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IELTS is an English language exam that is required to be taken by international candidates considering studying or working in a country where English is the main language of communication. Most popular countries where IELTS is accepted for university admissions are the UK, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The exam mainly measures the ability of test-takers to communicate in the four basic English language skills – listening, reading,speaking, and writing.

There is a computer-based IELTS and paper-based IELTS. Test-takers who opt for the IELTS computer-based test take the Listening, Writing, and Reading sections on a computer. Whereas, the Speaking test is conducted face-to-face with a trained examiner. With the Computer-based IELTS, one gets more test dates to choose from and gets results in 3-5 days. Test takers who opt to take IELTS on paper will take Reading, Writing, and Listening sections on paper with either HB pencils or pen. Whereas, the Speaking test is conducted face-to-face with a professional IELTS examiner.

IELTS Exam Pattern and Syllabus

It is important for candidates looking to score well in their IELTS Test to understand the IELTS Pattern and Syllabus in detail. IELTS Syllabus includes four sections, Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing. Students get marked on these four sections and get the IELTS total score as well. Aspirants show know how to approach each section of the IELTS. The total score is the sum of the scores in the four skill areas. The total test duration is 2 hours and 45 minutes.

ELTS test has four different sections. IELTS Academic and IELTS General training have the same speaking and listening parts,but the reading and writing syllabus are different. The IELTS general syllabus is listed below.

IELTS Listening:
In this section candidates are allowed to listen to conversations and monologues once. After that they have to answer the questions asked related to the conversation/monologue that they heard.This section has limited time.
The listening test will measure your ability to grasp the main ideas and detailed information, opinions and attitudes of speakers, the purpose of an sounds and your ability to follow the follow of ideas.
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 lectures
The recordings are heard only once. They include a range of accents, including British, Australian, New Zealand, American and Canadian.
Timing: Approximately 30 minutes (plus 10 minutes transfer time).
No. of questions: 40

IELTS Syllabus

IELTS Reading:
In the reading section, a given passage which may include charts/diagrams. Candidates have to read the passages carefully and understand the diagrams to answer the related questions. The Reading section consists of 40 questions, designed to test a wide range of reading skills. These include reading for gist, reading for main ideas, reading for detail, skimming, understanding logical argument and recognising writers' opinions, attitudes and purpose.
Academic Reading test - this includes three long texts which range from the descriptive and factual to the discursive and analytical. These are taken from books, journals, magazines and newspapers. They have been selected for a non-specialist audience but are appropriate for people entering university courses or seeking professional registration.
General Reading test - this includes extracts from books, magazines, newspapers, notices, advertisements, company handbooks and guidelines. These are materials you are likely to encounter on a daily basis in an English-speaking environment.
Timing: 60 minutes
No. of questions: 40

IELTS Writing:
In this section there will be two writing tasks. Candidate has to write one task has a word limit of 150 words and the other has a limit of 250 words.
Academic writing:
This is suitable for test takers who are aspiring for undergraduate and postgraduate studies or seeking professional registration. There are two tasks:
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.
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.
General Writing:
This is for general interest. There are two tasks:
Task 3 - 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 4 - 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.
Timing: 60 minutes
No. of questions: 2

IELTS Speaking:
In this, candidates have a face-to-face interview.The Speaking test takes between 11 and 14 minutes and consists of an interview between the test taker and a trained certified examiner.They have to answer questions, speak on something they know about, and followed by structured discussions. There are three parts in this section
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.

Components Description Time
IELTS Listening section Multiple choice
Diagram labeling
Sentence completion
Summary completion
30 minutes
40 questions
IELTS Reading section Multiple choice
Sentence completion
Summary completion
Matching features
Matching headings
60 minutes
40 questions
IELTS Writing section Two writing Tasks 60 minutes
2 questions
IELTS Speaking section Three parts 11-14minutes
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