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IELTS TEST FORMAT

Edited by Ms Thuc Uyen

THE LISTE N I N G TEST

The listening test has four sections. You have 40 questions to answer in total and there are ten questions in each section. All questions are equally important: you get one mark for each correct answer, which makes 40 marks in total.

The listening test lasts for 40 minutes. This includes ten minutes to copy your answers onto the answer sheet. Each section is played once only. IELTS recordings may include a range of world English varieties, including British, Australian, New Zealand and North American.

Section

 

Focus

N umber of Questions

1

A

conversation in an everyday social situation, e.g. two colleagues in

10

the office or a customer and staff member in a department store

2

One person speaking in an everyday social situation

10

3

A

conversation between two or more people in an educational or

10

training context, e.g. tutorial or seminar

4

A

lecture or talk on a topic of general academic interest

10

What kind of tasks to expect

Expect to find a variety of task types and answer formats. Here are examples of the main task types:

1. Forms

2. Multiple choice

3. Short-answer questions

4. Flow-chart completion

5. Sentence completion

6. Table completion

7. Labeling a diagram, plan or map

You might also find summary, notes completion and matching tasks. These question types might appear in any of the four sections.

And remember, not all question types appear in any individual listening test.

What should you do during the listening test?

Read and listen to the instruction

Check the maximum number of words allowed

Think about the situation or context

Guess vocabulary you might hear.

Highlight the key words

Don’t try to understand every single word

Transfer your the answers carefully

If you lose your place completely, notice when the other candidates turn over the page in their

booklets, and do the same

Important points

signposting language

Synonym

clearly pronounced, stressed or repeated words or phrases

Distractors

Abbreviation used to save time.

Your starting point in a map or diagram

N O answer left blank

A wide range of world English varieties included in the recording

THE READI N G TEST

The reading test has 40 questions to answer in total. All questions are equally important: you get one mark for each correct answer. The test lasts for 60 minutes. This includes time to copy your answers onto the answer sheet. No additional time is given to transfer your answers at the end of 60 minutes. The content of the test will depend on whether you are taking the Academic or General Training modules.

Academic module overview

This module contains three reading texts. Texts come from magazines, journals, books and newspapers and are written for a general or non-specialist audience. Texts may include diagrams, graphs and illustrations.

This module contains three sections of progressively more difficult content.

Section

Focus

1

may contain two or three short texts relevant to basic linguistic survival in English, such as public notices, advertisements and timetables

2

contains two texts which focus on the workplace environment, such as job descriptions, contracts and staff development and training materials

3

one long text designed to test your ability to cope with longer, more complex passages found in newspapers, magazines, and fiction and non-fiction book extracts

What kind of tasks to expect

Expect to find a variety of task types and answer formats in both test modules. Here are examples of the main task types. You may also find short-answer questions, summary completion and table completion as well as various forms of multiple choice. Any of the following (though not all) may appear in any section:

1. Identify information in a passage (true/false/not given)

2. Identify views within a passage (yes/no/not given)

3. Understand how something works and complete a diagram or chart

4. Choose headings for paragraphs

5. Give short answers to questions

6. Choose answers to multiple choice questions

7. Complete sentences or a summary (with a box)

8. Matching

What should you do during the reading test?

Spend 20 minutes/ each text (including transfer time

The passages

Start with the first passage

Read the title and subheading (or the opening paragraph) to and consider what you expect the passage to be about

Think about what you know on the topic

Read the passage quickly before you start the questions to get an overview of the content.

The questions

Start with the first set of questions

Read the instruction very carefully

Use the strategies you have learned to help you do each set of questions

Try to check your answers

THE WRITI N G TEST

The writing test lasts for 60 minutes. There are two tasks. You should spend about 20 minutes on task one and about 40 minutes on task two. Task two is worth twice as many marks as task one.

Task 1: You have to write at least 150 words. Task 2: You have to write at least 250 words.

The type of task will depend on whether you are taking the Academic or General Training modules. Academic module overview

Task 1:

You will describe, in your own words, information contained in a graph, diagram, table or chart. Information may be data in word or number form, stages in a process, how something works or you may need to describe an object or event.

Task 2:

You will write a short essay in response to a topic which is presented as a point of view, an argument or a problem.

Recommended writing structure

1.

Introduction

Rephrase the topic and state what is required

Close the paragraph and introducing the body

2.

Body

Body 1: Topic sentence + supporting idea + Example

Body 2: Topic sentence + supporting idea + Example

Body 3: Topic sentence + supporting idea + Example (Each paragraph needs a conclusions)

3.

conclusion

Summarize what have been discussed

Link to the topic but in another way

Give opinions or solutions

THE SPEAKI N G TEST

The speaking test lasts 11 to 14 minutes. It is a face-to-face interview with an IELTS examiner. The examiner will make an audio recording of your interview.

The test is in three parts:

Part 1: Introduction and interview (4-5 minutes) Part 2: Short talk (3-4 minutes) Part 3: Two ways discussion (4-5 minutes)

Part 1: Introduction and interview (4-5 minutes

Speak on familiar topics

Answer a number of straightforward questions about yourself and the topic

Listen carefully to the questions

Ask the examiner to repeat the question if you don’t understand

Use the correct tense

Use different vocabulary from the examiner

Part 2: Short talk (3-4 minutes)

Prepare the topic written in a card given by the examiner in 1 minute

Talk for 1 or 2 minutes on the topic without stopping

Talk about the topic lively and interestingly

Make sure you cover all points on the topic card

Say how you feel about something

Part 3: Two ways discussion (4-5 minutes)

Answer more abstract questions linked to topic in part 2

Discuss more fully

Show the ability of expressing abstract ideas

Give longer replies than you did to part 1

State your opinions and give reasons for them