FAQs

IELTS FAQs

What is IELTS?
IELTS is an internationally accepted English language proficiency test taken by students and work force.
What is the full form of IELTS?

IELTS stand for “International English Language Testing System”

Who recognizes IELTS as a test of English language?

It is recognized by various immigration authorities, governments of various countries, universities and institutes as an eligibility criterion to check proficiency in English language.

Who conducts the IELTS test?

IELTS is jointly owned by British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge Assessment English who with a team of international writers prepare material.

What skills are tested in the IELTS exam?

The four language skills tested are: Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening.

What is the purpose of the IELTS exam?

IELTS is taken by students, who wish to study abroad, people who want to migrate to an English speaking country or as a professional recognition requirement for some organizations and accrediting bodies.

What are the two versions of the IELTS test?

The IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training exam are the two versions of IELTS exam.

Who appears for IELTS Academic exam?

The Academic exam is taken by students who wish to apply to an institution for higher education.

What is the age limit for taking the IELTS exam?

The test is not recommended for candidates below the age of 16, however, if they wish to appear for the test they may.

Who takes the IELTS General Training exam?

Candidates who wish to apply for permanent residency or a work permit to an English speaking country appear for the IELTS General Training exam.

For how long are the IELTS test results valid?

The test result is valid for a period of two years.

How many times can a candidate appear for the test?

An aspirant can retake the test multiple times until he/she doesn’t get their target scores.

What are the pass marks for the IELTS exam?

There are no passing marks to qualify the IELTS exam. The candidate should aim to achieve their targeted results.

Can an applicant apply for re-evaluation?

A candidate can apply for a re-evaluation at their test centre not later than six weeks of the test date.

Do you write your answers in pen or paper?

The Reading and Listening answers are written in pencil only however, the candidate can choose to write with a pen or pencil.

What documents are required to apply for the IELTS exam?

A valid passport is required to fill the IELTS exam.

What is the duration of the test?

The test duration is two hours and forty-five minutes. The Listening (30 minutes), Reading (60 minutes) and Writing (60 minutes) test are conducted on the same day however, the Speaking interview (11-14 minutes) may or may not take place on the same day.

How to register for the IELTS test?

The candidate can visit the IDP official website for registering for the IELTS exam.

How much does the IELTS exam cost?

The registration fee for the IELTS exam varies from country to country. The cost of the IELTS Academic and General Training exam in India for dates from 31st March, 2020 is INR 13,250.

What should a candidate bring to the exam hall?

A candidate should bring his valid passport used to fill the online application form. Also, one can bring stationary that includes pencils, pens, eraser and a sharpener. No form of electric device will be allowed inside the examination hall.

What is the sequence of IELTS modules in the test?

The aspirant first begins with the Listening module, followed by the Reading module and finally appears for the Writing section.

Can a student request for a re-mark?

A candidate can request for a re-evaluation within six weeks of his test date. This process is chargeable and results may take 2-21 days after the request.


IELTS Speaking FAQs

What is the duration of the Speaking test?

The interview lasts for 11-14 minutes.

How is the Speaking module conducted?

The Speaking module is a face to face interview with an examiner.

What are the different parts of the speaking module?

There are three parts in the Speaking module, namely, introductory section, Cue card and Follow-up questions part.

How can you prepare for the Speaking test?

The candidate can prepare by first reading sample answers and then practicing with a buddy.

What documents are required when a candidate appears on the test day?

The candidate is only required to bring his/her valid passport on the test day.

Is a candidate scrutinized for his/her opinion?

A candidate’s opinion is not subject to scrutiny during the test.

Should a candidate imbibe foreign accent to answer questions?

A candidate is advised never to fake an accent. It shall only put off the examiner.

How is the speaking test evaluated?

Fluency, Lexical resources, Grammatical Range and Accuracy, Pronunciation are the four parameters on which the speaking test is evaluated.

Is self- correction the right thing to do while speaking in the test?

It is advised to self-correct oneself till the time it doesn’t affect the fluency of the candidate.

How many questions are asked during the speaking interview?

A candidate answers approximately 12 questions in part 1 based on three different topics. The second part is a cue card and in the third part, a candidate answers 5-6 questions with elaborate answers.

Can a candidate request the examiner to change his/her part 2 topic?

No, a candidate cannot request an examiner to change his/her Cue card topic.

Should a candidate answer all question prompts on the cue card?

It is not mandatory to answer all question prompts, although the questions help a candidate structure his speech.

Should a candidate expand answers and elaborate them by quoting examples?

A candidate is expected to speak at length with fluency and it is advised to quote relevant examples in part 3 of the speaking module.

Does an examiner evaluate the notes made by the student while preparing for part 2 topic?

The examiner does not evaluate the candidate on the notes written by him/her for reference.

Should a candidate be worried if the examiner interrupts your answer?

There is no need to panic if the examiner cuts the candidate short during any part of the speaking test. He does this on the pretext that the candidate has already answered his question or under a time constraint.


IELTS Reading FAQs

What is the duration of the test?

The Reading module lasts for 60 minutes.

How many questions are there in the reading module?

There are 40 questions in total and it is mandatory to attempt them all.

How many reading passages are there?

There are three reading passages in the Reading module.

Is it mandatory to answer all questions?

Yes, it is recommended to attempt all questions to achieve a band 9 however, there is a penalty for every wrong answer.

Can a student write on the question paper?

The candidate can scribble on the question booklet to make notes, underline keywords and mark text for reference as it’s only the answer booklet that is marked.

Does a student get extra ten minutes at the end of the test to transfer answers to an answer sheet?

