IELTS Syllabus

IELTS Syllabus 2020

IELTS Syllabus 2020

The IELTS Syllabus is prescribed by its administrators namely British Council, IDP and Cambridge ESOL Examinations for both the formats, i.e. IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training. The IELTS Exam consists of Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking sections. According to the IELTS Syllabus 2020, the Listening and Speaking sections would be the same for all the test-takers, however, for Academic and General Training test modules you might find some difference in the Reading and Writing modules.

Exam Pattern of IELTS 2020

In order to help you prepare well for the IELTS exam, it is important for you to know the IELTS Exam Pattern well in advance.

Exam Name Total Duration SECTIONAL DURATION Conducting bodies Score Pattern
Reading Listening Writing Speaking
IELTS 2 hours 45 minutes 60 minutes 40 minutes 60 minutes 11 – 14 minutes British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and the University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations (Cambridge ESOL). Band scale (0-9)

According to the 2020 test pattern, the Listening, Reading and Writing tests are conducted on the same day while you might have to take the speaking module on the same day itself or you might need to take it within seven days prior to the Listening, Reading and Writing test.  You must ensure that you are able to take the test on your given test date. You should also consider that each college/ university has its own deadline to receive the IELTS scores, therefore you must calculate the time period before choosing your test date.

IELTS Exam Syllabus 2020

Let us take a look at the IELTS Syllabus 2020 section wise. In order to understand each component better, below is a detailed explanation.

IELTS Test Component

1. Listening (Same for Academic and General Training)

  • It includes four sections, 40 items
  • One is a conversation between two individuals
  • Second is a monologue/speech
  • The third section is a conversation among a maximum of four people set in an academic setting
  • The final one is a monologue on an academic subject

Please note that each section is heard only once.

2. Reading (Different for Academic and General Training)

  • It includes three sections, 40 items
  • You need to read the text passages and answer questions in multiple-choice, sentence completion, summary writing, matching information, short-answers
  • Each passage consists of 13-14 questions
  • The reading module has in total of 40 questions
  • Reading passages and questions are different in Academic and General Training IELTS

a) Reading-IELTS Academic

  • The syllabus includes three long texts
  • Subject matter range from the descriptive and factual to the discursive and analytical.
  • The texts are authentic and are taken from books, journals, magazines, and newspapers.
  • These are selected for a non-specialist audience
  • Appropriate for candidates entering university courses or seeking professional registration abroad.

b) Reading- IELTS General Training

  • Requires candidates to read extracts from books, magazines, newspapers, notices, advertisements, company handbooks, and guidelines.
  • These are materials one is likely to encounter on a daily basis in an English speaking environment.

3. Writing (Different for Academic and General Training)

  • It includes two tasks
  • Topics are of general interest and suitable for candidates planning undergraduate and postgraduate studies abroad or seeking professional registration.
  • In Task I, you will be presented with a graph, table, chart or diagram and asked to describe, summarise or explain the information in your own words.
  • In Task 2, you will be asked to write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem.

4. Speaking (Same for Academic and General Training)

  • Three-part one-on-one conversation
  • The test will be recorded for evaluation purposes and will consist of three parts that simulate a face-to-face oral interview with an examiner.
  • The Speaking component assesses the candidates’ use of spoken English; takes between 11 to 14 minutes to complete.
  • The entire speaking test is recorded by the examiner.
  • In Part I, you will be asked questions about oneself and a range of familiar topics, such as home, family, work, studies and interests.
  • Part I is for about four and five minutes.
  • In Part II, you will be given a card asking you to talk about a particular topic. You will be given one minute to prepare before speaking.
  • In Part III, the questions you will be asked will be connected to the Part II topics.

As per the IELTS guidelines, there are no eligibility criteria for IELTS. It tests you on the basis of four skill sets which we have discussed above. You must note that the selection process through IELTS differs from institution to institution. However, it is suggested that you keep yourself updated of the selection procedure of the college/university you are applying to.

Good Luck!

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