IELTS Exam Pattern

The IELTS exam is a well known English proficiency test. The full form of  IELTS is the International English language testing system”. The exam is widely taken by students and working professionals for academic and immigration purposes.

Types of IELTS Exam

There are two types of IELTS exams namely Academic and General Training. The difference between the two types can be seen in the coming sections.

Why IELTS Exam:

FOR STUDENTS (Academic): The universities abroad ask for the English proficiency level of international students, who are coming from countries where English as a secondary language(ESL). Students have to prove their English proficiency level in IELTS by achieving the minimum criteria set by the universities. The widely used exam for students is the IELTS Academic.

FOR IMMIGRANTS(General): The countries where English is used as a primary or native language, ask for minimum English levels to absorb other country citizens to work and live in their country. The widely taken exam for immigration purposes is IELTS General.

Eligibility for IELTS Exam: There are no eligibility criteria for the IELTS exam set by conducting bodies IDP and the British council. Irrespective of age, gender, category, religion, and race you can appear for the exam.

What are the differences between IELTS Academic and IELTS General Exam?

There are few minor differences between IELTS Academic and General in Reading and Writing sections. The difficulty level remains the same for speaking and listening sections

IELTS Academic VS IELTS General Exam Format:
  Academic VersionGeneral version

Listening- Same level of difficulty for Both versions

Duration: Approx. 30 Minutes 

Format: Same for both academic and general. Contains 4 sections, with 10 questions each. The first two sections deal with everyday social contexts. The remaining sections deal with education and social contexts. 


Duration:60 minutes.


Contains 3 long texts. These are taken from books, journals, magazines, and newspapers  


Duration:60 minutes.


Section 1:Contains 2 or 3 short texts or several texts 

Section 2: Contains 2 tests maybe 1 small and 

Section 3:1 large text usually comes from notices or advertisements.


Duration:60 minutes.

Format: In the first task, you need to write a letter(150 Words) and in the second task short essay(250 words) 


Duration:60 minutes.

Format: In the first task, you are asked to describe a table, chart, or diagram(150 Words) for the second task you need to write a short essay(250 Words)

Speaking: A face to face interview with the examiner and same level of difficulty for Both academic and General versions.

Duration:11-14 minutes.

Format: Structural discussion on a familiar topic

Suitable for studies. 

Students who want to join universities abroad write academic IELTS version

Suitable for immigration purposes. Candidates with work experience and who want to apply for immigration like Canada PR and Australia PR writes general IELTS version
IELTS exam booking procedure:

Booking an IELTS exam is easy and quick. 

  1. Decide with which conducting body you like to choose in IDP and British council.
  2. Select which format you would like to take in, computer-delivered IELTS or Pen and paper Based IELTS and Academic or General based on your requirements. 
  3. Create a  login account in IDP or  British council based on your preference 
  4. Complete the application form  by providing all mandatory details 
  5. Pay the test fee by using a credit card(Master card/Visa) 

Note 1) Passport is the mandatory document at the time of IELTS Exam slot booking and at the time of the exam as well. 

2) Some times it may take a few days to get confirmation on your email id

3)Customer care numbers of IDP IELTS  1800-102-4544  and email address is 

4) Customer care numbers of the British council is 0120-4569000 / 6684353  available from Mon to Sat 9.00 Am to 6 Pm and the email address is

IELTS exam fees:

The exam fees are as follows on 08/10/2020. The following screenshot has been taken from the British Council and IDP websites.

British council IELTS Exam Fees :
Test Type FeeBook
Bool Paper-based and Computer-delivered IELTS (Academic and General Training)14000Book Now
IELTS UK Visas and Immigration(Academic and General Training )15050Book now
IELTS Life Skills (A1 and B1)10950Book now

The  IELTS Test Fee in India differs as per the Test Type. Please refer to the below table for Detailed information on IELTS Tests Fees.

Test Type Cost (INR)Book 
Computer Delivered IELTS 14000Book now
IELTS for UKVI15100Book now
LifeSkills 13940Book now
Pen and paper-based IELTS 14000Book now
IELTS Band score (Understand how your score calculated):

 Understanding how your IELTS band score calculated would be helpful for your exam preparation. IELTS band scores are calculated based on the correct answers you chose in listening and several other factors in the remaining sections. The following tables will be helpful for you to understand how they are calculated.

  IELTS band scores range between 0 to 9. You can also get .5 scores as well for example(8.5 and 9.0). For each section (Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking) you will get a score and the overall score will be given based on each band score.

Here is a screenshot of the original IELTS scorecard: 

           In the above picture, the candidate scored 9.0 in Listening, 9.0 in Listening, 6.5 in Writing, and 7.5 in Speaking. The score has been averaged to 8.0  for the overall band score. The score will be rounded up or down to the nearest 0.5 or the next rounded figure.