IELTS Exam - Overview

IELTS Exam 2023: Fees, Registration, Syllabus, Results & Scores

Updated on Sep 6, 2022

Table of Contents

1 IELTS Academic

Candidates who intend to apply for higher education or professional registration in countries where English is the primary language should take the IELTS Academic test.

The major purpose of the test is to identify whether or not a candidate is ready to begin his/her English language study. IELTS is recognised for academic purposes in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, among other countries.

2 IELTS General Training

IELTS General Training is for individuals who plan to migrate to native English-speaking countries for higher education, training programs, or job experience, country.

The focus of this test is on a candidate's basic survival skills in a wide social and business environment.

IELTS Section-wise Syllabus

  • Writing syllabus
  • Reading syllabus
  • Listening syllabus
  • Speaking syllabus

3 IELTS Writing Section

The completion of an academic writing programme is mandatory of all students. In response to the academic writing module, students write brief essays or broad reports that are intended for an educated but non-specialist audience.

Both are mandatory tasks. In task 1 the Candidates are asked to look at a diagram, table, or data and express the information in their own words. They have to write a minimum of 150 words.

In task 2, all the candidates are provided with a point of view, argument, or problem and then they are asked to provide general and factual information about it and present a solution, justify an opinion, analyze the ideas and evidence, and so on. 

Total no. of questions: 2

Total time: 60 minutes

Writing- IELTS Academic

It consists of two exercises on themes that are of general interest and relevant to individuals seeking undergraduate or postgraduate programmes.

You will be given a diagram, table, or graph as your first task and you will have to summarize and define the offered information in your terms.

You may be required to explain a specific data entry, process the data presented, or create a flowchart to get to a logical conclusion.

The next task requires you to compose an essay in response to your conclusion from the provided data and to back up your claim with appropriate examples based on the provided data.

Please strictly follow a formal writing style.

Writing- IELTS General Training

It also has two tasks, although they are simpler than those in the academic format.

You will have to write a response to the letter based on the given circumstances.

Depending on the situation, the letter can be formal or informal.

A higher authority may ask you to provide an argument, make a request, or defend your stance.

The ideas and points of view presented here should be supported by pertinent examples, and the writing may come across as somewhat subjective.

4 IELTS Reading Section

The reading module comprises three general-interest passages that address the themes relevant to postgraduate and undergraduate candidates.

These reading modules consist of three passages or parts, each of which has 40 questions.

Recognizing data for short-answer questions, correlating lists or phrases, and trying to identify writers' views/attitudes are all examples of question kinds.

Total no. of questions: 40

Total time: 60 minutes

Reading- IELTS Academic

This section consists of three lengthy paragraphs that can be descriptive, factual, or analytical.

These passages are mostly derived from newspapers, research reports, publications, literature, and magazines.

The texts are perfect for evaluating higher education candidates or professionals looking for jobs overseas because they are written for a non-specialist audience.

IELTS General Training - Reading

Samples from ads, company guidelines, pamphlets, and other sources, similar to the academic format, might be used here.

This format is less difficult than the academic format because the chosen text is usually something anyone experiences daily.

5 IELTS Listening Section

The Listening modules consist of four parts.

The first two parts are about social needs, whereas the third and fourth are about issues that are more intimately tied to academics.

They'll all last about three minutes. The interactions may be monologues or dialogues.

These exchanges can only be heard once. Multiple-choice and short-answer questions, note completion, summary completion, diagram labeling, and other types of questions are asked. 

Total no. of questions: 40

Total time: 30 minutes

Sections 1 and 2 are about daily social situations.

Recording 1: The first recording is a conversation that consists of a chat between 2 individuals in a normal social setting.

Recording 2 – The second recording will be a monologue staged in a common social setting.

Sections 3 and 4 are about educational and training issues.

Recording 3 – This recording depicts a dialogue between four people in an educational or training setting.

Recording 4 – Finally, a monologue around an intellectual topic would be recorded.

6 IELTS Speaking Section

The Speaking section is structured like an interview, with a focus on general communication skills.

It analyses if candidates have the essential knowledge and abilities to effectively communicate with native English speakers.

Total no. of tasks: 3 


  • Personal Interview,

  • Little Speech 

  • Discussion

Total time: 11 to 14 minutes

Part 1: introduction and interview (4–5 minutes)

For the first few minutes, you'll be asked some common questions about yourself, such as your family, where you live, what you do for a living, studies, hobbies and interests, and so on.

Part 2: Task card (3–4 minutes)

The examiner will provide you with a flashcard with a specific topic on it.

You will be given a minute to familiarize yourself with the topic before speaking for roughly two minutes on it. You are also allowed to make your notes or write a few points that you would like to speak on.

Following your speech, the examiner will ask you a few follow-up questions on the subject.

Part 3: discussions (4–5 minutes)

Based on the topic in part 2, you will be asked questions and this time you need to be a bit more elaborate in answering.

7 FAQs

Q. Are there any predetermined topics for the IELTS speaking section?

A. There are no predetermined subjects for the IELTS 2021 speaking part. The examiner will ask broad questions in the first part. Meanwhile, applicants must talk about any topic specified on the card picked up in the second half, and examiners will ask further questions on the same topic in the third part.

Q. Can I change the dates of my Speaking test?

A. The speaking exam date is set by the system and cannot be changed.
Q. Are there any specific topics to prepare for in the IELTS writing section?

A. In the IELTS writing section, there is no specified topic to prepare for. It includes two writing assignments for candidates to complete on topics of general interest to candidates.

Q. Are there any negative markings in the IELTS Reading Section for wrong answers?

A. No, there are no negative markings for answering questions wrong in the IELTS 2021 Reading part.

Q. What if someone is unable to take the IELTS examination?

A. If a candidate registers for the test but does not show up, he will be deemed absent and will not receive a refund.

Q. What are the main subjects included in the IELTS exam for 2021?

A. The IELTS 2021 test has no specific themes outlined under any of the sections. IELTS 2021's Reading portion comprises a variety of generic passages from which MCQs are framed. The paragraph can come from a book, journal, magazine, or newspaper, among other sources. Candidates will be asked to write an essay on a variety of topics in the Writing part. The listening segment involves audio samples, and the speaking section will invite candidates to talk about generic topics as well, as determined by the examiner on the test day.

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