Everything You Need To Know
The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is a standardized test that measures the English proficiency of non-native English language speakers.
IELTS comes in two versions:
- IELTS Academic (this one)
- IELTS General Training (click here to get there)
The IELTS Academic test is one of the major English language tests and is accepted by over 3,000 academic institutions in the U.S. In addition, many Australian, Canadian, New Zealand, British, and Irish universities across the world also consider the results of this test as part of their admission process. It is for individuals who want to enroll in universities and professionals who want to practice in English-speaking countries.
IELTS is a 2-hour 45-minute test that is divided to four sections: Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking.
IELTS is a 2-hour and 45-minute test and is divided into four sections: Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking. These sections test language skills and determine whether you are ready to begin studying in other countries, where English is the main instruction language. The entire test is completely unbiased and accepts all varieties of non-native English speakers, regardless of their background.
The test is highly secure and measures your ability to follow the development of ideas, writing skills, speaking, and more.
Assesses Your English Language Skills
The IELTS Academic test evaluates your skills in listening, reading, speaking, and writing. In order to do well on the test, you must pass the required criterion in each of the four sub-tests. The speaking part, a crucial component of the test, is conducted in the form of a one-on-one interview, and the examiner assesses your fluency as you are speaking.
Widely Accepted Across the World
Ten thousand organizations around the world accept the IELTS Academic test. Immigration authorities also accept the results of this test in Canada, UK, New Zealand, and Australia. Professional registration bodies in industries such as law, nursing, and engineering also consider the results of this exam.
The Test Is Highly Secure
Each IELTS test center takes your high-resolution photograph. It is then used to verify that you are the person who is taking the test. The results can be found in an online database available to all organizations that accept IELTS results.
IELTS Academic test is divided into four parts, including listening, reading, writing, and speaking. However, the test comes with a time limit.
The total time limit is 2 hours 45 minutes (+10 minutes transfer time). You will be given 30 minutes for the listening section, 60 minutes each for reading and writing, and 11-14 minutes for speaking.
Every test is divided into sections:
- Listening Section
- Reading Section
- Writing Section
- Speaking Section
During this section, you will listen to four recordings and then write your answers.
- Recording 1 is a conversation between two people in an everyday context.
- Recording 2 is a monologue in an everyday context.
- Recording 3 is a conversation between 4 people in an educational context.
- Recording 4 is a monologue on an academic subject.
The test’s listening recordings may include a range of accents, including British, North-American, Australian, New Zealandian, South-African, and more. Before taking the test, use the iPrep Course to listen to these different varieties and to get accustomed to them.
Task types: The total number of questions is 40, based on the order of recordings heard in the audio. The tasks include multiple choice, matching, sentence completion, chart summary completion, plan, and diagram labeling. Each question is worth one point.
Answers: First, you will write the answers on the question paper, but at the end of the test, you are given 10 minutes to write your answers on the sheet. Make sure you write the answers carefully as incorrect grammar and spelling will lead to a point deduction. Obviously, in the computerized version, your answers are immediately recorded.
The reading section includes three passages taken from journals, books, and magazines. The questions help determine your various reading skills levels: reading for main ideas, gist, skimming, detail; understanding an argument, writer’s idea, and opinion. No previous professional knowledge is required.
Task types: The total number of questions is 40 and tasks based on them include multiple choice and short answer questions, identifying the writer’s views, matching sentence headings, features, headings, sentence, table, note, flow chart diagram, and summary completion. Each question is worth one point.
Answers: In this section, you will not get extra time to transfer your answers. You are required to write your answers on the sheet during the test.
The writing section has two tasks. The first task is to describe some information or trends in your own words. This is presented in either a graph, a map, or a process chart. The second task is to write a short essay in reply to an argument. The essay is should be in a formal style.
Task types: Completing both tasks is mandatory. The first task is to write 150 words in up to 20 minutes. The second task is to write 250 words in 40 minutes.
Answers: Answers must be clear, focused, well-organized, and relevant. Vocabulary, sentence structure, and grammatical level are also assessed. Answers must be written completely. Notes and bullet points will not be accepted.
