IELTS Academic test

  • By Kanan Team
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IELTS is the most preferred English language proficiency test for individuals who want to study, work and settle in English speaking countries like the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, etc. The IELTS test is of two types: the IELTS academic test and the IELTS general training test. The IELTS academic test is the language skill test that is used particularly for education purposes. The students who dream of pursuing their higher education in the top universities of the globe are required to appear for the IELTS academic test.

The IELTS academic test is conducted by the Cambridge, British Council and the IDP. The test syllabus is formulated by the conducting board and the exam is conducted in different centres across India. You can register for the exam through their official website. You are allowed to attend the test any number of times within a year. In this article we will be seeing about all the necessary details of the IELTS academic test. 

Who should take the IELTS academic test

The IELTS academic test can be taken by,

  • Aspirants looking for higher education admissions in international universities can take the IELTS academic test.
  • Candidates seeking professional registrations should apply for the IELTS academic test.

What is the IELTS academic test format

Knowing the IELTS academic test format will make your test preparation simple. The IELTS academic test consists of four sections namely, reading, writing, listening, and speaking. The overall test duration will be around 2 hours and 45 minutes. The reading, listening and writing sections will be completed in a single day. The speaking section will be conducted on a separate day with a certified examiner. The IELTS academic test format  is briefly explained below. 

IELTS academic reading test

Your overall reading skill is tested in the IELTS academic reading test. Here you will be reading the passages taken from the books, publications, journals, and articles from academic background and answering the questions. You have to read, understand the main idea and answer the question type within the stipulated time. 

Format

In the reading section, you will have three sections. Each section comprises a passage followed by questions. You have to read the passage and answer the question based on the passage. The passages will be of factual or descriptive format thus charts, diagrams, etc are also used. 

Skills assessed

  • Understanding of the overall meaning of the passage.
  • Main idea identification
  • Spotting for specific information
  • Identifying the writer’s opinion or perspective on the particular topics.
  • Way to express your statement based on the passage.

Task duration

The IELTS academic reading test duration is 60 minutes.

Number of questions

There are 40 questions in the IELTS academic reading section.

Task types

There are 14 question types in the IELTS academic reading section. They are as follows,

  1. Matching headings
  2. Locating information
  3. Summary completion
  4. Matching sentence endings
  5. Diagram labelling
  6. Flowchart completion
  7. Notes completion
  8. Multiple choice questions
  9. True false not given questions
  10. Yes no not given questions
  11. Short answer questions
  12. Sentence completion
  13. Matching features
  14. Table completion

Total marks

The total marks for this action will be 40. Each question carries one mark. 

Marking criteria

Band score 1-9 for this section will be given based on the number of correct answers given. Here your basic language understanding, way to interpret the information from the passage and your vocabulary are analysed from your answers. 

To know more about this section, visit the  IELTS academic reading test

IELTS academic listening test

In the IELTS academic listening test, you will be listening to audio clips of conversations or speach from the native speakers to answer the given questions. The recordings can be heard only once and the answer will be given in the progressive order. You will be hearing different voices and native accents in the recordings.

Format

The IELTS academic listening test consists of 4 sections, to answer the question series. 

  1. In recordording 1, you will be listening to the conversation between two people about any common topic.
  2. In recording 2, a monologue on a social context will be played.
  3. In recording 3, the discussion between two or more people will be given. The topic will be on academic background.
  4. The recording 4 will be a monologue on any academic topic by a native speaker.

Skills assessed

The following skills will be assessed in the listening test,

  • Main idea understanding
  • Factual information identification
  • Opinion, argument and perception recognition
  • Ability to follow the audio context
  • Identifying the purpose of communication.

Task duration

The IELTS academic listening test duration is 40 minutes and a separate 10 minutes will be given for transferring the answers to the paper. 

Number of questions

40 questions will be asked in the IELTS academic listening section.

