IELTS Test Format

IELTS test has the following two types:

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


There are 40 questions distributed into 3 sections. The time allowed for this module is 60 minutes.

IELTS Academic test: It includes long extracts from research reports, journals, books, newspapers and magazines. You have to some answer questions on each extract. These questions are specially designed for assessing students seeking education in international institutions.

IELTS General Training test: It includes abstracts from magazines, newspapers, hand-books, notices and books. You have to answer questions on given abstract specially designed to assess your routine interactive skills in the English language.


There are 2 tasks for writing. The time allowed for this module is 60 minutes.

IELTS Academic test:
Task 1 : To summarize or describe a given table, chart, graph or diagram.
vTask 2 : To write an essay on a given topic.

IELTS General Training test:
Task 1 : To write a letter to someone (usually to some official authority) about the given situation or scenario.
Task 2 : To write an essay on a given topic.


Four recordings are played. You have to listen to them and answer the given questions for each recording. The time allowed for this module is 30 minutes.

Recording 1: conversation between two individuals on topics of routine activities
Recording 2: monologue e.g. documentary or speech
Recording 3: conversation among three or four individuals e.g. family members discussing an issue.
Recording 4: monologue on an academic topic e.g. teacher delivering a lecture


The time allowed for the speaking module is 11 to 14 minutes.

Part 1. The examiner interviews you regarding yourself, i.e., your family, hobbies, interest and studies. This part lasts for 3 to 5 minutes.
Part 2. You are given a card having a topic on it. You are given one minute to prepare ideas on the topic. After one minute, you are asked to talk about the topic for one to two minutes.
Part 3. As you complete talking about the topic of Part 2, the examiner starts to ask you some questions about the same topic. This part lasts for 3 to 5 minutes.