top of page


The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is widely recognised as a reliable means of assessing the language ability of candidates who need to study or work where English is the language of communication.

WHAT IS THE TEST FORMAT? IELTS consists of four components. All candidates take the same Listening and Speaking tests. There is a choice of Reading and Writing tests according to whether a candidate is taking the Academic or General Training module. Academic: For candidates wishing to study at undergraduate or postgraduate levels, and for those seeking professional registration. General Training: For candidates wishing to migrate to an English-speaking country (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK), and for those wishing to train or study at below degree level. GENERAL TRAINING TEST FORMAT Listening This test consists of four parts, each with ten questions. The first two parts are concerned with social needs. The third part is a conversation between up to four people and the fourth part is a monologue. A variety of question types such as multiple choice, matching, plan/map/ diagram labelling, form completion, note completion, table completion, flow-chart completion, summary completion, sentence completion and short-answer question are used. Reading This test consists of three sections with 40 questions. The first section contains texts relevant to basic linguistic survival in English. The second section focuses on the work context and the third section involves reading more extended texts, with a more complex structure.A variety of question types are used to assess a candidate's ability to read. Writing This test consists of two tasks. In Task 1, candidates are asked to respond to a given situation with a letter requesting information or explaining the situation in at least 150 words. In Task 2, candidates are presented with a point of view, argument or problem. Candidate is required to present his point of view in at least 250 words. They are assessed on their ability to provide general factual information, outline a problem and present a solution, present and justify an opinion, and to evaluate and challenge ideas, evidence or arguments. Speaking This test takes between 11 and 14 minutes and is conducted by a trained examiner. There are three parts: Part 1 The candidate and the examiner introduce themselves. Candidates then answer general questions about themselves, their home/family, their job/studies, their interests and a wide range of similar familiar topic areas. This part lasts between four and five minutes. Part 2 The candidate is given a task card with prompts and is asked to talk on a particular topic. The candidate has one minute to prepare and the examiner then asks one or two questions on the same topic. Part 3 The examiner and the candidate engage in a discussion of more abstract issues which are thematically linked to the topic in Part 2. The discussion lasts between four and five minutes.



4 parts, 40 items, approximately 30 minutes

Academic Reading                      General Training Reading

3 sections, 40 items       or          3 sections, 40 items  

60 minutes                                  60 minutes

Academic Writing                      General Training Writing

2 tasks             or                   2 tasks 

60 minutes                                  60 minutes


11 to 14 minutes

Total Test time

2 hours 44 minutes

bottom of page