Both versions of IELTS (Academic and General Training) cover all four langue skills (Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking) outlined below.
Time: 30 minutes
You will listen to four recorded texts, monologues, and conversations by a range of native speakers, you will hear each section only once and write their answers to a series of questions. These include questions which test the ability to understand main ideas and detailed factual information, ability to understand the opinions and attitudes of speakers, ability to understand the purpose of what is said and ability to follow the development of ideas.
Time: 60 minutes
The Reading component consists of 40 questions. A variety of question types is used in order to test a wide range of reading skills. These include reading for gist, reading for main ideas, reading for specific information (skimming), understanding logical argument and so on.
The Academic version includes three long texts selected for a non-specialist audience from books, journals, mazines, and newspapers, which range from the descriptive and factual to the discursive and analytical.
Time: 60 minutes
The Writing component of the Academic version includes two tasks. Topics are of general interest, suitable for anyone entering undergraduate or postgraduate studies or seeking professional registration. In the first task you will be presented with a graph, table, chart, or diram and are asked to describe, summarize or explain the information in your own words. You may be asked to describe and explain data, describe the stes of a process, how something works or describe an object or event. In the second task you will be asked to write an essay in response to a point of view, argument, or problem. Responses to both tasks must be written in a formal style.
The Speaking component assesses your use of spoken English, and takes between 11 and 14 minutes to complete. It has three parts and every test is recorded.
The Academic and General Training papers are graded to the same scale. You will be given a score from 1 to 9 for each part of the test – Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking.
The avere produces your overall band score. You can score whole ( 5.0, 6.0, 7.0) or half ( 5.5., 6.5, 7.5) bands in each part of the test.