Task types

The different types of questions given in the IELTS academic listening section will include

  1. Matching
  2. Table completion
  3. Note completion
  4. Multiple choice questions
  5. Sentence completion
  6. Short answer questions
  7. Summary completion
  8. Flowchart completion
  9. plan/ diagram labelling
  10. Form completion

Total marks

Each question will be scored 1 mark and a total 40 marks will be awarded for this section. Based on your performance, the score will be converted to 1-9 band score.

Marking criteria

The marking system is based on the number of correct answers given. Your scores will be given in whole or half bands. 

IELTS academic speaking test

Your speaking skill will be assessed in the IELTS academic speaking test. Here you will be interacting with the certified examiner to introduce yourself and have a discussion on a common topic. This test is conducted to check how well you can understand and respond to the native speaker. 

Format

The IELTS academic speaking test is conducted in 3 rounds. 

  1. In the first round, you will be introducing yourself to the examiner. Here you can explain about your achievements, your reasons to travel abroad etc.
  2. In the second round, the examiner will be giving you a topic to talk about and some notes also will be given. You will have a few minutes to prepare and to take notes. Then you have to talk for 2-3 minutes portraying your opinion about the topic uninterrupted.
  3. The third round will be a discussion round, where you are required to have a short discussion with the examiner about the topic you have spoken about in the second round.

Skills assessed

  • Communication skills
  • Appropriate language usage
  • Fluency and flow of words
  • Expressing and justification skills
  • Vocabulary
  • Responding speed
  • Idea alignment and concept thinking

Task duration

The IELTS academic speaking test is conducted for 11-14 minutes. Here the first 4-5 minutes will be spent in the introduction round, followed by 2-4 minutes in the topic speech. The last 4-5 minutes will be used for discussion. 

Number of questions

Here the rounds are considered as questions and thus there will be 3 questions in this section.

Task types

The 3 types of tasks in the IELTS academic speaking section will be 

  1. Introduction
  2. Individual speech or cue card or long turn speaking
  3. Discussion

Total marks

In this section you will be marked between the band scores 1-9 based on your performance.

Marking criteria

The speaking test is marked based on the evaluation done during your speaking section. The criterias noted are fluency, coherence, legibility, pronunciation, grammar, and lexical resources. The session will be recorded.  

IELTS academic writing test

In the writing task you will be used to check your writing ability through two tasks. You must be careful in understanding the given question and give the required response in your own words. You will be describing a situation or explaining a process or sharing your view on a particular topic.

Format 

The writing module consists of two tasks.

  1. Task 1: You will be writing an essay for 150 words in 20 minutes. You will be given a situation and will be asked to draft a letter asking for permission or explaining the situation.
  2. Task 2: You will be asked to write your opinion or point of view over an argument or statement. This essay will be in 250 words. More importance and score will be given for this task compared to task 1. 

Skills assessed

  • Describing skills
  • Idea building
  • Content knowledge
  • Grammar and vocabulary
  • Response quality

Task duration

The IELTS academic writing task will be extended for 1 hour. The time slot will be divided between the tasks as 20 minutes and 40 minutes respectively. 

Number of questions

The total number of questions in this section is 2

Task types

There are only two types of tasks in the IELTS academic writing test. They are

  • 150 words letter writing task 
  • 250 words writing task

Total marks

The scores of the writing section will be given as band scores. The scores differ between 1-9 according to your writing skills.

Marking criteria

The overall assessment for this section will  be given based on your response accuracy, structure of your essay, vocabulary, grammar and content quality. As the second essay is bigger than the first essay, more weightage will be given for the second one.

The first step in your preparation is knowing about the IELTS academic test format. You can schedule your preparation plan based on the format so that you will be able to put equal focus on all the topics. 

How to prepare for the IELTS academic test?

Preparation for the IELTS academic test may be overwhelming if you are confused about where to start and what way to take. Thus to help you in your preparation we are sharing a few expert proven tips.

