IELTS General

IELTS, the International English Language Testing System, is designed to assess the language ability of candidates who need to study or work where English is used as the language of communication. IELTS is required for entry to university in the UK and other countries.

What is the IELTS General test like?

The General version of IELTS is easier than the academic version. All candidates do the same Listening and Speaking sections.
The test has four sections:
  • 4 sections, 40 questions, 30 minutes
  • Section 1: a conversation between two people
  • Section 2: a monologue set in an everyday
  • social context
  • Section 3: a conversation between up to four
  • people set in an educational or training context
  • Section 4: a monologue on an academic subject (e.g. a university lecture)
  • Each section is heard once only
  • An interview, 15 minutes
  • Part 1 Introduction and interview
  • Part 2 Individual long turn (you have to talk about a topic)
  • Part 3 Two-way discussion (The examiner asks
  • further questions which are connected to the topic of Part 2.)
  • 3 sections, 40 questions, 60 minutes
  • Section 1: two or three short factual texts
  • Section 2: contains two short factual texts
  • focusing on work-related issues
  • Sectin 3: one longer, more complex text
  • Part 1: write a letter requesting information or explaining a situation.
  • Part 2: write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem

Level and scores

Multi-level. You get a score between 1 and 9. Half scores such as 6.5 are possible. Universities often demand an IELTS score of 6 or 7. They may also demand a minimum score in each of the 4 sections.