Description of the test

There are two versions of the IELTS test

Academic Module General Training Module
For students seeking entry to a university or Institution of higher education offering degree And diploma courses For students seeking entry to a Secondary school or to Vocational training courses

Note: All candidates must take a test for each of the four skills: listening, reading, writing, and speaking. All candidates take the same Listening and speaking modules but may choose between the academic or General TrainingVersions of the reading and writing sections of the test. You should seek advice from a teacher or a student adviser if you are in any doubt about whether to sit for the Academic modules or the General Training modules.

The two do not carry the same weight and are not interchangeable.

Test Format

Listening
4 sections, around 40 questions
30 minutes + transfer time
Academic Reading
3 sections, around 40 questions
60 minutes
OR General Training Reading
3 sections, around 40 questions
60 minutes
Academic Writing
2 tasks
60 minutes
OR General Training Writing
2 tasks
60 minutes
Speaking
10 to 15 minutes(11 to 14 minutes from July 2001)
Total test time
2 hours 45 minutes


WHAT DOES THE TEST CONSIST OF?

The Listening Module
Requirements Situation types Question types

You must listen to four Separate sections and Answer questions as You listen. You will hear The tape once only.

There will be between 38 And 42 questions. The Test will take about 30 Minutes. There will be time to read the questions during the test and time To transfer your answers On to the answer sheet at The end of the test.

The level of difficulty of The texts and tasks increases through the Paper.

The first two sections Are based on social Situations. There will be A conversation between Two speakers and then A monologue.

The second two sections Are related to an educational or training Context. There will be a conversation with up to four speakers and a Lecture or talk of general academic internet.

You will meet a variety of Questions types which may Include:

  • Multiple choice
  • Short answer question
  • Sentence completion
  • Notes/summery/flow Chart/table completion
  • Labeling a diagram which Has numbered parts
  • matching

Academic Reading Module
Requirements Types of material Question types

You must read three Reading passages with a Total of 1,500 to 2,500 Word

There will be between 38 And 42 questions. You will have 60 minutes to answer All the questions.

The level of difficulty of The texts and tasks increases through the Paper.

Magazines , journals, Textbooks and newspapers.

Topics are not discipline Specific but all are in a Style appropriate and Accessible to candidates entering postgraduate And undergraduate Courses.

You will meet a variety of Questions types which may Include:

  • Multiple choice
  • Short answer question
  • Sentence completion
  • Notes/summery/flow Chart/table completion
  • Choosing from a bank of Heading
  • Identification of the writer’s views or attitudes (Yes / No / Not given)
  • Classification
  • Matching lists
  • Matching phrases

Academic Writing Module
Requirements Task Types

You must complete two Writing tasks

You will have 60 minutes To complete both tasks.

Task 1

You will have to look at a diagram, a table or short piece Of text and then present the information in your own Words.

You should append about 20 minutes on Task 1 And write at Least 150 words.

Your writing will be assessed on your ability to:

  • Organize, present and compare data
  • Describe the stages of a process
  • Describe an object or event
  • Explain how something works

You will also be judged on your ability to:

  • Answer the question without straying from the topic
  • Write in a way which allows your reader to follow your ideas
  • Use English grammar and syntax accurately
  • Use appropriate language in terms of register, style and Content

You should spend about 40 minutes on Task 2 And write at least 250 Words.

Task 2

You will have to present an argument or discuss a Problem.

Your writing will be assessed on your ability to:

  • Present the solution to a problem
  • Present and justify an opinion
  • Compare and contrast evidence and opinion
  • Evaluate and challenge ideas, evidence or an argument

You will also be judged on your ability to:

  • Communicate an idea to the reader in an appropriate style
  • Address the problem without straying from the topic
  • Use English grammar and syntax accurately
  • Use appropriate language in terms of register, style and Content

General Training Reading Module
Requirements Types of material Question Types

You must answer questions on three sections of increasing difficulty with a Total of 1,500 to 2,500 Words.

There will be between 38 And 42 questions. You will have 60 minutes to answer All the questions.

The level of difficulty of The texts and tasks increases through the Paper.

Notices, advertisements, Booklets, newspapers, Leaflets,timetables,books And magazines articles.


