IELTS Exam Syllabus 2024 (Section-Wise)

By Prabhadri SumanUpdated On - 2024-02-01 16-19-33 IST

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Topics Covered:

  • Section-wise IELTS exam syllabus
  • Syllabus for IELTS Writing 
  • Syllabus for IELTS Reading
  • Syllabus for IELTS Listening
  • Syllabus for IELTS Speaking 
  • How are the different IELTS sections marked? 
  • IELTS Preparation Tips

The IELTS exam is of two types:   Academic and General Training . IELTS academic exam is for candidates who plan to study abroad and the General Training exam is for candidates who plan to settle abroad (PR-permanent residency) or want work. Both Academic and General Training exams evaluate the English proficiency of a candidate like the ability to read, write, speak, and listen. 

The IELTS test syllabus is divided into four sections: Reading, Liste­ning, Writing, and Speaking. The speaking and liste­ning section is the same for both Ge­neral Training and Academic exams. However, the reading and writing se­ctions differ between computer-delivere­d and paper-based IELTS versions.

Section-wise IELTS exam syllabus

The IELTS e­xam assesses candidates' proficie­ncy in the English language. To achieve­ a satisfactory band score, candidates nee­d to have a comprehensive­ understanding of all sections included in the­ IELTS exam syllabus and display competence­ in all facets of the English language. Both the Ge­neral Training and Academic IELTS tests consist of four se­ctions. 

IELTS Test Syllabus Overview

Module Duration Description No. of Questions
Listening 30 minutes The Listening section will involve four monologues and dialogues that are recorded. 40 questions based on 4 recordings
Reading 60 minutes The reading component of the assessment will include four different texts, each accompanied by a set of tasks. 40 questions total.

The exercises provided in the passage will require factual, explanatory, and argumentative responses. The analytical section will focus on the non-verbal aspect and feature graphical depictions, photographs, diagrams, and material from various books and sources.

Types of questions:

1. MCQs,

2. Identifying information, 

3. Matching information, 

4. Matching sentence endings,

5. Matching features, 

6. Matching headings,

7. Sentence completion,

 8. Flow chart, 

9. Summary completion, 

10. Diagram labeling, and so on

Writing 60 minutes 1 short essay of around 250-word limit. 2 questions total
Candidates must write 150 words to give a detailed description, carry out an in-depth analysis, present a concise summary, and clarify the graphical representations, pictures, and diagrams.
Speaking 11-14 minutes

The speaking section

1. Part 1 (4 to 5 mins) is about general questions  of the candidate, like family, home, work, studies, and interests.

2. In Part 2 (4 to 5 mins), candidates are cue cards with the prompts. They get one minute to prepare, and after that, they need to speak on the topic for two minutes, as mentioned on the task card.

3. In Part 3 (4 to 5 mins), the candidate needs to answer questions based on the candidate’s response in the second part.

3 questions totals

Read here IELTS Speaking Cue Cards Topics / Samples with Answers 

Syllabus for IELTS Writing 

The IELTS writing exam section varies as per the test type: Academic and General Training .  For each exam type, the writing section has two tasks. 

1. IELTS Writing Syllabus - Academic

The writing section of IELTS Academic includes a total number of two tasks. The writing section duration of tasks is one hour. ( Task 1 typically requires 20 minutes, while Task 2 generally takes 40 minutes ). There are mainly two tasks and a set of questions in total.

  • In Task 1 , candidates are­ required to write a 150-word re­port . They will be presented with a visual represe­ntation, such as a graph, table, chart, or diagram. Using their own words, they must provide­ a description, summary, or explanation of the information. The­ report may involve describing and clarifying provide­d data, outlining process steps, illustrating flowchart functionality, or narrating details about an obje­ct or event.
  • In the 2nd task, aspirants are asked to write an essay of around 250 words on a topic with follow-up questions. The essays further consist of 6-7 types such as agree/disagree, cause/solution, etc. Thus, candidates are advised to use a formal writing tone and write in an academic style. Also, it is best to give relevant examples wherever required.

2. IELTS Writing Syllabus - General Training

The General Training module of the IELTS syllabus incorporates two writing tasks that revolve around subjects of general interest.

  • In the first task, applicants will e­ncounter a situation and be require­d to compose a letter of approximate­ly 150 words. This letter should aim to eithe­r request information or explain the­ given scenario. The pre­ferred style for the­ letter can be pe­rsonal, semi-formal, or formal in nature.
  • In the 2nd section , applicants are asked to write an essay of around 250 words responding to an argument, point of view, or problem. The essay style can be more personal than the Academic Writing Task 2 essay. Relevant examples should be provided to support opinions.

