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IELTS Exam Syllabus

IELTS Exam Syllabus

Hey there, aspiring IELTS conquerors! Are you ready to unravel the mysteries of the IELTS exam syllabus? Look no further, your trusty guide, is here to set you on this thrilling language adventure.

IELTS Syllabus 2023 – Overview

Here’s an overview of the IELTS exam syllabus for 2023:



Number of questions/Duration


Band Descriptors/Band Score


Audio recordings with various question types

40 questions/30 minutes




Texts from books, newspapers, and magazines with comprehension questions

40 questions/60 minutes




Two tasks: Task 1 (report/summary) and Task 2 (essay

2 tasks/60 minutes




Face-to-face interview to evaluate fluency, vocabulary, grammar, and coherence

3 parts/11-14 minutes



Types of IELTS Exam

IELTS Academic:

The IELTS Academic exam consists of four sections:

  1. Listening: In the listening section, candidates are presented with audio recordings of lectures, conversations, and monologues. They must answer a series of questions to assess their listening comprehension skills.
  2. Reading: The reading section of IELTS Academic includes three long texts sourced from books, journals, and magazines that are complex in vocabulary and content. Candidates must answer questions that evaluate their reading comprehension skills.
  3. Writing: The writing section involves 2 tasks. Task 1 involves summarising, describing, or explaining visual information like graphs or charts. Task 2 requires writing an essay on a given topic.
  4. Speaking: The speaking section is a face-to-face interview with an examiner that assesses their ability to express ideas, communicate fluently, and use a range of vocabulary and grammatical structures.

IELTS General Training:

The IELTS General Training exam is intended for individuals planning to migrate to an English-speaking country for work, immigration, or training purposes. It includes:

  1. Listening: This section evaluates candidates' ability to understand spoken English in various everyday situations.
  2. Reading: This section includes passages sourced from newspapers & advertisements designed to test candidates' reading skills in real-life situations.
  3. Writing: The writing tasks involve writing a letter based on a given scenario, while Task 2 involves writing an essay on a general topic. These tasks assess candidates' ability to communicate effectively in different written formats.
  4. Speaking: The speaking section again evaluates candidates' spoken English skills through a face-to-face conversation with an examiner.

What is the structure of the IELTS exam?

The IELTS exam consists of the following sections. The total test duration is approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes.

Listening Section:

  • Duration: 30 minutes
  • Format: Four recorded audio passages played through headphones. Candidates listen and answer questions based on the content of the recordings.
  • Question Types: Multiple choice, matching, labeling diagrams, completing sentences, and short-answer questions.

Reading Section:

  • Duration: 60 minutes
  • Format: Three reading passages are taken from various sources. Candidates read the passages and answer questions to test their comprehension skills.
  • Question Types: Multiple choice, identifying information, matching headings, True/False/Not Given, sentence completion, and short-answer questions.

Writing Section:

  • Duration: 60 minutes
  • Format: Two writing tasks to assess different writing skills.

Task 1: Candidates write a report, summary, or description of visual information, such as graphs, charts, or diagrams.

Task 2: Candidates write an essay in response to a given topic or statement, expressing their opinions or arguments.

Speaking Section:

  • Duration: 11-14 minutes
  • Format: A face-to-face interview with an examiner to evaluate candidates' spoken English skills.

Part 1: Introduction and general questions about familiar topics (e.g., hobbies, family, work).

Part 2: Candidates are given a topic and have one minute to prepare and speak about it for two minutes.

Part 3: Discussion on the topic from Part 2, focusing on abstract ideas, opinions, or more in-depth discussion.

Each section of the exam has specific question formats and scoring criteria, and the band scores range from 0 to 9, indicating different levels of English proficiency.

IELTS Exam Syllabus 2023: Section-Wise IELTS Syllabus

Here, you will find a comprehensive breakdown of the section-wise syllabus, providing valuable insights into what to expect in each component of the IELTS exam. Let's delve into the details and equip you for success!

IELTS Writing Section:

Format: The IELTS Writing section consists of two tasks. Task 1 requires candidates to summarise, describe, or explain visual information (graphs, charts, diagrams). Task 2 involves writing an essay on a given topic or argument.

Question Types: Task 1 may include line graphs, bar charts, pie charts, tables, or diagrams. Task 2 presents a topic or statement for candidates to respond to with an argument, discuss advantages and disadvantages, or express their opinion.

