IELTS Exam Pattern 2024 – Section Wise Explained

The 2024 IELTS exam has four sections: Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking, where candidates are evaluated. The test comes in two formats: IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training. Academic is for those applying to universities globally for undergraduate or postgraduate studies, while General Training is for individuals migrating to English-speaking countries or relocating for work-related training.

Candidates must check the language proficiency requirements of their chosen college or university and prepare accordingly. Professional organizations also accept IELTS scores as proof of English proficiency for non-native speakers.

IELTS Exam Pattern 2024

Candidates should familiarize themselves with the format before preparing for the 2024 IELTS Exam. The test score holds significant weight in the selection process, and IELTS is a collaboration between the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia, and Cambridge English Language Assessment. Widely accepted, the exam opens doors to over 10,000 educational institutions in more than 140 countries.

As mentioned earlier, the IELTS format comprises various components: Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking. The Reading, Listening, and Writing sections are administered consecutively in one sitting. However, the Speaking section may occur on the same day or within seven days before or after the main examination date.

Exam Overview

Sections Duration IELTS Academic Test Description Total Questions
Listening 30 Minutes Encompasses four recorded monologues and conversations 40
Reading 60 Minutes Three long reading passages with tasks. Texts range from descriptive and factual to discursive analytical, including non-verbal material like diagrams, graphs, and illustrations. Texts are authentic, taken from books, journals, and newspapers 40
Writing 60 minutes In Writing Task 1, a candidate must write at least 150 words summarizing, describing, or explaining a table, graph, chart, or diagram. In Writing Task 2, a candidate has to write a short essay of at least 250 words 2
Speaking 11-14 minutes A face-to-face interview includes an introduction of the candidate, a cue card, and a detailed discussion 3

More than 10,000 educational institutions across 140 countries worldwide accept international applicants based on their IELTS test results. Candidates should thoroughly understand the IELTS exam format and content to increase their chances of getting into popular institutions.

Below is detailed information about the IELTS exam syllabus and pattern:

Listening: This section involves 40 questions and lasts for 30 minutes. It comprises four parts, each featuring a recorded monologue speech or conversation.

Reading: The 2024 IELTS exam pattern includes a reading section that lasts 60 minutes and includes 40 questions covering descriptive, factual, and analytical concepts. Three long reading comprehension passages cover these concepts.

Writing: Candidates are required to write two short essays of 150-200 words each. The essay questions may involve interpreting and describing data presented in graphs, charts, or diagrams.

Speaking: The speaking section consists of three one-on-one conversations. It includes a discussion on a familiar topic, answering a few short questions, and engaging in a conversation on a structured topic.

IELTS Test Format for 2024

The IELTS exam, administered by IDP IELTS, follows a specific pattern in 2024. It comprises four key components: Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking. While Listening and Speaking tests are standardized for all candidates, Reading and Writing tests are tailored to each individual. Below, you’ll find a detailed breakdown of the IELTS exam pattern for 2024.

IELTS Exam Pattern – Listening

The listening section of the IELTS paper encompasses four types of questions: Matching, Multiple-choice questions, Sentence completion, and Short answer questions. This section aims to evaluate candidates’ listening skills, assessing their comprehension of main ideas, specific factual information, recognition of opinions, attitudes, and the speaker’s purpose, as well as their ability to follow the development of an argument.

In the IDP IELTS test pattern, candidates respond in writing to a series of questions after listening to four recordings of fluent English speakers:

Recording 1: A discussion between two people in a typical social setting.

Recording 2: A monologue in a typical social setting, such as a speech about a neighborhood facility.

Recording 3: A discussion among up to four people in an educational or training setting, like a student and a university tutor discussing an assignment.

Recording 4: A monologue about a school-related subject, like a lecture at a university.

