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IELTS Exam Syllabus

IELTS Syllabus 2023-24– Overview

IELTS is a test of English language competency taken by applicants seeking to work, immigrate, or study abroad. The two main types of IELTS are Academic and General Training. The IELTS exam syllabus and pattern comprise 4 segments - speaking, listening, reading, and writing. The reading and writing sections will differ for both the academic and general test versions, but the speaking and listening sections will remain the same.

Here’s an overview of the IELTS exam syllabus for 2023-24:



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



Academic and general training versions of the IELTS writing test have different formats. The IELTS writing test consists of two tasks. The first task (Task 1) is a 150-word essay topic in which you need to either respond to the given scenario or provide your own description of the provided graph, table, chart, or diagram. In Task 2, you will be given a 250-word essay or an argument, and you need to do the same.  The IELTS writing test lasts for 60 minutes in total.

Three general interest texts are tested in the reading portion of the IELTS for students planning to pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees. Academic reading and general reading are assessed differently when taking the IELTS reading test.

Each of the two reading modules consists of three sections or passages with forty questions, which must be finished in sixty minutes. Numerous reading skills are assessed in the IELTS exam, including understanding logical arguments, skimming, reading for the main ideas, gist, and purpose, as well as identifying writers' opinions, attitudes, and goals.

The format of the IELTS listening test is similar for both general and academic categories - four sections to the listening test, each with ten questions. Two of the sections will be based on social context, while the remaining two will address education. You have thirty minutes to complete the questions after listening to the audio. Additionally, you need to transfer the answers within ten minutes. A variety of accents are included in the audio, but they can only be heard once.

The format of the IELTS speaking test will remain unchanged for academic and  IELTS general training assessments. The face-to-face oral interview portion of the IELTS speaking test evaluates your spoken English proficiency. The three components of this test are an introduction, a cue card, and a follow-up discussion. The test will take 11 to 14 minutes to complete, and it will be recorded for review.

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The Types of IELTS Exam: Academic and General Training

There are two versions of the test - Academic and General Training versions.

IELTS Academic

Candidates who wish to study abroad to pursue higher education or professional registration in nations with English as the primary language must take the IELTS Academic exam. So, you have to take the test to study in Canada, the UK, or the US. The goal of this test is to evaluate the student's basic listening, reading, writing, and speaking. It assesses overall English language proficiency for academic purposes. IELTS test results are accepted for study in nations like the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. This test lasts for two hours and forty-five minutes in total.

IELTS General

Applicants who wish to enroll in secondary education and training programs in English-speaking nations must take the IELTS General Training Test. Applicants wishing to obtain work experience or relocate to the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, or New Zealand may also take this test. This general training test will assess candidates' listening, reading, writing, and speaking abilities. You will be evaluated in this test based on your social and professional environments.

IELTS Exam Syllabus 2024: Section-Wise IELTS Syllabus

Below are the details of both IELTS reading tests in academic and general modules. Remember that you need to prepare accordingly.

IELTS Reading: Academic vs. General

IELTS reading syllabus: Three lengthy texts that can be factual, analytical, discursive, or descriptive make up the IELTS academic reading. Nonverbal elements like graphs, illustrations, and diagrams may also be included in the texts. The passages are taken from periodicals, books, journals, and magazines. The passages are intended for non-specialist audiences, specifically those who are seeking professional registration or higher education.

The IELTS General Training test has three sections, and the passages come from books, company handbooks, magazines, newspapers, advertisements, and notices.

The texts may be encountered frequently in an English-speaking setting. Section 1 of the test covers social survival and includes two to three shorter texts; Section 2 covers workplace survival and includes two texts; and Section 3 covers general reading and includes a longer text.

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IELTS Writing Section - Academic vs General

Here are the details of the IELTS syllabus for the writing test for both academic and general modules.

You need to attempt both Task 1 and Task 2, which cover topics of general interest, in the writing section. Test takers who wish to obtain professional registration or pursue undergraduate or graduate studies at foreign universities should take this test.

