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Build your life in the UK

Build your life in the UK

If you’re planning on settling in the UK, IELTS Life Skills is the test for you. 

It is the approved Speaking and Listening test for UK Visas and Immigration and is for people who need to prove their English speaking and listening skills at Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) Levels A1, A2 or B1.

We trust IELTS to give us a benchmark of English language ability. Though we accept other English language tests, we assess them by comparing directly with the required IELTS score.

Hannah WainSenior Student Recruitment Officer, SAC – The Scottish Agricultural College
Cristina Peralejo
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Speaking test samples

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Listening

Duration: 30 minutes

The Listening test is the same for both Academic and General Training versions of IELTS and consists of four recorded monologues and conversations.

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)

Find out more about 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 tasks is used, including: multiple choice questions, 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 – Matching features (PDF, 22KB)
Academic Reading sample task – Table completion (PDF, 59KB)
Academic Reading sample task - Flow-chart completion (selecting words from the text) (PDF, 173 KB)
Academic Reading sample task - Identifying information (True False Not Given) (PDF, 174KB) 
Academic Reading sample task - Matching headings (PDF, 92KB)
Academic Reading sample task - Matching sentence endings task (PDF, 132KB)
Academic Reading sample task - Multiple choice (more than one answer) (PDF, 223KB)
Academic Reading sample task - Multiple choice (one answer) (PDF, 256KB)
Academic Reading sample task - Note completion task (PDF, 260KB)
Academic Reading sample task - Sentence completion task (PDF, 190KB)
Academic Reading sample task - Summary completion (selecting from a list of words or phrases) (PDF, 259 KB)
Academic Reading sample task - Summary completion (selecting words from the text) (PDF, 189 KB)

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

Find out more about the Academic Reading test

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

General Training Reading

Duration: 60 minutes 

A variety of tasks is used including; multiple choice questions, 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 - Note completion task (PDF, 211KB)
General Training Reading sample task – Sentence Completion (PDF, 19KB)
General Training Reading sample task – Short-Answer Questions (PDF, 18KB)
General Training Reading sample task - Summary completion task (PDF, 202KB)
General Training Reading sample task - Identifying information (True False Not Given) (PDF, 123KB)

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

Find out more about the General Training Reading test

Academic Writing

Duration: 60 minutes

The Academic Writing tests consist of two writing tasks of 150 words and 250 words.

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

Below are samples of Task 1 and Task 2.

Please note that test takers for IELTS Academic take a different Writing test in IELTS General Training.

Downloadable Academic Writing samples
Academic Writing sample task 1A (PDF, 257KB)
Academic Writing sample task 1B(PDF, 411 KB)
Academic Writing sample task 1C(PDF, 757 KB)
Academic Writing sample task 2A (PDF, 249KB)
Academic Writing sample task 2B (PDF, 249KB)
Academic Writing sample materials and examiner comments (PDF, 4MB)

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)

Find out more about the Academic Writing test

General Training Writing

Duration: 60 minutes

The General Writing test consists of two writing tasks of 150 words and 250 words.

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

In Task 2, test takers write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem. 

Below are samples of Task 1 and Task 2. 

Please note that test takers for IELTS General Training take a different Writing test in IELTS Academic.

Downloadable General Training Writing samples
General Training Writing sample task 1A (PDF, 40KB)
General Training Writing sample task 1B (PDF, 470KB)
General Training Writing sample task 2A (PDF, 11KB)
General Training Writing sample task 2B (PDF, 11KB)
General Training Writing sample scripts and examiner comments (PDF, 3MB)

General 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)

Find out more about 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 test taker 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 versions. Each of the three parts is 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)

Find out more about the Speaking test

Listening

Duration: 30 minutes

The Listening test is the same for both Academic and General Training versions of IELTS and consists of four recorded monologues and conversations.

