IELTS sample test - Crossroads Languages

What is IELTS? Do an IELTS sample test

How much do you know about the IELTS test?

Learn more about how the IELTS test is organised then check your level with our free IELTS sample test.

 Information adapted from

All downloads and recordings are taken from the Take IELTS with British Council site and Understanding IELTS free course.

The IELTS Test Overview

  • The IELTS test assesses your abilities in listening, reading, writing and speaking – in less than three hours.
  • There are two types of the IELTS test:  IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training.
  • Listening and Speaking are the same for both tests, but the Reading and Writing tests are different.
  • The Listening, Reading and Writing parts of all IELTS tests are completed on the same day, with no breaks in between them.
  • The Speaking test can be completed up to a week before or after the other tests. Your test centre will give you this information.
  • The total test time is 2 hours and 45 minutes.

Our IELTS sample test allows you to try all parts of an IELTS Academic Test.

IELTS Test format – Listening

30 minutes

You will listen to four recordings of native English speakers and then write your answers to a series of questions.
  • 1 – a conversation between two people set in an everyday social context.
  • 2 – a monologue set in an everyday social context, e.g. a speech about local facilities.
  • 3 – a conversation between up to four people set in an educational or training context, e.g. a university tutor and a student discussing an assignment.
  • 4 – a monologue on an academic subject, e.g. a university lecture.

IELTS Test format – Reading

60 minutes

The Reading part consists of 40 questions, designed to test a wide range of reading skills.
IELTS Academic test:
  • Texts are taken from books, journals, magazines and newspapers.
  • They are non-specialist texts appropriate for people entering university courses or seeking professional registration.

IELTS General Training test:

  • Extracts from books, magazines, newspapers, notices, advertisements, company handbooks and guidelines.
  • They are materials you can read on a daily basis in an English-speaking environment.

IELTS Test format – Writing

60 minutes

IELTS Academic test:

  • Topics are of general interest to, and suitable for, test takers entering undergraduate and postgraduate studies or seeking professional registration.
  • There are two tasks:
    • Task 1 – describe and summarise information on a graph, table, chart or diagram. Or describe the stages of a process, how something works or describe an object or event.
    • Task 2 – write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem.

IELTS General Training:

  • Topics are of general interest. There are two tasks:
    • Task 1 – write a letter requesting information, or explaining the situation.
    • Task 2 – write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem.

IELTS Test format – Speaking

11–14 minutes

The speaking component assesses your use of spoken English. Every test is recorded.

  • Part 1 – the examiner will ask you general questions about yourself and familiar topics, such as home, family, work, studies and interests. 4 – 5 minutes.
  • Part 2 – you will talk about a particular topic on a card. 1 minute to prepare and 2 minutes to speak. The examiner will then ask one or two questions on the same topic.
  • Part 3 – you will answer more questions about the topic in Part 2 and discuss more abstract ideas and issues. 4 – 5 minutes.

Part 1 IELTS Speaking Test

Part 1 IELTS Speaking Test

Watch candidate do part 1 of the IELTS speaking test.

Speaking Part One (Cambridge UCLES)
Part 2 IELTS Speaking Test.

Part 2 IELTS Speaking Test.

Watch candidate do part 2 of the IELTS speaking test

Speaking Part 2 (Cambridge UCLES)
Part 3 IELTS Speaking Test

Part 3 IELTS Speaking Test

Watch candidate do part 3 of IELTS speaking test and then read the examiner's comments in the downloads above.

Speaking part 3 (Cambridge UCLES)