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IELTS Exam Pattern 2023

IELTS is the most popular English language test that’s used for work, study and migration.IELTS test is conducted for the aspirants to check the language skills. Being the world’s most popular English language test, the IELTS qualifications is recognised worldwide and accepted by over universities * grad schools in more than 140 countries.
If you want to study at overseas universities or work over there IELTS certificate can help you to achieve it. This blog provides information to you to understand the IELTS exam pattern so that you can prepare in the right way for the latest IELTS exam pattern for the year 2023.
The IELTS academic is taken by those planning to study for higher education, such as in a university or college. Their admission to an undergraduate or postgraduate program or courses is based on the results of the IELTS academic.
The result of that also helps people to work in a professional field overseas. The IELTS test  general training version is taken for those wishing to migrate to an english speaking country. The total test time is 2 hours and 45 minutes. This blog will tell you the IELTS test pattern of the academic and general version of the IELTS exam pattern 2023.

Table of Contents

  1. IELTS Test format for Listening Section
  2. IELTS Test format for Academic Reading
  3. IELTS Test format for General Reading
  4. IELTS Test format for Academic Writing
  5. IELTS Test format for General Writing
  6. IELTS Test format for Speaking

What is the IELTS Test format for the Listening Section?
The IELTS listening test is one of the standard tests which will assess your ability to listen to several conversations which you are likely to come across in your life as well as some academic discussions.
These conversations are played and you are expected to listen and answer the questions that are taken from the audios.

Duration for the IELTS listening test:

The IELTS listening test takes approximately 30 minutes”, and you are allowed an extra 10 minutes to transfer your answers from your question booklet to your answer sheet.

No of questions in the IELTS listening test:
There are forty questions in this section that need to be answered. There are several gaps in the test which you can use to read the questions and check your answers as well.
Regular announcements are given in the audio about what to do next as the sections proceed. There are totally 4 sections in the IELTS exam paper pattern. The listening test is the same for both the academic and the general training modules.

what is the ielts test format for the listening section?

The section 1 listening test contains a conversation between two people. The  conversation will involve a basic exchange of information. Example, someone might be placing an order over the phone, or confirming details for a reservation. The topic consists of day to day life situations. Ten questions will be there in this section.
The section 2 contains a monologue(one person speaking). For example, you might hear someone providing directions or presenting basic information about a place or an event. There are ten questions in this section.
In section 3 you will hear two or more people talking about an academic topic. You might hear a few students discussing something from class or a professor providing feedback about an assignment.
Section 4 is the final section in the test. This is a monologue. You will hear a university lecture, and ten questions are given to you. You need to listen to the audio and answer the questions. There will not be any time in between the questions for you to read. You have 10 questions in this section.

Listening section marks & scoring details:
The IELTS score pattern is fairly straightforward. Each question is worth 1 point so you can achieve a score up to 40 points. Therefore getting 24 out of 40 correct at the listening part can earn you a band score of 6.5, while on another version of the IELTS you may get 6.
Each answer is given one mark, which means that the listening test is marked out of 40.There is no negative marking in the IELTS listening test and you can take a guess in case you are not sure of the correct answer.
The table gives an idea about how listening is scored and the band conversion for IELTS listening

Band Score score/40
9 39-40
8.5 37-38
8 35-36
7.5 32-34
7 30-31
6.5 26-29
6 23-25
5.5 18-22
5 16-17
4.5 13-15
4 10-12
3.5 8-10
3 6-7
2.5 4-5

Tips for completing IELTS listening Section
As you prepare for the IELTS listening exam, it’s very important to take tips before that,

  1. You must practice completing a full listening test by listening only once before your test. You should do this a number of times.
  2. When you’re developing skills and vocabulary, you might want to practice listening more than once.
  3. You will need to multitask. This means you must be able to read the questions, listen for the answer and write down words all at the same time. You should practice doing this.
  4. Practice transferring your answers to the answer sheet at home before your test.
  5. If you don’t know an answer,guess. Always write something in the box on your answer sheet. Who knows, maybe you guess right.
  6. Check the number of words you can have for your answers. Each time the number of question types changes, the number of words for the answer might change too.
  7. Concentrate on spelling, if your answer is spelled wrong the answer is marked wrong. You must have the correct spelling to get a point and have the answer marked correct.

 IELTS listening exam question format & syllabus
You can expect questions in the following format when it comes to the IELTS listening exam.

  • Note completion / sentence completion
  • Form completion
  • Flow chart completion
  • Matching
  • Multiple choice questions – single selection
  • Table completion
  • Map labelling
  • Diagram labelling
  • Multiple choice questions – multiple selection

PROTIP: The books are must for IELTS and no student should be without one of them. There are many books for IELTS preparation on the market but standard books will make you score high like IELTS cambridge test books,Barron’s IELTS superpack, ideas for IELTS essay topics, grammar for IELTS writing task 2.

What is the  Test format for IELTS Academic Reading?
IELTS academic reading tests have been written for a non-specialist audience and are on academic topics of general interest. Tests are appropriate to and accessible to candidates entering undergraduate or postgraduate courses or seeking professional registration.
Duration for the IELTS academic reading section

“The IELTS academic reading would last for 60 minutes”
The IELTS reading pattern 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 recognising writers’ opinions, attitudes and purposes.

No of questions for the IELTS academic reading section
Three long texts which range from descriptive and factual to the discursive and analytica The question types used in IELTS exam pattern of reading are multiple choice, identifying information, identifying the writer’s views/claims, matching information, matching headings, matching features, sentence completion, summary completion, note completion, table completion, flow-chart completion, diagram label completion and short answer questions.
The content is taken from books, journals, magazines and newspapers. They designed for a non-specialist audience but are appropriate for people entering university courses or seeking professional registration.

ielts test for general reading

IELTS academic Reading marks & scoring details
The IELTS reading test contains 40 questions. Each correct answer is awarded one mark. Scores out of 40 are converted to the IELTS nine band scale. The IELTS reading is scored in bands from 1-9, and includes half bands.The academic and general training reading tests are graded on the same scale.
The table given below for IELTS academic reading gives you a much clarity on it,

Correct Answers Band Score
40-39 9
38-37 8.5
36-35 8
34-33 7.5
32-30 7
29-27 6.5
26-23 6
22-19 5.5
18-15 5
14-13 4.5
12-10 4
9-8 3.5
7-6 3
5-4 2.5

Tips for completing IELTS Academic Reading
Some of the IELTS academic reading exam preparations tips are,

1.Understand the meaning of every word
Many of the students have been taught to look up every word in a dictionary they don’t understand in a dictionary. Vocabulary is key to getting a good score in the IELTS test, but not understanding the words in the reading exam is one of the worst things you can do.

2.Practice your reading skills
It is important to familiarise with the IELTS reading test and to learn from your mistakes. The test has a strict timing limit which will really challenge your ability to complete the questions in time. You must develop speed reading skills to be able to find your answers quickly.

Question types such as summary completion and sentence completion require that the sentence is grammatically correct when you have put the answer in. This means that grammar can help you to spot the right answer.

4.Know your weakness
Unless you know your weaknesses, you won’t know how to improve. You must check the reasons why you are getting your answers wrong or right. If you are getting answers wrong due to your understanding of the passage, then you know you must improve your english language. Spend time reviewing your performance.

5.Getting used to difficult passage
You need to have time before the test to widen your reading skills and familiarity of complicated passages on a range of topics. Read the BBC news, economist etc.
The reading test is different for the academic test takers and the general training test takers. There is no negative marking for both the modules.

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