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)

Find out more about 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 tasks is used, including: multiple choice questions, 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 – Matching features (PDF, 22KB)
Academic Reading sample task – Table completion (PDF, 59KB)
Academic Reading sample task - Flow-chart completion (selecting words from the text) (PDF, 173 KB)
Academic Reading sample task - Identifying information (True False Not Given) (PDF, 174KB) 
Academic Reading sample task - Matching headings (PDF, 92KB)
Academic Reading sample task - Matching sentence endings task (PDF, 132KB)
Academic Reading sample task - Multiple choice (more than one answer) (PDF, 223KB)
Academic Reading sample task - Multiple choice (one answer) (PDF, 256KB)
Academic Reading sample task - Note completion task (PDF, 260KB)
Academic Reading sample task - Sentence completion task (PDF, 190KB)
Academic Reading sample task - Summary completion (selecting from a list of words or phrases) (PDF, 259 KB)
Academic Reading sample task - Summary completion (selecting words from the text) (PDF, 189 KB)

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

Find out more about the Academic Reading test

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

General Training Reading

Duration: 60 minutes 

A variety of tasks is used including; multiple choice questions, 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 - Note completion task (PDF, 211KB)
General Training Reading sample task – Sentence Completion (PDF, 19KB)
General Training Reading sample task – Short-Answer Questions (PDF, 18KB)
General Training Reading sample task - Summary completion task (PDF, 202KB)
General Training Reading sample task - Identifying information (True False Not Given) (PDF, 123KB)

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

Find out more about the General Training Reading test

Academic Writing

Duration: 60 minutes

The Academic Writing tests consist of two writing tasks of 150 words and 250 words.

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

Below are samples of Task 1 and Task 2.

Please note that test takers for IELTS Academic take a different Writing test in IELTS General Training.

Downloadable Academic Writing samples
Academic Writing sample task 1A (PDF, 257KB)
Academic Writing sample task 1B(PDF, 411 KB)
Academic Writing sample task 1C(PDF, 757 KB)
Academic Writing sample task 2A (PDF, 249KB)
Academic Writing sample task 2B (PDF, 249KB)
Academic Writing sample materials and examiner comments (PDF, 4MB)

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)

Find out more about the Academic Writing test

General Training Writing

Duration: 60 minutes

The General Writing test consists of two writing tasks of 150 words and 250 words.

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

In Task 2, test takers write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem. 

Below are samples of Task 1 and Task 2. 

Please note that test takers for IELTS General Training take a different Writing test in IELTS Academic.

Downloadable General Training Writing samples
General Training Writing sample task 1A (PDF, 40KB)
General Training Writing sample task 1B (PDF, 470KB)
General Training Writing sample task 2A (PDF, 11KB)
General Training Writing sample task 2B (PDF, 11KB)
General Training Writing sample scripts and examiner comments (PDF, 3MB)

General 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)

Find out more about 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 test taker 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 versions. Each of the three parts is 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)

Find out more about the Speaking test

Round 25 2019

Round 24 2018

Round 23 2017

Round 22 2016

Round 21 2015

Round 20 2014

Round 19 2013

Round 18 2012

Round 17 2011

Round 16 2010

Round 15 2009

Round 14 2008

Round 13 2007

Round 12 2006

Round 11 2005

Round 10 2004

Round 9 2003

Round 8 2002

Round 7 2001

Round 6 2000

Round 5 1999

Round 4 1998

Round 3 1997

Round 2 1996

Round 1 1995

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IELTS in the USA

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IELTS for test takers in the USA

Testing and results information for test takers in the USA.

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What is IELTS?

IELTS is the high-stakes English test for study, migration or work

Assess English language skills at all levels

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Test format

Learn more about what to expect in each section of the IELTS test.

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Ready to make your mark?

Online pre-tests help us trial new test questions for use in our online practice tests and gives you the opportunity to practice the Listening, Reading & Writing components of the IELTS test. The Speaking component is not included. You can choose to do either IELTS Academic or IELTS General Training. The pre-test will take approxmiately 3 hours to complete and will be timed. Completed pre-tests will be marked by an IELTS Examiner and a scored report will be sent back to you within 12 days of completing your pre-test.