There is no extra time allotted in the Reading module to transfer answers. It is advised to practice writing your answers on the answer sheet after attempting each passage.

Do all the questions asked appear in the same chronological order as the text?

The questions do not appear in the same order as the text. This pattern may be followed for a few questions but not throughout the test.

Is spelling important in the Reading module?

Yes, the candidate is penalized for incorrect spellings.

Can a student attempt reading passages in a different order?

Yes, a candidate can attempt the reading passages in any order.

How can I improve my reading skills?

It is advised to first be thorough with the test format and indulge in active reading to ace the reading module. Burning the midnight oil is the key to success; there are no shortcuts that can lead to good results.

What kinds of reading passages are there in the Academic exam?

The three reading passages are usually texts from magazines, journals, newspapers with complicated and academic vocabulary.

What kinds of reading passages are there in the General Training exam?

The three reading passages in the General Training exam are of different genres. The first passage is based on factual information in everyday life. The second passage is based on work issues and the third passage is a long text extracted from some newspaper, magazine on a general topic.

Does everyone take the same reading module?

During the Academic exam, the same test is distributed to all candidates appearing for it. Similarly, the same reading module is distributed to all candidates appearing simultaneously for the General Training exam.

Can a student use abbreviations like “T, F, NG” for True, False, Not Given and likewise on the answer sheet?

Yes, a candidate may use abbreviations like T, F, NG, Y, N for True, False, Not Given, Yes, No. However, it is advised to use full forms to avoid any errors.

How can a student expand his vocabulary skills?

Before taking the IELTS exam, a candidate is expected to build active vocabulary by referring to Topic Specific Vocabulary and read extensively to learn new words and their usage.


IELTS Writing FAQs

What is the duration of the writing test?

The writing test lasts for 60 minutes.

How many tasks are there in the writing section?

There are two tasks in the writing module.

What skills are accessed in the writing test?

Coherence, cohesion, lexical resource, grammatical range and accuracy are primarily the skills under the radar while accessing the writing test.

What is the word limit for task 1 and task 2?

The word limit for task 1 and 2 is at least 150 and 250 words respectively.

What is the difference between the academic and general training writing tasks?

The task 1 differs for the academic and general training test. Task 1 for Academic students is a summary writing for pictorial representation however, it is letter writing for General Training candidates.

Are incorrect spellings penalized in the writing exam?

Yes, incorrect spellings are penalized while writing answers.

Should a candidate make notes before writing his/her answer?

It is advised that students spend at least five minutes to form the structure of their answers and dot down their ideas.

Can a candidate attempt the two tasks in any order?

Yes, the candidate can chose to answer any task. It is not mandatory to attempt them in the order they appear.

Is it necessary to stick to the time limits for individual tasks?

It is recommended to adhere to the time limits allotted to each task. This corresponds to the weightage of band score of each task.

Should a candidate answer all question prompts in letter writing?

Yes, it is recommended to answer all points in the question prompt. This will help a candidate structure his/her writing.

How important is punctuation in the writing tasks?

Punctuation is one of the parameters on which a writing task is accessed. It is very quintessential to use correct punctuation.

Should a candidate express his opinion in writing task 2?

A candidate should only give his opinion where the instructions say so. It is hence very important to read and understand the requirement of the task very carefully.

How can a candidate write an effective introduction?

Paraphrasing the question and adding a thesis statement will result in an effective introduction.

Is a candidate penalized for taking notes on the question paper?

The question booklet is not marked by the examiner, thus the candidate can make notes on the question paper for reference.

Can a student ask for extra answer sheets?

The candidate can anytime request for an extra writing sheet during the test.


IELTS Listening FAQs

What is the duration of the listening test?

The Listening test lasts for approximately 40 minutes.

How many sections are there in the listening test?

There are four sections in the listening test.

Does a candidate get extra ten minutes to transfer answers to an answer sheet?

The candidate gets an extra 10 minutes to transfer answers. The audio lasts for approximately 30 minutes and another 10 minutes are allotted for transferring answers.

Do all answers come in the same order as the audio?

Yes, the answers appear in the same order as the audio proceeds.

Can a candidate listen to the audio twice?

No, the candidate cannot listen to the audio a second time.

Does a candidate lose a point if the answer is incorrect?

The candidate is not penalized for an incorrect answer. It is advised to guess the correct answer and not leave any blanks.

How important is spellings in the listening test?

A candidate can lose a point for incorrect spellings; thus writing correct spellings very important.

What accents are heard in the audio?

A candidate may hear British, American or Australian accent.

What does the instruction, “two words and/or number” mean?

The instruction simply means that the answer may contain a combination of two words/one word and one number/two words and a number but never more than two words and a number.

Is it necessary to provide articles (a/an/the) while answering?

The candidate is expected to provide an article while completing a sentence to grammatically correct it.

What is the pattern followed to write date and time on the answer sheet?

The IELTS accepts all time and date pattern i.e. 7AM, 7:00 AM, 7am, 7th February, 7 February respectively.

Is a candidate required to answer in capital letters or running letters?

A candidate can chose to either answer in running letters or only capitals. However, while answering in running letters, it is recommended to give the first letter of a proper noun in capitals.

Do all candidates appear for the same listening test or different ones?

Yes, all candidates who take the listening test at the same time appear for the same listening test.

Is there a difference in the listening module for Academic or General Training test?

There is no difference in the listening test for Academic or General Training candidates. The test follows the same format and similar question types.

Is a candidate penalized for writing plural form of an answer?

Yes, the candidate is marked incorrect for providing a plural form of an answer where a singular form occurs in the audio.