IELTS Resources

Are you planning to sit for the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) to travel abroad to settle, work or study? If yes, then this page provides essential information about the English Language test and links to IELTS resources that help you prepare to achieve high marks on the test without unnecessary stress. This is in line with our vision inspire and support individuals (especially in Sub-Saharan Africa) in their quest to self-actualisation through education. 

Resources Links

The table below contains links to our essential and popular resources on preparing for the IELTS.

Title/LinkInformation
Essential Information About the IELTS This is a link to the section on this page that covers all the essential information you need to know about the IELTS Academic and General Training Test including how to register for the test.
How to Prepare for the IELTS Do you care to know what steps you need to take to prepare for the IELTS? If yes, then this post is for you. It contains actionable tips on how to achieve a high score on the test.
IELTS vs TOEFL Are you confused about whether to sit for the TOEFL or IELTS? Then this post is for you. It contains information on the differences between IELTS and TOEFL and enables you to make a better decision on which of the exams to write.
200+ IELTS Speaking Test Sample Questions Do you struggle with the IELTS speaking test module or do you find it very 
easy? Then you may want to read this article. Often times students who assume they have a good grasp of the English Language struggle with some speaking test questions many of which are mentioned in this article with over 200 IELTS speaking test sample questions. The best part is some of the questions in the list have been asked on the actual test.

About the IELTS Test

IELTS is short for International English Language Testing System. It is a test designed to test the English language ability of individuals from countries where English is not the first language(non-native English-speaking countries).

IELTS Acceptability and Recognition

IELTS is accepted and recognised by over 9,000 organisations worldwide. These include universities, employers, professional bodies, immigration authorities, and other governmental agencies. This is why it is often used as a requirement for admission to settle, study, or work in most English-speaking countries like the UK, Australia, Canada, and more.

IELTS Band Score Scale

 Score  Meaning
9Expert User
8Very good user
7Good user
6Competent User
5Modest User
4Limited User
3Extremely limited User
2Intermittent user
1Non user
0Did not attempt the test

IELTS Test Format

IELTS is available in two test formats which candidates can choose from depending on the purpose of writing the test.

1). IELTS Academic Test

This test format is usually for those who want to apply for professional registrations or for tertiary institutions in an English-speaking environment.

2). IELTS General Training Test

This test format is usually for employment or migration purposes.

Components of the IELTS Test

The IELTS Academic and General Training test is composed of a listening, reading, writing and speaking sections.

Listening Test

The listening module is a 30 minutes test plus an additional 10 minutes for the candidate to transfer the answers to an answer sheet.

It comprises 4 sections, with ten questions in each section.

Section 1: Is a conversation between two people. The conversation is usually based on everyday social context. For example: it could be a conversation in a law firm, accommodation agency, etc.

Section 2: Is a monologue in an everyday context. For example: a speech about a conservation park, music, local facilities, etc.

Section 3: Is a conversation with up to 4 people. For example: The conversation may be between 2 students discussing a project, or between a teacher and a student discussing an assignment.

Section 4: Is a monologue on an academic subject. For example: in music, university lecture, etc.

 Every section is started with a short introduction telling the candidate about the speakers and the situation. Test takers will be given time to look the questions for each section as they are in order as the information in the recording (that is the answer to the first question will be before the answer to the second question, and so on). T

Questions in the listening section could be centred on:

  • Maps/ diagram completion (labelling)

  • Form completion

  • Note completion

  • Table completion

  • Flow-chart completion

  • Sentence completion

  • Summary completion

Note: Test takers will lose marks for incorrect spelling and grammar.

Reading

The reading test module is a 60 minutes test comprising three sections and texts totalling about 3000 words taken from magazines, newspapers, books, journals and more. A total of 40 questions are asked in the reading module and questions could be centred on:

  • Identifying a writer’s views/claims (Yes/No/Not Given/True/False)

  • Matching information

  • Matching headings

  • Matching features

  • Matching sentences endings

  • Sentence completion

  • Summary completion

  • Summary completion

  • Note completion

  • Table completion

  • Flow-chart completion

  • Diagram label completion

Note: No extra time is given for transferring answers to the answer booklet.

Writing

The writing module is a 60 minutes test with 2 tasks.

Task 1 requires you to write an essay of at least 150 words and Task 2 requires candidates to write an essay of at least 250 words.

In both tasks, you are assessed on your ability to write a response which is appropriate in terms of:

  • Content,
  • The organisation of ideas,
  • The accuracy and range of vocabulary and grammar.

Academic Writing

In task 1, depending on the task type, you are assessed on your ability to organise, present and possibly compare data; to describe the stages of a process or procedure; to describe an object or event or sequence of events; to explain how something works.

In task 2, depending on the task type, you are assessed on your ability to present a solution to a problem; to present and justify an opinion; to compare and contrast evidence, opinions and implications; to evaluate and challenge ideas, evidence or an argument.

General Training Writing

In task 1 depending on the task type, you are assessed on your ability to engage in personal correspondence in order to: elicit and provide general factual information, express needs, wants, likes and dislikes; express opinions (views complaints etc.).

In task 2, you are assessed on your ability to provide general factual information; to outline a problem and present a solution; to present and possibly justify an opinion; to evaluate and challenge ideas, evidence or an argument.

Marking

You are assessed on your performance on each task by certified IELTS examiners according to the IELTS writing test assessment criteria (Task Achievement / Response Coherence and cohesion, Lexical Resource, Grammatical Range and Accuracy).

Speaking

The speaking module is a 11-14 minutes test with 3 parts.

Part 1: Introduction and Interview

This usually takes about 4-5 minutes.

Here the examiner introduces himself / herself and asks you to introduce yourself. He is to confirm your identity. He or she then proceeds to ask you general questions on “familiar topics”, e.g. home, family, work, studies, and interests.

Part 2: Individual Long Turn

Here the examiner gives you a tasks card which asks you to talk about a particular topic and which includes points you can cover in your talk. The examiner could also choose tell you a topic to talk about instead of giving you a task card.

You are given 1 minute to prepare your talk, and you’d be given a pencil and paper to make notes and allowed 1-2 minutes to speak on the topic.

The examiner may then ask you one or two questions on the same topic.

This part usually takes about 3-4 minutes.

Part 3: Two-Way Discussion

Here the examiner asks further questions which are connected to the topic of part 2. These questions give you an opportunity to discuss more abstract issues and ideas. This part usually takes about 4-5 minutes.

A wide range of skills are assessed in the speaking module, including:

  • Your ability to communicate opinions, and information on every topics and common experiences and situations by answering a range of questions.
  • Your ability to speak at length on a given topic using the appropriate language and organising ideas coherently.
  • Your ability to express and justify opinions and to analyse discuss and speculate about issues.

You are accessed on your performance throughout the test by a certified IELTS examiner to the IELTS Speaking test assessment criteria (Fluency and Coherence, Lexical Resource, Grammatical Range, Accuracy, Pronunciation). The public version of the Assessment criteria can be found here.

How to Register for the IELTS

Registering for the IELTS takes 3 steps.

Step 1: Find Your Nearest Test Location

There are over 1600 IELTS test locations in over 140 countries which means there is likely a test location near you. You can find the nearest test location from the IELTS official site.

Step 2: Register

You can register for the IELTS online or print and complete the application form and submit it to your local test centre.

Note: You will be required to provide a copy of a valid identity document (for example, your international passport). You will present the same identity on the test date.

Step 3: Receive a Confirmation

You will receive a written confirmation from the centre once your application is processed. The speaking and written test are usually written on the same day. 

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