You’re planning on taking the IELTS test because the university you’re applying to requires it? Do you wish to know in detail what the IELTS test is? If you wish to have the best training possible, you are in the right place to start your training.

In this article, we’ll learn everything about the IELTS Academic test, such as:

  • The structure of the IELTS Academic Test
  • What kind of questions you’ll be asked during the IELTS Academic Test with examples from the four sections
  • IELTS Listening Section
  • IELTS Reading Section
  • IELTS Writing Section
  • IELTS Speaking Section
  • How to have the best training with GlobalExam

So let’s introduce you to the IELTS Academic Test.

If you wish to have more information about the IELTS Life Skill exam and IELTS Computer-based version, please read our articles.

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What Is the Format and the Structure of the IELTS Academic Test?

IELTS stands for International English Language Testing System and is the most renowned English-language tests in the academic world. It aims at assessing the English level of non-native English speakers. The IELTS test is accepted in nearly every English-speaking country (UK, Australia, Canada…) and in more than 3,000 institutions in the USA. There are two versions of the test: the Academic vs the IELTS General Training test.

There are two versions of the IELTS:

Academic IELTS is intended for candidates wanting to enroll in academic institutions and study abroad. It is the version we are going to discuss in this article. If a university requires that you take your IELTS test to enroll, it refers to the IELTS Academic. It assesses your English speaking skills at an academic level.

General Training IELTS is intended for people who want to improve their level of English language for work or immigration purposes.

Both IELTS tests last 2 hours and 45 minutes and assess the candidate’s ability to read, speak, understand audio conversations and write in English. The Listening and Speaking sections are the same in both Academic and General Training but Reading and Writing tasks are different. There are no level differences between the Academic and General Training, only the subject addressed change.

You’ll complete the Listening, Reading and Writing sections on the same day, with no interruption. You can take the Speaking section up to one week before or after the other tasks.

Both tests format are equivalent and results are worth the same even though the Academic IELTS is the most taken test of the two kinds.

Let’s see the different parts that compose the IELTS Academic test.

teacher standing at his desk

IELTS Academic Test Sample Questions And Instructions

Here are samples of questions for each section. These are typical questions asked during the IELTS test.

IELTS Listening Section

This section lasts 40 minutes. You’ll listen to 4 recorded conversations. Each recording features a different type of discourse: everyday conversation, monologues taking place in an everyday context (the news for example), conversations in classrooms, etc.

For each recording, you are asked a question, which can be a multiple choice question, a sentence to be completed or a diagram, card or form to be filled.

Question – What is the hall director’s wife’s profession?


Give a short response to the questions below. Here, you should not use no more than 2 words for each answer.


Hall Director : Hi there, sorry to keep you waiting, please come in, have a seat.

Student : Thanks, wow, I love your office! The decorations are so trendy!

Hall Director : Thanks, my wife is an interior designer, so I’m not going to lie, she did help me choose most of the things in here. It just makes my workday so much more peaceful when it doesn’t look like a stuffy cubicle, you know what I mean?

Student : I totally understand. I try to do the same thing with my dorm room, but on a student budget, it’s a little difficult at times. Thankfully though, there are heaps of videos and tutorials now on the internet that provide inspiration for those rainy days!

Hall Director : Oh my, you sound like a perfect candidate for the Resident Assistant program, or as we say ‘in the business’, an R.A..

Student : Yes, well as you might have figured out by now, that’s why I am here, to enquire about that open Resident Assistant, sorry– R.A. position. Have many people come by to find out more about it?

Hall Director : Not for the moment, as I just posted the ad around campus on Tuesday morning, or was it Monday afternoon? Doesn’t matter really, it hasn’t been that long though, so, only a few people have stopped by, but no one has really met all the requirements …

Student : Well, I hope I will, I’m not sure if you can tell, but I’m not a US citizen, I’m actually a study abroad student from France …

IELTS Speaking Section: Master the 3 Sections

The speaking test is 11-15 minutes long and is broken down into three sections

1. Introduction and Interview

It consists of a general introduction during which you are asked questions to talk a little about yourself.

2. Speaking alone

It requires you to speak on a topic given on a paper. You will be allowed to take and use notes to organize your thoughts.

3. Discussion

It involves a discussion in which the examiner asks several questions so that you explore the same topic together a bit more thoroughly. To practice for the speaking section on our platform, you need a microphone to record yourself.

Examples of questions you can be asked during the speaking section part 1:

Let’s talk about your home town or village.
What kind of place is it?
What’s the most interesting part of your town/village?
What kind of jobs do the people in your town/village do?
Would you say it’s a good place to live? (Why?)

Example of questions you can be asked during the speaking section parts 2 and 3:

Let’s consider first of all how people’s values have changed.

  • What kind of things give status to people in your country?
  • Have things changed since your parents’ time?

IELTS Writing Section: Learn The Structure Of The Testt

The writing test is divided into two parts: “Writing 1” and “Writing 2”.

Writing 1 Part consists of writing a report after analyzing a document, graph, table, etc. You have 20 minutes for part 1 to write about 150 words.

Writing 2 Part is an essay of at least 250 words to be written in 40 minutes.

Summarize the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant. In this exercise, you should write at least 150 words in an essay.

man studying for an exam

IELTS Reading Section: What Is It Expected In This Test?

The reading comprehension part is 60 minutes long. There are three texts to read with questions on each reading.

The IELTS Academic presents a variety of texts to read coming from newspapers, books or magazines. These are descriptive, factual and analytical texts. The reading module also includes diagrams, graphs or illustrations.

Choose the correct letter

Harsh, critical parenting may drive kids’ brains to overreact to errors


 In an age when the formula for success seems infinitely regressive–when having a good career means going to a good college, which requires acing your way through a top high school, middle school, and even preschool– the onus is on the parent to push, push, push.

We want our children to get a foot in the door before they even know how to tie the shoe that’s on it. But should we encourage our children through tender praise, or do we embrace the “tiger mom” strategy of punishment and criticism?


In a study co-authored by his graduate student, Alex Meyer, Proudfit measured the ERN of nearly 300 children while giving them puzzles to work on in the company of their parents. The interactions that he observed varied greatly on a scale that most would consider normal; none of the parents were abusive. The parents were rated on how controlling they were (for example, stepping in immediately if a child made a mistake) and how warm they were when they gave feedback.

For the second part, you could have a text divided into paragraphs and headings in disorder. The point would be to reattach the paragraphs to the corresponding headings.

For the third reading, you could have a text about the fight against Ebola and the fact that blood from survivors does not help, but a malaria drug might. The exercise, after reading the text, would be to fill in the blanks in a table.

To get access to the corrections don’t hesitate to subscribe to our platform. You’ll also have access to many other questions and mock exams to train for the IELTS test.

Prepare For Both IELTS Tests Online With GlobalExam

If you wish to thrive in an english speaking environment in countries such as Australia, Canada and New Zealand, you should start learning english language skills. Indeed, an IELTS education and training is required for any migration to an english speaking country. Experience on our website higher education in languages that will help for your migration to Australia or Canada.

Register on the official IELTS website to secure a seat at your exam.

GlobalExam has developed an easy-to-use interface to help you train for the IELTS test by finding the right method and then focusing on the essentials.

This online platform offers an intuitive and well-organized interface, with content designed by foreign language teaching experts.

The IELTS specific training includes the following tools:

120 exercises
5 mock exams
3 personalized study plans to choose from
390 study sheets with practice exercises
Statistics and corrections

You can test our system for free (there is no obligation!) and get a free mock exam.

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