  1. Have a clear understanding of the IELTS academic test format. 
  2. Figure out the time constraint for modules and prepare accordingly.
  3. Schedule your study plan giving equal importance to all 4 modules.
  4. Include more practice tests in your preparation. This will help you in improving your answering skills.
  5. Improve your English knowledge through regular reading, listening, speaking and writing activities.
  6. Enhance all your grammar, spellings and vocabulary.
  7. Learn about all the question types given in all the modules.
  8. Increase your answering skills through regular practice and try multitasking while listening and reading.
  9. Familiarise yourself with the native speakers accent and the words usage. 
  10. Use standardised study materials which will be covering the latest syllabus prescribed by the conducting board.

For more details check IELTS preparation tips.

IELTS academic preparation materials

The most preferred IELTS academic preparation materials are listed below for your reference. 

  • The Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS- Cambridge
  • Cambridge IELTS 10 – 11 – 12 – 13 - Cambridge 
  • New Insight into IELTS - Cambridge
  • Barron’s IELTS Practice Exams- Dr Lin Lougheed
  • Cambridge Vocabulary for IELTS- Pauline Cullen
  • Cambridge Grammar for IELTS- Diana Hopkins
  • IELTS Advantage Series - Richard Brown, Lewis Richards
  • Cambridge IELTS Trainer with Answers - Louise Hashemi, Barbara Thomas
  • Target Band 7: IELTS Academic Module – How to Maximize Your Score - Simone
  • Braverman
  • Focus on IELTS Foundation - Sue O’connell
  • Cambridge IELTS 15 Academic Student’s Book with Answers

Learn more about the IELTS academic test

FAQ

1.What is the registration cost of the IELTS academic test?

The IELTS academic exam registration cost in India is INR 14,700. After the registration if you wish to reschedule the date or cancel the date, you can do it in the official website. It may incur some additional cost. 

2.Can I do all the sections of the test in a single day? 

You can always complete the three sections namely, reading, writing and listening on the same day. As the speaking test is a face-to-face interaction with the examiner, you will be taking the test on a separate day after the other test. The test can be taken in paper format or online format. 

3.Which is the most difficult section in the IELTS academic test?

The writing module is considered to be the most difficult section in the IELTS academic test. Here the students have to answer two writing tasks to express their opinion over an argument, decision or example. The students' English usage, grammar knowledge and vocabulary are tested here. 

4.Is the IELTS academic test more difficult than the IELTS general test?

The IELTS academic test is taken by students who are planning to study abroad. Other job seekers and migrants will be appearing for the IELTS general test to prove their language proficiency. Clearing the IELTS academic test is difficult because the reading passages, writing tasks, etc will be from the educational journals, articles and other study materials. 

5.Is IELTS easier than TOEFL ?

IELTS is considered to be easier for the students compared to the TOEFL test. Both the tests are used to assess the students’ English proficiency. However, IELTS is the most preferred test by the top universities of the globe. 

6.What is the IELTS academic score validity?

The IELTS academic score is valid for 2 years. Once the result is announced the students can use the IELTS score to get admissions in the top international universities of their dreams. 

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Global Headquarters

Kanan Intl EdTech Inc

229, Yonge Street Suite 450 Toronto Ontario, Canada M5B 1N9

India Headquarters

Kanan International Pvt. Ltd.

D-wing, 2nd Floor, Trident Complex, Ellora Park Vadiwadi Road, Vadodara, Gujarat 390007

IT/ Digital Campus

Chennai Office

132, Habibullah Rd, Satyamurthy Nagar, T. Nagar, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600017

kanan-ftr-phone+91 63597 73959

kanan-ftr-phoneadmissions@kanan.co

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About Kanan International

A truly global higher education partner to learners and education institutions. Supports learners at every point in their global education journey with its reliable services, products and solutions.

Copyright © 2022 KANAN INT EDTECH INC. All rights reserved.