Considered a ticket to study abroad, the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is an English language proficiency exam for candidates who do not have English as their mother tongue but wish to take study abroad. The IELTS test consists of 4 main sections or skills, namely reading, writing, speaking and listening. While the listening and speaking sections remain the same for everyone, the reading and writing sections are different for the general education and academic tests. In this blog, we will provide you with a detailed IELTS syllabus to facilitate your IELTS preparation in best way. Also name of some books you should refer for IELTS preparation.
Before we dive straight into the IELTS exam syllabus and model, let's also briefly discuss the different types of IELTS exams:
Candidates who wish to apply for higher education or professional registration in countries where English is the primary means of communication must take the IELTS Academic. The main objective of the test is to determine if a candidate is ready to start learning or training in English. The United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand are among the countries that accept IELTS for academic purposes.
IELTS General Training is for people who want to migrate to New Zealand, Australia, Canada, USA or UK, or who want to apply for secondary school, training programs or experience professional in an English-speaking country. This exam emphasizes a candidate's basic survival skills in a broad social and work context.
There are two types of IELTS exams, namely IELTS Academic and IELTS General. The program for these remains the same and differs only slightly. Before explaining the IELTS curriculum, we need to look at the test model and the minimum time allocated to each section:
Number of Questions & Duration
Content - Four recorded monologues and conversations
Marks – 1 mark per question
Number of Questions & Duration -
Content - 3 Passages (can be descriptive, analytical, factual or discursive)
Marks - 1 mark per question
IELTS Writing Skill Test
Number of Questions & Duration -
Marks - Each task is assessed independently. The IELTS Writing assessment of Task 2 carries more weight in marking than IELTS Writing Task 1.
Number of Questions & Duration
Three passages are similar in structure to the skill section, which can be taken from company guidelines, advertisements, branding, and so on.
In this section, applicants will be assessed on their ability to fluently write a general report or a short essay.
There are only two questions in the IELTS exam part. In the first question, candidates will be given a diagram, data, or table, and then they will have to represent the information in their own words. The word limit for this question is 150 words.
In the second question, candidates are given an argument or view of the issues. The objective is to evaluate the candidate on the opinion, justifications, ideas and evidence they provide for the answer. In total, candidates will have 60 minutes to solve this section.
Number of Questions: 2
The candidate should summarize and define the diagram or data provided in a 150-word essay based on the definition in the 1st answer, including examples.
IELTS Syllabus- General Training
Number of Questions: 2
Candidates should write a letter according to the given situation. It can be personal, formal, and semi-formal depending on the questions. The candidate will also be required to write an essay in support of the letter, citing relevant examples (if any).
This section of the IELTS exam is divided into four parts where candidates will receive audio clips. While the first would relate to social needs, the other two would be related to educational situations. Audio clips can be either a dialogue or a monologue which will be around three minutes long and will only play once. Based on these clips, short answers, grade completion, MCQ and many other types of questions will be asked. The IELTS syllabus in this section includes-
Conducted in the form of an interview, this section examines the candidates' general communication skills. This would ultimately lead to a comprehensive analysis of whether the candidate can be fluent in English or not. A three-tier process, this section of the IELTS syllabus will begin with a short introduction, an individual long term and an in-depth final discussion. Items assessed in this section are listed below:
Part 1 (Introduction Followed by an Interview)
In this task, candidates should introduce themselves by talking about their family, hobbies, interests, education, etc. in about 4 to 5 minutes.
Part 2 (Long Turn)
In this part of IELTS speaking, test takers will be given a flashcard with a topic written on it. They can take a few minutes to think, familiarize themselves with the proposed topic, and then talk about it for 2-3 minutes. Subsequently, the interviewer may also ask questions to gauge the candidate's understanding of the topic.
Part 3 (Discussion)
A discussion of the topic will take place in Part 2 with the candidate’s presentation and understanding. You will have the chance to delve deeper into the subject and cover it in an elaborate way. This task 3 part generally encompasses the time duration of 5-6 minutes.
Now that you are familiar with the standard IELTS syllabus, let us now check some details of it according to the particular sections:
Section 1 - General questions about you on familiar topics, such as family, work, studies, home and interests. The duration of his game is between 4 and 5 minutes
Section 2 - You will choose a card with a topic and talk about it. You will have one minute to prepare before speaking for up to two minutes. This will be followed by 2-3 questions from the examiner on the same topic.
Section 3 - You will be asked more questions on the same topic as in Task 2. These will give you the opportunity to discuss ideas and more complex issues. The duration of this task is the same as the 1st.
Task Type 1 – Multiple choices: The questions will consist of completing a sentence by choosing the correct option.
Task Type 2 - Credentials: You will be required to answer the question with "true", "false", or "not provided".
Task Type 3 - Identify Author's Views/Claims: You will need to answer the questions with "yes", "no" or "not given".
Task Type 4 – Matching Information: You will be asked to find specific details in the form of example, reason, description, comparison, summary and explanation.
IELTS - Writing Skill Test (Academic)
Task 1: You will need to describe facts or figures presented in one or more graphs, charts or tables on a related topic; or they can be given a diagram of a machine, device or process and asked to explain how it works.
Task 2: You will be given a topic to write about in an academic or semi-formal/neutral style.
IELTS - Writing Skill Test (General Training)
Task 1 - You will be presented with a situation and asked to write a letter requesting information or explaining the situation. The letter can be personal, semi-formal or formal.
Task 2 - You will be asked to write an essay in response to a point of view, an argument or an issue.
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In order to pass the IELTS exam, you need to prepare using the best possible study notes and resources. There are a plethora of high quality books and audio recordings available to help you prepare for the IELTS exam. Here are some of the most popular IELTS preparation books you should have in your library:
|No.||Name - Book for IELTS Preparation|
|1||Listening and Speaking Skills by Barry Cusack and Sam McCarter|
|2||IELTS General Training & Academic Study Guide|
|3||IELTS Preparation and Practice: Reading and Writing Academic Student Book|
|4||Success to IELTS: Tips and Techniques|
|5||IELTS Reading Tests by Sam McCarter|
|6||Check Your English Vocabulary for IELTS by Rawdon Wyatt|
|7||Improve Your IELTS Writing by Norman Whitby and Sam McCarter|
|8||Cambridge Grammar for IELTS|
|9||Ace the IELTS: IELTS General Module – How to Maximize Your Score|