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IELTS hardly needs an introduction, it is a common admission and visa requirement for English-speaking countries like the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the UK. Developed by the world’s leading language assessment experts, the IELTS exam is designed as a measure of English language proficiency in academic as well as practical and everyday contexts. In this blog, we will cover the types of IELTS exams, their uses, exam pattern, and more. Let’s go!

IN THIS BLOG:

1. Types of IELTS exam
2. IELTS General Training
3. IELTS General Exam Pattern
4. IELTS Academic
5. IELTS Academic Exam Pattern

Types of IELTS Exams

There are two types of IELTS exams – IELTS General Training and IELTS Academic. Both the tests evaluate your English language skills in listening, reading, writing, and speaking.

People applying for a visa to migrate to Australia, Canada, New Zealand, or the UK for work or students planning to study in high school or a vocational training program, take the IELTS General Training test.

On the other hand, IELTS Academic is suitable for working professionals or students who wish to pursue higher education at universities abroad.

IELTS General Training

If you wish to move to an English-speaking country for work and immigration or apply to study below degree level courses (including high school/ college/ vocational programs), IELTS General Training is for you.

IELTS General Training tests your English language proficiency in a more hands-on and everyday context. It has four sections- Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking, two of which (Listening and Speaking) are the same as IELTS Academic in terms of format and difficulty. The total test time is 2 hours and 45 minutes.

The Listening, Reading, and Writing sections of all IELTS tests are taken on the same day, with no breaks in between them but the Speaking test can only be completed up to a week before or after the other tests.

IELTS General Training Exam Pattern

Given below is the IELTS General Training test’s question types, exam pattern and more:

IELTS General Sections Details
Reading
Test Duration 60 Minutes
Total Question 40 Questions (MCQ)
Question Type identifying information/ writer’s views/ claims
Matching information/ heading/ features, sentence endings/ completion
summary/ note/ table/ flow-chart/ diagram label completion
Listening
Test Duration 30 Minutes
Total Questions 40 Questions (MCQ)
Type of Questions Matching
Plan/Map/Diagram labelling
Form/note/ table/ flow-chart/ summary completion
Sentence Completion
Writing
Test Duration 60 Minutes
Total Questions 2 Questions/ Task
Task 1 Writing a letter requesting information, or explaining the question (150 words)
Task 2 Essay writing in response to a point of view/ argument/ problem (250 words)
Speaking
Time Duration 11-14 Minutes
Total Questions 3 Parts
Part 1 Introduction and Interview (4-5 mins)
Part 2 Long Turn – Asked to speak at length on a given topic (3-4 mins)
Part 3 Discussion on a familiar topic (4-5 mins)

IELTS Academic

IELTS Academic test gauges the test taker’s English proficiency for an academic setting such as a university or training institute and evaluates your readiness for the same. You may also take IELTS Academic for professional registration purposes.

Although both IELTS tests provide a valid and accurate assessment of your language skills, IELTS Academic is definitely more difficult than the IELTS General test. Reading and Writing sections of IELTS Academic differ from that of IELTS General in terms of both format (specifically Writing section) and difficulty.

Other aspects of the test are more or less similar, these include- the duration that is 2 hours and 45 minutes and that the Listening, Reading, and Writing sections are tested on the same day (no breaks in between) while the Speaking test is completed up to a week before or after the other tests.

IELTS Academic Exam Pattern

Given below is IELTS Academic test’s question types, exam pattern and more:

IELTS General Sections Details
Reading
Test Duration 60 Minutes
Total Question 40 Questions (MCQ)
Question Type identifying information/ writer’s views/ claims
Matching information/ heading/ features, sentence endings/ completion
summary/ note/ table/ flow-chart/ diagram label completion; Short-Answer Questions
Listening
Test Duration 30 Minutes
Total Questions 40 Questions (MCQ)
Type of Questions Matching
Plan/Map/Diagram labelling
Form/note/ table/ flow-chart/ summary completion
Sentence Completion
Writing
Test Duration 60 Minutes
Total Questions 2 Tasks
Task 1 (20 mins) Describing visual information (graph/table/chart/diagram). [150 words]
Task 2 (40 mins) Your response to a point of view/ argument/ problem [250 words]
Speaking
Time Duration 11-14 Minutes
Total Questions 3 Parts
Part 1 Introduction and Interview (4-5 mins)
Part 2 Long Turn – Asked to speak at length on a given topic (3-4 mins)
Part 3 Discussion on a familiar topic (4-5 mins)

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