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IELTS Test Format and Scoring

There are two modules to choose from – Academic and General Training.

  • The Academic module is for candidates wishing to study at undergraduate or postgraduate levels, and for those seeking professional registration
  • The General Training module is for candidates wishing to migrate to an English speaking country (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK), and for those wishing to train or study at below degree level

If you are in doubt as to which module to take, please contact Blue Ocean Academy in order to check which test best suits your requirements.

Both modules cover all four language skills – listening, reading, writing and speaking. Everyone takes the same Listening and Speaking tests. There are different Reading and Writing tests for the Academic and General Training modules.

The Listening, Reading and Writing tests must be completed on the same day. There are no breaks between the three written tests. The Speaking test may be taken up to seven days before or after the other three tests.

 Test  Duration  Sections/Items
Listening Test  30 minutes + 10 minutes transfer time  4 sections, 40 items
Reading Test AC or GT  60 minutes  3 sections, 40 items
Writing Test AC or GT  60 minutes  Task 1: 150 words Task 2: 250 words
Speaking Test  11 – 14 minutes  

*The Listening and Speaking components are the same for both versions. The Reading and Writing components differ.

IELTS scores

IELTS is designed to assess English language skills at all levels. There is no such thing as a pass or fail in IELTS. Results are reported as band scores on a scale from 1 (the lowest) to 9 (the highest).