About

The IELTS test assesses your abilities in all four skills – listening, reading, writing and speaking – in under three hours.

IELTS is available in two test formats: Academic or General Training. There are four parts – Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. The total test time is 2 hours and 45 minutes.

All test takers take the same Listening and Speaking tests but different Reading and Writing tests. The distinction between IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training lies in the subject matter of the Reading and Writing components.

Listening, Reading and Writing must be completed on the same day, with no breaks in between them. The order in which these tests are taken may vary.

The Speaking test will either be after a break on the same day as the other three tests, or up to a week before or after the other tests. This will depend on your test centre.

  • Listening
  • Academic Reading
  • General Training Reading
  • Academic Writing
  • General Training Writing
  • Speaking

Test format – Listening

30 minutes

You will listen to four recorded texts, monologues and conversations by a range of native speakers, and write your answers to a series of questions.

These include questions that test your ability to understand main ideas and detailed factual information, ability to understand the opinions and attitudes of speakers, ability to understand the purpose of an utterance and the ability to follow the development of ideas.

A variety of voices and native-speaker accents are used and each section is heard only once.

Section 1
A conversation between two people set in an everyday social context.

Section 2
A monologue set in an everyday social context, e.g. a speech about local facilities.

Section 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.

Section 4
A monologue on an academic subject, e.g. a university lecture.