exam-IELTS_image
Cambridge

IELTS Exam Pattern 2024 - Explore Section-wise IELTS Exam Format, Marking Scheme & Duration

Student

50.5k+ Students Enrolled

Cambridge

By: Canamprep

Updated On: Dec 26,2023 , 11:16 AM IST

IELTS Exam Pattern

To understand the IELTS exam pattern, a candidate should first understand the IELTS Syllabus. The IELTS syllabus has different sections that covers Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking modules.

What are the Different Types of IELTS?

IELTS Academic & IELTS General training are the two major IELTS exam types.

On the other hand, Students who want to enrol in a university for undergraduate or graduate study need to take the IELTS Academic Test. Most universities in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Ireland, Canada, and New Zealand accept this test and set a minimum IELTS score that applicants must meet to be considered for admission. This exam aims to determine if you possess the essential English language abilities to function in a setting where the predominant language of instruction is English. Therefore, it should go without saying that to succeed in a higher education setting, you will require a better level of English proficiency, which implies a high IELTS score.

People who want to relocate overseas, land a job with a company in an English-speaking nation, or brush up on their English language abilities typically opt for the IELTS General Training Test.

Your speaking, reading, writing and listening skills are evaluated on both IELTS exams. While the Reading and Writing sections are different for each test, the Listening and Speaking sections are the same.

IELTS Exam Formats 

Paper-delivered Format and Computer-delivered Format : Administered through a paper-delivery method for over 30 years, the IELTS test is now conducted through a computer since August 2018. It is crucial to remember that the IELTS computer-delivered format follows the same question structure, format, difficulty level, and scoring as the paper-based version. The only difference is that you use a computer to administer the listening, reading, and writing tests.

Students will take the first three parts of the test on the same day in the order of Listening, Reading and Writing without any breaks between these tests. The Speaking test will be scheduled on the same day or within seven days before or after, depending on local arrangements.

IELTS Life Skills Format: Anyone looking to prove their English speaking and listening skills to receive a UK Visa must take the IELTS Life Skills test. 

The test is designed to meet the requirements of UKVI for certain visa categories and other immigration requirements. Candidates can take the test with another test taker and an examiner. The candidate’s performance in Speaking and Listening is evaluated during one session with no breaks between the speaking and listening components.

They will be assessed on their everyday communication in an English-speaking country through a variety of topics, such as:
 
- Personal experiences
- Family & friends
- Purchasing everyday essentials
- Education, work or training
- Weather, leisure or travel
- Transport, housing, or health

And many more.

IELTS for UKVI Format : Anyone from a non-English speaking country planning to study, work or move to the UK must take an IELTS test approved for UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI). IELTS for UKVI follows the same format or level of difficulty and scoring as the IELTS (paper or computer-based). It follows certain extra security protocols to ensure the authenticity of the test taker. The TRF (Test Report Form) differs slightly from the TRF received in regular IELTS.

IELTS Paper Pattern

Section Duration IELTS (General or Academic) No. of Questions Per Section
Listening 30 Minutes It includes four recorded monologues and conversations 4 Sections - 10 Questions Each
Reading 60 Minutes Three long reading passages with tasks.
Texts can range from descriptive and factual to discursive and analytical, which include non-verbal material like diagrams, graphs, and illustrated texts (taken from books, journals, and newspapers)
40
Writing 60 Minutes (20 minutes for Task 1) (40 minutes for Task 2) A writing task of at least 150 words where the candidate must summarize, describe or explain a table, graph, chart or diagram, and another short essay task of at least 250 words 2
Speaking 11 to 14 Minutes The face-to-face interview includes short questions, where you will have to speak at length about a familiar topic and have a structured discussion. 3

Life Skills IELTS Paper Pattern 

When preparing for the Life Skills IELTS, students must remember that there are three levels to the test. 

a.) IELTS Life Skills – A1 Speaking and Listening
b.) IELTS Life Skills – A2 Speaking and Listening
c.) IELTS Life Skills – B1 Speaking and Listening

Life Skills CEFR Level A1

The Life Skills Level A1 test takes 16-18 minutes.

