IELTS Syllabus & Format and How to Prepare for IELTS in 2023

What is IELTS?

IELTS or International English Language Testing System is an English language proficiency test designed by the British Council, IDP, and Cambridge English Assessment. These tests are acknowledged and accepted by top colleges throughout the world. These tests are one of the major requirements for admission to any college in countries where English is the primary medium of verbal communication such as the UK, USA, New Zealand, Canada, Australia, and many more.

IELTS assesses your English language skills in terms of written and spoken English. The IELTS score act as an assurance to the admission committee about your grasp of the English language. As you have already searched and are reading this article about IELTS which is written in English, it depicts that you already have a firm understanding of the English Language. Read on to know about the Syllabus, Format, and other important pieces of information.

Why choose IELTS?

Candidates must show that they can communicate in English before they can study, work, or migrate to a country where English is the primary language. The goal is to demonstrate that they can handle day-to-day activities in English while traveling. Students, prospective migrants, and job seekers have depended on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) for this purpose for more than 30 years. Candidates frequently choose this exam as their top choice. This is why it’s so well-liked:

Ease of accessThe IELTS test is available in more than 140 countries. No matter where you are from, an IELTS test center is never far away.
ValidityThe IELTS grading mechanism ensures that all tests are scored fairly and accurately. From detailed exam design and development to validation, IELTS tests go through a rigorous process. The tests are then graded by a panel of professional examiners who have been trained to mark them according to a set of criteria.
ApprovalIELTS is recognized as a true indication of English language skills by over 11,000 organizations throughout the world. It is considered the gold standard of English language testing, from major universities, training institutes, and government departments to immigration authorities, businesses, and professional and industrial organizations.
Permanent ResidencyIELTS might be a quick way to add crucial points to your application for several permanent residencies (PR) possibilities. If you score Band 8 on all IELTS test components, you might gain 20 points for English language proficiency in the same PR category (Reading, Writing, Listening, Speaking). With a respectable amount of practice and the correct resources, you should be able to do it in no time.
AuthorityIELTS is more than just an exam; it is an opportunity to gain access to world-class opportunities. That’s what makes IELTS a voyage of self-empowerment. You can always rely on IDP IELTS training resources to enhance your scores.
5 reasons why you should take the IELTS Test

IELTS Syllabus

As mentioned before, the IELTS Examination is broadly divided into 4 categories with different percentages as illustrated below:

  • Speaking – In Speaking you are assessed on your Pronunciation, Intonation, Vocabulary, Speaking, and Strategies.
  • Writing – In Writing you are assessed on your Spelling & Grammar, Vocabulary, Essay writing, Structure, Description, Charts, etc.
  • Reading – In Reading, you are assessed on your Scanning, Skimming, Understanding, Break-down of Complex English Phrases, etc.
  • Listening – In Listening you are assessed on your Spelling, Listening, and Vocabulary.

IELTS Format

IELTS comes in two formats: Academic and General Training. IELTS Academic can now be taken online at home or any private location with a reliable internet connection in addition to on paper or on a computer in a testing facility. IELTS General Training can only be taken on paper or on a computer in a testing facility. You take identical Speaking and Listening tests for Academic and General Training, but distinct Reading and Writing tests. Make sure you prepare for the correct test type. The Listening, Reading, and Writing sections of all IELTS tests are completed on the same day, with no breaks in between them. The Speaking test, however, may be scheduled up to a week before or after the other.


After listening to four recordings of fluent English speakers, you will be asked to answer a series of questions in writing. Assessors will be looking for evidence of your ability to understand the main ideas and detailed factual information, the opinions and attitudes of speakers, the purpose of an utterance, and evidence of your ability to follow the development. The test has a 30-minute duration.

  • Recording 1 is a two-person conversation that is taking place in a typical social setting.
  • Recording 2 is a monologue that is presented in a typical social setting, such as a speech on neighborhood amenities.
  • Recording 3 will contain a conversation between two to four persons taking place in an educational institution, such as a university tutor and a student talking about an assignment.
  • Recording 4 will contain a monologue about a scholarly topic, such as a university lecture.


The 40 questions in the reading part are intended to evaluate a variety of reading abilities. These include skimming, understanding logical arguments, reading for gist, reading for major ideas, reading for detail, reading for comprehension, and recognizing the perspectives, attitudes, and purposes of writers. The test has a 60-minute duration.

Three lengthy readings, ranging from discursive and analytical to factual and descriptive, are part of the IELTS Academic test. These come from publications including books, journals, periodicals, and newspapers. They have been chosen for a non-specialist audience yet are suitable for students starting university courses or looking to register for a profession.