Types of Questions in IELTS Writing Section 

  • Agree/disagree
  • Advantages/disadvantages
  • Opinion – Agree/Disagree Type.
  • Cause/solution
  • Two-part questions
  • Discuss both sides of a question

Syllabus for IELTS Reading

The IELTS reading test section consists of three questions. There are 40 questions in total. When it comes to the test format, question types, and time allocation, it is the same for both computer-delivered tests (cbt) and the paper-based test (pbt). The only difference is, for the computer-delivered, you need to take the test using a computer.

The IELTS reading section checks the candidate’s reading abilities with different types of instructions, such as reading for central ideas and details, skimming, grasping the logical argument and gist, and understanding writers' perspectives, attitudes, and purpose. The IELTS reading section is different for the academic and general training modules.

1. IELTS Reading Syllabus - Academic

The academic reading section of the IELTS syllabus comprises 3 sections having 13 to 14 questions. Each of these sections contains lengthy reading passages.  These sections will be evaluative, illustrative, and supported by evidence. The paragraphs are sourced from books, journals, newspapers, and magazines. 

Task Types: The IELTS Academic Reading section consists of different types of questions such as 

  • Diagram label completion
  • Identifying a writer's views or claims
  • Identifying information
  • Matching features
  • Matching headings
  • Matching information
  • Matching sentence endings
  • Multiple choice
  •  Sentence completion
  • Short-answer questions
  • Summary, note, table, flow-chart completion

  2.  IELTS Reading Syllabus - General Training

The general training reading exam  is structured like an academic module. Although GT topics will be related to daily life. The exam will include three reading passages with themes such as announcements, advertisements, and notices. There will be a total of 13–14 questions in each section.

Task Types:  The IELTS General Training Reading section has various types of questions such as:

  • Multiple Choice Questions,
  • Short-answer questions
  • Matching information,
  • Matching headings,
  • Matching features,
  • Identifying information,
  • Sentence completion
  • Identifying writer’s views
  • Matching Sentence Endings
  • Summary, note, table, flow-chart completion
  • Diagram label completion

Syllabus for IELTS Listening

The IELTS listening section syllabus is the same for both the Academic and General Training tests. Candidates need to answer 40 questions based on four recordings, each lasting 3 minutes. 

The first two dialogues will cover social and ecological topics, and the last two will be educational. Participants are only permitted to listen to the recordings one time. Questions asked in this section will include note completion, multiple-choice, and sentence completion.

1. IELTS Reading Syllabus - Academic

Remains the same as General Training.

The Listening module of the IELTS exam consists of four sections with a total of 40 questions . Candidates must listen to recordings of fluent English speakers answering questions.

  • PART 1: A conversation occurs between two individuals in a typical social environment.
  • PART 2: A monologue delivered in a common social setting, such as a speech about neighborhood facilities or a visit to a specific locality.
  • PART 3: A discussion between two to four persons in a training or educational setting, such as between a student and a lecturer at a university, over a project.
  • PART 4:  A monologue based on a subject in school, similar to a lecture at a university.

Types of Questions in IELTS Listening Section

The listening section of the IELTS Academic test comprises a variety of question types, including 

  • Multiple Choice Questions 
  • Sentence completion
  • Matching
  • Plan, map and diagram labelling 
  • Table, flow- chart, summary completion 

2. IELTS Listening Syllabus - General

IELTS Listening General exam's module syllabus is the same as the IELTS Academic Listening module

Syllabus for IELTS Speaking

The IELTS speaking exam evaluates a candidate's overall verbal communication capabilities and their skills to communicate in an international context in about 11 - 15 minutes. The IELTS speaking section is an in-person oral interview with an examiner.

1. IELTS Speaking Syllabus - Academic

The speaking portion of the IELTS assesses a candidate's ability to speak English. For score purposes, the full interaction is recorded.

  • PART 1: In this portion, the examiner will ask a series of generic questions about yourself. These will cover many common topics, such as your home, family, hometown, career, studies, and interests. The duration of this part is two to five minutes.
  • PART 2: In this portion, you will be handed a card instructing you to discuss a specific topic. This card is also called a cue card or candidate task card. You will have one minute to prepare before speaking and two at most to finish. The examiner will ask one or more "Follow-up questions" on the same topic.
  • PART 3: In this portion, the examiner asks five to seven questions about Speaking Part 2. You need to address broader and intellectual subjects in this section. This part of the test has a four- to five-minute time limit.

2. IELTS Speaking Syllabus - General

The IELTS speaking general training exam syllabus is the same as the IELTS academic test.

