Are you planning to give your IELTS exams? Then you should follow these steps: Register yourself on the official website, choose your test date and test centre. Begin your preparation. Well, confused about where to start your preparation? Well, IELTS preparation begins by understanding the IELTS exam syllabus 2021 in detail.

In this article, you will find a detailed syllabus of the IELTS exam and also practice questions.

What is IELTS?

IELTS is one of the most popular English proficiency tests. It is a reliable source to access someone’s basic English skills. Every year millions of students give their exams for admission globally.

British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge Assessment English jointly own it. It was established in 1989 and now it is one of the major English Language tests globally.

There are more than 10,000 organizations globally that accept IELTS as a valid score. This includes universities, colleges, and other organizations from Australia, America, Europe, New Zealand, Germany, and many more.

IELTS scores are used for:

# Admission in a foreign country

# Visa purpose

# Permanent residential

# Work Purpose

Acronym International English Language Testing System
Administrator British Council, IDP Education, Cambridge Assessment English
Language English
Mode Offline and Online
Section Reading




Score range 0 to 9 band scale
Application Fee Rs 14,000

IELTS Academics and General Training

There are two types of IELTS Academics and General Training.

Candidates for higher studies and professional certificates in foreign countries take Academic. If you don’t belong to a country where English is the first language, you will have to take IELTS.

Candidates who want to move to a foreign country for work purposes or a Visa take General Training. Candidates often take this one for work on migration purposes. Even if you want to pursue secondary education or training programs, you can take this.

There are also two more popular formats: UKVI, and IELTS Life Skills.

IELTS Syllabus 2020-2021


There are four parts to the Listening section:

#1. Conversation between two speakers about daily topics

#2. Monologue

#3. Conversation between two students or teacher and student

#4. Monologue on an academic subject

Types of Questions

# Multiple choice

# Matching

# Plan/map/diagram label

# Form/note/ table/summary completion

# Sentence completion

 Academic Reading

There are three reading passages

#1/2/3: These passages are taken from books, journals, magazines, newspapers, etc. These passages are harder and more complex than general training tests ideal for higher studies students.

Types of Question

# Multiple choice question

# Identify information

# Identify writers views and claims

# Matching information

# Sentence completion

# Summary completions

# Flow-chart/diagram completion

# Short answer question

General Training Reading

There are three reading passages

#1. The first passage contains texts on basic social survival skills, for example, advertisements, timetables, etc.

#2. This passage is a workplace survival test such as job descriptions, contracts, staff development, etc.

#3. The third sections have slightly more complex sentences. It includes passages from newspapers, magazines, novels, etc.

Types of Question

# Multiple choice question

# Identify information

# Identify writers views and claims

# Matching information

# Sentence completion

# Summary Completions

# Flow-chart/ diagram completion

# Short answer question

Academic Writing

There are two writing tasks:

#1.  Candidates are asked to describe information described in graphs, charts or tables or to label a diagram and how its functions. You will be given 20 minutes on these tasks and there is a 150-word limit.

#2. Candidates are asked to write about a discursive topic of relevant issues. They have to spend 40 minutes and have to write a 250-word limit.

General Training Writing

Candidates are required to write a response letter (formal, semi-formal, and informal) of 150-word limits. There are two writing tasks:

#1. The candidates are asked to write about daily topics such as:

# Writing to a college for problems with accommodation.

#Writing to a new employee about time management issues

# Writing to a newspaper for a plan to construct an airport

# Writing to an agency for problems in the heating system

#2. In this section, the candidates have to write a semi-formal/ neutral discursive essay of 250-word limits.

The candidates have to write about topics of general interest: environment issues, children’s related topics, etc.


The Speaking test is a face-to-face interview with an exam taker. There are three speaking tasks:

Part 1

You will have to answer questions about yourself and some familiar topics such as family, work, interests, career, studies, etc. This session lasts for 5 minutes.

This part tries to assess the ability of candidates to strike a communication on daily topics, general experiences, etc.

Part 2

In this part, candidates will be given a cue card to speak on a topic. This cue card will contain a topic, points to cover and gives instructions to explain one dimension of a topic. They will have one minute to prepare themselves to talk.

Then they have to speak for two minutes and then the examiner asks 1-2 questions of the same.

This part lasts for 3-4 minutes. This part tests the candidate’s ability to construct sentences and speak on a topic.

Part 3

This part of the speaking test is a discussion with the examiner directly on the same topic as Part 2. This section lasts for 4-5 minutes.

This section focuses on the candidate’s ability to express and validate their options and their analysis and discussion ability.

