IELTS Syllabus: Section-Wise Syllabus & Exam Pattern 2024

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IELTS Syllabus: Section-Wise Syllabus & Exam Pattern

IELTS Syllabus: The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) serves as a crucial gateway for non-native English speakers seeking to pursue higher education abroad. This standardized test assesses English proficiency through four modules: Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening. While the Speaking and Listening sections are identical for all test versions, the Reading and Writing components differ between the General Training and Academic formats. This blog aims to offer a comprehensive overview of the IELTS syllabus, guiding aspiring candidates in their preparation journey.

By delving into each section’s format, content, and assessment criteria, this resource empowers individuals to strategically approach their studies. By understanding the specific demands of each module, test-takers can effectively allocate their resources and hone their skills in targeted areas. Ultimately, this detailed syllabus equips candidates with the knowledge and confidence needed to excel on the IELTS and unlock their overseas education aspirations.

What is IELTS?

Types of IELTS

Before straight away diving into the IELTS syllabus and exam pattern, let’s briefly discuss the different types of IELTS exams too. There are two types of IELTS tests- IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training. Each of these tests is designed for different purposes.

What is IELTS Academic?

Candidates who want to apply for higher education or professional registration in countries where English is the primary medium of communication should take IELTS Academic. The primary goal of the test is to determine whether an applicant is ready to begin learning or training in English. The United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are among the countries that accept IELTS for academic purposes.

What is IELTS General Training?

IELTS General Training is for people who want to migrate to New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the United States, or the United Kingdom, or who want to apply for secondary school, training programmes, or job experience in an English-speaking country. The focus of this examination is on a candidate’s basic survival skills in a broad social and workplace setting.

IELTS Exam Pattern 2024

IELTS Exam Pattern: There are two types of IELTS exams, i.e. IELTS Academic and IELTS General. It is crucial for IELTS test-takers to keep abreast of the latest IELTS exam pattern to get a solid understanding of the IELTS exam and its nuances. Therefore, before elaborating on the IELTS syllabus, let’s take a look at the exam pattern as well as the maximum duration allotted to each section:

SectionNumber of Questions & DurationContentMarks
Listening4 Recordings
40 Questions

30 Minutes + 10 minutes transfer time
Four recorded monologues and conversations1 mark per question
Reading40 Questions 

60 minutes
3 Passages (can be descriptive, analytical, factual or discursive)1 mark per question
Writing2 Questions 

60 minutes
Writing task (Minimum 150 words)
Essay (minimum 250 words)
Each task is assessed independently. The assessment of Task 2 carries more weight in marking than Task 1.
Speaking3 Questions 

11-14 minutes
Part 1: Q&A

Part 2: Speaking in detail on a familiar topic

Part 3: Structure Discussion

IELTS Section-Wise Syllabus 2024

Refer to the information given below to go through the section-wise IELTS syllabus .

Reading Section Syllabus

This section comprises three general texts on topics relevant to the candidates who want to study undergraduate and postgraduate courses, work, or migrate to counties abroad.

  • The reading modules contain three sections with 40 questions which are majorly MCQs.
  • Identifying data for short answer questions, sentence or summary completion,  identifying writer’s attitudes/views and matching lists or phrases are some of the areas where the skills of candidates are examined.
  • Students will be provided 30 minutes and 10 minutes of transfer time to solve the section. Tabulated below are the major differences between the IELTS syllabus of the 2 types of Reading sections: 
IELTS Reading: Academic vs General
IELTS Syllabus-AcademicIELTS Syllabus- General Training 
Three long paragraphs are given which could be factual, descriptive or analytical.

The probable source of the paragraphs are
newspapers, books, journals, research works,
etc. and aim to examine the English skills of
working professionals or students.
The three paragraphs are similar in
structure to the academic section
and can be extracted from the company
guidelines, advertisements, brochures, etc.     

Must Read: IELTS Reading – How to Improve Your Score!

IELTS Writing Section Syllabus

In this section, the candidates will be evaluated on their skills to fluently write a general report or a short essay.

  • There are only two questions in the portion of the IELTS exam. In the first question, the candidates will be provided with a diagram, data, or a table and then they have to represent the information in their own words. The word limit of this question is 150 words.
  • In the second question, candidates are provided with an argument or point of view problem. The objective is to assess the candidate on the opinion, justifications, ideas, and evidence they provide for the answer. In total, the candidates will be provided 60 minutes to solve this section.
IELTS Writing: Academic vs General
IELTS Syllabus-AcademicIELTS Syllabus- General Training 
Number of Questions: 2

The candidate has to recapitulate and
define the provided diagram or data within
150 words essay based on the definition of 1st answer inclusive of the examples
Number of Questions: 2

Candidates have to write a letter as per the
given situation. It can be personal, formal,
or semi-formal depending on the questions.
The applicant will also be required to write an essay to support the letter, citing the relevant instances (if any)   

Know about How to Prepare for IELTS Online?

