IELTS Exam Pattern

IELTS Exam Pattern:

Designed by the British Council, the International English Language Testing System or IELTS as it is commonly called is conducted in association by the University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations (Cambridge ESOL), British Council and IDP Education Australia. The IELTS exam is compulsory for all those who desire to study or work overseas especially in the countries where English is used as a language of communication. IELTS aims to test the reading, writing, listening and speaking skills of aspiring candidates. The IELTS exam pattern helps in better preparation of the exam.

IELTS Exam Pattern

Here are the details of the IELTS exam pattern:

There are two types of IELTS:

  • Academic
  • General Training

For both the types the Listening and speaking tests are the same, while the reading and written sections differ.

IELTS can be taken in two modes:

  • Computer based online test
  • Paper and pen mode

IELTS Exam Pattern:

IELTS Pattern details
Total Marks (raw score IELTS of 3 sections reading, writing, listening) 80 marks
Number of Questions 2 (Academic writing)/ 2(General writing)+3 tasks(Speaking)+General reading(40 questions) / Academic reading( 40 questions)+ Listening (4 tasks)
Total Time 2 hours 45 minutes
No. of Sections 4
Marks per Sections 40
Time per Section





IELTS Listening- 30 minutes
IELTS Reading (general)- 60 minutes
IELTS Reading (academic) 60 minutes
IELTS writing (general )- 60 minutes
IELTS writing (academic)- 60 minutes
IELTS Speaking- 11 or 14 minutes
Questions per Section





IELTS writing : 2 (academic writing)
IELTS writing : 2(general writing)
IELTS Speaking: 3 tasks(speaking)
IELTS reading : general reading(40 questions)
IELTS reading : academic reading( 40 questions)
IELTS Listening : listening (4 tasks)
Marks per Question 1 mark per question for IELTS reading
Time per Question Varies with the section
Marking Scheme Varies with the section

IELTS Listening Test helps to assess the listening ability of the candidate. He must answer 40 questions in a time frame of 30 minutes. The test helps to assess the listening and comprehension ability of the candidate. The 4 tasks include the following:

  • A recording of communication between two people in everyday context.
  • A Speech.
  • A recording of group discussion
  • A recording of lecture on a particular subject.

IELTS Reading Test is conducted for general purpose and skill based testing as well. The candidate has to attempt a total of 40 questions in 60 minutes. The general training format and the academic format differ and care must be taken while preparing for the same.

IELTS Writing Test has 2 tasks that must be attempted in a time of 60 minutes. The word limit is 150 words and 250 words respectively.

IELTS Speaking Test aims to assess the speaking ability of the candidate. The test is divided into 3 sections and lasts for a total of 11 to 14 minutes.

For any further details or queries regarding the IELTS exam pattern, the IELTS website can be checked at www.ielts.org

Also Read: GRE Exam Pattern That Will Help You Prepare Well For It

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