IELTS Test – Introduction

IELTS stand for International English Language Testing System. IELTS Test assesses English proficiency of candidates seeking international education, training or work in English speaking countries. It uses nine-band scoring scale (one to nine) for marking the candidate. Band nine indicates the highest marks in the test.

IELTS is a globally accepted test. IELTS is viewed as a compulsory criterion for admission into academic institutions in United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, South Africa and New Zealand. Apart from academic purposes, the IELTS is also required for immigration to some countries for work.

IELTS Test is conducted by British Council, University of Cambridge ESOL examinations & the IDP: ISLETS Australia.

Test Description

IELTS test has two versions:

Academic Test (for students seeking education in international institutions)
General Training Test (for people seeking employment or work in international setups)

Test Format

IELTS test is divided into following four parts:

  1. Reading module    (3 sections. Time: 60 minutes)
  2. Writing module     (2 tasks. Time: 60 minutes
  3. Listening module  (4 recordings. Time: 30 minutes)
  4. Speaking module  (2 tasks. Time: 11 – 14 minutes)

The reading test, writing test, and listening test involve are conducted on the same day. The speaking test is conducted on a different day in the same week.

The reading test, writing test and listening test are tReading part has short time. Each question gets hardly a minute. Be a fast reader.

Don’t read the given paragraphs thoroughly. Skim and scan the key information from each line while reading speedily.

Have an eye on the questions too while reading the paragraphs. It helps in grasping the required information (answer) quickly without wasting time on reading everything to answer.

Give attention to the specific information such as definitions, terminology, dates or quoted assumption. These are the areas mostly asked in the questions.

If a table or a graph is given within the text, note the information given on it.

Some questions refer to areas of the paragraph indirectly. Their answers may not be present directly in the paragraph. You have to conclude or predict on the basis of existing information to answer.

In some questions, you are asked meaning of a ‘word’ used in the paragraph. If the question states ‘what does this word means here?’, it means it is referring to the contextual meaning of the word. Better focus on the contextual meaning rather than literal meaning of the word.

If you find a question too complicated and it is taking much of your time. Leave it to be solved in the end. Sticking to one question will waste a lot of your time for other easy questions.

Read the instructions given for each group of question carefully. Sometime the instruction refers to attempt the question according to specific directions.



Preparation for Reading part of IELTS


Preparation guidelines for reading part of IELTS are as follows:

Acquire the habit of fast reading. Students have habit of reading slowly to understand the contents with care. For preparation for reading part of IELTS, read essay on daily basis. Read each essay speedily to adopt the habit of fast reading to grasp the content speedily.

For preparation, select scholarly written literature for your reading. Read research publication, reports, standard books and so on. The passages, given in the test, have a level of vocabulary and formal style of written content. Familiarize yourself with such literary written material.

Reading newspaper on daily basis proves helpful in preparation for IELTS reading part.

You should practice sample tests designed for reading as many times as possible. It helps you in understanding the nature questions as well as tactics to answer them promptly.

Also focus on improving your vocabulary as much as possible in the available time for preparation. Having good vocabulary will help you comprehend the given passages easily.


o be attempted in the answer-book provided to the candidates. On the other hand, in the speaking test you are interviewed by an interviewer.

The formats of both IELTS Academic and IELTS General training test are similar but the subject matter (content or nature) of questions in reading and writing part are different in both test.

Format and guidelines for preparation for all parts are discussed in detail on this website.