IELTS stands for International English Language Testing System. It is an exam for testing English proficiency of the candidates whose native language is not English. IELTS exams have two versions the Academic Version (mostly for educational purpose) and the General Training Version (mostly for professional purpose). IELTS exam format is divided into four sections. These four sections are namely listening, reading, writing, speaking:
This section of exam has time duration of 30 minutes. In this section you will listen to four recorded texts, monologues and conversations by native speakers. You have to write your answers to a series of questions. These sections are as follows:
› Section 1 includes a conversation between two people in an everyday social context.
› Section 2 contains a monologue in an everyday social context, e.g. a speech.
› Section 3 is a conversation between groups of people i.e. up to four people set in an educational or training context.
› Section 4 is a monologue on an academic subject, e.g. a university lecture.
This section of exam has time duration of 60 minutes. The Reading section has 40 questions. Various questions of various types are used in order to test a wide range of reading skills.
IELTS Academic version includes three long texts which may be descriptive, factual, discursive or analytical. The texts are authentic and are taken from books, journals, magazines and newspapers.
IELTS General Training version requires candidates to read extracts from various sources like books, magazines, newspapers, notices, advertisements, company handbooks and guidelines.
This section of exam has time duration of 60 minutes.
IELTS Academic Writing section has two tasks. Topics are of general interest and are suitable for candidates.
› In Task 1 you will be presented with a graph, table, chart or diagram and asked to describe, summarize or explain the information in your own words.
› In 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.
IELTS General Training
The Writing section of IELTS General Training also includes two tasks which are based on topics of general interest.
› In Task 1 you will be presented with a situation and asked to write a letter requesting information (letter writing), or explaining the situation.
› In Task 2 you will be asked to write an essay (essay writing) in response to a point of view, argument or problem.
This section of exam has time duration of 10 to 15 minutes only. Every test is recorded. The Speaking component is delivered in such a way that it does not allow candidates to rehearse set responses beforehand.
› In Part 1the 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 for four to five minutes.
› In Part 2 you will be given a particular topic. You get one minute to prepare before speaking. You have to talk for up to two minutes. The examiner will then ask one or two questions on the same topic.
› In Part 3 of the speaking test you will be asked further questions connected to the topic in Part 2. The part of the test lasts between four and five minutes.