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IELTS Sections review

Test Summary
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Section review
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There are four sections in the IELTS. As their names suggest, sections measure particular language skills.

Listening Module

Time: 30 minutes
Format: 4 sections, 40 questions
Topics tested: Spoken English
Problem types: 1 dialogue, 1 conversation, and 2 monologues

This section of the test is designed to give an opportunity to demonstrate your ability to understand spoken English. The Listening Module of the IELTS is further divided into four parts:

- The Dialogue (1): two speakers converse about social needs.
- The Conversation (1): two to four people discuss educational or training issues.
- The Monologues (2): one monologue (one speaker) about social needs and one related to education or training.

The possible question types for this section include multiple choice, short answers, sentence completion, classification, and matching. Test takers should also be prepared to complete tables, notes, and diagrams related to the audio.

Reading MODULE

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

The Reading Comprehension section tests your ability to understand and analyze information presented in a written form. Out of the three texts, at least one will contain a detailed logical argument, which the test taker must comprehend in order to answer the questions correctly. Test takers will receive question types that may include multiple choice, short answer questions, true or false, classification, and matching, among other. Test takers should also be prepared to find information in passages necessary for completing tables, notes, diagrams, etc. The types of texts used in the Reading module are commonly taken from magazines, books, and newspapers.

Writing Module

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).

The first part of this section measures the test taker’s ability to generate and support ideas in a written form. Test takers are generally expected to either write a description of how a process, procedure, or thing works, or describe an object or a sequence of events. All responses will be scored on the basis of the test taker’s ability to present information in an organized way and analyze data.

The second part of this section requires the test taker to respond to an opinion, argument or problem, suggesting a solution or presenting their own opinion while considering both sides of the situation (evidence, opinions, and implications). For this section, the second task is worth more points than the first.

Speaking module

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).

The Speaking section tests your spoken English skills. The first part requires test takers to talk about themselves, asking questions relating to family, home, or situation. The test taker must then speak for 4-5 minutes responding to the question asked. For the second part of the Speaking Module, the examiner presents the test taker with a card containing prompts. The test taker is allowed 1 minute of preparation time, then speaks on a particular subject regarding the prompts for 1-2 minutes. In the third part, the examiner and the test taker have a conversation surrounding the topic of part two for 4-5 minutes.

 

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