IELTS Exam Pattern – Reading

The Reading section of the IELTS exam assesses your reading skills through three diverse passages, covering a range of topics from straightforward and descriptive to more complex and analytical. While there isn’t a fixed pattern for the types of passages, they are chosen to be accessible to a general audience and suitable for students entering university or pursuing a profession.

This section contains 40 questions; you have 60 minutes to complete it. To succeed, you must read efficiently and manage your time wisely, which comes with understanding the IELTS exam format and regular practice. The IELTS Reading test evaluates various reading abilities, such as:

  • Grasping the overall meaning of a passage.
  • Identifying key points.
  • Seeking additional information.
  • Recognizing implications and inferences.
  • Understanding the author’s viewpoints, goals, and objectives.
  • Following the progression of an argument.

IELTS Test Pattern – Writing

Maintaining a formal tone when writing for the IELTS Academic Writing test is essential. This section may include a graph, table, chart, or diagram.

In the 2024 IELTS exam pattern, candidates must independently provide a written description, summary, or explanation of the given material. This may involve explaining data, outlining procedure steps, or describing objects and events.

The topics presented are designed to be both exciting and easily understandable. The IELTS writing section aims to assess various writing skills, including the ability to generate a suitable response, organize ideas effectively, and use a diverse range of words and language accurately.

IELTS Exam Pattern РSpeaking 

In the IELTS speaking test, candidates converse with a certified examiner. Whether it’s the IELTS Academic or IELTS General Training test, the content covered in the IELTS syllabus remains consistent. The goal of the IELTS speaking test is to assess multiple skills, including the ability to:

Respond to various questions by expressing thoughts and information on common topics and experiences.

  • Discuss a subject in-depth using appropriate language.
  • Organize ideas in a logical sequence.
  • State and support opinions.
  • Engage in discussions, debates, and hypotheses about various issues.
  • To prepare for the test, candidates can explore different IELTS sample papers and refer to recommended IELTS preparation books.

The speaking section of the IELTS test has three parts. Here’s what you can expect in each part:

In Part 1, the examiner introduces themselves and then asks the candidate about their home, family, job, studies, and interests. This part is designed to help the candidate relax and speak naturally.

In Part 2, the examiner will give the candidate a task card with instructions on discussing a specific topic and suggested talking points. The candidate will have a minute to prepare and take notes before speaking for 1-2 minutes on the subject. The examiner will then ask one or two additional questions about the same topic. 

In Part 3, the examiner will delve deeper into the subject discussed in Part 2, asking more questions. As per the IELTS test pattern, these questions aim to allow candidates to explore more abstract issues and concepts.

IELTS Exam Pattern for General Training

The IELTS General Training test evaluates the English language proficiency of individuals aiming to move to an English-speaking country for work or study.

This exam is divided into four sections: Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking. Each section lasts 30 minutes except for the Writing section, which lasts 60 minutes.


1. How many sections are in the IELTS exam, and what are they?

The IELTS exam typically consists of four sections: Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking.

2. Is there a change in the scoring system for the IELTS exam in 2024?

As of now, there has yet to be any information about changes in the scoring system for the IELTS exam in 2024. It’s advisable to check official sources for any updates.

3. Is there any change in the speaking test format for the IELTS exam in 2024?

The speaking test format has been consistent, involving a face-to-face interview with an examiner. Any modifications to this format would be communicated officially.

4. How can I prepare for the IELTS exam based on the 2024 pattern?

Preparation strategies for the IELTS exam generally involve practicing each section, improving language skills, and familiarizing oneself with the test format. Consider using official study materials and seeking guidance from experienced tutors.

5. Can I use online resources to prepare for the IELTS exam pattern in 2024?

Yes, many online platforms offer study materials and practice tests for the IELTS exam. Ensure that the resources you use are reliable and up-to-date.

6. Are there any specific changes in the IELTS exam pattern for academic and general training modules in 2024?

The IELTS exam typically has two modules: Academic and General Training. Changes, if any, in the pattern for each module would be specified by the official IELTS authorities.

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