IELTS Test: Complete Guide

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IELTS Test Complete Guide

In jest, I playfully quizzed you on the acronym IELTS, which you likely aced—International English Language Testing System. Now, let’s delve into the nuances of the IELTS test patterns in this insightful blog post at Preparehow.

IELTS Pattern

There are four papers in the IELTS test – Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking. In IELTS there are two different modules, Academic and General. The Listening and Speaking papers are the same in both modules, but the reading and writing modules differ.


Academic module

If you’re seeking admission to undergraduate or postgraduate programs in an English-speaking country or applying for professional services like medicine, nursing, or engineering, registering for the Academic module is essential. This module focuses on reading and writing tasks related to academic books, journals, and newspapers, making it applicable across various academic disciplines.

General Module

Opt for the General module if you are planning to migrate to an English-speaking country or want to pursue education below the degree level there. In the General module, the reading and writing section includes topics from everyday life, and documentation such as job descriptions, contracts etc.

What’s in the exam?

Listening40 QuestionsApproximately 30 minutes (plus 10 minutes transfer time)
Reading40 Questions60 minutes
Writing2 Tasks60 minutes
Speaking3 Parts11–14 minutes


In IELTS, there’s no pass or fail. Instead, you get scores from 1 to 9 for each part of the test: Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking. These scores are then combined to give you an overall score. 

The 9-band system is used worldwide and helps measure your performance consistently, making it easy to understand and recognize internationally.

Bands 9Expert user
Bands 8Very good user
Bands 7Good user
Bands 6Competent user
Bands 5Modest user
Bands 4Limited user
Bands 3Extremely limited user
Bands 2Intermittent user
Bands 1Essentially cannot use the language
beyond possibly a few isolated words.
Bands 0Did not attempt the test

A half-band score means you did well in that band level. For instance, if you get an overall score of 6.5, it shows you did great in the Band 6 level.

This comprehensive guide equips you with everything you need to know about IELTS. If you’re seeking any guidance, coaching, or study materials for your preparation, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re dedicated to supporting you on your path to success.

12 Best Online IELTS Preparation Apps/Websites.

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