test preparation

INTERNATIONAL ENGLISH LANGUAGE TESTING SYSTEM is a globally accepted English proficiency test for non-native English speakers. It is managed jointly by BRITISH COUNCIL and IDP. It is designed to let non-native English speakers to migrate to country where English is first language. Generally, it is taken for study, migration or work in such countries.  Test taker have to go through four sessions i.e speaking, listening, Reading and writing. This test is offered upto 4 times a month and its score validity is upto 24 months. Its scoring is done between 0-9 band.


Session Starting

  • 6:00 am - 7:00 am
  • 11:00 am - 1:00 pm
  • 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
  • 8:00 am - 9:00 am

ielts exam pattern

Total Test Duration 2 Hours 45 Minutes


40 Minutes


60 Minutes


60 Minutes


15 Minutes

ielts Test Format in Brief

It takes about 30 minutes and candidate will have another 10 minutes to transfer his/her answer to the answer sheet.

Test Duration: 30 Minutes

  • Candidates listen to four recordings and answer 10 objective questions from each recording in 30 minutes.
  • 1st Recording – Dialogue in an everyday issue.
  • 2nd Recording – Monologue in a social issue.
  • 3rd Recording – Academic Discussion.
  • 4th Recording – Monologue in an academic issue.

This is designed to examine variety of skills under reading such as skimming, understanding logical arguments, recognizing opinions, attitudes and purpose, reading for detail etc. Most of the students find this part of IELTS a bit more difficult than remaining. It consists of 3 sections and a total of 40 questions.  The time limit is 60 minutes. First section is quite easy so it is always recommended to spend less than 20 minutes in that section and around 20 minute in second section and quite more time in 3rd section as it is a bit harder than other two.

Scoring in reading

Raw score
(out of 40)
39-40 37-38 35-36 33-34 30-32 27-29 23-26 19-22 15-18 13-14 10-12 8-9 6-7 4-5
Band score 9 8.5 8 7.5 7 6.5 6 5.5 5 4.5 4 3.5 3 2.5

Types of questions

  1. multiple choice
  2. True/false/not given
  3. short-answer questions
  4. sentence completion
  5. notes, summary, plan, diagram, table or chart completion
  6. classification
  7. matching paragraphs

Academic Test

  • Reading Comprehension format.
  • Candidates will read three passages.
  • Length of each passage is of around 1000 words.
  • From each passage 12/14 objective questions.
  • Likewise, 40 questions to answer from 3 passages.
  • All answers need to be transferred in an answer sheet.

General Test

  • Reading Comprehension format.
  • Candidates read 5 passages.
  • Total 40 objective questions.
  • All answers need to be transferred in an answer sheet.
  • Extracts from Notices, Advertisements, Short texts.

Test Duration: 60 Minutes

Academic Test

Task 1

  • Report Writing based on graphical figures.
  • More than 150 words of descriptive writing.
  • Suggested time: 20 minutes.

Task 2

  • Essay Writing based on a given topic.
  • More than 250 words of Persuasive essay.
  • Suggested time: 40 minutes.

General Test

Task 1

  • Letter Writing.
  • More than 150 words of formal/semi-formal/informal letter.
  • Suggested time: 20 minutes.

Task 2

  • Essay Writing based on a given topic.
  • More than 250 words of Persuasive essay.
  • Suggested time: 40 minutes.

IELTS speaking is face-to-face interaction with the examiner. It is designed in three sections i.e part 1, part 2 and part 3.

Part 1

It is an introductory part. Generally, the questions are based on yourself, your life and your country. Its duration is usually 4-5 minutes.

Most common topics in part 1

  • Study
  • Work
  • Hometown
  • Childhood
  • Daily routine
  • Hobbies
  • Home
  • Art
  • Family and friends
  • Leisure time
  • Food

Part 2

In this section of ielts speaking you are given a cue card and you will have a minute to prepare for that topic. Then, you need to talk for about 1-2 minutes regarding that topic. Most of the topics will be relatable to you so you need not to panic.

Some common questions are

  • Describe a book you have recently read.
  • Describe a piece of art you like.
  • Describe a interesting hobby.
  • Describe a gift you recently gave to someone.
  • Describe a person you know who is kind.

Part 3

The examiner will ask you some questions based on your words in speaking part 2. You need to give detail answer to such questions with specific reasons if possible.


Test Duration: 11 – 15 Minutes

  • Conducted on a different day.
  • A one to one conversation in an interview format.
  • Face to face interaction with an oral examiner.

Speaking marking criteria

  1. Fluency and coherence (FC) = how clear and structured is your speech.

To increase score for FC:

    • connect your sentences by linking words and signpoints
    • extend your answers, add all the relevant details
    • speak smoothly and continuously
    • use pausing correctly


  1. Lexical Resource (LR) = how good is your vocabulary.

To increase score for LR:

    • use a wide range of vocabulary
    • discuss different topics freely, using appropriate words
    • speak formally or semi-formally
    • choose words accurately
    • use idiomatic language


  1. Pronunciation (P) = how naturally you sound.

To increase score:

    • pronounce words as clearly as possible
    • record your speech and work on the words that you spell incorrectly
    • stress words and sentences correctly
    • use correct intonations
    • try to be easily understood by the examiner


  1. Grammatical Range and Accuracy (GRA) = how good is your grammar.

To increase score:

    • avoid grammatical mistakes
    • try to use more advanced grammatical structures (passive voicedirect speechdifferent tenses and conditional sentences etc)


how do they score?


band score skill level description
Band 9 Expert user You have a full operational command of the language. Your use of English is appropriate, accurate and fluent, and you show complete understanding.
Band 8 Very good user You have a fully operational command of the language with only occasional unsystematic inaccuracies and inappropriate usage. You may misunderstand some things in unfamiliar situations. You handle complex detailed argumentation well.
Band 7 Good user You have an operational command of the language, though with occasional inaccuracies, inappropriate usage and misunderstandings in some situations. Generally you handle complex language well and understand detailed reasoning.
Band 6 Competent user Generally you have an effective command of the language despite some inaccuracies, inappropriate usage and misunderstandings. You can use and understand fairly complex language, particularly in familiar situations.
Band 5 Modest user You have a partial command of the language, and cope with overall meaning in most situations, although you are likely to make many mistakes. You should be able to handle basic communication in your own field.
Band 4 Limited user Your basic competence is limited to familiar situations. You frequently show problems in understanding and expression. You are not able to use complex language.
Band 3 Extremely limited user You convey and understand only general meaning in very familiar situations. There are frequent breakdowns in communication.
Band 2 Intermittent user You have great difficulty understanding spoken and written English.
Band 1 Non-user You have no ability to use the language except a few isolated words.
Band 0 Did not attempt the test You did not answer the questions.

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