You are going to have 20 minutes to write a 150-word essay for Academic Writing Task 1. You will be asked to write, summarize, or explain in your own words visual information that you see, such as a map, chart, graph, diagram, or table. You might be asked to explain and characterize data, the steps in a process, the operation of an item, or an occasion.

You need to write a 250-word essay in writing task 2 expressing your thoughts about the given question. The reply must be written officially. There is a 40-minute time limit to finish Task 2. The set of questions can be two-part or double-ended, agree/disagree, advantage/disadvantage, problem/cause, and the solution, or discuss a point of view based on them.

You will be given a scenario in IELTS General Writing Task 1, and you need to write a letter requesting information or outlining the circumstances. The letter may be written in an informal, semi-formal, or formal manner. At least 150 words must be written in the letter. You have twenty minutes to finish this task. Your proficiency in adhering to English letter-writing conventions will be evaluated on this task.

You need to write an essay on this test in response to a problem, argument, or point of view. You will be asked to submit a 250-word essay in 40 minutes. The essay must have a distinctive voice. Your ability to adhere to English discursive writing conventions will be evaluated on this task.

Highlights of the IELTS Exam Pattern 2024

If you are applying for ILETS in 2024, you need to keep these points in mind -



30 minutes

4 sections for 4 recorded monologue speeches and the discussions with a total 40 number of questions


60 minutes

3 long reading comprehension passages with the test of descriptive, factual, and analytical concepts in tasks. Total 40 questions.


60 minutes

2 tasks that require short essays of 150-200 words each. Questions will be in the form of Graphs, charts, or diagrams. Candidates have to write essays by interpreting and describing the data.


11-14 minutes

3 part one-on-one conversation: 1 conversation on a familiar topic, a few short questions to answer, and 1 conversation on a structured topic.

The IELTS pattern has not changed significantly. For the paper-based test, the sections have been rearranged to read, write, and listen. That doesn't change, though, for the computer-based Listening, Reading, and Writing portions of the exam.

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Get the IELTS Exam Preparation Tips by

Here are a few tips provided by our IELTS tutors. Follow them and take a step closer to your dream of study abroad –

Read More

Make it a habit to read, pick up new words, and attempt to use them in the right contexts. Every day, the first thing to do should be to read or listen to English news in newspapers. You need to develop your ability to look for details and take notes while reading to hone your skills. Since you have a limited amount of time to respond, you need to manage the time limit.

Write Daily

Work on writing more quickly by practicing timely writing. You will be able to handle task 2, which is longer and requires more time, by honing your writing abilities. Make a note of the new terms and use them to construct sentences. Examine the task 2 question closely to ensure that all of its components have been covered. Work at your own pace so that you have time to go over what you've written.

Listen to the Language

You need to watch daily English news and write about it afterward. You only get one chance to hear the recording, so you need to pay attention and practice your listening skills to ensure that you don't miss anything. However, if you would like to listen to the tape again, repeat reading the script and take note of any helpful expressions. You ought to be aware of the precise questions posed and make sure you have the instructions. You can take IELTS coaching at

Expand Your Vocabulary

As your reading comprehension improves, be sure to pick up new vocabulary and apply it appropriately. You must read a lot to accomplish this. Make a note of the new terms and practice using them in suitable sentences. Read editorials and articles from various magazines to become familiar with the new vocabulary. To incorporate new words into your everyday speech, you must use them frequently.

Practise Speaking in English

The three sections to the listening section are a free interview with a set of questions, a structured interview, and a brief talk. For four to five minutes, you will be asked to answer two to three quick questions on well-known subjects. Talk in English for a while during this practice, paying close attention to your pronunciation. To become knowledgeable about various subjects and be able to speak about them, read and listen to a variety of topics. Learn your speaking weaknesses and strengths by recording yourself.

Follow these tips to be ready to achieve a good band score on the IELTS test.

