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What is IELTS?

IELTS stands for International English Language Testing System. This test is recognised by universities and employers in many countries, including Ireland, New Zealand, the UK, the USA, Australia, and Canada. This test is available in two formats:

IELTS Academic:

This test is for those planning to go abroad for higher education abroad.

IELTS General Training:

This test places importance on the use of English as part of social skills in the workplace contexts.

What does the IELTS test comprise of?

The IELTS test comprises four parts: listening, speaking, reading and writing. The duration of the test is 2 hours and 45 minutes – which includes transfer time from one section to the next.

A breakdown of each section:

Listening (30 minutes)

This section has four parts, each with 10 questions. The topics can range from everyday topics to dealing with situations in an education and training context.

Reading (60 minutes)

This section has 40 questions. Topics vary for IELTS Academic and IELTS General. This test assesses your abilities to understand the general essence of a passage; your ability to decode implied meanings and inferences; identify a writer’s intent, attitudes and purpose.

Writing (60 minutes):

This test comprises two tasks, both to be written in a formal style. Task 1 is of 20 minutes duration, and you would be expected to write 150 words Task 2 is of 40 minutes duration, and you would be expected to write 250 words

Speaking (11-14 minutes)

This test is the same for both IELTS Academic and General and has three parts. A certified examiner would assess your ability to express answers about your family, studies etc. The examiner will then show you a card with a specified topic, following which a discussion on the topic would begin.


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