IELTS Test Format

IELTS Test Pattern

IELTS test is comprised of four section - Listening, Reading, Writing and Reading. Your total score is the sum of these four sections. 

There are two types of the IELTS test:
IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training

Listening and Speaking sections are the same for both tests, but the test pattern of the Reading and Writing sections differs depending on which test you take. If you are not sure which test is suitable for you, read about the types of IELTS tests in detail.


IELTS Listening Test Format

Duration: 30 minutes

In this section, the applicant will listen to four recorded texts monologues and conversations by various native English speakers with different accents and then write their answers to a series of questions. This will test the applicant’s ability to understand the accents of English native-speakers. Recordings will be as follows:

  • Part 1 – you will hear a recording of a conversation between two people set in an everyday social context.
  • Part 2 – there will be a recording of a monologue set in an everyday social context, e.g. a speech about local facilities.
  • Part 3 – a conversation between up to four people set in an educational or training context, e.g. a university tutor and a student discussing an assignment.
  • Part 4 - a monologue on an academic subject, e.g. a university lecture.


IELTS Reading Test Format

Duration: 60 minutes

IELTS Academic Reading

The reading section consists of 40 questions in order to test the reading skills of the applicant. These include reading for main ideas, reading for detail, skimming, understanding a logical argument, knowing writers’ opinions, attitudes and purpose.

The academic reading section includes three long texts which range from the descriptive and factual to the discursive and analytical. These are taken from books, journals, magazines and newspapers. They have been selected for a non-specialist audience but are appropriate for people entering university courses or seeking professional registration.

IELTS General Training Reading

The applicant will be given 40 questions to test a wide range of reading skills which will be related to general situations they will face in everyday life in a foreign country. 

The General Reading section requires applicants to read extracts from books, magazines, newspapers, notices, advertisements, company handbooks and guidelines. These are materials that are likely encountered on a daily basis in an English speaking environment.


IELTS Writing Section Test Format

Duration: 60 minutes

Topics are of general interest to, and suitable for, test takers entering undergraduate and postgraduate studies or seeking professional registration. There are two tasks:

IELTS Academic Writing Test

The Writing component of the Academic version includes two tasks in the test. Topics are of general interest, and suitable for anyone entering undergraduate or postgraduate studies or seeking professional registration.

  • Task 1: Applicants will be given a graph, table, chart or diagram and are asked to describe, summarize or explain the information in their own words.
  • Task 2: Applicants will be asked to write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem. Responses to both tasks must be written in a formal style.

General Training Writing Test

The writing component of the General Training section comprises of two tasks which are based on topics of general interest.

  • Task 1 - In this, applicants will be presented with a situation and they will be asked to respond to the given situation by writing a letter or explaining the situation. The letter may be personal, semi-formal or formal in style.
  • Task 2 - In this, applicants will be asked to write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem. The essay can be fairly personal in style evaluating evidence and ideas.

IELTS Speaking Test Format

Duration: 11 to 14 minutes

In the speaking test of IELTS, applicants will have to show their skills of spoken English and they will be given 11 to 14 minutes to complete the test. The speaking test is designed in such a way that it does not give applicants the time to rehearse or prepare beforehand. Every test is recorded. This test is divided into three sections.

  • Part 1 - The test will start with some general questionnaire round. Applicants will be asked to answer some general questions about themselves and a range of familiar topics, such as home, family, work, studies and interests. This part lasts between four and five minutes.
  • Part 2  - In the second round, applicants will be given a minute to prepare their views on an assigned topic, before being invited to speak for up to two minutes. The examiner will then ask one or two questions on the same topic to finish this part of the test.
  • Part 3 - In the final round, applicants will be asked more questions connected to the topic in Part 2. These questions will provide an opportunity to discuss more difficult issues and ideas. This part lasts between four and five minutes.


IELTS Band Score Scale

9 Expert user
8 Very good user
7 Good user
6 Competent user 
5 Modest user
4 Limited user
3 Extremely limited user
2 Intermittent user
1 Non-user
0 Did not attempt the test

Register as soon as possible

Book your IELTS exam date as soon as possible when you feel you are ready for the test.  There may be a limited number of candidates registration available on a particular date, so register as soon as possible. You will need to pay the test fee when you register. Studygram is authorised registration centre for IELTS exam in Kuwait. Click here to find IELTS exam fee, dates and registration process >>