IELTS the International English Language Testing System, assesses the language ability of candidates who need to study or work where English is the language of communication. IELTS is jointly managed by the University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations (Cambridge ESOL), British Council and IDP: IELTS Australia. IELTS resonates to the highest international standards of language assessment. IELTS is recognized by universities and employers in many countries, including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the USA. It is also recognized by professional bodies, immigration authorities and other government agencies.

Test Format

The IELTS test assesses your abilities in listening, reading, writing and speaking – and that too, in less than three hours. There are two types of the IELTS test: IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training. For both the tests, Listening and Speaking are the same, but the subject matter of the Reading and Writing components differs depending on which test you opt for. The Listening, Reading and Writing components of all IELTS tests are completed on the same day, with no breaks in between them. The Speaking component, however, can be completed up to a week before or after the other tests. You will be advised by your test center on the same beforehand. The total test time is 2 hours and 45 minutes.


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Listening: 30 minutes

Each of the candidates will listen to four recordings of native English speakers and then write your answers to a series of questions.

Recording 1 - A conversation between two people set in an everyday social context.
Recording 2- A monologue set in an everyday social context, e.g. a speech about local facilities.
Recording 3- A conversation between up to four people set in an educational or training context, e.g. a university tutor and a student discussing an assignment.
Recording 4- A monologue on an academic subject e.g. a university lecture.

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

We can advise you on the time management plan for IELTS exam that you can start practicing in advance, for guaranteed good score.

Time plan for the Listening section

Each aspirant has a total of 40 minutes for the Listening section which you can divide as 30 minutes, 8 minutes and 2 minutes respectively. Use the extra 2 minutes right at the start to have a quick look at the questions before you hear the audio. During this crucial bird eye view on the questionnaire, underline the keywords you find are standing out, and then start listening to the audio. It makes finding out the answers very simple and also, candidates get a hint of what can be the probable subjects in the audio provided.

Time plan for the Reading section

A dedicated 20 minutes is considered enough to crack the three paragraphs and their related questions in the Reading section. If you find you are running out of time while reading the passages, simply skip a little and move forward. Also while answering if you get stuck at one, just work on the next question. Again, do not skip questions in this process. You can always do a guess work for the questions that boggle you and move forward.

Time plan for the Writing section

Simply, split your 1 hour into 40 minutes for the first writing assignment and 20 minutes for the next one. Your focus in the writing section is not to exhibit your entire knowledge of English but keep a special eye on grammatical errors, typos and silly mistakes. Make sure, you also stick to the word limits as exceeding them leads to negative marking.

Time plan for the Speaking section

The Speaking section of IELTS solely depends on the rapport you create with the examiner. If your answers are engaging and interesting, the examiner may go on. In case of fumbling on the same statement, he may lose interest and let your opportunity go. So, the trick is just being consistent and to the point to whatever you are being asked about by the examiner. Neither keep blabbering unnecessarily nor remain tight shut.

This is a brief idea on how you can plan your time during IELTS exam. Its only after practicing this continuously at home and in coaching, that you can follow the same pattern during the exam time. Ample practice with genuine knowledge is sure to bag you a good band score in IELTS.