This section consists of an oral interview between you and the test taker. All the tests are recorded. It consists of three parts.
- In Part 1, the test taker will ask you about yourself and about on topics such as home, family, and more. This part will last for four to five minutes.
- During Part 2, you will be given a topic to talk about. You will have one minute to prepare. After you are done speaking, the examiner will ask you questions on the same topic.
- In Part 3, you will be asked further questions about the same topic you spoke about in Part 2. This goes for four to five minutes.
Answers: All if your spoken answers are marked based on fluency, coherence, pronunciation, grammatical range, accuracy, and lexical resources.
Availability and Language
You can take the IELTS Academic Test in 140+ countries and in over 12,000 locations. The language is internationally focused as tasks are sourced from all over the English-speaking world.
Results and Score
After your IELTS Academic Test, you will receive scores for each of the four sections on a band of 0-9. Along with the individual section scores, you will also get an overall band score.
Result Scale and Interpretations
The IELTS Academic test results are easy to interpret and are based on a 0-9 band scale. If your band score is 9, you are one step closer to getting admitted to the top universities around the world.
Here is a complete breakdown of the scores for every section:
Listening and Reading Scores
These scores are calculated based on the number of your correct answers out of 40 questions:
Writing Scores Criteria
Both the writing tasks are assessed on task achievement, response, coherence and cohesion, lexical resource, and grammar range and accuracy.
Speaking Assessment Criteria
The speaking skills are accessed on the basis of your fluency, pronunciation, grammar range, accuracy, and lexical resource usage.
Overall Band Score
Your overall band score is the mean score of all the four sections.
You will also receive an individual band score for each skill.
- If the total score is 6.25, it is increased to 6.5.
- If your band is 6.75, your score will be increased to 7.
But if your score is 7.1, it will go down to 7.
Here is what every band score means:
- 0 band score means you did not attempt the test.
- 1 – “Non-user” means you are incapable of using the language except for a few isolated words.
- 2 – “Intermittent user” means you have difficulty understanding English.
- 3 – “Extremely limited user” means you can only understand the meaning of language in familiar environments.
- 4 – “Limited user” means you are not able to use complex expressions of the language.
- 5 – “Modest user” means that you have partial command on the language but are more likely to make mistakes.
- 6 – “Competent user” means you have an effective command of the language and have the skills to understand complex phrases.
- 7 – “Good user” means you understand the language and have an operational command on it.
- 8 – “Very good user” means you have full command on the language but may interpret some things in unfamiliar situations.
- 9 – “Expert user” means you have a complete understanding of the language, and usage is accurate and fluent.
There is no fixed score to pass the IELTS exam. The test is designed to assess English skills on a diverse range of levels. Your passing or eligible score is decided by the professional bodies and institutes to which you apply.
Is the IELTS Academic Test online or offline?
The IELTS exam is conducted in both online and offline mode.
Is the test taken individually or by a large group of candidates?
The test is taken by a large group of candidates.
For instance, the paper-based test takes place at a larger venue, which encompasses 100+ students at one time while the online exam has a small venue and assigns one candidate per system.
Are results generated instantly upon completion?
No, the results are not generated instantly. You can expect the results of the online IELTS test to arrive within 13 days of taking the test. On the other hand, the offline test results can take up to 4-6 weeks.
Since the 1980s, IELTS test has been provided by the Cambridge English Language Assessment, the British Council, and IDP: IELTS Australia with input from experts across the world. The other test provider’s teams are located in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, USA, and Great Britain.
Known as some of the best international organizations, they are committed to academic excellence and provide an English test that helps organizations assess the English language skills of non-native speakers. The test is designed to cover the ability of every person, ranging from beginner to expert user.
IELTS test providers measure your skills in four different sections and provide a band score based on the marks of each section. They also check your ability to understand the opinion of the speaker in the listening test; inferences and implied meaning in the reading test and usage of spoken English.
They also record every test for extra monitoring or for re-marking in case of an appeal.
Disclaimer – All the information and prep materials on iPrep are genuine and were created for tutoring purposes. iPrep is not affiliated with any of the test providers mentioned above, who are the owners of the test.