Also Read: Describe a Piece of Local News that People Are Interested In: IELTS Preparation Cue Card

IELTS Exam Pattern

There are four sections in the IELTS Academic and General Training exam:

Listening (both Academic and General Training exam) Academics Reading General Training Reading
Academics Writing General Training Writing Speaking (similar for both Academic and General Training exams)

IELTS Academics

Sections Format No. of Question Time Allotted
Listening 4 recorded monologues and conversation 40 30 minutes
Reading 3 passages varies 60 minutes
Writing 150 words labelling and 250 words essay 2 Tasks 60 minutes
Speaking Interview 3 Tasks 14-15 minutes

IELTS General Training

Sections Format No. of Question Time Allotted
Listening 4 recorded monologues and conversation 40 30 minutes
Reading 3 passages varies 60 minutes
Writing 150 words letter and 250 words essay 2 Tasks 60 minutes
Speaking Interview 3 Tasks 14-15 minutes

Also Read: Best Online IELTS Preparation Course: How You Can Prepare for IELTS at Home using Online Resources

IELTS Exam Fees

British Council charges ₹14,000 for application fees. This fee is refundable if you cancel your exam.

Exceptions are:

# If you cancel your exam before 3 weeks of the exam date.

# When you cancel an exam before 5 weeks, 25% will be deducted as administrative charges.

# If you fail to reach your exam.

Why should I take the IELTS?

IELTS scores are accepted by more than 11,000 organizations, including Universities, Colleges, government authorities, etc.

IELTS exam scores are used for various purposes:

# Enrollment in University

# Visa Purpose

# Work

# Permanent Residentship

How can IELTS Ninja help?

Need help? Well, here is the IELTS Ninja website for rescue.

IELTS Ninja website has a record of helping over 80,000 students to achieve their desired band scale. (Next is you!)

What makes it unique and the best is its personalized professional training by experts. You can enrol for it and simply yield the benefits of an expert’s guidance.

Next Level Virtual Experience

Get ready to take your virtual learning experience to a next level with IELTS Ninja. Need more reasons to choose it? Well, no worries here are some:

#1. First, what is the benefit of offline coaching institutes? One on one interaction with the tutor, I guess. But this is generally absent in online classes. But in programmes offered by IELTS Ninja online, you learn from professionals worldwide and that too one-on-one interaction via virtual video conference.

They will help you to clear all your doubts and give their sole attention to your development.

#2. Working or busy to attend regular classes? IELTS Ninja is again for rescue. You can watch videos again and again. These videos are well explained with the help of diagrams and examples.

#3. What is the best part? The best part of this is that you can easily create a customized plan for yourself. According to your test scores, our experts will customize a course for you to focus on weaker sections.

#4. This course will include multiple mock tests and test series to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses.

Various Courses offered by IELTS Ninja

IELTS Ninja offers various courses for your preparation:

# IELTS Academic

# IELTS General

And also for other tests:

# PTE Academic



Best Features of IELTS Ninja

Band Prediction:

Band Prediction is a unique feature of IELTS Ninja. It aims to evaluate your listening, reading, speaking and writing skills. It helps you to understand your grammar skills, language knowledge and shortcomings.

How does it help? It allows designing a customized study plan especially made for you. This helps you to overcome all shortcomings and improve your band scale like no other.

Exam Tips

Need some expert tips for your preparation? Well, IELTS Ninja provides you with tips for each section. It will help to make your own strategies.

Question Papers

You can solve question papers to understand the pattern of IELTS well. This will help you to understand the syllabus and tricks to approach each question.

There is no reason why you should not consider IELTS Ninja. So don’t waste any more time as time and tide wait for none.


IELTS is a reliable and widely accepted English test. It is accepted by more than 11,000 organizations. The first step of your preparation begins by understanding the syllabus in detail.

It has four sections: Listening, Writing, Reading and Speaking. These sections try to test the basic English skills of candidates that are important to survive in an English speaking country.

For more such information and IELTS preparation materials visit IELTS Ninja.

Also Read: IELTS Writing Task 1 Academic Sample Questions: Here’s Your Way to Boost-up Your IELTS Preparation

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About the Author


Shilpa is a professional web content writer and is in deep love with travelling. She completed her mass communication degree and is now dedicatedly playing with words to guide her readers to get the best for themselves. Developing educational content for UPSC, IELTS aspirants from breakthrough research work is her forte. Strongly driven by her zodiac sign Sagittarius, Shilpa loves to live her life on her own notes and completely agrees with the idea of ‘live and let live. Apart from writing and travelling, most of the time she can be seen in the avatar of 'hooman' mom to her pets and street dogs or else you can also catch her wearing the toque blanche and creating magic in the kitchen on weekends.

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