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Assistant Vice Provost American University Andrea has been involved in international education for close to 15 years. She holds a B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; M.Ed. from North Carolina State University; and Ed.D. from North Carolina State University.

Expert user

Test users have fully operational command of the language. Their use of English is appropriate, accurate and fluent, and shows complete understanding.

Very good user

Test takers have fully operational command of the language with only occasional unsystematic inaccuracies and inappropriate usage. They may misunderstand some things in unfamiliar situations. They handle complex and detailed argumentation as well.

Good user

Test takers have operational command of the language, though with occasional inaccuracies, inappropriate usage and misunderstandings in some situations. They generally handle complex language well and understand detailed reasoning.

Competent user

Test takers have an effective command of the language despite some inaccuracies, inappropriate usage and misunderstandings. They can use and understand fairly complex language, particularly in familiar situations.

Modest user

Test takers have a partial command of the language and copes with overall meaning in most situations, although they are likely to make many mistakes. They should be able to handle basic communication in their own field.

Limited user

Test takers' basic competence is limited to familiar situations. They frequently show problems in understanding and expression. They are not able to use complex language.

Extremely limited user

Test takers convey and understand only general meaning in very familiar situations. There are frequent breakdowns in communication.

Intermittent user

Test takers have great difficulty understanding spoken and written English.

Non-user

Test takers have no ability to use the language except a few isolated words.

Did not attempt the test

Test takers did not answer the questions.
Canada

Canada

If you are applying for a work visa, professional recognition or for permanent residency in Canada, it is likely that you will be required to present evidence of English language proficiency. IELTS General Training is the only internationally available English proficiency test accepted by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for immigration to Canada.
Open doors to Canada with IELTS

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English English (United States)
  1. understand the format of the Academic Reading test
  2. complete a sample Academic Reading test
  3. understand how the Academic Reading test is marked
Listening
30 minutes
4 sections, 40 items
Academic Reading
60 minutes
3 sections, 40 items
General Training Reading
60 minutes
3 sections, 40 items
Academic Writing
60 minutes
2 tasks
General Training Writing
60 minutes
2 tasks
Speaking
11 - 14 minutes
3 parts


Total test time: 2 hours 44 minutes
(+10 minutes transfer time)

Please select an answer
Submit

The Academic Reading test takes 60 minutes and there are 40 questions. The test contains three sections. Test takers are required to read a number of texts, with a total length of 2,150 to 2,750 words.

Texts and questions appear on a Question Paper that test takers can write on but not remove from the test room. All answers must be entered on an Answer Sheet during the 60-minute test. No extra time is allowed to transfer answers.

A variety of question types are used in order to test a wide range of reading skills. The test will contain question types selected from:

  • multiple choice
  • identifying information (True/False/Not Given)
  • identifying writer's views/claims (Yes/No/Not Given)
  • matching information/ headings/ features/ sentence endings
  • sentence/ summary/ note/ table/ flow-chart/ diagram label completion
  • short-answer questions

The Academic Reading test contains three long texts.

The texts are authentic and are taken from books, journals, magazines and newspapers. They have been written for a non-specialist audience and are on academic topics of general interest.

Texts are appropriate to, and accessible to, test takers entering undergraduate or postgraduate courses or seeking professional registration.

Texts range from the descriptive and factual to the discursive and analytical. Texts may contain non-verbal materials such as diagrams, graphs or illustrations. If texts contain technical terms, then a simple glossary is provided.

A variety of question types are used in order to test a wide range of reading skills. These include reading for gist, reading for main ideas, reading for detail, skimming, understanding logical argument, understanding inferences and implied meaning, and recognising writers' opinions, attitudes and purpose.

One mark is awarded for each correct answer in the 40-item test.

A band score conversion table is produced for each version of the Academic Reading test which translates scores out of 40 into the IELTS 9-band scale.

Scores are reported as a whole band or a half band.

Care should be taken when writing answers on the answer sheet as spelling mistakes are penalised.

What is IELTS?

IELTS is the high-stakes English test for study, migration or work