Academic Reading


The Academic Reading test is 60 minutes long.

There are 3 sections.

The total text length is 2,150-2,750 words. 

Each section contains one long text.

Texts are authentic and are taken from books, journals, magazines and newspapers. They have been written for a non-specialist audience and are on academic topics of

general interest.


Academic Writing


The Academic Writing test is 60 minutes long.


There are two tasks.

Both responses should be written in a formal style.

Task 1– You will be asked to describe some visual information (graph/table/chart/diagram), and to present the description in your own words. You may be asked to describe and explain data, describe the stages of a process, how something works, or write about an object or event. You need to write 150 words in about 20 minutes.

Task 2– You will be presented with a point of view, argument or problem. You need to write 250 words in about 40 minutes.

* Academic Writing test is different to the General Training Writing test.

General Training Reading


The General Training Reading test is 60 minutes long.


Section 1 contains two or three short factual texts, one of which may be a composite (consisting of 6-8 short texts related by topic, eg. hotel advertisements). Topics are relevant to everyday life in an English-speaking country.


Section 2 contains two short factual texts focusing on work-related issues (eg. applying for jobs, company policies, pay and conditions).


Section 3 contains one longer, more complex text on a topic of general interest.


General Training Writing


The General Training Writing test is 60 minutes long. 


It has two writing tasks of 150 words and 250 words.


In Task 1, candidates are asked to respond to a situation, by writing a letter, for example, requesting information or explaining a situation.

In Task 2, candidates write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem.

*General Training Writing test is different to the Academic Writing test



In the Speaking test, you have a discussion with a certified Examiner. It is interactive and as close to a real-life situation as a test can get.The test is 11 to 14 minutes long with three parts.


In Part 1, you answer questions about yourself, your family, your work and your interests.

In Part 2, you speak about a topic. You will be given a task card which asks you to speak about a particular topic and includes points that you can cover in your talk. You will be given 1 minute to prepare your talk. You will then speak for 1-2 minutes.

In Part 3, you have a longer discussion on the topic. The examiner will ask you further questions connected to the topic in Part 2.

*The Speaking test is the same for both Academic and General Training tests.



The Listening test is 30 minutes long (plus 10 minutes transfer time) and covers four separate recordings.

There are four sections:

Section 1 is a conversation between two people set in an everyday context (e.g. a conversation in an accommodation agency).

Section 2 is a monologue set in an everyday social context (e.g. a speech about local families).

Section 3 is a conversation between up to four people set in an educational or training context (e.g. a university tutor and student discussing an assignment).

Section 4 is a monologue on an academic subject (e.g. a university lecture).

*The Listening test is the same for both Academic and General Training tests.


Top tips and personal advice for IELTS preparation from recent test takers.

Listen to how they approached their study for the IELTS Writing, Reading, Listening and Speaking tests, what resources they used, and what they recommend to other candidates.