What is IELTS? The basics you need to know about IELTS

IELTS is an English language testing system that is designed to help you work, study or migrate easily from one country to another where English is the native language like Canada, New Zealand, UK (united kingdom), USA (United States of America), Australia. It is mainly managed by the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge Assessment English, and was established in 1989.

Your ability to read, write, listen and speak in English will be assessed during the test.

IELTS is graded on a scale of 1-9 band

Why take IELTS?

If you are looking to study, work or live in an English-speaking country, then you must know a high level of English. Additionally, English is the third most spoken language in the world, with around 379 million speakers worldwide.

IELTS band score


  • 9  —————-  Expert user
  • 8   —————  Very good user
  • 7   —————  Good user
  • 6   —————  Competent user
  • 5   —————  Modest user
  • 4   —————  Limited user
  • 3   —————  Extremely limited user
  • 2   —————  Intermittent user
  • 1   —————   Non-user
  • 0   —————  Did not attempt the test

IELTS test structure

There are two modules of the IELTS:

  • Academic Module
  • General Training Module

Each module have four parts Reading, writing, speaking and listening.

What is academic module?

It is a test which is suitable for those people who want to study in an English-speaking country for higher education. Also, IELTS Academic test can be taken for professional registration purposes.

Test format

The Reading, Writing and Listening sections of IELTS tests are completed on the same day, with no breaks in between them while the Speaking section can be completed a week before or after the other modules.

This test takes a total of is 2hours and 45 minutes.

First part


Listening mostly require (30 minutes) you will listen to four recordings of native English speakers and then write your answers to a series of questions.

Assessors will be looking for evidence of your ability to understand the main ideas and detailed factual knowledge. Additionally, the opinions and attitudes of speakers, the purpose of a statement and your ability to follow the development of ideas.


Reading takes (60 minutes) to complete. This module consists of three or sometimes four reading passages with increasing difficulty, and there are a total of 40 questions to answer.

So, you can mark and write on the question paper, you must enter your answers from the Reading sheet, and always remember that no extra time is given for transferring your answers from the test booklet to the Reading answer sheet.


Furthermore, the writing part comprises two parts that have to be completed within one hour. In the first part (Writing task 1) you will be given a task based on some graphic or pictorial information. It could be in form of a bar chart, pie chart, table chart, graph, map, or diagram.

Next, you will have to write a report having 150 words describing accurately what the information in the graph or picture represents. You will have to strive to complete this part within 20 minutes because the second part, writing task 2, is more difficult, and you will need at least 40 minutes to complete it.

The second task is more demanding as you are expected to produce 250 words written arguments on approximately a given topic and to organize your answer clearly, giving some examples to support your points.


Moreover, the Speaking module 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 is designed to test your pronunciation, fluency, grammar and vocabulary.

This module takes between 11 and 14 minutes and consists of an interview between the test taker and a trained and certified examiner.

What is general Training?

It is a test that is suitable for those applying to study below degree level. This includes an English-speaking school or college. In addition, it can also be taken for work experience or other employment training.

IELTS General Training is also required for migration to Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK (UNITED KINGDOM)

Test format

  • All test takers take the same Listening and Speaking tests but different Reading and Writing tests.
  • The Reading, Writing and Listening sections of all IELTS tests are completed on the same day, with no breaks in between them.
  • The speaking sections, however, can be completed up to a week before or after the other tests. This test takes a total of 2 hours and 45 minutes.

General Reading

In General Training Reading test, you are required to read extracts from books, magazines, newspapers, notices, advertisements, company handbooks and guidelines. Moreover, there are three parts in the test, with Part 1 containing two to three short texts, Part 2 containing two texts and Part 3 containing one long text.

General Writing

In General writing, any piece of writing which focuses on general subjects of writing and general papers are published for the amusement of the reader. Though, no such specific set of audience or readers like technical writing as it is written in purely personal style and subjective tone.