All candidates are tested in listening, reading, writing and speaking.
11 – 14 mins
Total test time: 2 hours 44 minutes excluding breaks.
All candidates take the same Listening and Speaking tests. There is a choice of
and Writing tests according to whether a candidate is taking the Academic or General Training version of the test. Reading
For candidates taking the test for entry to undergraduate or postgraduate studies, or for professional reasons
For candidates taking the test for entry to vocational or training programmes not at degree level, for admission to secondary schools and for immigration purposes
The tests modules are taken in the following order:
Listening 4 sections, 40 items 30 minutes
Speaking 11 to 14 minutes
Total test time 2 hours 44 minutes
Time: 30 minutes 4 sections, 40 questions
Real-world listening situations
Range of topics and tasks
- listening for specific information - e.g.dates, place names
- understanding gist
- understanding speaker attitude / opinion
Section 1: conversation – 2 speakers
Section 2: monologue
Section 3: conversation – 4 speakers
Section 4: lecture
Recording is played once
Read question CAREFULLY BEFORE listening
Familiarise yourself with question types:
- completing a chart
- selecting pictures
- note-taking exercises
- MC questions
Time: 60 minutes 3 reading passages, totally 40 questions
Texts are taken from books, magazines, journals and newspapers
- find detailed information
- identify attitudes and views
- complete a diagram
Identify reading skills being tested
Practise these skills
Time: 60 minutes 2 tasks
Task 1(20mins): descriptive report of a table or diagram, 150 words
Task 2(40 mins): 250 word essay in response to an opinion or a problem.
Discuss issues, construct an argument and use the appropriate tone and register.
Read the question carefully
Familiarise yourself with descriptions of data in newspapers and textbooks
Practise formulating your own ideas on topics
Time: 10 – 15 minutes
Face to face interview between one candidate and one examiner.
Part 1 (4-5mins): Introduction and interview
Part 2 (1-3 mins incl. prep): Individual talk
Part 3 (4-5 mins): Discussion topics
Speak fluently and link ideas coherently
Demonstrate a range of appropriate vocabulary
Use accurate grammar and appropriate register
Speak so that a listener can understand
Take the initiative if possible
Always say more than yes or no
Try to overcome nerves
- Take the 1 min preparation time
- Jot down some main ideas
- Sound interested in the talk
- Give informed responses
- Demonstrate your control of the language
- Attempt to express abstract ideas
- Support your opinions
- Show that you are willing to provide extended replies
IELTS provides a profile of a candidate’s ability to use English
Candidates receive a score on a Band Scale from 1- 9
Scores on the IELTS test are graded into nine bands as follows:
Has fully operational command of the language: appropriate, accurate and fluent with complete understanding.
Very good user
Has fully operational command of the language with only occasional unsystematic inaccuracies. Misunderstandings occur in unfamiliar situations. Handles complex detailed argumentation as well.
Has operational command of the language, though with occasional inaccuracies, inappropriacies and misunderstandings in some situations. Generally handles complex language well and understands detailed reasoning.
Competent user Has generally effective command of the language despite some inaccuracies, inappropriacies and misunderstandings. Can use and understand fairly complex language, particularly in familiar situations.
Has partial command of the language, coping with overall meaning in most situations, though is likely to make many mistakes. Should be able to handle basic communication in own field.
Basic competence is limited to familiar situations. Has frequent problems in understanding and expression. Is not able to use complex language.
Extremely limited user
Conveys and understands only general meaning in very familiar situations. Frequent breakdowns in communication occur.
No real communication is possible except for the most basic information using isolated words or short formulae in familiar situations and to meet immediate needs. Has great difficulty in understanding spoken and written English.
Essentially has no ability to use the language beyond possibly a few isolated words.
Did not attempt the test
No assessable information provided.