Test Format of ACADEMIC IELTS
IELTS is the International English Language Testing System which is the world’s most popular test for English language.
This test assesses all English skills — reading, writing, listening and speaking in less than three hours, and is intended to reflect how English is used for studies, work, and communication, in countries abroad. There are two types of the IELTS test: IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training.
What is Academic IELTS?
The IELTS Academic test is for people applying for higher education or professional matriculation in an environment of English communications. It showcases some of the features of academic language and determines whether the person is ready to commence studying or training.
An IELTS certificate is acknowledged as substantiation of proficiency in English by over 10,000 education and training institutions worldwide. Some universities in countries where English is not spoken, require an IELTS score as their courses are taught in English.
Mostly the IELTS Academic test is taken to support a candidate’s study and application for studies overseas. It is also very important for the candidate to find out about the entry level requirements of each and every organisation before taking a test.
Students get the opportunity to submit their IELTS test results to five organisations automatically and free of charge by the IELTS test centre. However, if a student wishes to send his/her results to additional organisations, a fee is charged. A request can be made to send the results as long as the IELTS scores are valid.
The Listening and Speaking portions are the same for both: the IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training, but the contents of the Reading and Writing varies depending on the test chosen.
The Listening, Reading and Writing elements of all IELTS tests are finished on the same day, without any breaks in between the three. The test time is 2 hours and 45 minutes in total.
Test format – Listening
The person taking the test will listen to four recordings of native English speakers and then write his/her own answers to a series of questions. The four sections would each have a set of ten questions. The first two sections deal with everyday social contexts and sections 3 and 4 deal with educational and training contexts.
- Recording 1 – Consists of a conversation between two people in an everyday social setting.
- Recording 2 – Consists of a monologue in an everyday social setting, for example- a speech based on local amenities.
- Recording 3– Consists of a conversation between four people in an educational or training context, for example- a school teacher and a student talking about a project.
- Recording 4 – Consists of a monologue based on an academic topic, such as a lecture at college.
The examiners will be looking for pointers to showcase the test taker’s ability to understand the key ideas and detailed authentic information, the perspective and outlook of the speakers, the purpose of remarks and evidence of the person’s ability to follow the evolution of concepts.
Test format – Reading
The Reading element contains 40 questions, planned to test a wide range of reading skills. These include reading for gist, reading for key ideas, reading for detail, skimming, understanding logical arguments and identifying writers’ attitudes, perspectives and motive.
IELTS Academic test – This includes three long texts that range from the descriptive and factual to the eloquent and interpretative. These excerpts are taken from books, journals, newspapers and magazines. They have been chosen for an amateur audience, but are apt for people starting courses at university or looking for professional matriculation.
Test format – Academic Writing
IELTS Academic test
Topics are of common interest to, and apt for, test takers entering undergraduate and postgraduate studies or looking for professional matriculation. There are two tasks:
- Task 1 – The test taker will be presented with a graph, table, diagram or chart and be asked to give a description, summary or explanation in support of the provided information in his/her own words in about a word count of 150 words. The person may be asked to provide a brief description or explanation for the data, narrate the stages of a process, how something works or give an account of an object or event.
- Task 2 – The test taker will be asked to write an essay of about 250 words as a response to a viewpoint, argument or problem. Responses to both the tasks are required to be in a formal style of writing.
Test format – Speaking
The Speaking element analyses the person’s use of spoken English. Each test is recorded.
- Section 1 – The examiner will ask the test taker general questions about themselves and a range of familiar subjects, such as home, family, work, studies and interests. This part lasts for about 4-5 minutes.
- Section 2 – The test taker will be given a card which asks them to talk about a specific topic. The test taker will have 1 minute to prepare a speech which will be narrated for up to 2 minutes. The examiner will then ask a couple of questions on the same topic.
- Section 3 – The test taker will further be asked more questions about the topic in Section 2. These will give the person the chance to converse more about conceptual ideas and issues. This section of the test lasts between 4-5 minutes.