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Sample test questions

Prepare for your IELTS test by practising with free sample questions

There are two types of IELTS test to choose from, IELTS Academic or IELTS General Training. All test takers take the same Listening and Speaking tests but different Reading and Writing tests. Ensure that you prepare for the correct version of the test.

The practice materials in this section offer you the opportunity to:

  • get to know the test format
  • experience the types of tasks you will be asked to undertake
  • test yourself under timed conditions
  • review your answers and compare them with model answers.

Listening

Duration: 30 minutes

The test consists of four recorded monologues and conversations.

The Listening test is the same for both Academic and General Training tests.

The following IELTS Listening sample tasks are to be used with the Answer Sheet and MP3 audio files and/or transcripts. Each answer sheet indicates which recording to listen to, or if a transcript is provided.

Listening sample test 1
Listening sample 1 task - form completion (PDF, 59KB)
IELTS listening recording 1 (MP3, 1.2MB)
Listening sample 2 task – Multiple Choice (PDF, 16KB)
Listening recording 2 (MP3, 402KB)
Listening sample 3 task – Short Answer (PDF, 25KB)
IELTS Listening recording 3 (MP3, 574KB)
Listening sample 4 task – Sentence Completion (PDF, 17KB)
IELTS Listening recording 4 (MP3, 549KB)
Listening sample 5 task – Matching (example 1 – PDF, 21KB)
IELTS Listening recording 5 (MP3, 2.8MB)
Listening sample 6 task – Matching (example 2 – PDF, 21KB)
IELTS Listening recording 6 (MP3, 2.1MB) 
Listening sample 7 task – Plan/Map/Diagram Labelling (PDF, 25KB)
IELTS Listening recording 7 (MP3, 2.7MB) 
Listening sample 8 task – Note Completion (PDF, 59KB)
IELTS Listening recording 8 (MP3, 4.18MB)
Listening Recording 8 Answer Sheet (PDF, 16KB)
Listening Sample 9 Task – Short Answer (PDF, 25KB)
IELTS Listening Recording 9 (MP3, 11.8MB) 
Listening Recording 9 Answer Sheet (PDF, 17KB)


Listening answer sheet
Listening answer sheet (PDF, 233KB)

Learn more about what's in the Listening test

Academic Reading

Duration: 60 minutes

Texts for the Academic Reading test are taken from books, journals, magazines and newspapers.

A variety of questions is used, chosen from the following types: multiple choice, identifying information, identifying writer’s views/claims, matching information, matching headings, matching features, matching sentence endings, sentence completion, summary completion, note completion, table completion, flow-chart completion, diagram label completion, short-answer questions.

Downloadable Academic Reading sample tasks
Academic Reading sample task – Diagram label completion (PDF, 61KB)
Academic Reading sample task – Matching information (PDF, 35KB)
Academic Reading sample task – Identifying writer's views (PDF, 56KB)
Academic Reading sample task – Matching features (PDF, 22KB)
Academic Reading sample task – Matching headings (PDF, 26KB)
Academic Reading sample task – Multiple-choice questions (PDF, 21KB)
Academic Reading sample task – Table completion (PDF, 59KB)

Academic Reading answer sheet
IELTS Reading answer sheet (PDF, 130KB)

Learn more about what's in the Academic Reading test

Listening Answer Sheet
Listening Answer Sheet (PDF, 233KB)

General Training Reading

Duration: 60 minutes 

A variety of questions are used, chosen from the following types; multiple choice, identifying information, identifying writer’s views/claims, matching information, matching headings, matching features, matching sentence endings, sentence completion, summary completion, note completion, table completion, flow-chart completion, diagram label completion, short-answer questions.

Downloadable General Training Reading sample tasks
General Training Reading sample task – Flow Chart Completion (PDF, 40KB)
General Training Reading sample task – Identifying Information (PDF, 99KB)
General Training Reading sample task – Matching Information (PDF, 43KB)
General Training Reading sample task – Matching Features (PDF, 32KB)
General Training Reading sample task – Matching Headings (PDF, 31KB)
General Training Reading sample task – Multiple-Choice Questions (PDF, 24KB)
General Training Reading sample task – Sentence Completion (PDF, 19KB)
General Training Reading sample task – Short-Answer Questions (PDF, 18KB)

General Training answer sheet
IELTS Reading answer sheet (PDF, 130KB)

Learn more about what's in the General Training Reading test

Academic Writing

Duration: 60 minutes

It has two writing tasks of 150 words and 250 words.

In Task 1 candidates are asked to describe some visual information (graph/table/chart/diagram), and to present the description in their own words. They need to write 150 words in about 20 minutes. In Task 2 candidates are presented with a point of view or argument or problem. They need to write 250 words in about 40 minutes.

Below are samples of Task 1 and Task 2. 

(Note that candidates for IELTS Academic do a different Writing test to IELTS General Training.)

Downloadable Academic Writing samples
Academic Writing sample task 1 (PDF, 257KB)
Academic Writing sample task 1 (PDF, 411 KB)
Academic Writing sample task 2 (PDF, 249KB)
Academic Writing sample task 2 (PDF, 249KB)


Academic Writing answer sheets
IELTS Writing answer sheet task 1 (PDF, 700KB)
IELTS Writing answer sheet task 2 (PDF, 400KB) 


Academic Writing sample script
IELTS Academic Writing sample script (PDF, 1.4MB)

Learn more about what's in the Academic Writing test

General Training Writing

Duration: 60 minutes

It has two writing tasks of 150 words and 250 words.

In Task 1, candidates are asked to respond to a situation, by writing a letter for example, requesting information or explaining a situation.

In Task 2, candidates write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem.
Below are samples of Task 1 and Task 2. 

(Note that candidates for IELTS Academic do a different Writing test to IELTS General Training.)

Downloadable General Training Writing samples
General Training Writing sample task 1 (PDF, 21KB)
General Training Writing sample task 2 (PDF, 11KB)

IELTS Writing Answer sheets
IELTS Writing Answer sheet task 1 (PDF, 700KB)
IELTS Writing Answer sheet task 2 (PDF, 400KB)

General Training Writing sample script
General Training Writing sample script (PDF, 869KB)

Learn more about what's in the General Training Writing test

Speaking

Duration: 11–14 minutes

 In the Speaking test, you have a discussion with a certified examiner. It is interactive and as close to a real-life situation as a test can get.

There are three parts to the test and each part fulfils a specific function in terms of interaction pattern, task input and candidate output.

In Part 1, you answer questions about yourself and your family. In Part 2, you speak about a topic. In Part 3, you have a longer discussion on the topic.

The Speaking test is the same for both Academic and General Training tests. Each of the three parts are designed to test a different aspect of your communication ability.

Downloadable Speaking Sample tasks
Speaking Sample Task Part 1 – Prompt (PDF, 21KB)
Speaking Sample Task Part 1 – Recording (MP3, 631KB)
Speaking Sample Task Part 1 – Transcript (PDF, 12KB)
Speaking Sample Task Part 2 – Prompt (PDF, 20KB)
Speaking Sample Task Part 2 – Recording (MP3, 762KB)
Speaking Sample Task Part 2 – Transcript (PDF,11KB)
Speaking Sample Task Part 3 – Prompt (PDF, 18KB)
Speaking Sample Task Part 3 – Recording (MP3, 1.2MB)
Speaking Sample Task Part 3 – Transcript (PDF, 13KB)

Learn more about what's in the Speaking test

Listening

Academic Reading

General Training Reading

Academic Writing

General Training Writing

Speaking