IELTS Exam - Your Complete Guide



Updated On 07 December 2022


Read Time 6 minutes



IELTS is considered one of the most popular entrance exams for studying abroad. Millions of students appear in the exam, and good scores are a major requirement by universities abroad. A good IELTS exam score can be a major positive factor in the student's application. Every university has its requirements set when it comes to the exam. You can easily check these requirements on the website of the university you’re applying to. If you want to enrol in a top university abroad, you should prepare thoroughly to score the required score.

While many students know about the IELTS exam, they need help understanding the importance and registration process. This blog aims to put together a guide to answer all your queries about the IELTS exam.


What is IELTS?


IELTS stands for International English Language Testing System. It is an English proficiency exam organised jointly by the British Council, Cambridge English Language Assessment, and IDP Education Australia. The exam is conducted to measure the student's proficiency in the English language and further score between 1 to 9. A band score of 1 means the applicant is a non-user, while a score of 9 means an expert.

The IELTS exam is important as it is the base of admission to most top-ranked universities worldwide. All the top universities in countries like the USA, the UK, Australia and Germany, and over 135 other countries accept international students based on the IELTS exam as proof of English proficiency. Based on the IELTS band score, chances of getting scholarships increases, easing your study abroad journey. 

The IELTS exam is generally of two types, IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training. IELTS Academic is for students wanting to study abroad, while IELTS General Training is to check English language proficiency in an everyday context. It reflects both social and workplace situations. General Training is suitable for immigration purposes to Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Australia. An applicant can easily do IELTS preparation with the help of study materials available online or from books available in the market.


Cost of IELTS in India


The IELTS exam is expensive. In India, it costs INR 15,500 for both online and paper-based modes. For UK Visas and Immigration, the fee is INR 15,750.


IELTS Registration


The process of registering for the IELTS exam is simple:

  1. Find your nearest test centre

  2. You can register and make the payment online.

  3. You can also download an application form, fill it in and send it to your test centre

  4. After successfully registering, you will receive a confirmation of the booking on your mail id. You will also receive all the necessary instructions for the day of your exam

You can visit the official website of the British Council or IDP IELTS to get a detailed view of the IELTS registration.


IELTS Test Format


The IELTS exam assesses the applicant’s abilities in a total of 4 skills: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. The total test time is of 3 hours. The listening and speaking sections are the same for IELTS academic and IELTS General Training. However, the writing and the reading section differ. Every section is of 40 marks. The speaking test is conducted on a different day than the rest of the sections. Listening, writing and reading are conducted on the same day. These days, instead of conducting the speaking IELTS face-to-face with the examiner, the test is conducted on a video call in the test centre.


IELTS Listening Test


The IELTS listening test section comprises 4 sections with 10 questions each. Each question is of one mark each making a total of 40 marks. There’s an audio recording played in different forms, like a conversation or speech and consists of different accents. In the beginning, a few minutes are given to read the quotations. The answers are generally words spoken with ease or stress. The words are often repeated and spelt out in case of hard spellings. The questions appear in the same order as spoken in the audio recording. The recordings are played only once. There are many IELTS listening practice test online that you can solve to get an idea of the type of questions in this section.


IELTS Reading Test


The IELTS reading test section comprises 3 passages followed by a set of questions for each passage. Passages can be from anywhere, ranging from newspapers and magazines to other different subjects. There are 40 questions in the section, so each passage will have 13-14 questions, where each question is worth 1 mark. The duration of the whole section is 60 mins. No extra time is allotted.


IELTS Writing Test


The IELTS writing test is divided into 2 tasks: IELTS writing task 1 and IELTS writing task 2. The exam lasts for 60 minutes.

IELTS writing task 1 is of 20 minutes, and writing task 2 is of 40 minutes. The answers are marked on the following criteria:

  • Task achievement

  • Coherence and cohesion

  • Grammatical range and accuracy

  • Lexical resource


IELTS Speaking Test


The IELTS speaking test is an oral test between the candidate and the examiner. The duration of the speaking test is between 11-14 minutes. The whole test is recorded, and it is advised not to touch any gears while appearing in the exam as it can be considered malpractice. There are 4 criteria of assessment: coherence, fluency, vocabulary (lexical resource ), grammar and pronunciation.

The first step is the introduction and interview part. The examiner will introduce himself to you and ask to see your passport. After the identification is made, the test will start. At the start, the examiner generally asks questions on common topics related to your home, family, friends, hobbies or favourite food. The questions are from a list, and the conversation is not interactive. The duration of this part is about 4-5 minutes. 

The next part is short talks. You are given a card with a topic to discuss in this part. There are 3-4 points below the topic that you must mention while talking. You get one minute to prepare before speaking. The time limit is 2 minutes, and once the time is up, the examiner will stop you. Topics are not very complicated and do not require any specific knowledge about them.

You can prepare for IELTS exam by enrolling in IELTS coaching classes, paying the tuition fee, or studying from books. There are countless test papers and IELTS test tutorials for each of the sections that you can take help from.


Students who wish to know more about the IELTS exam may contact our expert counsellors at any Meridean Overseas Education Consultants (MOEC) branch. Our expert education counsellors will provide you with the best support and guidance. Students can also take free video counselling through our website.  For more information or queries, please mail us at or 1800-1230-00011.

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