Everything You Need To Know
IELTS, the International English Language Testing System, is a standardized test that helps to gauge the English proficiency of non-native English speakers.
Launched by Cambridge English Language Assessment and the British Council, the test’s innovative format will gauge your communicative language learning skills.
IELTS is one of the major English language tests given to students preparing for study, migration, and work. Accepted by 3,000 academic institutions and universities in countries such as Australia, Canada, U.S, England, Ireland, and New Zealand, it is designed to test students from English newbies to experts.
IELTS is a 2-hour 45-minute test that is divided to four sections: Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking.
The 2-hour 45-minute IELTS test is divided into two categories: the IELTS General Training Test and IELTS Academic Test. You have to pass the Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing sections of these tests to work or study in countries where English is the main language.
- IELTS General Training Test (this one):
General Training IELTS is for those who want to work or immigrate to an English-speaking country. It is intended for immigration purposes, for those who want to take non-academic training, or for those who want to gain work experience in another country.
- IELTS Academic Test (click here to get there):
The academic version is for those who want to study at a higher level in a foreign country. This means, if you are planning to study in higher institutions and universities in an English-speaking country, academic IELTS is for you.
Since every IELTS test center will ask for your high-resolution photograph, you can trust their authenticity. The test takers then verify that image with the person giving the test to ensure you are the proper test-taker.
You will have only 2-hours and 45-minutes to complete the test. For the listening section, you will have 30 minutes, for reading and writing you have 60 minutes each, and for speaking you have 11-14 minutes.
Assesses Your English Language Skills
The IELTS general training test evaluates your listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. 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.
The IELTS General training test is available in more than 1,500 locations worldwide with more than 50 locations just in the US. Whether you are given a test from the UK, China, Australia, New Zealand, or Canada, your test will be valid.
The IELTS training test offers utmost fairness by accepting all standard varieties of native speakers: British, North American, New Zealand, Australian. The test also avoids cultural bias and offers an unbiased assessment of every candidate.
You will get only 2 hours and 45 minutes to complete the test. You will be given 30 minutes for the listening section, 60 minutes each for reading and writing, and 11-14 minutes for speaking.
Every section is divided into further parts:
- 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 four 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: You will first have to write the answers on the question paper, but at the end of the test, you will be given 10 minutes to write your answers on the sheet. Make sure you write the answers carefully as incorrect grammar and spelling lead to a deduction in points. Obviously, in the computerized version, your answers are immediately recorded.
The reading section includes three sections. In section 1—“social survival”—you will have up to three short texts such as advertisements, notices, and timetables; in section 2—“workplace survival”—you will have up to two medium-length texts such as job descriptions, guidelines, and training materials; in section 3—“general reading”—you will have one long passage taken from journals, books, and magazines. These questions test you on various reading skills including reading for the main idea, gist, skimming, detail, understanding argument, writer’s idea, and opinion.
Task types: The total number of questions is 40 and their tasks 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 have extra time to transfer your answers. You are required to write your answers on the sheet as you take the test.
The writing section has two tasks. The first is to respond to a situation in writing, such as answering an email or writing a letter or directions. The second is to write a short essay in response to an argument. The essay may be either formal or fairly personal in style.
Task types: Completing both tasks is mandatory. In the first task, you will write 150 words in 20 minutes. In the second task, you will 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 will be recorded. However, it consists of three parts.
- In Part 1, the test taker will ask you about yourself and topics such as home and family. This part will last for four to five minutes.
- In Part 2, you will be given a topic. You will have 1 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 topic in Part 2. This part takes four to five minutes.
Answers: All your answers will be marked based on fluency, coherence, pronunciation, grammatical range, accuracy, and lexical resources.
Paper-Based Or Computer
You can take the test in either format. The paper-based tests require you to take the Reading, Listening, and Writing sections of the test at a desk in the official IELTS center. The computer-based tests require you to sit in front of the computer with the questions presented on the screen of the official IELTS test center.
