IELTS Exam Pattern: A Completed Guide

The IELTS  exam follows a simple pattern. It has four different sections:  Reading Writing Speaking Listening Listening and Speaking Modules are same for...

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IELTS Exam Pattern

The IELTS  exam follows a simple pattern. It has four different sections: 

  1. Reading
  2. Writing
  3. Speaking
  4. Listening

Listening and Speaking Modules are same for everyone.

1. Basic Facts

People who want to go to English speaking countries for secondary education, work experience or training programs can give this test. IELTS is mandatory for migration to Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK.
 
Some facts about the exam
  • For both IELTS Academic and IELTS General, listening and speaking are the same. The subject matter of the reading and writing section differs though
  • The Listening, Reading and Writing components of all IELTS tests are completed on the same day, with no breaks in between them.
  • The Speaking section can be completed up to a week before or after the other tests.
  • The total test time is 2 hours and 45 minutes.

2. Listening Section

  • Listening test consists of 4 sections mainly and there are ten questions in each section.
  • Sections 1 and 2 are based on social survival in an English speaking country and sections 3 and 4 are based on a more educational and training orientation.
  • The actual tape lasts for about 30 minutes and then you have 10 minutes at the end of the listening in order to transfer your answers to the answer paper.

Sections of listening test

SECTION 1: Here you will listen to a conversation between 2 people. The conversation is divided into 2 parts. You will answer ten questions. At the start of section 1 you will have an example read out to you and then explained. This is then repeated when the listening starts properly.
SECTION 2: Here you will hear a monologue though it may include a second speaker asking questions in order to stimulate the monologue. The monologue is divided into 2 parts. You have to answer 10 questions based on what you hear.
SECTION 3: Here you will listen to a conversation between 2, 3 or 4 people. The conversation is divided into 2 parts. You have to answer 10 questions based on what you hear.
SECTION 4: Here you will hear a monologue though it may include a second speaker asking questions in order to stimulate the monologue. The monologue is divided into 2 parts.You have to answer 10 questions based on your hearing.
Note: The listening tape is only played once. So, it is recommended that you pay full attention to it. As there is no video showed so even lip sync can’t help. Therefore, it must be known to every candidate that conversation is to be properly listened.

Examples of Questions

  1. Multiple Choice
  2. Sentence Completion
  3. Notes/summary/diagram/flow chart/table completion
  4. Labeling a diagram with numbered parts
  5. Classification
  6. Matching lists/ phrases

3. Reading Section

The Reading section 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 argument and recognizing writers’ opinions, attitudes and purpose.

IELTS Academic test – So, this includes three long texts which range from the descriptive and factual to the discursive and analytical. These are taken from books, journals, magazines and newspapers.  They have been selected for a non-specialist audience but are appropriate for people entering university courses or seeking professional registration.

IELTS General Training test – this includes extracts from books, magazines, newspapers, notices, advertisements, company handbooks and guidelines. So, these are materials you are likely to encounter on a daily basis.

Note – The time slot here is 60 minutes.

4. Writing Section

IELTS Academic test

Here, topics are of general interest for test takers undergraduate and postgraduate studies. Also, seeking professional registrations can give.

 

There are two tasks:

  • Task 1 – you will be presented with a graph, table, chart or diagram and asked to describe, summarize or explain the information in your own words. You may be asked to describe and explain data, describe the stages of a process, how something works or describe an object or event.
  • Task 2 – Also, you will be asked to write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem. Responses to both tasks must be in a formal style.

IELTS General Training

Topics are of general interest. There are two tasks:

  • Task 1 – you will be presented with a situation and asked to write a letter requesting information. Also, on explaining the situation. The letter may be personal, semi-formal or formal in style.
  • Task 2 – you will be asked to write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem. The essay can be fairly personal in style.

NOTE – The time slot here is 60 minutes.

5. Speaking Section

The speaking section is an important element. Every test is recorded.

  • Part 1 – The examiner will ask you general questions about yourself and a range of familiar topics.Example, home, family, work, studies and interests. This part lasts between four and five minutes.
  • Part 2  – Here, you will be given a card which asks you to talk about a particular topic. You will have one minute to prepare before speaking for up to two minutes. The examiner will then ask one or two questions on the same topic.
  • Part 3 – So, you will be asked further questions about the topic in Part 2. These will give you the opportunity to discuss more abstract ideas and issues.

Note: The time slot is 15 minutes

6. Band Score

Furthermore, Listening test  also  has a band score conversion. It translates scores out of 40 into the IELTS 9-band scale.  whole bands and half bands analysis is done for repeating the band scores..

Image result for IELTS STATISTICS

So, Each correct answer in the 40-item test gets one mark. Care should be taken when writing answers on the answer sheet . Hence, Poor spelling and grammar are penalized.

Also, The main band scores for the candidates are given. All IELTS scores are between 0 and 9. well (for example, 6.5 or ). A band score for each skill is given. The overall band score is the average score of all the skills. 

Above is the table for your average band scores in different arenas.

7. IELTS Exam Pattern  2018 PDF

Well if you are going to appear for the IELTS examination then you might not only want to know about the band score but also about how this exam is going to be. Preparing for an examination is all good but we should prepare based on the pattern and time availability of each section or skill mentioned.

So you can download the below IELTS exam pattern paper PDF which is free of course and understand the working of this exam in detail.

IELTS Exam pattern 2018 PDF – Click here to download

8. IELTS Question Paper PDF 2018

So the good part about solving and reviewing old question papers is that you get an actual idea about how tough the exam could be. Most of the times students tend to solve previous year papers just in order to get habituated for the exam beforehand and to be frank it seems to be working for a lot of students indeed.

And for that reason alone, to build experience for the exam before taking it, we are uploading IELTS exam paper PDF which you can save for free from below.

IELTS Exam Paper PDF 2018

Do visit our website if you have any more queries.

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