Every exam has a unique pattern, and knowing the pattern before taking the exam is very important.

The IELTS exam also has a unique pattern that IDP follows in every test. To get a good band score in the IELTS, students must have proper knowledge of the IELTS exam pattern.

In the upcoming paragraphs, I will provide complete information about the IELTS pattern so that students can easily prepare for the exam.

To make students easily understand the IELTS test pattern, I will provide details like types of IELTS exams, modules, and types of questions that appear in each module.

But first, let’s discuss what is IELTS exam.

What Is IELTS?

IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is an exam that measures the English language proficiency of students. 

This exam is taken by those who want to migrate to an English-speaking country to work, study, or residence purposes.

The IELTS is the most taken exam to prove language proficiency, as it is accepted by more than 11,000 organizations worldwide.

Now let’s understand the pattern of the IELTS exam in detail.

IELTS Exam Pattern

The first thing you must know to understand the IELTS pattern is the types of IELTS, as the pattern of exams is different for different IELTS types.

Types Of IELTS

There are two types of IELTS exam.

  • IELTS academics 
  • IELTS general training (GT)

IELTS Academics: This type of IELTS test is taken by those who want to prove their language proficiency for study purposes. For example, those who want to migrate to an English-speaking to study take IELTS academics.

IELTS General Training (GT): This IELTS type measure students’ language proficiency in an everyday context. This exam suits those who want to migrate to an English-speaking country for work or apply for PR. 

Now let’s understand the types of modules in IELTS to get more information of the IELTS exam pattern.

Types Of Modules In IELTS

There are 4 modules in the IELTS exam through which students’ language proficiency is tested. 

  • Listening
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Speaking
ListeningThe listening section is the same for both types of IELTS tests. In this modulate, students have been given a question booklet, and a recording will be played.By listening to the recording, students are required to answer 40 questions. Students can listen to the recording only once and are advised to listen carefully. The listening section will take 40 minutes to complete, including 10 minutes to transfer answers to an answer sheet.
ReadingThe reading section for both the IELTS types is different. In IELTS academic reading, there are 3 passages, while in IELTS GT, there are 4. The number of questions, types of questions, and time allotted to complete the reading are the same for both IELTS types. The IELTS GT reading is quite easier compared to Academic reading.
WritingThere are two tasks in the IELTS writing module. IELTS writing task 2 is the same for both IELTS exam types, whereas IELTS writing task 1 is different for both. The IELTS writing module takes 1 hour to complete, and you are advised not to spend more than 20 minutes on IELTS task 1 and not more than 40 minutes on IELTS writing task 2.
SpeakingThe speaking module for both IELTS types is also the same. The speaking module of the IELTS exam takes place before or after the other three modules of the test.The IELTS speaking part takes place  11 to 14 minutes to complete.

Now that you know about the IELTS exam modules, let’s look at the types of questions in the IELTS exam to understand the IELTS exam pattern completely.

Types Of Questions In the IELTS Exam

The types of question for IELTS listening, reading, speaking, and IELTS writing task 2 for both IELTS GT and IELTS academics is the same. 

The only difference is in the types of questions in IELTS writing task 1. Let’s look at the table below to understand the question types in the IELTS exam properly.

ModuleNumber Of QuestionsDurationType Of Questions
Listening4040 minutesMultiple choice
Matching information
Plan, map, diagram labeling
Form, note, table, flow-chart, summary completion
Sentence completion
Short-answer questions
Reading4060 minutesMultiple choice
Identifying information
Identifying the writer’s views/claims
Matching headings
Matching features
Matching sentence endings
Sentence completion
Summary, note, table, flow-chart completion
Diagram label completion
Short-answer questions
Writing260 minutesIELTS Academic Task 1Bar Chart
Multiple Graphs
Pie Chart
Process Diagram
Line Graph
IELTS General Task 1
Formal letter
Informal letter
Semi-formal letter
IELTS Academic & General Task 2
Agree or disagree
Discuss both views 
Advantages and disadvantages
Problem or Solution 
Positive or Negative development
Direct essay
Speaking311 – 14 minutesPart 1 – Introductive question
Part 2 – Cue card
Part 3 – Follow-up

Now when you understand the IELTS exam pattern properly, here are some of the best tips for you that you can use to get a good band score in IELTS exam.

Tips To Score High In IELTS Exam

Here, I will explain the tips you must follow to score 7+ bands in the IELTS exam.

  1. First, Make a proper study plan for IELTS and follow that plan strictly.
  2. Understand the IELTS exam’s format, the exam’s time limit and what kind of questions you have to face in the exam.
  3. Manage your time properly. Always try to finish your work at least 5 minutes in advance and spend those 5 minutes proofreading your work.
  4. Learn new vocabularies and practice them by making sentences on them.
  5. Take as many mock tests as possible and keep track of your progress.
  6. Always take proper notes and revise them before the exam.
  7. Give proper time to each module, and practice more in which module you are weak.
  8. Always ask your friend or teacher who knows English to check your writing and take speaking to find out your mistakes, if any.
  9. Speak, read, write, and listen to English daily for the best result.


In this blog, I have discussed the IELTS exam pattern. Knowing an exam’s pattern is important to get a good score on that exam.

Along with knowing the pattern of the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) exam, students must follow some important tips to score high in IELTS exam, like learning vocabulary, practicing daily, and managing time effectively.

I hope this blog has cleared all your queries about the IELTS exam pattern, and if you still have any queries or need guidance related to the IELTS exam, contact our experts.

Keep visiting CourseMentor™ for interesting and informative content like this.


Can I use a pen in the IELTS Writing test?

Yes, you can use the dark blue or black pen in the IELTS exam, but you are advised not to use the pen in IELTS writing because if you make any mistake during writing, you won’t be able to erase that.

How long does the IELTS exam result remain valid?

The IELTS exam result remains valid for two years from the exam date. For example, if you took the test on 2nd April 2023, your result will be valid until 1st April 2025.