Note: The speaking test is not carried on the computer, but face-to-face under the observation of a trained IELTS examiner.
Availability and Language Support
You can take the IELTS general training test in more than 140 countries in over 12,000 different locations.
Anyone who wishes to work or study in another country can take a test.
Result and Score
Once the test is over, you will get a score between 1-9.
0 – You did not attempt the test.
1 – You are a non-user who is not capable of using the English language except for a few words.
2 –You are an intermittent user. Moreover, it also shows that you find difficulty in understanding the English language.
3 – You are an extremely limited user; which means you only understand the meaning of said language in environments that you are familiar with.
4 – You are a limited user and are not able to use the complex symbols of the English language.
5 – You belong to the modest user category and have partial command on the language. But you make more mistakes.
6 – You are a competent user and have an efficient command on the English language. You also have the skills to understand the complex phrases of the language.
7 – You are a very good user. Also, you completely understand the language and have an operational command on it.
8 – You belong to the category of very good users. While you have full command of the language, you may interpret some things in unfamiliar situations.
9 – You are an expert! You completely understand the language, you are fluent, and your usage is accurate.
Result Scale and Interpretation
The IELTS is accessed on a 9-band scale-and-report score on the basis of overall as well as individual skills. If you score 9 bands, this means you have complete command of the language, and your use of English is fluent, accurate, and appropriate. However, the “1” band score determines that you are a non-user and have no ability to use the language.
What Score Should I Get on the IELTS?
There are no fixed or passing scores for IELTS. The passing score that is required to pass the test is something which the professional bodies, colleges, universities, and immigration authorities decide. Moreover, the level of proficiency required to ensure that you are ready for entering a new country depends on the “standard setting.”
“Standard setting” is a process that decides what IELTS score you need before entering the particular program.
Setting the appropriate “standard setting” for IELTS score comprises four steps:
- The panel poll: This involves discussing the minimum level of English writing and speaking ability, gauging the assessment criteria for writing and speaking tests, and considering sample reading and listening materials.
- Setting standards: The committee of internal groups like employees, teachers from different departments, and language experts set minimum standards.
- Setting minimum score: This involves setting a minimum score to get through the IELTS test.
- Evaluating the decision: Once the panel is done with recommendation related score requirements, your scores will be evaluated for further experiences.
IELTS Average Scores
These are the test takers average performance and band scale on both individual and overall skills. The scores are for both Academic and General training test takers in the year 2017.
Is the IELTS General Training Test Online or Offline?
You can take the IELTS general training exam in both online and offline mode. While offline you need to visit the center of the exam, for the online test, you only need to go to the official website.
Is the Test Taken Individually or by a Large Group of Candidates?
Anyone can take IELTS general training test. Whether you are a single student or you are taking the test in a large group, you can do so with ease.
Are Results Generated Instantly upon Completion?
No, you have to wait some time to know your scores. While the results of the online test will arrive up to 13 days from the test, offline test results might take up to 4-6 weeks.
IELTS test is provided by the British Council, Cambridge English Language Assessment, and IDP: IELTS Australia with the joint efforts of the experts across the world. The other test providers are from New Zealand, Canada, Australia, the US, and the UK. Moreover, it is trusted by universities, governments, and businesses around the world.
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 - General Training Task 1
- Writing - General Training 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 General Training Test will be like by practicing with these sample questions:
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Tips for Passing The IELTS General Training 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:
A friend sent you an e-mail asking you to babysit on the weekend. Write a letter in response to the request.
Which would not be an appropriate scenario for this letter?CorrectIncorrect
Question 4 of 8
Which is the best opening sentence for the following question?
Your newly renovated house has some problems. Describe the problem to the company who was responsible for the work and ask them to resolve the problems.CorrectIncorrect
Question 5 of 8
Which of the following is the best final line and sign-off for a formal letter where the writer has drawn attention to a problem?CorrectIncorrect
Question 6 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
Question 7 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 8 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