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The IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is a test designed to evaluate the English language competency levels of non-native speakers wishing to study or work in an English-speaking environment. The IELTS exam tests each of four necessary language skills, as signified by the titles of the modules, or sections, that comprise it: Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking. The first three modules must all be taken together on the same exam date; however, the Speaking module may be taken any time within the period of seven days before or after the first three modules are completed.
There are two formats of the IELTS: Academic and General. While the Listening and Speaking modules are the same for both formats, the contents of the Reading and Writing modules will differ concerning the topics they treat. Check the requirements of schools to which you are considering applying before taking the IELTS or any other standardized language test, as many school requirements differ among universities and countries.
IELTS Section Summary
Time: 30 minutes
Format: 4 sections, 40 questions
Topics tested: Spoken English
Problem types: 1 dialogue, one conversation, and 2 monologues
Time: 60 minutes
Format: 3 texts, 40 questions
Topics tested: Reading comprehension, vocabulary, language usage
Problem types: Reading passages followed by a series of questions
Time: 60 minutes
Format: two tasks
Topics tested: General writing, argument development and presentation
Problem type: written interpretation and analysis of information presented in a table or diagram (20 minutes); written reaction to an opinion, argument, or problem (40 minutes).
Time: 11-14 minutes
Format: 3 parts
Topics tested: Fluency and coherency of language usage, range and accuracy of vocabulary and grammar, clarity.
Problem types: general questions relating to personal experience (4-5 minutes), response to a prompt (2-3 minutes), and conversation about topic from prompt (3-4 minutes).
For more information about IELTS, click an appropriate link below:
Find out about how to register for the IELTS.
Review the test sections.
Learn about the IELTS scoring system.
Find out about the MBA Center’s IELTS test prep courses.
Additional information is available at the official IELTS website at http://www.ielts.org/