Section 1

Social survival – Retrieving factual Information

Section 2

Training survival – Language in a Training context

Section 3

General reading – Extended prose with Emphasis on descriptive And instructive texts of General interest

You will meet a variety of Questions types which may Include:

  • Multiple choice
  • Short answer question
  • Sentence completion
  • Notes/summery/flow Chart/table completion
  • Choosing from a bank of Heading
  • Identification of the writer’s views or attitudes (Yes / No / Not given)
  • Classification
  • Matching lists
  • Matching phrases

General Training Writing Module
Requirements Task Types

You must complete two Writing tasks

You will have 60 minutes To complete both tasks.

Task 1

You will have to write a short letter in response to a given Problem or situation.

You should append about 20 minutes on Task 1 And write at Least 150 words.

Your writing will be assessed on your ability to:

  • Engage in personal correspondence
  • Elicit and provide general factual information
  • Express needs,wants,likes and dislikes
  • Express opinions

You will also be judged on your ability to:

  • Answer the question without straying from the topic
  • Write in a way which allows your reader to follow your ideas
  • Use English grammar and syntax accurately
  • Use appropriate language in terms of register, style and Content

You should spend about 40 minutes on Task 2 And write at least 250 Words.

Task 2

You will have to present an argument or discuss a Problem.

Your writing will be assessed on your ability to:

  • Provide general factual information
  • Outline a problem and present a solution
  • Present and justify an opinion

You will also be judged on your ability to:

  • Communicate an idea to the reader in an appropriate style
  • Address the problem without straying from the topic
  • Use English grammar and syntax accurately
  • Use appropriate language in terms of register, style and Content

The Speaking module (A revised Speaking Module will be operational from July 2001.See page 155 for details.)
Requirements Assessment Criteria

You will have to talk to an examiner for about 15 minutes.The interview will be recorded. It is in 5 parts:

1 Introduction
- Basic introductions
2 Extended discourse
- You will take at some length about general topics Of relevance or interest which will involve Explanation and description.
3 Elicitation
- You will be given a cue card which describes a situation Or problem. You must ask the examiner questions to Obtain information.
4 Speculation and attitudes
- You will asked to talk about your plans or Proposed course of study. You should demonstrate your Ability to speculate or defend a point of view.
5 Conclusion
- The interview comes to an end

You will be assessed on the Following criteria:

  • Ability to communicate Effectively
  • Ability to use appropriate Vocabulary and structures
  • Ability to ask questions
  • Ability to take initiative In a conversation
  • General fluency
  • Structural accuracy
  • intelligibility

How is IELTS scored?

IELTS provides profile of your ability to use English. In other words yourIELTS result will consist of a score in each the four skills (listening,Reading,writing, speaking) which is then averaged to give Overall BandScore or final mark. Performance is rated in each skill on a scale of 9 to 1.The nine overall Bands and their descriptive statements are as follows:

9. Expert users

Has fully operational command of the language: appropriate, accurateand fluent with complete understanding.

8. Very good users

Has fully operational command of the language with only occasionalUnsystematic inaccuracies and inappropriacies. Misunderstandings may occur in unfamiliar situations. Handles complex detailed argumentation well.

7. Good User

Has operational command of the language, though with occasional inaccuracy, inappropriacies and misunderstandings in some situations. Generally handles complex language well and understands detailed reasoning.

6. Competent user

Has generally effective command of the language despite inaccuracies, inappropriacies and misunderstandings. Can use and understand fairly complex language, particularly in familiar situations.

5. Modest user

Has partial command of the language, copying with overall meaning in most situations, though is likely to make many mistakes. Should be able to handle basic communication in own field.

4. Limited user

Basic competence is limited to familiar situations. has frequent problems in understanding and expression. is not able to use complex language.

3. Extremely limited user

Conveys and understand only general meaning in very familiar situations. Frequent breakdowns in communication occur.

2. Intermittent user

No real communication is possible except for the most basic information using isolated word in short formulae in familiar situations and to meet immediate needs. Has great difficulty understanding spoken and written English.

1. Non user

Essentially has no ability to use language beyond possibly a few isolated words.

0. Did not attempt the test

No assessable information provided.