatical accuracy. 

And for the speaking section, the score is graded based on your fluency and pronunciation, grammar range and vocabulary strength.  

IELTS Tips To Prepare Well

  1. The Early Bird Approach
    Begin your IELTS preparation at least two months beforehand. You will get enough days to self-evaluate your skills and Grammar proficiency. Keep at it!
  2. Make a Study Schedule
    If you stick to a study routine, you’d save a lot of time and accomplish much more. Each day focus on any one section out of the four and enhance your skills with proper study breaks in between. In the final week, you can ease your schedule and focus on those areas where you need improvement.
  3. Master IELTS With Practice Tests and IELTS questions
    Working through IELTS questions can be very useful. It will help you evaluate where you stand and how much more practice you need to put in. Start solving IELTS exam questions from different sections with the time limit. This would help you to familiarise with the test pattern and develop an in-depth understanding of Grammar.

  4. Note-Taking Is Must
    During IELTS preparation, don’t forget to take notes of the information that you find useful. Keep these notes handy that you can revise on the go. The notes should be concise and should not take more than a few minutes to go through.

  5. Increase your writing speedIt is crucial to master the art of timed writing. One doesn’t want to leave an essay or section unfinished. Brainstorm your ideas and plan what to write in the first few minutes, spend most of the time writing, and leave the final few minutes to review the exercise and edit for errors.

Practice with IELTS Sample Questions

IELTS Writing Sample Question

  1. The chart below shows the number of males and females in higher education in Australia in three periods and whether they were studying full time or part-time.Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.
    Write at least 150 words.
    number of males and females in higher education in Australia
  2. The Effects of Globalization on Traditional Cultures.
    Examine its impact. Discuss the challenges faced by communities in preserving their cultural heritage and suggest strategies to safeguard and promote cultural diversity in a globalised world.
    Write at least 250 words.

IELTS Speaking Sample Question

Part 1: 

  • Can you tell me where you live?
  • Do you work or study?
  • What do you do in your free time?

Part 2:

  • Have you ever travelled to a foreign country? If yes, where did you go?
  • What was the most memorable experience you had during your trip?

Part 3:

  • Do you think travelling to different countries helps broaden one’s perspective? Why or why not?
  • Share an example of a time when you interacted with the local culture during your travels and how it enriched your experience.

IELTS Reading Sample Question

A: In the early decades of the 20th century, many Western cities experienced a steep rise in demand for commercial and civic premises, due to population growth and expansion of the white-collar professions. At the same time, architects were growing discontented with the ornamental spirals and decorative features in the prevailing design ethos of art deco or art moderne. Once considered the height of sophistication, these styles were quickly becoming seen as pretentious and old-fashioned. In this confluence of movements, a new style of architecture emerged. It was simple, practical and strong; a new look for the modern city and the modern man. It was named ‘the international style’.

B: Although the international style first emerged in Western Europe in the 1920s, it found its fullest expression in American architecture and was given its name in a 1932 book of the same title. The first hints of it in America can be seen on the Empire State Building in New York City, which was completed in 1931. The top of the building, with its tapered crown, is decidedly art deco, yet the uniform shaft of the lower two thirds represents a pronounced step in a new direction. Later efforts, such as the United Nations Secretariat building (1952) and the Seagram Building (1954) came to exemplify the ‘true’ international style.

C: The architects of the international style broke with the past by rejecting virtually all non-essential ornamentation. They created blockish, flat-roofed skyscrapers using steel, stone and glass. A typical building facade in this style has an instantly recognisable ribbon design, characterised by strips of floor- to-ceiling windows separated by strips of metal panelling. Interiors showcased open spaces and fluid movements between separate areas of the building.

D: Fans of the international style of modern buildings celebrated their sleek and economical contribution to modern cityscapes. While pre-modern architecture was typically designed to display the wealth and prestige of its landlords or occupants, the international style in some ways exhibited a more egalitarian tendency. As every building and every floor looked much the same, there was little attempt to use these designs to make a statement. This focus on function and practicality reflected a desire in mid-century Western cities to ‘get on with business’ and ‘give everyone a chance’, rather than lauding the dominant and influential institutions of the day through features such as Romanesque columns.

E: Detractors, however, condemned these buildings for showing little in the way of human spirit or creativity. For them, the international style represented not an ethos of equality and progress, but an obsession with profit and ‘the bottom line’ that removed spiritual and creative elements from public life and public buildings. Under the dominance of the international style, cities became places to work and do business, but not to express one’s desires or show individuality. It is perhaps telling that while banks and government departments favoured the international style, arts organisations rarely opted for its austerity.

F: By the mid-1970s, the international style was ubiquitous across key urban centres, dominating skylines to such an extent that many travellers complained they could get off a plane and not know where they were. By their nature, buildings in this style demanded very little of architects in the way of imagination, and a younger generation of designers was yearning to express their ideas and experiment in novel and unexpected ways. The outcome was a shift toward postmodernism, which celebrated much of what the international style had dismissed: decoration, style without function, and an overall sense of levity. By the turn of the 1980s, the international style was considered outdated and was falling rapidly out of favour.

Reading Passage has six paragraphs, A–F.
Which paragraph contains the following information?
Write the correct letter, A–F, in boxes 1–6 on your answer sheet.

  1. a description of how international style buildings look on the inside
  2. a reference to institutions that didn’t like to use international style buildings
  3.  a reason why architects didn’t like the international style
  4. a building which combined art deco and international features
  5. types of materials commonly used in international style buildings
  6. an architectural feature previously associated with prominent organisations

Choose the correct letter, A, B, C, or D.
Write the correct letter in boxes 7–8 on your answer sheet.

7: Some people did not like the international style because they felt it focused too much on

  • the public sector
  • differences between people
  • new ideas
  • making money.

In the mid-1970s

  •  the best architects were no longer using the international style.
  •  there was a lot of international style architecture in major cities.
  •  young architects were becoming interested in the international style.
  •  people visited cities specifically to see international style buildings.


To strengthen your hold on English Language and Grammar and your speaking abilities, remember to practise consistently with IELTS questions. You’ll be well-equipped to take the IELTS exam and get the score you want if you’re committed and persistent.  

At Jamboree, we’ve been acing the IELTS game for the last 30 years through our IELTS Classroom and IELTS Live Online training. Connect with our counsellor and know more about Jamboree’s IELTS training program. Book a session now!

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