What Is IELTS Test Exam Pattern And What Type Of Questions Are In the IELTS Speaking Test?

Have you made your mind to appear for IELTS and want to know the test pattern? Whether you are aping for a student visa or pursuing a career abroad, passing the IELTS exam becomes mandatory at times. And, to ace this exam, you must know its pattern to prepare it well ahead.

This article is going to explain the IELTS test pattern to facilitate you in acing it. So, let’s delve into it here.

Who Design The IELTS Test Pattern?

British Council and Educational Testing Service (IELTS) are the two major origination’s responsible for preparing the IELTS test pattern.

IELTS Australia and Cambridge English Language Assessment execute the IELTS test for measuring the proficiency level of the candidate in the English language. 

The IELTS’s Test Pattern is designed for reflecting the everyday life use of English in different walks of life. Such as at play, at work, at a social gathering, and the study. 

Adding to it, the IELTS test has the following two versions including

  • IELTS Academic 
  • IELTS General Training

Scoring and Sections of the IELTS Exam:

 What’s more? The unique IELTS 9-band scale is incorporated for scoring for both the formats.

According to the IELTS test pattern, both IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training have four sections that are:

  • Listening 
  • Reading
  • Writing 
  • Speaking

The candidate has to take the same Speaking and Listening modules in both the IELTS exam pattern’s versions, i.e., IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training. While the Writing and Reading modules alter for both the versions.  

Duration and Schedule:

Candidates will be having 2 hours and 45 minutes for the IELTS test. 

Scheduled together are Writing Listening and Reading tests. In contrast, the speaking test may either be conducted on the same day or within a week after or before the IELTS test of Writing, Reading, and Listening.


  IELTS Test Sections Duration   Brief Description
  The Listening Part   30 minutes   4 sections having 40 items
  The Reading Part   60 minutes   3 sections having 40 items
  The Writing Part   60 minutes 2 questions 
  The Speaking Part   11-14 minutes  3-part one-on-one conversation


   Now, lets shed some light on the speaking part of the IELTS test here.

About The Speaking Test:

 As per the IELTS test pattern, the speaking test is executed as a one-on-one test for assessing the English communication skills of a candidate. In this test, the candidate has to indulge in a real-life conversation with a real individual. This is how his/her English conversation skills get tested. 

The examiner records the responses while certified IELTS examiners evaluate it later.

 Sub Division of the Speaking Part:

 The IELTS Speaking section is sub-divided in the following 3 parts:

Part 1:

 In the first part, the test taker will ask you general questions regarding yourself as well as a series of familiar topics. For instance, work, home, family, interests, and studies. The total duration of this part is around 4-5 minutes.

 Part 2:

 In the second part, the test taker will give you a card asking you to talk about a particular topic. For preparation, you will have a minute prior to speaking for more than 2 minutes. Afterward, the test taker will ask one or two questions about the same topic for finishing part two.

 Part 3:

 Here, the test taker will ask you further questions linked with the topic in the second part. These questions will provide you the opportunity of discussing more issues and abstract ideas. The duration of this part is around 4-5 minutes.

Scoring Criteria:

 Your score is based on the four criteria, including:

  • Fluency and coherence
  • Lexical resource 
  • Grammatical accuracy and range 
  • Pronunciation

The reporting of scores takes place in the whole and half bands.