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Tip #1: Know the IELTS Basics

Are you ready to begin studying for the IELTS basics test? Take this quiz to find out!

  • How many sections are on the IELTS test?
  • What is a high score on the IELTS test?
  • When will I find out my IELTS score after taking the test?

Could you answer all three questions? If so, you probably have a good sense of what the IELTS basics test includes, how it’s organized, and how it’s graded. If not, this is information you want to know as soon as possible—even before you start studying. Being familiar with basic information about the test will help you know what to study and will give you the confidence you need on test day. So, let’s cover some basics about the IELTS and find the answers to those questions!

IELTS Test Organization

There are two types of IELTS tests: IELTS Academic, and IELTS General Training. Here are some similarities and differences between the two types:


  • Both IELTS tests consist of four sections: reading, writing, listening, and speaking
  • Both IELTS tests have the same speaking and listening sections


  • The two IELTS tests have different reading and writing sections

The topics is covered by the IETLS Academic reading and writing sections that would be appropriate for someone entering an undergraduate or graduate degree program at an English-speaking university, and the IELTS General Training covers just what it sounds like—general topics important to everyday life in an English-speaking country!

Regardless of what type of IELTS you take, you’ll need to take the reading, writing, and listening sections together on one day. Your speaking section can be scheduled on a different day. It should be from 7 days before to 7 days after your reading, listening, and writing sections.

Plan to spend the longest time on the reading and writing sections (60 minutes each), and the shortest time on the speaking section (only 11-14 minutes)!

IELTS Basics Test Grading

IELTS grading is based on a nine-point scale with 9 being the highest score. Each of these points on the scale are also commonly called “bands.” You’ll be given a score for each of the four sections of the test, and those four scores will be averaged to form your overall band for the test. Half points on the scale (for example, 3.5 or 5.5) can also be awarded.

Unlike some other popular language exams, scoring of the IELTS not done instantly because the IELTS exam is not completed at the computer. You can expect to know your scores 13 days after your test.

This is the minimum that you should know as you register and begin to prepare for the IELTS, but there is a lot more information available. You can learn about the types of questions within each section. How each section is graded, and what you can do if you feel your grade was unfair. Learn as much as you can about the test now so that there are no surprises! Finally, a word of caution: don’t believe everything you read online about the IELTS. Find information from trusted sources such as or from a World’s English IELTS preparation course.

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