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All about IELTS Exam - by Kaustubh Agnihotri


IELTS is the International English Language Testing System. This is generally adopted by significant countries worldwide to get an idea about your English communication. This testing system majorly concentrates on the English proficiency of people planning to move abroad.

There are two types of IELTS: General and Academic.

The General and Academic

The General IELTS is meant for those who are going abroad for work. The Academic IELTS is for those who are allying for study abroad.

This exam uses a nine-band scale to identify proficiency levels from non-user (band score 1) through to expert (band score 9).

The Academic:

The IELTS Academic test applies for higher education or professional registration in English speaking environment. It reflects some of the academic language features and assesses whether you are ready to begin studying or training.

We know that the Indian education system and the foreign Education structure have different marking systems or different grading systems.

For example, in Canada, they have their marking system, known as C.R.S. (Comprehensive Ranking Score), so every week or every month, it changes. You can assess your score there, then add that in your IELTS score, and then apply it for the visa process.

Again, in Australia, the system differs from this. So different countries have different marking systems.

The General:

The IELTS General Training test is for those going to English speaking countries for secondary education, work experience, or training programs. This comprises more map reading, working environment etc.

It is also a requirement for migration to Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the U.K.

The test focuses on basic survival skills in broad social workplace contexts.

The first format to

Listening (Test Format)

For this test, one needs to listen and understand the accent properly. As there are different English accents, which vary from American, Canadian, Australian, and British to many others, it becomes tough for native Indians to differentiate one from the other. So to understand the language properly, one needs to pay attention and listen.

The examination is carried for 30 minutes. The details of the process are discussed:

Test Format- Listening

Thirty minutes will be given to listen to 4 recordings of native English speakers and write the answers to the series of questions.

Recording 1- This is about a conversation between two people set in an everyday social context.

For example-: A couple in a hotel is planning to order something.

Recording 2- It is a monologue set in an everyday social context, such as local facility speeches.

For example: What to do for a good sleep during an examination. Or what to do to keep a healthy physic etc.

Recording 3- This is a conversation between up to four people set in an educational or training context;

For example: A university tutor and a student discussing an assignment. The topic can be something like the students who are supposed to complete a project within the allotted time, require more time.

Recording 4- A monologue on an academic subject example, a university lecture.

For example: The lecture can vary from science, physics to any normal phenomenon.

Assessors will be looking for evidence of your ability to understand the main ideas and detailed information, the opinions and attitudes of speakers, the purpose of an utterance, and evidence of your ability to follow the development of ideas.

IELTS Listening Description:

Paper Format- From 4 January 2020, some small changes were introduced to the instructions and layout of the paper-based Listening test:

The word Section was changed to Parts - The paper-based test will now be divided into Part 1,2,3,4.

The Part 1 example was removed.

We have removed the page number references.

What is included in the four parts?

There are four parts with ten questions each. The questions are designed so that the answers appear in the order they are heard in the audio.

In part 1, there is a conversation between two speakers (for example, a conversation about travel arrangements.) For example- It can be a conversation where a daughter is explaining the way how her mother died in an accident.

In part 2, there is a monologue (for example, a speech about local facilities). The final two parts deal with situations set in educational and training contexts.

For example- Here you can choose to speak about the library, Gym, a public place that needs to be developed.

In part 3, there is a conversation between two main speakers (for example, two university students in discussion, perhaps guided by a tutor)

These could be interviews with a swimmer, a doctor, or the ways to get good grades.

In part 4, there is a monologue on an academic subject.

You can hear the recordings only once. These would include a series of accents, British, Australian, New Zealand, American and Canadian. The best way to practice these accents is by listening more. The more you listen, the better you can understand the different accents and how the words are spoken in other languages. This is how one should prepare for the listening exam.

The timing and question


Approximately 30 minutes (plus 10 minutes transfer time)




A variety of question types are used, chosen from the following: multiple choice, matching, plan/map/diagram labelling, form/note/table/flow-chart/summary completion, sentence completion.

Answering: Test takers write their answers on the question paper as they listen and at the end of the test are given 10 minutes to transfer their answers to an answer sheet. Care should be taken when writing answers on the answer sheet as poor spelling and grammar are penalised.

There are nine spelling rules, and one should start with the basic grammar and the spelling rules to perform their best in the exam.


Author Bio: Kaustubh Agnihotri is a soft-skill and personality groomer. He is also a spoken English and IELTS trainer. For Spoken English training, Kaustubh Agnihorti relies on audio-visual. He has done business management and is working in a U.S.A Firm. Being an IELTS trainer, he has discussed a few important factors about the course.



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