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There are two versions of the test, IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training. Both tests are graded in exactly the same way.

You’ll take the first three parts of the test on the same day, in the following order: 

  • Listening*
  • Reading
  • Writing

There are no breaks between these tests.

Your Speaking test will be held either on the same day or 7 days before or after that, depending on local arrangements.

*Remember that in the Listening test, there will be a range of native-speaker accents (North American, Australian, New Zealand and British). All standard varieties of English are accepted during the test.

IELTS Academic IELTS General Training
IELTS Academic measures English language proficiency needed for an academic, higher learning environment. The tasks and tests are accessible to all test takers, irrespective of their subject focus.  IELTS General Training measures English language proficiency in a practical, everyday context. The tasks and tests reflect both workplace and social situations.

Listening* (30 minutes, plus 10 minutes extra to transfer your answer to your answer sheet)

Four recorded monologues and conversations.

Listening* (30 minutes, plus 10 minutes extra to transfer your answer to your answer sheet)

Four recorded monologues and conversations.

Reading (60 minutes)

  • Three long reading passages with tasks
  • Texts range from descriptive and factual to the discursive and analytical
  • Includes non-verbal material such as diagrams, graphs or illustrations
  • Texts are authentic (e.g. taken from books, journals and newspapers)

Reading (60 minutes)

  • Three reading passages wuth tasks
  • Section 1 contains two or three short factual texts
  • Section 2 includes two short, work-related, factual texts
  • Section 3 contains one longer text on a topic of general interest
  • Texts are authentic (e.g. taken from books, journals and newspapers)

Writing (60 minutes)

  • Writing task of at least 150 words where the test taker must summarise, describe or explain a table, graph, chart or diagram
  • Short essay task of at least 250 words

Writing (60 minutes)

  • Letter writing task of at least 150 words
  • Short essay task of at least 250 words

Speaking* (11 to 14 minutes)

  • Face-to-face interview
  • Includes short questions, speaking at length about a familiar topic and a structured decision

Speaking* (11 to 14 minutes)

  • Face-to-face interview
  • Includes short questions, speaking at length about a familiar topic and a structured decision
* Listening and Speaking sections are the same for both versions of the test

    
You can find out more about what to expect in the Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking tests by looking at the next steps.

When you are happy that you understand what you will need to do in each section, try some of our free practice tests.