- Course Introduction
- Writing - Academic Task 1
- Writing - Academic Task 2
- Writing Topic Ideas - Bonus Material
- Speaking – Exercises
- Listening – Introduction & Strategies
- Listening – Question Types
- Listening - Full-Length Simulations
- Reading - Introduction & Strategies
- Reading - Question Types Introduction
- Reading - Full-Length Simulations
Get to know what the IELTS Academic Test will be like by practicing with these sample questions:
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Tips for Passing The IELTS Academic Test
IELTS, in a nutshell, is a testing system that checks your English language skills through four aspects; how you listen, read, write, and speak. Although the test parameters seem to be easy, it is not. Here are some tips to ace it in the first attempt.
- Understand the test format thoroughly
Before you attempt or register for the IELTS exam, make sure you understand the format of the test. Furthermore, equip yourself with the question and task types for each section. It’s also essential that you are aware of all the IELTS rules and regulations.
- Practice IELTS sample tests
The sample tests give you a clear idea of what you can expect in all four sections. So, try to practice through them as much as possible. Analyze your strengths and weaknesses and allow yourself more practice time and effort in areas of difficulty.
- Complete tests under time pressure
Take tests under 2 hours and 44 minutes duration as it will give you an understanding of your capabilities. The more you practice under a time constraint, the better the results.
- Know your weaknesses and strengths
Only you can figure out your weaknesses; so practice as much as possible. There are students who find reading the trickiest part; however, others dread the writing. Identify your weaknesses and work on them. Practice lots of questions to score well!
Well done! You have completed the Sample Questions section.
The complete iPrep course includes full test simulations with detailed explanations and study guides.
Good luck from the bottom of our hearts.
- Understand the test format thoroughly
Question 1 of 8
Listen to Janet providing her contact details
Write NO MORE THAN ONE WORD AND/OR A NUMBER for each answer.
Name: Janet (1) .
Telephone number: office number (2)
Question 2 of 8
Read the passage on Japanese Samurai and European Knights and answer the questions that follow.
The Samurai of Japan and European Knights
Japanese and European medieval societies developed along similar feudal lines and in both, a warrior elite emerged as the dominant force. In both parts of the world, honor played an important part in their cultures, and knights and samurai were expected to follow their respective warrior codes, the ‘Chivalric Code’ in Europe and ‘Bushido’ (way of the warrior) in Japan.
In both Europe and Japan throughout the Middle Ages, the sword was considered the most noble weapon and would contain spiritual significance to the warrior. The samurai famously believed that the legendary samurai sword contained its owner’s soul and according to Richard Cohen in his book, ‘By the Sword’, the same sort of importance was put on the medieval knight’s sword, which was believed to possess the essence of the warrior’s inner power and true nobility…..
(Note that the passages in the actual test, as well as the passages within the practice pack, are much longer)
Questions 1 – 2
Complete the sentences below.
Choose NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER from the passage for each answer.
1. Both Japanese samurai and Medieval knights valued the importance of .
2. The sword in both Japan and Europe was said to be a .
Question 3 of 8
In the writing test, you would need to complete Task 1 and Task 2. The practice pack includes many simulations of these tasks as well as multiple-choice questions to broaden your understanding of how to approach the IELTS writing test. Try a few of these:
Which would be the best introduction for the following graphs?CorrectIncorrect
Question 4 of 8
Which of the following is a correct sentence for describing groups of numbers?CorrectIncorrect
Question 5 of 8
Which is the best conclusion for an essay?CorrectIncorrect
Question 6 of 8
Which is the best sentence for the following question?
Describe something that you would like to do but don’t have time for?CorrectIncorrect
Question 7 of 8
The conversation revolves around the topic “Is it better to rent or buy your home?”
Which part of a response is best describing a single idea?CorrectIncorrect
Question 8 of 8
The speaking test is a conversation comprised of three parts. The practice pack includes many simulations of these as well as multiple-choice questions to broaden your understanding of how to approach the IELTS speaking test. Try a few of these:
At the beginning of the conversation, which is not the best way to explain what you do?CorrectIncorrect