IELTS Exam Syllabus: Important Tips, Exam Pattern And More

IELTS is known as the International English Language testing system. This English exam is required to be taken by candidates who are looking to study or work abroad in countries where English is the native language like the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. The IELTS exam syllabus deals with the ability to communicate in English language. The IELTS exam syllabus mainly focuses on the basic skills of a candidate such as Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. It is graded on a scale of 1-9. IELTS

In this article, let us look at:

  1. Types of IELTS Exam
  2. IELTS Exam Pattern
  3. IELTS Section-wise Syllabus
  4. Preparation Tips for IELTS

1. Types of IELTS Exam

The English exam has various formats as detailed. The IELTS exam syllabus is focused on the four main modules.

IELTS Academic:

IELTS academic is for candidates who are planning to study higher education or professional certification or registration to the countries with English as a native language. The main purpose of this exam is to check if the candidate is ready to pursue education in English language.

IELTS General:

IELTS General Training is for candidates who are planning to migrate or to study a training program and gain work experience in any English speaking nation. This exam focuses on the basic survival skills of a candidate in a broad social and workplace environment.

2. IELTS Exam Pattern

The IELTS exam syllabus and pattern is the same for both IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training. Here is the IELTS exam pattern in brief:

ListeningIt consists of four audio recordings30 minutes40
ReadingThree long passages with questions60 minutes40
WritingTwo TasksTask1: 150 words- describe a diagram or graphTask2: 250 Words- a short essay60 minutes2
SpeakingA face-face interview- it includes introduction, short questions, a familiar topic and structured discussion11-15 minutes3 Parts

3. IELTS Section-wise Syllabus

IELTS exam syllabus 2021 includes all the details of the exam pattern. The IELTS exam  portion helps candidates to prepare in order to show the English language skills to  study or work in an English speaking country. 

A) Listening Syllabus

IELTS listening syllabus is designed to assess the listening skills which tests how well you understand the ideas and specific factual information, recognize the opinion and the attitude of the speaker and follow an argument. You can listen to the recording only once. The IELTS academic and IELTS general test consists of the same Listening questions. A variety of questions like multiple choice, matching, diagram, and flowchart, short answer questions, etc.

This section consists of four tasks with a total of 40 marks. There will be a total of 40 questions with a time limit of 30 minutes. You will be given 10 minutes to copy your answers to the answer sheet. 

The IELTS test format for listening module:

The first two recordings are about everyday and social situation

Task 1: A conversation between two people set in a daily context

Task 2: A monologue set in a social context e.g.: speech about local facilities

The recordings 3 and 4 are about educational and training situation

Task 3: A conversation set among 4 people in an educational or a training context e.g.: a university tutor and students

Task 4: A monologue on an academic subject e.g.: a lecture

B) Reading Syllabus

This module is to read quickly & efficiently and manage the time. This section has three different passages. You have to answer 40 questions in a time span of 60 minutes. You are supposed to note down the answers during the 60 minutes no extra time will be given. The question variants will be multiple choice, identifying information, matching information, and sentence completion, short answer questions and table completion

The IELTS reading test is designed to assess how well you read and understand the general sense of a passage and the main idea in detail. IELTS academic syllabus is also used to evaluate how well you understand inferences and imply meaning, recognize a writer’s opinion, attitudes and purpose and follow the development of an argument.

IELTS Academic Syllabus and pattern reading module consists of three reading passages of medium length which are taken from journals, books, magazines and newspapers. The passages deal with issues which are appropriate and accessible to candidates entering in undergraduate or postgraduate or professional recognition. The passages are written in various styles such as narrative, descriptive, discursive or argumentative. Texts may contain diagrams, graphs or illustrations. You have to recognize the purpose, attitude or opinions of the writers of these passages.

The IELTS General Syllabus and pattern in reading has three sections. Section 1 may contain two or more than two short texts. Section 2 contains two texts and Section 3 has one long text.

·        Section1- Social Survival- The text contains tasks mainly about retrieving and providing general information

·        Section2- Workplace Survival- The text focuses on the workplace context.

·        Section3- General Reading- The text involves reading more content with a complex structure. The emphasis is on descriptive and instructive rather than argumentative.

PS: It is important to learn the IELTS grammar syllabus in order to identify the tone and attitude of the writer.

C) Writing Syllabus

The IELTS writing test is a 60 minute duration module where candidates are required to write two tasks. The IELTS paper pattern in writing is designed to assess on how well you write a response, appropriately structure your ideas and use a range of vocabulary and proper grammar.

IELTS Exam syllabus- Academic

 The IELTS academic writing pattern and syllabus has two tasks. You are required to spend 20 minutes writing approximately 150 words to complete task 1 and 40 minutes to write 250 words for Task 2.

Task 1- You are required to describe the given graph, table, chart or diagram or summarize and explain the data and the stages of a process on how something works or describe an object or event.

Task 2- You will be asked to write an essay in the form of an argument or respond from a point of view in a formal style. 

IELTS Exam Syllabus- General

The IELTS General Test format and syllabus writing has two tasks. You are required to spend 20 minutes writing approximately 150 words to complete task 1 and 40 minutes to write 250 words for Task 2.

Task1- You are required to write a letter requesting information or explaining the situation based on the given situation. Task2- Write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or a problem.

PS: Learn IELTS test syllabus and grammar points thoroughly in order to score high.

D) Speaking Syllabus

The IELTS Course syllabus for speaking is the same for both the IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training Tests. The IELTS speaking test is designed to assess skills on how well you can communicate opinions and information on everyday topics and common experiences, speak at length on a given topic, express your ideas, justify your opinions and analyze and discuss issues.

The duration is 11-14 minutes long. You will speak to a certified Examiner. The test is close to real life situations and interactive. The test is divided into three parts.

·        Part 1 (4-5 minutes): Introduction and Identity check. There will be general questions on many familiar topics like home, family, work etc.

·        Part 2 (3-4 Minutes): A task card will be given. You’ll have to talk about a particular topic and the points on which you’ll have to speak are also mentioned on the card.

·        Part 3 (4-5 minutes): There will be further questions on the topic you spoke in Part2.

4. Preparation Tips for IELTS

There are two ways to prepare for the IELTS exam. You can prepare by yourself at home or attend a coaching class. If you are confident enough and have a study partner you can prepare online at home.

Here are few tips for the preparation:

  • Learn the IELTS exam syllabus and pattern.
  • It helps to plan the study easily.
  • Practice more. More the practice more the score
  • Learn your weakness and work on it.
  • Know the difference between IELTS Syllabus Academic and General.
  • Take a live mock test to familiarize the test environment.

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