  • Task 1 (Multiple Choice) – Test takers are required to choose the best answer from four alternatives (A, B, C, or D), or the best two answers from five alternatives (A, B, C, D, or E), or the best three answers from seven alternatives (A, B, C, D, E, F or G). Test takers write the letter of the answer they have chosen on the answer sheet. 
  • Task 2 (Information Identification) – Test takers will be given a number of statements and asked: ‘Do the following statements agree with the information in the text?’ They are then required to write ‘true’, ‘false’, or ‘not given in the boxes on their answer sheets.
  • Task 3 (Identifying writer’s views/claims) – Test takers will be given a number of statements and asked: ‘Do the following statements agree with the views/claims of the writer?’ They are required to write ‘yes’, ‘no’, or ‘not given in the boxes on their answer sheet.
  • Task 4 (Information Matching) – est takers are required to locate specific information within the lettered paragraphs/sections of a text, and to write the letters of the correct paragraphs/sections in the boxes on their answer sheet.
  • Task 5 (Heading Matching) – Test takers are given a list of headings, usually identified with lower-case Roman numerals (i, ii, iii, etc,). A heading will refer to the main idea of the paragraph or section of the text. Test takers must match the heading to the correct paragraphs or sections, which are marked alphabetically.
  • Task 6 (Matching Features) – Test takers are required to match a set of statements or pieces of information to a list of options. The options are a group of features from the text and are identified by letters.
  • Task 7 (Matching sentence endings) – Test takers are given the first half of a sentence based on the text and asked to choose the best way to complete it from a list of possible options.
  • Task 8 (Sentence completion) – Test takers complete sentences in a given number of words taken from the text. They must write their answers on the answer sheet. The instructions will make it clear how many words/numbers test takers should use in their answers.
  • Task 9 (Summary, note, table, flow-chart completion) – Test takers are given a summary of a section of the text, and are required to complete it with information drawn from the text. The summary will usually be of only one part of the passage rather than the whole.
  • Task 10 (Diagram label completion) – Test takers are required to complete labels on a diagram, which relates to a description contained in the text. The instructions will make it clear how many words/numbers test takers should use in their answers.
  • Task 11 (Short-answer questions) – est takers answer questions, which usually relate to factual information about details in the text. This is most likely to be used with a text that contains a lot of factual information and detail.


Topics are of general interest to, and suitable for, test takers entering undergraduate and postgraduate studies or seeking professional registration. The test duration is 60-minutes. There are two tasks:

  • Task 1 – you will be presented with a graph, table, chart, or diagram and asked to describe, summarise or explain the information in your own words. You may be asked to describe and explain data, describe the stages of a process, how something works, or describe an object or event.
  • Task 2 – you will be asked to write an essay in response to a point of view, argument, or problem. Responses to both tasks must be in a formal style. 


The speaking section assesses your use of spoken English. The duration of this test is 15-minutes approx. Every test is recorded.

  • Task 1 – The examiner will ask you general questions about yourself and a range of familiar topics, such as home, family, work, studies, and interests. This part lasts between four and five minutes.
  • Task 2  – you will be given a card that asks you to talk about a particular topic. You will have one minute to prepare before speaking for up to two minutes. The examiner will then ask one or two questions on the same topic.
  • Task 3 – you will be asked further questions about the topic in Part 2. These will give you the opportunity to discuss more abstract ideas and issues. This part of the test lasts between four and five minutes.

IELTS Examination Dates

The IELTS examination is usually held 4 times every month, which means you can take the test anytime between the 48 times it’s hosted in a calendar year. The Academic and General Training test formats both are equally divided to be held in 24 dates. These tests are mostly held on Thursdays and Saturdays for convenience and flexibility.  Although all the dates are fixed, some dates may have other days based on the location and ongoing important events in that location. You can check the real-time based dates on the official website here.

How to Prepare for IELTS?

IELTS will act as your launching pad for future accomplishments as you set out on your adventure through the English-speaking globe. Your own aptitude and familiarity with test-taking techniques are important factors in your result, but so is your ability to cope under pressure. If you use the right tools and pair them up with the right amount of preparation, you will be better able to achieve your goals and get the score you want faster. IDP offers free practice exams, courses, articles, and videos to assist with IELTS exam preparation as well.

The front lines of the preparation phase for taking the IELTS exam include:

  1. Plan your study according to the test format you have selected.
  2. Practice makes you perfect so practice and learn more.
  3. Discover your weakness and pain points while practicing and then work on those.
  4. Give mock tests to prepare yourself for the real examination and the testing environment.

Frequently Answered Questions

  • What does IELTS evaluate?

The IELTS Exam measures your skills in listening, reading, writing, and speaking through two different kinds of test formats which are IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training respectively.

  • Are there different types of IELTS tests?

There are generally two different test formats for the IELTS examination:

IELTS Academic – The IELTS Academic test format is mainly for students, working professionals, and job seekers who want to go abroad for pursuing their higher education or Master’s.

IELTS General Training – The IELTS General Training test format is mainly for those who are migrating abroad.

  • What are the eligibility criteria for taking the IELTS?

Anyone who is more than 16 years of age is eligible to take the IELTS Examination.


I hope you got a clear understanding of what the IELTS examinations are all about. We at Stoodnt, provide premium admission counseling services to help you or your child make the next big step in their career. Visit our website to book a session with one of our professional counselors here. You can also browse through our UG or MS service packages to choose the one that is ideal and fits your requirements. Also, we keep posting such information and content regularly on social media. Follow our Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube, and Telegram to get the latest notifications and updates. In case of any questions or queries, you can mail us at customer[dot]support[at]

Read Related Articles

Translate »