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IELTS stands for International English Language Testing System. Having started in the year 1980, it is now among the globally recognized English language proficiency examinations used for higher education, work visas and immigration.
There are two types of IELTS exams to prepare for:
- Academic IELTS: IELTS Academic as the name suggests, intends to serve the purpose of having academic education at global destinations.
- General IELTS: IELTS General Training is a more standardised format used to access employment and citizenship or permanent residence opportunities abroad.
Four components of IELTS:
The Listening test is the same for both Academic and General Training versions of IELTS and consists of four recorded monologues and conversations. You will need to answer 40 questions in response to four recordings which are a mix of monologues and conversations from a range of native speakers. You will only hear each recording once. There are 10 questions for each part of the Listening test.
Free resources to prepare for IELTS Listening:
The Reading test consists of 40 questions, designed to test a wide range of reading skills. These include reading for gist, reading for main ideas, reading for detail, skimming, understanding logical arguments and recognising writers’ opinions, attitudes and purpose. You will get similar question types in both the IELTS General Training and Academic tests, however, the reading text topics are different.
Free resources to prepare for IELTS Reading:
- Academic Reading Practice Tests ↗
- General Reading Practice Tests ↗
- Reading Band Score Calculator ↗
- Reading Tips & Tricks ↗
The Writing test lasts for 60 minutes, and you will need to complete two writing tasks, each of which requires different text types (description, report, discussion, argument, opinion text). The Writing Task 1 of the IELTS Academic test requires you to write a summary of at least 150 words in response to a particular graph (bar, line or pie graph), table, chart, or process. Whereas, the Writing Task 1 of the IELTS General test requires candidates to respond to a given problem with a letter requesting information or explaining a situation in 150 words.
Writing Task 2 requires you to write at least 250 words. You will be given a topic and tested on your ability to respond by expressing and justifying your opinion, discussing the topic, summarising details, outlining problems, identifying potential solutions, and supporting what you write with reasons, arguments, and relevant examples from your knowledge or experience.
Free resources to prepare for IELTS Writing:
- Academic Writing Task-1 (Line Graph) ↗
- Academic Writing Task-1 (Bar chart) ↗
- General Writing Task-1 (Letter) ↗
- IELTS Writing Task-2 (Essay) ↗
- IELTS Writing Vocabulary ↗
The Speaking test is a face-to-face, informal discussion with an IELTS examiner, and is the same for both Academic and General Training. The test is divided into 3 parts and takes between 11 and 14 minutes to test your pronunciation, fluency, and grammar.
Free resources to prepare for IELTS Speaking:
- IELTS Speaking Part-1 ↗
- IELTS Speaking Part-2 ↗
- IELTS Speaking Part-3 ↗
- Speaking Band Score Calculation ↗
- Speaking Band 9 Vocabulary ↗
- Speaking Tips & Strategies ↗
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