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Frequently Asked Questions on IELTS Exam Syllabus

The syllabus for the IELTS test contains four sections. They are –

  • Reading
  • Speaking
  • Writing
  • Listening  

The reading and writing portions of the IELTS test for both types of the test —Academic and General—are distinct from one another, but the speaking and listening portions stay the same.

Although the IELTS is a difficult test, passing it is undoubtedly possible. If you put in enough time and effort and prepare for the IELTS, you ought to be able to pass the IELTS and advance to the next level of your English language learning.

You are allowed to study for the IELTS at home if you have a thorough understanding of the test's IELTS academic and IELTS general structure. This will help you approach the preparation methodically and systematically. But the problem is that it is not as easy as it sounds.

As a student, it can get confusing for you to focus on the approach. It is better if somebody sets the approach for your IELTS general training because you are required to focus on the IELTS academic syllabus and preparation.

The IELTS syllabus is divided into four parts – listening, reading, writing and speaking. The first three sections of the test—listening, reading, and writing—will be administered to you all on the same day with no breaks in between. Depending on local arrangements, you will take the speaking test seven days prior to or following that day.

In the reading portion for the IELTS exam, you need to read three distinct passages and answer questions pertaining to them. The Reading section of IELTS academic and general training exams has distinct content. Three lengthy texts ranging from factual and descriptive to analytical and discursive in nature.

Though there are no major changes in the pattern of the exam, the order of sections has changed a bit recently for the paper-based test. Earlier, as per the exam pattern, it was listening, reading, writing, and now, it is writing, listening, reading. But for the computer-based test, it remains the same as before.

In addition to generic questions about clothing, free time, computers, and the internet, test takers may also be asked about their home, family, work, studies, hobbies, and interests in the IELTS general training part of the exam.

IELTS general syllabus includes the following topics -

  • Education
  • Art
  • Advertising
  • Natural environment
  • Family
  • Health
  • Technology

Based on the IELTS exam pattern, you need to write an essay or state a point of view argument or problem on the above-mentioned topics.

The IELTS test is the test administered to check your English proficiency skill before you go to study abroad. Therefore, it is not required to study math for this test. But other tests that are usually administered for you to study in foreign universities, like the GRE, require math.

The official website of the International English Language Testing System or IELTS keeps constantly posting about the syllabus for the IELTS exam and other crucial details for the students who take the IELTS exam. But if you are registered for the IELTS with the AbroaAdvice, you need not visit the website for the information anymore. We will keep sending you are going to receive notifications on a timely basis.

Components of the IELTS academic syllabus are – writing, reading, listening and speaking. Other than these, the other important components are – grammatical range and accuracy, coherence and cohesion. The test is divided into two modules – academic and general. Among the major components, listening and speaking are the same in both modules, whereas reading and writing are different.

The IELTS grammar syllabus is flexible. The topic of grammar permeates every area of the IELTS evaluation. But there are some subjects you should cover in-depth for a better band score. These are nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs, tenses, prepositions, conjunctions, etc.

Compared to other tests, the format of the IELTS is different. There are modules for both Academic and General Training, each with a distinct function. The General Training module is for work or immigration purposes, while the IELTS academic module is appropriate for applicants seeking to study at the undergraduate or graduate level. There is no specific IELTS course syllabus. Similarly, other tests also do not have a hard and fast syllabus, but all of them focus on the important sections of grammar.

The IELTS Listening test is divided into four sections:

  • Two-person conversation: like in an everyday social context.
  • A speech or talk with just one person
  • Four or more people having a conversation in an instructional or training setting
  • A single speaker discussing an academic topic.

First of all, in both Speaking and Writing Tasks 1 and 2, it represents a 25% feature of the band score. As per the IELTS syllabus, our vocabulary knowledge also directly affects your Listening and Reading Band because your vocabulary is actively tested along with other test items.

Student Reviews On IELTS Exam Syllabus

  • Student Reviews About IELTS syllabus

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  • Helpful Writing Tips

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