IELTS - Syllabus

The IELTS exam has two categories:

  • IELTS Academic Exam 
  • IELTS General Exam

The candidate can choose between one of these tests depending on the requirement (to study overseas/migrate/work).

IELTS Syllabus - Description
No. of Questions

IELTS  Listening

This section consists of four recorded monologues and dialogues.


30 + 10 mins

IELTS Reading

This section contains three long passages, and tasks are assigned to each passage. The texts under the reading section are descriptive, factual, discursive and analytical. It also includes non-verbal content like diagrams and graphs. These texts are taken from books, journals and newspapers.


60 mins

IELTS Writing

This section consists of two tasks. The first task is a summarisation/explanation of the given table, graph or diagram in at least 150 words.

The second task is writing an essay of at least 250 words.


60 mins

IELTS Speaking

This session is a face-to-face interview that includes brief questions and talking in detail about a particular topic.


11-14 mins 

IELTS Syllabus 2023: The following are the syllabi for the Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking sections in the IELTS exam.

1.IELTS Syllabus 2023- IELTS Academic:

  • IELTS Syllabus - IELTS writing task 1 & IELTS writing task 2

This section comprises two tasks, i.e., IELTS writing task 1 and IELTS writing task 2.  The topics focus on general topics and are related to students looking to apply for undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.

As part of IELTS writing task 1, the candidate will be given a sheet containing a table and a graph or an illustration. The candidate will then have to summarise the information and explain the given data in their own words. In the IELTS writing task 1, the explanation has to be coherent with a clear conclusion.

For IELTS writing task 2, the candidate must write an essay based on the summarised content from the given data. In the IELTS writing task 2, the candidate must support their arguments with data and examples in strictly formal language.

  • IELTS General Writing:

The General Writing section also comprises two tasks, i.e., IELTS writing task 1 and IELTS writing task 2. However, this is comparatively easier.

The IELTS writing task 1 involves writing a letter based on a particular situation. The language can be formal, semi-formal or personal depending on the situation.

The IELTS writing task 2 involves writing an essay based on the content of the letter from task 1. The candidate must present their opinions and arguments with suitable examples.


2.IELTS Reading Section:

  • IELTS Reading (IELTS Reading - Academic):

The IELTS reading section comprises three long passages that are analytical, discursive, descriptive and factual. These are authentic texts taken from newspapers, research papers, journals, books and magazines. 

  • IELTS Reading - (IELTS Reading - General)

The IELTS reading section is similar to academic reading. In this section, the passages are taken from ads and brochures. The language in this section is relatively more accessible.

3.IELTS Listening Section:

The IELTS Listening section consists of four parts. All the audio recordings are 3 minutes long, and they are a combination of monologues and dialogues. The audio will be played only once, and the candidate will have to answer a range of questions based on the audio inputs. The questions can be multiple-choice, note/sentence completion, brief-answer questions, and even labelling a diagram. 

  • IELTS listening section 1 and 2 are based on daily social situations.

IELTS Listening Audio 1: A conversation between two people in a regular social situation.

IELTS Listening Audio 2: A simple monologue based on a daily life situation.

  • IELTS listening section 3 and 4 are based on educational or professional situations.

IELTS Listening Audio 3: A conversation between four people in an educational or training setup.

IELTS Listening Audio 4: A monologue on a particular academic subject.

4.IELTS Speaking Section:

IELTS Speaking Test is a formal, structured, one-to-one interview between the examiner and candidate. The interview will focus on the candidate's general speaking skills and assess if they have sufficient knowledge and language skills to communicate effectively.

No. of Questions in IELTS Speaking Test: 3

  • Personal Interview
  • Speech
  • Discussion
  1. IELTS Speaking Test- Personal Interview: This is a brief interview where the examiner will pose questions about the candidate's background, family and interests.
  2. IELTS Speaking Test- Speech: For this section, the candidate will be given a flashcard with a particular topic. The candidate will be given two minutes to prepare before they start their speech. The examiner will then pose questions based on the candidate's response.
  3. IELTS Speaking Test- Discussion: This section involves in-depth discussions on specific abstracts; profound and essential topics.
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