iELTS General test pattern

Understanding the IELTS II – General Test Pattern


The exam consists of four sections –





Reading, writing and listening are scheduled on the same day while the speaking exam is scheduled for another day. The Test taker is required to retain his/her exam ticket till both tests(reading/writing/listening and speaking) are complete.

Reading (60 mins)

The reading section generally has three parts to it.

1.Two or three short paragraphs of text followed by questions(multiple choice, fill in the blanks, true or false)

2.Two short, generally employment or work related paragraphs followed by questions(match titles to labelled paragraphs, fill in the blanks)

3.A large paragraph followed by questions based on the paragraph. (Objective questions – Match the following, fill in the blanks etc)

Writing(60 mins)

This section has two questions.

1.Letter writing (a minimum of 150 words)

This task requires the test taker to write a formal letter. The question outlines two or three points that the test taker must elaborate in detail while writing the letter.

2.Essay( a minimum of 250 words)

This section could be of the descriptive, narrative or opinion-based variety. A topic and two or three points are provided to the exam taker, and he or she must elaborate.

Listening(30 mins + 10 mins)

The listening section contains four recorded monologues spread across 30 minutes. Test takers are given about five minutes between recordings to jot down the answers. The questions are of the objective variety ( fill in the blanks, multiple choice).

Exam takers are given an additional 10 minutes to transfer their answers to the answer sheet.

Speaking(11-15 mins)

The speaking exam is scheduled on a different day. The exam taker is required to answer various questions relating to general affairs and specific topics set by the examiner. The examiner leads the speakers through a series of questions that test fluency, vocabulary and confidence. Test takers also get time to organize their thoughts before answering questions. Most questions are of the narrative or opinion variety.

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