IELTS Tests

About IELTS

IELTS, the International English Language Testing System, is designed to assess the language ability of candidates who want to study or work where English is the language of communication.

IELTS is recognized by over 6,000 organizations worldwide, including universities, employers, professional bodies, immigration authorities and other government agencies. IELTS is offered up to four times a month in the Headquarters of Al Faisal International Academy in Riyadh, under the auspice of IDP. Tests are usually on Thursdays and Saturdays.

The level of the test

IELTS is designed to assess language skills at all levels. There is no such thing as a pass or fail in IELTS. Results are reported on a scale from 1( the lowest) to 9 (the highest).

The IELTS Band Score Scale

9

Expert user

8

Very good user

7

Good user

6

Competent user

5

Modest user

4

Limited user

3

Extremely limited user

2

Intermittent user

1

Non user

0

Did not attempt the test

Test Format

There are two modules to choose from

  • The Academic Module is for candidates wishing to study at undergraduate or postgraduate levels, and for those seeking professional registration.
  • The General Module is for candidates wishing to migrate to an English-speaking country (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK), and for those wishing to train or study at below degree level.

Both the Academic and General modules cover all four language skills- listening, reading, writing and speaking. Everyone takes the same Listening and Speaking tests. There are different reading and writing tests for the academic and general modules.

The listening, reading and writing tests must be completed at the same day. There are no breaks between the three written tests. The speaking test may be taken up to seven days before or after the other three tests.

Listening

Timing

Approximately 30 minutes (plus 10 minutes’ transfer time)

Questions

There are 40 questions
Multiple choice, matching information, matching, plan/map/diagram labeling, form completion, note completion, table completion, flow-chart completion, summary completion, short-answer questions.

Test Parts

There are 4 sections:

  • Section 1 is a conversation between two people set in an everyday social context.
  • Section 2 is a monologue set in an everyday social context.
  • Section 3 is a conversation between up to four people set in an educational or training context
  • Section 4 is a monologue on an academic subject.

Skills assessed

Understanding the main ideas and specific factual information; recognizing opinions, attitudes and purpose of a speaker; development of an argument.

Marking

Each correct answer receives 1 mark. Scores out of 40 are converted to the IELTS 9-band scale.

Reading

Timing

60  minutes (no extra transfer time)

Questions

There are 40 questions
Multiple choice, identifying information, identifying the writer’s views/ claims, matching information, matching headings, matching figures, matching sentences, sentences completion, summary completion,  note completion, table completion, flow-chart completion, diagram label completion, short-answer questions.

Test Parts

There are 3 sections:
The total text length is 2,150-2,750 words

  • Academic Reading:  Each section contains one long text taken from books, magazines and newspapers. They have been written for non-specialist audience and are on academic topics of general interest. 
  • General Training Reading:
  • Section 1:  contains two or three short factual texts. Topics are relevant to everyday life in an English-speaking country.
  • Section 2: contains two short factual texts focusing on work-related issues.
  • Section 3: contains one longer, more complex text on a topic of general interest.

Skills assessed

Reading for gist, reading for main ideas, reading for details, understanding inferences and implied meaning; recognizing a writer’s opinions, attitudes and purpose; and following the development of an argument.

Marking

Each correct answer receives 1 mark. Scores out of 40 are converted to the IELTS 9-band scale.

Writing

Timing

60  minutes

Tasks

There are 2 tasks
Writing at least 150 words for task 1 and at least 250 words for task 2. 

Test Parts

There are two parts:

  • Academic Writing: 

In task 1, candidates are presented with a graph, table, chart or diagram and are asked to describe, summarize or explain the information in their own words.
In task 2, candidates are asked to write an essay in response to a point of view, argument, or problem. 
Tasks 1 and 2 should be written in a formal style.

  • General Training Writing:

In task 1, candidates are presented with a situation and are asked to write a letter requesting information or explaining the situation. The letter may be personal, semi-formal or formal style.
In task 2, candidates are asked to write an essay in response to a point of view, argument, or problem. 

Skills assessed

In both tasks, candidates are assessed on their ability to write a response which is appropriate in terms of content, the organization of ideas, and the accuracy and range of vocabulary and grammar.

Marking

Candidates are assessed on their performance on each task by certified IELTS examiners according to four criteria of IELTS Writing Test Band Descriptors (task achievement/ response, coherence and cohesion, lexical resource, grammatical range and accuracy).
Task 2 contributes twice as much as Task 1 to writing score.

Speaking

Timing

11-14  minutes

Tasks

The speaking test is a 3-part face to face oral interview with an examiner. The speaking test is recorded.  

Test Parts

There are 3 parts:

  • Part 1:  Introduction and interview (4-5 minutes)
  • Part 2:  Individual long turn (3-4 minutes)
  • Part 3:  Two-way discussion (4-5 minutes)

Skills assessed

The ability to communicate opinions and information on everyday topics and common experiences and situations by answering a range of questions; the ability to speaking at length on a given topic using appropriate language and organizing ideas; and the ability to express and justify opinions and to analyze, discuss and speculate about issues. 

Marking

Candidates are assessed on their performance through the test by certified IELTS examiners according to four criteria of IELTS Speaking Test Band Descriptors (fluency and coherence, lexical resource, grammatical range and accuracy, pronunciation).


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