Everything You Need to Know About the IELTS

Everything You Need to Know About the IELTS

- By Michael (28 articles)



The IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is one of the most popular English language proficiency tests for non-native English language speakers around the world. It’s one of the language tests you can take that the Nursing & Midwifery Council and the General Medical Council accept as evidence of your ability to communicate effectively in English. For professional registration with the NMC and GMC, you need take the academic version of the IELTS exams so in this version of the exam it would test: Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing in an academic context. 



Test Format 


The total test time is 2 hours and 45 minutes. This is split with Listening lasting for 30 minutes, Reading and Writing for 1 hour each and speaking for a range between 11-14 minutes. 


For the listening part of the exam, four recordings are going to be played and you will need to write your answers to a series of questions (40 questions, each worth a mark). These are all within 6 tasks. 


The reading part of the exam also consists of 40 questions that need to be answered within an hour. They’re designed to test reading for gist, reading for main ideas, reading for detail, skimming, understanding logical argument and recognising writers' opinions, attitudes and purpose.  The reading part in total consists of 11 tasks. 


The writing part of the exam is also an hour long, in which you need to complete two tasks. In the first task you will be asked to describe, summarise or explain some visual information (graph/table/chart/diagram) in your own words. You will need to write about 150 words in around 20 minutes. For the second task, you need to write an essay as a response to a point of view, argument or problem, and for this task you will need to write about 250 words in 40 minutes. 


The speaking part of the IELTS is split into 3 sections: Introduction and interview, Long turn and Discussion. In the first section you will answer general questions about yourself and topics such as home, family, work, studies and interests. In the second section, you will have 2 minutes to speak about a particular that’s going to be given to you. And for the last section, you will be asked further questions about the topic in the previous section. 



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