IELTS Exam - Exam Pattern

IELTS Academic

The IELTS exam pattern involves 4 sections: reading, writing, speaking and listening. The time given for the exam is 2 hours and 45 minutes. The time allotted for reading and writing is 60 minutes. At the same time, the time allocated for listening is 30 minutes and for speaking 11 to 14 minutes. The IELTS Academic exam is intended for students going to English-speaking countries for their higher studies.

The listening, reading and writing test are completed on the same day, whereas the speaking test is held a week before or after the scheduled test date. Speaking and Listening are the same for both General and Academic IELTS, but Reading and Writing are different in Academic and General IELTS. Here is a brief overview of the pattern for Academic IELTS:

  • Reading (60 mins): In IELTS academic reading, three long passages will be given. And the candidate has to answer the questions based on these passages within 60 minutes. Questions can be true/false/not given, MCQs, yes/no/not given, find headings, match the statement, complete the summary, and label the diagram.
  • Listening (30 mins): The listening module is identical for both academic and general IELTS. A recording will be played in four sections. The candidate must listen to the recording carefully using headphones and answer the question based on the recording they heard.
  • Writing (60 mins): Academic writing involves two tasks, namely task-1 and task-2. In task-1, the candidate has to visualize data (bar graphs, pie charts, line graphs, process charts, etc.) in their language of about 150 words, weighing 3 band scores. In task-2, the candidate has to write an essay of about 250 words, considering a 6 band score
  • Speaking (11-14 mins): The speaking module is also the same for both general and academic IELTS. In the speaking module, a face-to-face interview is conducted between the candidate and the examiner. The interview is divided into three parts: (a) an introduction, (b)a small speech on a cue card, and (c) a discussion of the speech

IELTS General

The IELTS General exam is for people planning to move to English-speaking countries for Non-Academic reasons such as Work or Immigration.

  • Reading (60 mins): The general reading module is divided into three sections: (a)2 to 3 short texts, (b)2 texts, and (c)one longer text. Questions can be label diagrams, identify the writer's name, match the statement with the passage, find headings, MCQs, summaries, notes, tables, flowchart completion, etc.
  • Writing (60 mins): General writing includes two tasks, namely task-1 and task-2. In task-1, a question for letter writing will be given, and the candidate has to write an answer to the letter. The letter can be formal or informal. Task-2 of general writing is the same as academic writing.
  • Listening (30 mins)
  • Speaking (11-14 mins)


The IELTS UKVI is similar to regular IELTS with the difference in security protocols of test-takers. The syllabus and exam pattern remains the same for both IELTS exams. This exam is accepted by UK authorities only.

IELTS Life Skills

This format of IELTS is generally accepted for specific visa types in the United Kingdom, such as Citizenship, Family Route, Sportsperson, etc.

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