Types of Questions in IELTS Speaking Section

In  Part 1  of IELTS speaking general training, candidates are presented with questions about their educational background, professional experience, and achievements. Make sure to give attention to syntax, synonyms, tenses, etc as the examiner will check it.

In  Part 2  section, candidates are given a topic to speak about for approximately two minutes. They should jot down relevant points related to the theme and deliver their speech while covering all three questions in the cue card. Following their presentation, there will be a short question and answer session.

In Part 3 section  the conversation will be long, and the questions asked are meaningful, appropriate, and intellectual. The debate will focus on genuine matters and subjects.

Students who desire to study abroad in countries like the United States, Australia, Europe, Canada, and Germany must take the IELTS exam. This test consists of two modules and four sections, and the topics it covers are extensive. To succeed on the test, aspirants must ensure they thoroughly understand the exam pattern, the different types of IELTS exams, and the types of questions posed. For assistance with this process, applicants can turn to Edmissions for help and advice to ace the IELTS in one go.

Check here : IELTS Exam Fee and IELTS Exam Dates

How are the different IELTS sections marked?

This section is all about IELTS-making parameters, such as task achievement, lexical resource, coherence and cohesion, grammatical range and accuracy, and pronunciation. Familiarizing with this will help candidates understand how their IELTS exam performance is evaluated which will further help them in preparing for the exam.

IELTS Listening Marking Scheme

The IELTS Listening test has 40 questions in total. Every time a candidate gives a correct answer, they receive one point and their results are then transformed into the nine-band IELTS scale.

Band Score Raw Score 0ut of 40
5 16
6 23
7 30
8 35

IELTS Reading Marking Scheme

The IELTS Reading examination involves 40 multiple-choice questions, and a single point is granted when the answer is correct. The result of the test is translated to the IELTS score range of 0 to 9.

Both the Academic and General Training Reading exams are composed of the same kinds of questions and text content. The Academic Reading test contains questions that are more demanding in terms of vocabulary and sentence structure. In order to acquire a higher score in a given range, an examinee must answer more questions correctly on the General Training Reading examination.

Band score Academic Reading ( out of 40) General Training Reading (out of 40)
5 15 23
6 23 30
7 30 34
8 35 38

IELTS Writing Marking Scheme

The Writing portion of the IELTS exam consists of two tasks that require an examinee to compose a summary of visual data in 150 words and an essay with a point of view or argument in 250 words. Examiners use an evaluation system that awards a score ranging from zero to nine with equal weighting to both tasks, and the final grade is the average of the two.

  • Task Achievement (Task 1), Task Response (Task 2)
  • Coherence and Cohesion
  • Lexical Resource
  • Grammatical Range and Accuracy

IELTS Speaking Marking Scheme

The IELTS Speaking assessment is a one-on-one discussion with a test administrator that evaluates the speaking abilities of a test-taker in three parts. Grading is done according to certain standards, and the final band score is the average of the scores obtained in each task.

  • Fluency and Coherence
  • Lexical Resource
  • Grammatical Range and Accuracy
  • Pronunciation

IELTS Preparation Tips

  • Get familiar with the examination format and syllabus : Examine the past year's exam paper and attempt to comprehend the kind of queries inquired and the duration given for each segment of the IELTS test.
  • Plan a preparation strategy that works for you : Develop a learning program and tactics that are suitable to your needs. Note down what you are going to learn each day, for how long, and include every subject area. Identify your weak spots and spend extra time on them. Be sure to do a lot of sample tests a few days before the assessment.
  • Improve your vocabulary as a priority : Make an effort to read newspapers, online news sources, and periodicals. Utilize a monolingual dictionary to discover common expressions and the way words are organized. Speak English daily, but try not to transform sentences from your native language.
  • Improve your writing skills : Familiarize yourself with different writing questions by attempting sample exams. Monitor the amount of time you spend on them, and always remember to proofread your work. Additionally, make sure that your response does not go under the word count limit.
  • Improve your listening abilities: Do as many listening exercises as you can and pay attention to the audio clips without interruption since you will only be able to hear them once. Jot down points as you go along so that you don't have any issues responding to the questions.
  • Focus on improving your pronunciation and fluency : Spend a large amount of time speaking in English and make a list of the areas you need to develop. Additionally, you could record yourself talking on a variety of subjects. To enhance your accent, start watching English news broadcasts, films, and television programs.

Check City wise IELTS Test Dates 

IELTS Exam Dates in Ahmedabad IELTS Exam Dates in Chandigarh
IELTS Exam Dates in Ludhiana IELTS Exam Dates in New Delhi
IELTS Exam Dates in Bangalore IELTS Exam Dates in Gurgaon
IELTS Exam Dates in Amritsar IELTS Exam Dates in Hyderabad

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