Skills Tested: The Writing section assesses candidates' ability to organize and present information effectively, use appropriate vocabulary and grammar, express opinions clearly, and support arguments with relevant examples.


  1. Practice time management to allocate sufficient time for both tasks.
  2. Analyse sample questions and model answers to understand task requirements.
  3. Focus on paragraph structure, coherence, and using a variety of vocabulary and sentence structures.
  4. Plan and outline your responses before writing to ensure a well-structured and cohesive essay.

IELTS Reading Section:

Format: The IELTS Reading section comprises three texts sourced from books, magazines, newspapers, or online articles. Candidates are required to answer questions based on the provided passages.

Question Types: Question types in the Reading section include multiple-choice, matching information, True/False/Not Given, sentence completion, matching headings, and identifying information.

Skills Tested: The Reading section evaluates candidates' reading comprehension skills, including understanding main ideas, supporting details, implied information, vocabulary in context, and the ability to locate specific information.


  1. Develop skimming and scanning techniques to locate relevant information efficiently.
  2. Practice time management to complete all questions within the given time.
  3. Pay attention to instructions and question types.
  4. Read actively, underlining keywords, and take notes while reading.
  5. Practice reading different types of texts to improve reading speed and comprehension.

IELTS Listening Section:

Format: The IELTS Listening section consists of four audio recordings played only once. Candidates listen to the recordings and answer questions based on what they hear.

Question Types: Question types in the Listening section include multiple-choice, matching, labeling diagrams or maps, form completion, note completion, and sentence completion.

Skills Tested: The Listening section evaluates candidates' listening comprehension skills, including understanding main ideas, specific details, opinions, and factual information. It also assesses the ability to follow conversations, identify speakers' attitudes, and infer meaning.


  1. Familiarise yourself with different English accents by listening to a variety of audio materials.
  2. Practice active listening by focusing on keywords and contextual clues.
  3. Use the time given to read the questions before each recording starts.
  4. Take notes while listening to help answer questions accurately.
  5. Pay attention to specific details and avoid getting distracted by irrelevant information.

IELTS Speaking Section:

Introduction: The IELTS Speaking section is a face-to-face interview designed to assess candidates' spoken English skills. It consists of three parts: Introduction, Long Turn, and Discussions.

Long Turn: In this part, candidates are given a topic and have one to two minutes to prepare their responses. They must speak for one to two minutes on the given topic.

Discussions: The examiner asks follow-up questions related to the topic discussed in the Long Turn. This part aims to engage candidates in a deeper conversation, expressing opinions, providing examples, and discussing abstract ideas.

How can I prepare for the IELTS exam?

To effectively prepare for the IELTS exam, consider the following steps:

  • Understand the exam format and familiarise yourself with the question types.
  • Practice regularly with official IELTS sample tests and study materials.
  • Seek guidance from experienced tutors or enroll in an IELTS preparation course.
  • Set specific goals, create a study schedule, and track your progress.
  • Use online resources, such as practice apps and language learning platforms, to supplement your preparation.

How many times can I take IELTS?

There is no such limit; you can take the test as often as you wish to improve your scores or fulfill specific requirements. However, preparing thoroughly before retaking the exam is advisable to ensure better results. All you need to do is to register and pay the exam fee for each attempt.

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Frequently Asked Questions by Students

The IELTS (International English Language Testing System) syllabus includes four main language skills: Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking. It is important because IELTS is a widely recognised English proficiency test used for immigration, study, and work purposes in English-speaking countries. The syllabus assesses a candidate's ability to effectively communicate in English, making it crucial for individuals seeking opportunities abroad and institutions evaluating English language proficiency.

The IELTS exam syllabus covers four key components:

  • Listening:Candidates listen to recorded conversations and answer questions.
  • Reading: Assessing reading comprehension through passages and questions.
  • Writing:Evaluating the ability to write essays and reports.
  • Speaking:A face-to-face interview assessing spoken English.

You can visit our official website or for detailed information about the IELTS syllabus. They provide comprehensive information about each test component, including sample questions, test formats, and scoring criteria. Additionally, you can find official IELTS preparation materials and resources on our website to help you understand the syllabus and prepare effectively for the exam. Another way is simply to drop in your queries, and our experts will be in touch with you to solve your queries.