Test takers must listen actively and respond to spoken language, including simple narratives, statements, questions and single-step instructions.

They should be proficient in communicating basic information, feelings and opinions on familiar topics.

Candidates must also be able to converse with another person in familiar situations, discussing various topics.
 
Life Skills CEFR Level A2

When taking the Life Skills Level A2 test, test takers will be allowed 18 to 20 minutes. They are expected to listen and respond to spoken language, including straightforward information, short narratives, explanations and instructions.

They must effectively communicate information, express feelings and share opinions on familiar topics. 

They should be able to converse with one or more people in familiar situations to establish an understanding of familiar topics.

Life Skills CEFR Level B1

In 22 minutes, candidates must demonstrate the ability to listen and respond to spoken language with simple information and narratives while understanding specific explanations and instructions.

They should be able to communicate a set of information to express their feelings and opinions on a wide range of familiar topics with appropriate formality. 

Candidates should be able to converse with one or more people by making relevant points and responding to others with a shared understanding of various topics.

Paper Pattern for IELTS UKVI

The IELTS UKVI (United Kingdom Visa and Immigration) Test follows the same pattern as the regular IELTS test. It will have Listening (Approximately 30 minutes), Reading (60 minutes), Writing (60 minutes), and Speaking Sections (11 to 14 minutes). Each section is scored on a band scale from 0 to 9.

IELTS Test Pattern

Candidates must compose their responses to the list of questions after listening to four recordings of fluent English speakers.

IELTS Test Format-Listening

  • Recording 1 - A conversation between two persons in any typical social setting is captured in Recording 1.
  • Recording 2 - It is a monologue situated in a typical social setting.
  • Recording 3 - A conversation between up to four persons recorded in the context of instruction or training.
  • Recording 4 - A monologue on any academic topic is recorded in take four.

IELTS Test Format – Reading

There are 40 questions in the Reading section of the exam, all of which are designed to evaluate various reading abilities. These include reading for primary concepts, reading for details, and comprehending logical reasoning. The reading module consists of three long passages covering a wide range of topics, from argumentative to descriptive to factual. The materials are chosen for university applicants from periodicals, journals, newspapers, and books.

IELTS Test Format – Writing

The topics covered in the Writing component of the exam are appropriate for undergraduate and graduate students applying to universities.

Task 1 - The test taker has 60 minutes to do both assignments. The first task takes 20 minutes, while the second takes 40 minutes. A candidate must write a summary of at least 150 words of a table, graph, or procedure in Task 1 of the IELTS Academic Module. A candidate must compose a letter of at least 150 words for Task 1 of the IELTS General Training Module.

Task 2 - The Academic and General Training Modules Task 2 asks you to write an essay of at least 250 words. Candidates will be required to respond to an issue, argument, or point of view in an essay. Ensure that you formally respond to the task.

IELTS Test Format – Speaking

The candidate's spoken English is observed during the speaking portion, and each test is documented.

Part 1: The test-taker will be asked open-ended questions about themselves and common subjects like work, school, and/or home. The first segment lasts four to five minutes.

Part 2: A cue card with a question regarding a specific subject will be provided to the exam taker. You will have a minute to prepare before you speak for two minutes, and the examiner will then ask a question or two about the chosen subject.

Part 3: Questions about the subject the test-taker spoke in Part 2 will be asked. You will get to talk more in-depth about the concepts and problems here. This section lasts for four to five minutes.

Study and Settle Overseas

IELTS band requirements differ for migration and study permit. They also vary from country to country.

Australia

Australia

6.0+ Band

7.0+ Band

Canada

Canada

6.0+ Band

7.0+ Band

USA

USA

6.0+ Band

7.0+ Band

UK

UK

6.0+ Band

7.0+ Band

Date and Frequency

IELTS test dates are offered upto 4 times in a month making a total of 48 fixed dates in one calendar year. The availability of IELTS dates in India may vary for Academic and General IELTS.

