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IELTS General Test Format
IELTS General Test Format

IELTS General Test Format

The IELTS General test is an internationally recognized test for those who want to take non-academic courses or work and live in English-speaking countries. 

IELTS General test measures your English language abilities on 4 parameters: 

  • Listening
  • Reading
  • Speaking 
  • Writing 

IELTS Reading, Writing, and the Listening exam take place on the same day. Whereas, IELTS Speaking test can be either held on the same day or within 7 days of the scheduled date.

Listening

The IELTS general listening test is designed to evaluate your English listening skills on understanding ideas and information and following the arguments’ progress by recognizing the speaker’s opinion and attitude.

Format:

 The IELTS Listening test is divided into 4 sections, and you will listen to 4 different recordings and answer 40 questions. Each recording is played only once. 

Recording 1: Conversation between two people on day-to-day issues.

Recording 2: A monologue based on everyday social setting.

Recording 3: Conversation between two or more people on social or educational matters.

Recording 4: A monologue on an academic subject. Bit lengthier than section 2 monologue. 

Time allotted to complete the test:

IELTS Listening test takes 30 minutes to complete, and extra 10 minutes are given to transfer the answer to the answer booklet. 

No. of questions: 

Total 40 questions asked in the IELTS Listening section.

Types of questions: 

Short answer, Matching, Form Completion, Multiple choice, Sentence completion, Note completion, Table completion, Summary Completion, Plan/Diagram labeling, Map labeling, Flowchart completion 

Marking Criteria:  

  • Task Response 
  • Lexical Resources
  • Coherence and Cohesion
  • Grammar and Accuracy

Each section of the IELTS Listening test is marked on the following criteria mentioned above. For every correct answer, 1 mark is awarded, and there is no negative marking in the IELTS listening test. Each section is marked individually, and an aggregate of the same is used to calculate the overall band score.

Free Practice Listening Tests:  https://ieltsmaterial.com/ielts-listening-practice-test/ 

Speaking

The IELTS general speaking general test evaluates your English speaking skills based on the following :

  • How fluently you can convey your ideas and thoughts on everyday issues and topics. 
  • How well you arrange your ideas and justify your views.

Format:

 The IELTS Speaking test is divided into 3 sections where the examiner asks questions from basic to complex. 

Section 1: The examiner will ask basic background questions about your childhood, family, friends, job, etc. 

Section 2: The examiner will provide you a cue card with a topic to talk about. You will be given 1-2 minutes to prepare for the topic. Then you will be asked to speak for 2 minutes on the same. The examiner will not interrupt you but will ask you a few questions on the topic once you have finished talking 

Section 3: In this section, the examiner will ask you questions on the same topic allotted to you in section 2. These questions will help you elaborate your ideas and give an opportunity to discuss the topic in detail. 

Time allotted to complete the test:

IELTS Speaking test takes 12-14 minutes to complete 

No. of questions: 

It depends upon the examiner

Types of questions: 

Basic introductory questions and topic related questions

Marking Criteria:  

  • Fluency
  • Pronunciation
  • Lexical Resources
  • Coherence and Cohesion

Each section of the IELTS Speaking test is marked on the following criteria mentioned above. Each section is marked individually, and an aggregate of the same is used to calculate the overall band score.

Free Practice Speaking Tests:  https://ieltsmaterial.com/ielts-speaking-practice-test/ 

Writing

The IELTS general writing test is formulated to evaluate your English writing skills. It evaluates how well you can convey and organise your thoughts with correct grammar and vocabulary.

Format:

 The IELTS Writing test consists of 2 sections. You will be given 60 minutes to complete the 2 tasks. 

Task 1: You will be given a situation and asked to write a letter explaining the situation or requesting information . You will be asked to write not less than 150 words on the topic.

Task 2: You will be asked to write an essay. There are different types of essays such as – discussion, opinion, advantage/disadvantage, agree/disagree essays. You will be asked to write at least 250 words.

Time allotted to complete the test:

IELTS Writing test takes 60 minutes to complete. Since task 2 carries more weightage, one should spend 40 minutes on task 2 and 20 on task 1. 

No. of questions: 

A total of 2 questions asked in the IELTS Writing section.

Types of questions: 

Task 1 – Formal, Informal, or Semi-formal letter

Task 2 – Opinion, Discussion, Agree/Disagree, Advantage/Disadvantage, Cause/Effect Questions

Marking Criteria:  

  • Task Response 
  • Lexical Resources
  • Coherence and Cohesion
  • Grammar and Accuracy

Each section of the IELTS Writing test is marked on the following criteria mentioned above. Each section is marked individually, and an aggregate of the same is used to calculate the overall band score. Task 1 is nearly 30% of the total marks, and Task 2 is about 60% of the total marks.

Free Practice Writing Tests:

https://ieltsmaterial.com/ielts/ielts-general-training/general-writing-task-1/ , https://ieltsmaterial.com/writing/writing-task-2/

Reading

The IELTS general reading test is formulated to evaluate your English reading skills. It evaluates how well you can grasp the details and presented ideas. 

Format:

 The IELTS Reading test consists of 3 passages. The first 2 sections are subcategorised into 2 small texts each, and the third is a bit longer text than the rest. The given passages are extracted from various books, magazines, advertisements, and company handbooks. 

Section 1: 1-2 Small passages. 

Section 2: 1- 2 Small passages

Section 3: Long passages

Time allotted to complete the test:

IELTS Reading test takes 60 minutes to complete. 

No. of questions: 

In the General Reading test, 13 to 14 questions are asked from each section, a total of 40 questions.

Types of questions: 

Fill in the blanks, Match headings, True/False/Not Given, Sentence completion, Summary completion, Multiple choice, Short Answer type questions.

Marking Criteria:  

  • Task Response 
  • Lexical Resources
  • Coherence and Cohesion
  • Grammar and Accuracy

Each section of the IELTS Reading test is marked on the following criteria mentioned above. For every correct answer, 1 mark is awarded, and there is no negative marking in the IELTS reading test. Each section is marked individually, and an aggregate of the same is used to calculate the overall band score. 

Free Practice Reading Tests: https://ieltsmaterial.com/ielts-general-reading-practice-test/

Written By

Houston has been in the field of IELTS for about eight years and has been associated with IELTSMaterial for the last two years. As an IELTS Expert, her contributions to the articles have been informative and original. Whitney has written about 200 informative articles for IELTSMaterial.com, which enables students to learn from her expertise. Whitney is also a good researcher, and thus any new information about the IELTS test can be found on our website, thanks to her. Whitney completed her graduation in Creative Writing at Glasgow University, Belfast. Having seen her foreign peers struggling to prepare for IELTS to find jobs abroad kindled her, and she began learning the techniques and strategies to crack the IELTS test to help her peers.

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