IELTS: Test Sections

Listening

This section lasts for about 30 minutes. It consists of four sections, played on cassette tape, in order of increasing difficulty. Each section might be a dialogue or a monologue. The test is played once only, and the questions for each section must be answered while listening, although time is given for students to check their answers.

Reading

This section lasts for 60 minutes. Students are given an Academic Reading test, or a General Training Reading test. Both tests consist of three sections, and in both tests the sections are in order of increasing difficulty.

Writing

This section also lasts for 60 minutes. Again, students take either an Academic test, or a General Training test. Students must perform two writing tasks, which require different styles of writing. There is no choice of question topics.

Speaking

This section consists of a one-to-one interview with a specially trained examiner. The examiner will lead the candidate through the three parts of the test:

  1. An introduction and interview,
  2. an individual long turn where the candidate speaks for one or two minutes on a particular topic, and
  3. a two-way discussion thematically linked to the individual long turn. This interview will last for approximately 11-14 minutes.

IELTS Scoring

IELTS is scored on a nine-band scale, with each band corresponding to a specified competence in English. Overall Band Scores are reported to the nearest whole or half band.

For the avoidance of doubt, the following rounding convention applies; if the average across the four skills ends in .25, it is rounded up to the next half band, and if it ends in .75, it is rounded up to the next whole band.

The nine bands are described as follows:

  • 9 Expert User

    Has fully operational command of the language: appropriate, accurate and fluent with complete understanding.

  • 8 Very Good User

    Has fully operational command of the language with only occasional unsystematic inaccuracies and inappropriacies. Misunderstandings may occur in unfamiliar situations. Handles complex detailed argumentation well.

  • 7 Good User

    Has operational command of the language, though with occasional inaccuracies, inappropriacies and misunderstandings in some situations. Generally handles complex language well and understands detailed reasoning.

  • 6 Competent User

    Has generally effective command of the language despite some inaccuracies, inappropriacies and misunderstandings. Can use and understand fairly complex language, particularly in familiar situations.

  • 5 Modest user

    Has partial command of the language, coping with overall meaning in most situations, though is likely to make many mistakes. Should be able to handle basic communication in own field.

  • 4 Limited User

    Basic competence is limited to familiar situations. Has frequent problems in using complex language.

  • 3 Extremely Limited User

    Conveys and understands only general meaning in very familiar situations.

  • 2 Intermittent User

    No real communication is possible except for the most basic information using isolated words or short formulae in familiar situations and to meet immediate needs.

  • 1 Non User

    Essentially has no ability to use the language beyond possibly a few isolated words.

  • 0 Did not attempt the test

    No assessable information provided at all.

mnemonic-education-admitted-to-columbia-university-priya-agarwal

"I am really grateful to Shirish sir for helping me realize my dream of master's in the US from a good university. Owing to his dedication and the personal attention bestowed on all of my applications, I have got an admit from Columbia University. Also the content writers and counselors have all been extremely helpful, accommodating and great guides on this journey."

mnemonic-education-admitted-to-purdue-university-akshit-gupta

"It was a great experience for me. Mnemonic and its teachers provided me with all the facilities that a student needs. It was really fun studying in Mnemonic. I would certainly recommend everyone to join Mnemonic for their study abroad needs."

mnemonic-education-admitted-to-minnesota-university-Grusha-Agarwal
($ 25,000 Scholarship)

"The most appreciable thing was that I got to write all the essays myself & so it was my own thought process which was refined by Mnemonic's fine quality writers. I have heard that some consultants write the whole essay where the individual contribution or ownership of the process becomes very limited. I think the team is very polished, mature, experienced and very helpful at all times. I had a good experience all through."

mnemonic-education-admitted-to-geogia-tech-university-Sneh

"All the hard work and effort that the Mnemonic team had put in finally met appreciation and justice. Everyone in Mnemonic is very professional. The features of Applix are very helpful. I did not have to worry about anything regarding my admissions since the day I contacted Mnemonic. Thanks for a wonderful experience."

"I thank Mr. Shirish and the whole team of Mnemonic Education for their guidance and support. Your team has been very professionally dedicated during the entire process. I have got the admission at the most prestigious, HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL. My dream of a lifetime has come true. It has made everyone proud of my achievement. To add cherry on top, I have been awarded scholarship worth $11250. I am now in the elite Business class!"

mnemonic-education-admitted-to-stanford-university-parimarjan-negi

"As the second youngest Chess Grand Master, my time is mostly spent in travelling for tournaments. In such a scenario, completing my application and getting an admission into Stanford University looked like a distant dream. The team at Mnemonic Education was dedicated enough to constantly keep in touch with me and help me in enhancing the creativity of my essays and submitting my applications on time. I look forward to my journey ahead at Stanford and would like to thank Mnemonic Education's entire team for making the process easier and smoother for me."