What is IELTS Test?

What is IELTS Test?

What is IELTS test

What is IELTS Test?

The first question that come to the all new beginners that “What is IELTS test?”.

IELTS is a test for measuring one’s English language skills. Students take this test to get into colleges/university, while graduates and professionals take the test to get the jobs or immigration. The IELTS test consists of four modules:

  1. Listening
  2. Reading
  3. Writing
  4. Speaking

There are two types of IELTS test, Academic test and General test.

The IELTS Listening test weighs the English language listening skills of the test taker. The listening test is relatively short in duration, it’s about 30 minutes total. The tasks are very similar to the tasks in the reading test, but the exception of true/false and yes/no makes the difference. There are four recordings played for the test-taker, each recording is different from the other. Two recordings are based on general and academic conversation, while the other two revolves around a monologue. All the questions and tasks are regarding these recordings.

The IELTS Reading test measures the english reading ability of the test taker. The total duration of test is 60 minutes, just like the Writing test. There are various types of tasks in the test: MCQs, true-false, yes/no, matching, completion and table-filling. There are three reading passages and all the tasks are based on these passages. And the text in the passages is usually taken from journals, magazines and books.

The IELTS Writing test examines the test-taker’s English writing skills. The duration of the test is 60 minutes. There are two tasks in the test, and each task comes up with a time and word limit. Task 1 is of 20 minutes and the word limit for task 1 is 150 words. In task 1, the test taker is required to explain a graphical presentation like a graph, table, diagram or a chart. Task 2 presents an argument and students are asked to respond to it. The time duration of task 2 is 40 minutes and the word limit is 250 words.

This module is same for both academic and general test. The IELTS Speaking test is for inspecting the speaking skills of the candidate. The time duration of this test is the shortest in comparison to the first three parts. The total duration is around 10 to 15 minutes. The format of the test is an oral interview between the interviewer and the test-taker. The interview includes three parts. In the first part of the speaking test, the interviewer asks general questions related to the candidate life and family. In the second part, the interviewer asks the test taker to prepare for a topic to speak on. The second part of speaking test is also known as cue card round. And in the last part, the questions will be related to the topic given in the second part.

Difference between modules:

The speaking and listening parts of the test are same for both the modules, but the difference lies in the writing and reading parts of the test. In the General test the questions are more occupation-oriented, whereas in the  Academic test the questions are directed to students. For example, the general part of the test requires test-takers to write a formal letter. On the other hand, the academic part requires an essay or an application.

The reading part of the General test consists of questions that are based on everyday situations. While, in the Academic test includes questions that are of specific situations, mostly related to students.

There is an option available for students to take the IELTS test on a computer-based or a paper-based test. Test-takers take the test at an official IELTS test center.

In paper-based test, the students attempt the test on a question paper either with a pencil or a pen. And for the IELTS Speaking test is same for both computer-based and paper-based.

Whereas, in computer-based test, the students take the test on a computer through the internet using keyboard and mouse. Just like the paper-based test, there is an interview for the speaking part of the test.


The scores are calculated between 0-9 bands. There are many conversion calculators online available for students to convert their IELTS scores and compare the bands.