IELTS Exam Structure 2022

IELTS Exam Structure covers four necessary language skills: listening, reading, writing, and speaking.
The IELTS test assesses your listening, reading, writing, and speaking abilities in less than three hours. There are two types of IELTS test: Academic and General Training

International English Language Testing System

IELTS is an English exam that must be taken by international applicants who plan to work, study, or migrate to a country where the primary language of communication is English. Among the most popular countries accepting IELTS for college admission are the UK, Australia, Australia, New Zealand, US. And Canada. The exam mainly measures candidates’ ability to listen, read, speak, and communicate in writing in four basic English skills. The IELTS exam is conducted jointly by IDP Education Australia Australia, the British Council, and Cambridge English Language Assessment. The number of IELTS tests grew to 3.5 million in 2018, making it a leader in international higher education. It is accepted in 100% of the UK and Australia Australian universities. It is also recognized at more than 4,400 establishments in the United States and thousands of institutions in English-speaking countries.

Why do I need an IELTS test?

The IELTS 2020 test is mandatory for academic and international migration purposes in English speaking countries such as Australia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, the United States, and Canada.

IELTS is the only English test approved by the United Kingdom Visa Immigration Service (UKVI) for visa applicants applying both outsides and within the UK. Many students get confused as to why they need an IELTS score. The simple answer to this is that foreign universities and visa granting authorities need to make sure that you don’t have communication problems while in the country. You must demonstrate a good understanding of English and strong commands, which is why your overall IELTS score is so important.

Another common question students have is whether IELTS is a required test. No, IELTS is not required for all college admissions. Many colleges may not even require an IELTS score for admission. However, keep in mind that without an IELTS score, visa staff may not be confident in your English proficiency without an IELTS score, which can reduce your chances of obtaining a student visa. Therefore, it is safer to compete in IELTS and aim to win at least 6 bands in total. You can take the IELTS test up to once a week (four times a month) at the British Council or IDP. The British Council and IDP have a global program of 48 trial days per year.

Questions about IELTS eligibility

Anyone can take the IELTS regardless of age, race, gender, nationality, or religion. However, the IELTS test is not recommended for anyone under the age of 16.

What is the age limit for giving the IELTS exam?

The minimum age for language requirements to obtain Canadian citizenship decreased: Due to changes in the Canadian Citizenship Act, the minimum age at which applicants must demonstrate their language skills in order to obtain Canadian citizenship has been lowered. As of June 2015, applicants between the ages of 14 and 64 wishing to move to Canada must meet the language requirements set by the Canadian Citizenship and Immigration Authorities (CIC).

How many attempts can I give on IELTS?

The IELTS authorities do not impose any restrictions on the IELTS exam. You can take IELTS as many times as you like until you have achieved the desired / target score. However, you have to pay for the IELTS test for each attempt.

What training qualifies for the IELTS exam?

As of, there are no minimum admission criteria for IELTS as set by the IELTS managing bodies. Anyone who wants to do a higher education abroad or work abroad can take the IELTS exam (both academic and general). However, applicants should always review the institution’s selection criteria or organization to which they are applying.

IELTS can be taken on Paper or Computer

Paper-based IELTS

This test requires candidates to sit at a desk with questions and answer sheets to read, listen, and write in an official IELTS test center. The examinee will write his answer with both a pen and an HB pencil. The oral test is done face to face with a trained IELTS examiner.

Computer-delivered IELTS

This test requires the candidate to perform the test on three modules: reading, listening, and writing on a computer that displays the test in an authorized IELTS test center. Candidates then use the keyboard and mouse to submit their answers. The speaking test is done face-to-face with a trained IELTS examiner, not on a computer.

IELTS Exam Structure

IELTS Exam Structure covers four necessary language skills: listening, reading, writing, and speaking.

The Academic and General Training modules have separate reading and writing papers but are tested on the same Listening and Speaking modules.

IELTS Structure
Listening4 Sections, 40 dialogues40 minutes
Reading3 texts, 40 questions60 minutes
Writing2 tasks (150 and 250 words)60 minutes
Speaking3 dialogues~15 minutes

IELTS Band Scale

You will be given a score of 1 to 9 for each part of the test – listening, reading, writing, and speaking. Average makes up your overall score. You can score full (e.g., 5.0, 6.0, 7.0) or half (e.g., 5.5, 6.5, 7.5) in each part of the test.

IELTS 9-Band Scale
9Expert use
8Excellent or Perfect user
7Good user
3Extremely limited
1Non – user
0Did not attempt the test

Different institutions and organizations accept different band scores for various purposes. See the band score requirements for individual institutions on the IELTS website: or check with your institute or organization.

One does not pass or fail in an IELTS exam. Instead, all test results are reported on an exact 9-band scale (1, minimum, 9, maximum), as shown in the opposite table. Candidates receive an overall band score and an individual score for each test component (listening, reading, writing, speaking). Each mark on the component has the same weight. The overall band score is calculated based on the average of the sums of the four individual components. The overall band score is reported to the nearest full or half band.

Listening Test
Band ScoreCorrect Answers
Academic Reading Test
Band ScoreCorrect Answers
General Reading Test
Band ScoreCorrect Answers
Writing Test
Task achievement and Task response25%
Coherence and cohesion25%
Lexical resource25%
Grammatical range and accuracy25%
Speaking Test
Fluency and coherence25%
Lexical resource25%
Grammatical range and accuracy25%

The IELTS test provides an accurate impression of a candidate’s language skills and abilities at any given point in time. Skills and abilities will inevitably decrease over time if not used. It is recommended that a test report form that is more than two years old be accepted if there is evidence that the candidate is actively maintaining or improving their English.

IELTS Test Format

The IELTS test assesses your listening, reading, writing, and speaking abilities in less than three hours. There are two types of IELTS test: Academic and General Training

Speaking and Listening exams are the same for both tests, but Reading and Writing are different depending on which exam you opt for. The listening, reading, and writing sections of both IELTS tests will be done on a single day, with no breaks in between. However, a speaking test can be completed up to a week before or after other tests. Your test center will advise for the same. The total exam time is 2 hours 45 minutes.