The IELTS exam syllabus comprises four main components:

  • Listening: Candidates listen to a range of recorded materials, including conversations and monologues, and answer questions to assess their comprehension.
  • Reading: Evaluates reading comprehension skills through various texts, including articles, essays, and advertisements, followed by questions that test understanding.
  • Writing: Measures the ability to express ideas through Task 1 (describing visual information) and Task 2 (writing an essay on a given topic).
  • Speaking: Assesses spoken English through a face-to-face interview involving various tasks, such as an introduction, a short speech, and a discussion on a given topic.

The IELTS exam doesn’t have a specific grammar syllabus that candidates must follow. However, grammar is essential to the assessment criteria in all exam sections, including writing and speaking. It's important to have a strong grasp of English grammar rules and usage. Preparing for IELTS involves practising grammar in context and developing overall language proficiency and communication skills.

The IELTS exam syllabus and pattern differ in key ways from other English proficiency tests. Unlike some tests focusing solely on academic English, IELTS assesses academic and general language proficiency. It includes a face-to-face speaking component, which differentiates it from computer-based tests. Additionally, IELTS has a band score system that allows for a more detailed evaluation of candidates' language abilities. 

The IELTS listening section syllabus includes four recordings of native English speakers. It covers a range of contexts and accents, including conversations, monologues, and discussions. Candidates are tested on their ability to understand main ideas, details, opinions, and specific information. There are four parts to the listening section, each with ten questions, and the difficulty increases progressively. Test-takers listen to each recording only once and write their answers as they listen.

Certainly! The IELTS reading section syllabus consists of three passages, each from academic and general contexts. Candidates must read and comprehend the text, answering various question types, including multiple-choice, True/False/Not Given, and matching information. The passages become progressively more complex, and the test assesses skills such as understanding main ideas, identifying details, recognising logical arguments, and inferring implied meanings. For further queries, you can feel free to contact our tutors.

There were no significant changes in the IELTS exam syllabus and pattern except for the sequence. 

  • Earlier, it was: Listening - Reading - Writing- Speaking. 
  • The updated one is Writing - Listening - Reading - Speaking.

You can find comprehensive information about the official IELTS syllabus for academic and general training on our website. We have compiled detailed resources and insights to help you understand the test components, sample questions, and scoring criteria. Visit our website to access valuable guidance and enhance your IELTS preparation for a successful academic or immigration journey. 

To prepare for the IELTS Speaking section based on the syllabus:

  • Understand the format:Comprehend the three parts of the exam.
  • Vocabulary enhancement:Build vocabulary through reading and listening.
  • Pronunciation:Focus on clear pronunciation.
  • Mock interviews: Simulate exam conditions with a partner.
  • Part 1:Prepare answers for personal questions.
  • Part 2: Practice speaking for 1-2 minutes on given topics.

The IELTS Writing syllabus covers a range of topics for Task 1 (Academic and General Training) and Task 2 (Both):

Task 1 (Academic):

  • Describing visual data (graphs, charts, tables).
  • Explaining processes.

Task 1 (General Training):

  • Writing a formal, semi-formal, or informal letter based on various situations.

Task 2 (Both Academic and General Training):

  • Writing essays on diverse themes, such as education, technology, environment, society, and culture.

Vocabulary is pivotal in the IELTS syllabus, impacting reading comprehension, writing coherence, and speaking fluency. A strong vocabulary aids in understanding complex texts, expressing ideas clearly in essays and articulating responses in the speaking section. It's a key factor in achieving higher scores and showcasing language proficiency.

There were no significant changes in the IELTS exam syllabus and pattern except for the sequence. 

  • Earlier, it was: Listening - Reading - Writing- Speaking. 
  • The updated one is Writing - Listening - Reading - Speaking.

The IELTS exam assesses English language proficiency and consists of four sections: Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking. Each section is scored on a scale of 0 to 9. The marking criteria include accuracy, coherence, and fluency in speaking and writing, as well as comprehension and ability to find information in listening and reading. Overall band scores are calculated by averaging the scores of the four sections.

Following a structured IELTS syllabus or study plan can significantly enhance your preparation and chances of success. It helps you cover all relevant skills and topics systematically. However, individual learning styles vary, so some may succeed with flexible study approaches. Ultimately, focused practice, familiarisation with test formats, and targeted skill improvement are key to success.

Here are some tips for excelling in the IELTS exam:

  • Practice regularly with official IELTS materials.
  • Familiarise yourself with the test format and timing.
  • Improve your English skills in all areas: reading, writing, listening, and speaking.
  • Focus on vocabulary and grammar.
  • Take practice tests to simulate exam conditions.
  • Work on time management during the test.
  • Get feedback from teachers or tutors for improvement.

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