IELTS Listening Section - This section is the same for academic and general training tests, includes four sub-sections of 10 questions each. The IELTS Listening test lasts for 40 minutes out of which 30 minutes are for answering the questions and 10 minutes are for transferring the answers to the allocated answer sheet. The most important point to remember is that the listening sub-sections will be played only once. Each listening passage is unique in terms of the topic and number of speakers. The initial passages are on topics of general interest, with one conversation and one monologue. The las t2 passages are on specific subjects, also with a conversation (such as a student discussion) and a monologue (such as a lecture). Test-takers should expect several types of questions, including chart completion, multiple choice, short-answer, sentence completion, labelling of a diagram, classification, and matching.
IELTS Speaking Section – This section is also the same for academic and general training. In this section of the IELTS the test-takers are subject to a live interview, which will be recorded for later assessment. The IELTS speaking paper has a 3 part structure that lasts for a total of 11-14 minutes. In part 1 (4-5 minutes), students answer questions on topics with which they are familiar, such as hobbies, or preferences. In part 2 (3-4 minutes), students are given a cue card on which they have to speak for 2 minutes, the time give n for preparation is 1 minute. In part 3 (4-5 minutes), the test-taker answers more in-depth questions on the topic discussed in part 2.
IELTS Reading Section - The IELTS academic and general training tests each have their own reading papers. The subjects in the two reading tests often differ. IELTS Academic has 3 passages, which are generally long, on the other hand IELTS General has 5-6 passages of varying sizes. The time for both the tests remains the same. Also, the number of questions on both the tests remains the same. The academic reading paper has 11 different types of exercises, while the general training test has 12. Test-takers are not given additional time to transfer their answers to the answer sheets on this section of the IELTS.
IELTS Writing Section – This section is also unique to one version of the test or the other, although they have a great deal in common. On both versions, students are given one hour to complete two separately timed writing tasks. The first writing task (20 minutes) is worth 3 points and the second (40 minutes) is worth 6 points. Their evaluating parameters are very similar. On both exams, the longer exercise is a "discursive essay" in which students must be able to argue a certain position or present a solution to a given problem. The general training short essay is a letter written in reaction to a given situation, while the academic short essay is a written description of a chart or graph. The recommended length for short essays is 150 words, and 250 words is the suggested length for long essays.
IELTS Section Grading and Scoring – The grading on both the tests is generally straight forward as the questions and their answers are objective in nature. All questions have the same value and are equal factors in the section scores. The speaking and writing papers involve the subjective evaluations of IELTS graders, who equally weigh several areas of assessment. Students receive band scores of 0 to 9 for each paper, and half-point scores are possible. All sections contribute equally to the total band score, which is the mean of all four section scores, rounded up or down to the closest half-point.