Sample test 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. Make sure that you prepare for the correct version of the test.

Using IELTS official practice materials will enable you to:

  • familiarise yourself with 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.

If you are taking IELTS on Computer, click here for on Computer sample test questions.

IELTS official practice test

Once you have prepared with the sample questions put your knowledge to the test with IELTS Progress Check, an official IELTS online marked practice test. The test will give you an indication of your band score and provide feedback on areas to improve. Book your official practice test today.

Listening (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 tasks

Download all Listening samples (ZIP, 808KB)

Listening answer sheet

Find out more about the Listening test

Academic Reading (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

Download all Academic Reading samples (ZIP, 1.85MB)

Academic Reading answer sheet

Find out more about the Academic Reading test

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

General Training Reading (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

Download all General Training Reading samples (ZIP, 700KB)

General Training answer sheet

Find out more about the General Training Reading test

Academic Writing (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

Download all Academic Writing samples (ZIP, 5.92MB)

Academic Writing answer sheets

Find out more about the Academic Writing test

General Training Writing (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

Download all General Training Writing samples (ZIP, 3.85MB)

General Writing Answer sheets

General Training Writing sample script

Find out more about the General Training Writing test

Speaking (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

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Download all Speaking samples

Find out more about the Speaking test