IELTS Info and Useful links

IELTS Info and Useful links

This page gives a brief overview of the IELTS exam followed by a list of links, files and articles, which provide useful tips, strategies and practice materials. IELTS is an English language proficiency test which is used in residency visa applications (Canada, Australia, the UK, etc.), to gain employment in UAE companies, and to successfully enroll in both local and foreign universities. After you have had a read of the information below and decided whether you want to take the exam, have a look at the IELTS preparation courses we offer by clicking on the “COURSES” drop down box in the menu above.
The IELTS exam lasts approximately 3 hours and has two separate versions or modules. These are the Academic and General Training Modules, and which one you choose will depend on what you want to use it for. We can help you to decide which suits your situation best if you are unsure. The only differences between the two are in specific sections of the reading and writing parts of the test. The test is divided into 4 sections just as language learning is divided into four main skill areas.


  • Four sections (increasing in difficulty from 1 to 4)
  • 40 questions (10 in each section)
  • A range of question types
  • Approximately 30 minutes

Candidates are played a recording which they listen to only once without repetition. They are tested on listening for specific information, main ideas, and opinions. Task types include sentence completion, matching headings and paragraphs, labelling, and multiple choice.


  • 3 sections (passages are longer and of a different type in the Academic module)
  • 40 questions (1 mark for each)
  • A range of question types
  • 1 hour

Candidates are tested on their ability to read for specific information, main ideas, gist and opinions. The exam covers a range of question types which include text completion, matching paragraph headings, trueIfalseInot given and multiple choice. Each of the three sections contains more than one task type. At least one passage contains arguments or views. Time is one of the main issues for most candidates and students usually improve significantly once given coherent strategies for completing the tasks efficiently.


  • Two compulsory tasks
  • A variety of essay/letter types
  • 1 hour (20 min for task 1, and 40 min for task 2 is advised)

Task 1

Academic: A 150-word summary of information presented in the form of a graph, table or diagram.
General Training: A 150-word letter responding to a given situation.

Task 2 (the same for both modules)

A 250-word essay presenting an argument on a given topic.


  • Three parts
  • One-to-one interview with an examiner
  • Sometimes on a separate day or time to the other sections
  • 11- 14 minutes

Part 1: The examiner asks a number of questions about familiar topics such as the candidate's studies/work, hobbies, interests.

Part 2: After a minute's preparation, the candidate speaks for two minutes on a familiar topic provided by the examiner.

Part 3: The examiner and the candidate discuss some general questions based on the theme of the Part 2 topic.

Candidates are assessed on their vocabulary, fluency, grammar and pronunciation.


IELTS tests are scored on a 9 band scale (1-9) and the candidate receives an overall score as well as a band score for each of the 4 skills. For more information on required band scores and interpreting band scores, please give us a call, or take a look at the following link:
Adapted from: Brook-Hart, G., & Jakeman, V. (2013). Complete IELTS Bands 6.5-7.5 Student's Book with Answers with CD-ROM. Cambridge University Press.

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