Center and Admit Card

The IELTS Exam is offered at more than 50 locations across India. No admit card is provided for the IELTS examination.

Result

IELTS Exam results are released 10 calendar days after the paper-based exam and 5-7 calendar days for the computer based test. The candidate will receive only ONE original Test Report form (TRF).

Score Reporting

A candidate may request to have upto 5 additional TRFs sent to the receiving institutions (universities, professional bodies, etc) within 1 month of taking the IELTS test. TRFs sent by courier will be sent via DHL and students will be charged accordingly. If the receiving institution accepts electronic submission of scores then that can be arranged through the IDP IELTS office free of charge.

Score Validity

2 Years

Free IELTS Mock Tests

Free

Predicting the answer

12.1k Users

40 Questions
40 Marks
25 mins
Free

Cam 18 Test 3

12.1k Users

40 Questions
40 Marks
40 mins
Free

Describe a place

12.1k Users

40 Questions
40 Marks
25 mins
Free

Understanding categories

12.1k Users

40 Questions
40 Marks
30 mins
Free

Selecting from a list

12.1k Users

40 Questions
40 Marks
30 mins
Free

Recognising paraphrase

12.1k Users

40 Questions
40 Marks
30 mins
Free

Following a conversation

12.1k Users

40 Questions
40 Marks
30 mins
Free

Identifying main ideas

12.1k Users

40 Questions
40 Marks
30 mins
Free

Recognising text types

12.1k Users

40 Questions
40 Marks
60 mins
Free

Reading

12.1k Users

40 Questions
40 Marks
40 mins
Free

Analysing the passage

12.1k Users

40 Questions
40 Marks
60 mins
Free

Dealing with unfamiliar words

12.1k Users

40 Questions
40 Marks
60 mins
Free

Vocabulary builder

12.1k Users

40 Questions
40 Marks
60 mins
Free

Dealing with a range of views

12.1k Users

40 Questions
40 Marks
60 mins
Free

Understanding the paragraph structure

12.1k Users

40 Questions
40 Marks
60 mins
Free

Using paragraphs and main ideas

12.1k Users

40 Questions
40 Marks
60 mins
Free

Process & Two-part Question

12.1k Users

2 Questions
40 Marks
60 mins
Free

Writing

12.1k Users

2 Questions
2 Marks
40 mins
Free

Bar Chart & Problem-Solution Question

12.1k Users

2 Questions
40 Marks
60 mins
Free

Tabular Chart & Causes-Solution Question

12.1k Users

2 Questions
Marks
60 mins
Free

Line Graph & Impact-Type of Question

12.1k Users

2 Questions
40 Marks
60 mins
Free

Vertical Bar Graph & Discursive Essay

12.1k Users

2 Questions
Marks
60 mins
Free

Pie Charts & Direct Question

12.1k Users

40 Questions
40 Marks
60 mins
Free

Chart & Opinionated Question

12.1k Users

2 Questions
Marks
60 mins
Free

Describe a school

12.1k Users

4 Questions
30 Marks
10 mins
Free

Speaking

12.1k Users

11 Questions
11 Marks
20 mins
Free

Describe any event

12.1k Users

4 Questions
30 Marks
15 mins
Free

Describe your favourite comedy show

12.1k Users

10 Questions
Marks
15 mins
Free

Describe a quiet place

12.1k Users

10 Questions
00 Marks
15 mins
Free

Describe a city

12.1k Users

40 Questions
40 Marks
15 mins
Free

Describe something you would like to get replaced

12.1k Users

10 Questions
00 Marks
15 mins
Free

Describe an occasion

12.1k Users

12 Questions
Marks
15 mins
Free

Evaluation Test

  • Check your predicted IELTS band
  • Highlight key strengths and weaknesses
  • Get personalised practice material
  • Compete with potential IELTS test takers
  • Instant Evaluation
  • Takes less than 5 minutes
Call Us
Got Queries?
Book a Free Counseling Session

Popular English Language Proficiency Exams

Latest Test Prep Blogs and News!