IELTS Listening Section Syllabus

This section of the IELTS exam is divided into four parts where the candidates will be provided with audio clips. While the first would be about social needs, the other two would be related to situations regarding education. The audio clips could either be a dialogue or a monologue that will run for a duration of around three minutes and will be played once only. Based on these clips, short answers, note completion, MCQ and many other types of questions will be asked. The IELTS syllabus of this section consists of:

  • Audio 1- Dialogue based on social contexts
  • Audio 2- Monologue about the everyday social issues
  • Audio 3- Conversation between 4 people regarding education   
  • Audio 4- Monologue on an academic subject

Must Read: Become a Pro in IELTS Listening

Top 11 IELTS Listening Tips to Get 8+ Band Score

Latest & Best IELTS Preparation Tips & Tricks

IELTS Speaking Section Syllabus

Conducted as an interview, this section examines the general communication skills of the candidates. It would ultimately lead to a complete analysis of whether the candidate can speak proficiently in English or not. A three-tier process, this section of the IELTS syllabus will start with a short introduction, an individual long-run, and a final in-depth discussion. Listed below are the components assessed in this section: 

Part 1 (Introduction Followed by an Interview)

In this task, the candidates have to introduce themselves talking about their family, hobbies, interests, educational background, etc in about 4-5 minutes.

Part 2 (Long Turn)

In this part of IELTS speaking, the candidates will be provided with a flashcard with a topic written on it. They can take a few minutes to think, familiarize themselves with the topic given, and then speak on it for 2-3 minutes. Afterwards, the interviewer might also have some questions to evaluate the candidate’s understanding of the topic.

Part 3 (Discussion)

There would be a detailed discussion on the topic given in Part 2 and the candidate’s speech as well as comprehension. You will get the chance to delve deeper into the topic and cover it in an elaborate manner. This task generally encompasses a duration of 5-6 minutes.

IELTS Section-Wise Exam Pattern

This section outlines the criteria used to evaluate test-taker responses in each component. It explains the assessment parameters, such as task achievement, coherence and cohesion, lexical resource, grammatical range and accuracy, and pronunciation. Familiarizing oneself with this scheme assists candidates in understanding how their performance is evaluated and aids in targeted preparation for the exam.

IELTS marking scheme for different sections is outlined in the following sections:


There are 40 questions on the IELTS Listening test. The candidate receives one mark for each correct response, and the results are translated to the IELTS scale’s nine bands.

Band ScoreRaw Score 0ut of 40

Also Read: IELTS Listening Score Calculator


Each correct response earns a candidate one mark on the 40-question IELTS Reading test. The candidate’s score out of 40 is converted to the IELTS band scale, which has nine possible scores.
The two examinations that have questions from the same genre and type of literature are the Academic and General Training Reading tests. Academic reading assessments include questions with more challenging vocabulary or questions with more complicated question formats. A candidate must correctly answer more questions on the General Training Reading test in order to achieve a higher score on a given band score.

The tables below show the typical amount of marks a candidate must obtain in Listening, Academic Reading, and General Training Reading to receive a given band score.

Band scoreAcademic Reading
(raw score out of 40)
General Training Reading
(raw score out of 40)


The 150-word summaries of visual information and the 250-word essays based on a point of view or argument are the two assignments in the IELTS Writing section. Examiners employ a variety of evaluation factors, which are all equally weighted, to assign a band score from zero to nine. The task score is the average of these scores.

  • Task Achievement (for Task 1), Task Response (for Task 2)
  • Coherence and Cohesion
  • Lexical Resource
  • Grammatical Range and Accuracy


In IELTS Speaking, a candidate’s speaking skills are evaluated on three tasks during a face-to-face interview with the examiner. Examiners assign a band score, which is the average of the points collected for each particular task, using evaluation criteria.

  • Fluency and Coherence
  • Lexical Resource
  • Grammatical Range and Accuracy
  • Pronunciation

IELTS Syllabus PDF

IELTS Syllabus PDF: Check out the link given below to download the IELTS syllabus PDF and start streamlining your preparation schedule according to the syllabus.

IELTS Syllabus 2024Click Here to Download 

IELTS Preparation Tips

Here are some useful tips to prepare for IELTS:

IELTS Preparation tips

IELTS Coaching

The global pandemic has changed everything around us. Traditional coaching centres have now started offering online classes. Leverage Live is one of the best online learning platforms available out there for preparation. With well-versed faculty, well-structured study material, high-quality video content, doubt clarification sessions, personalized study plans, and motivating teachers, you will surely get a high score in each section.

Follow, like and subscribe to Leverage IELTS for more such information.

IELTS Preparation Books 2024

IELTS Preparation Books: In order to ace the IELTS exam, you need to prepare using the best notes and study resources possible. There are a plethora of high-quality IELTS preparation books and audio recordings available to help you prepare for the IELTS exam. Here are some of the most popular IELTS preparation books that you should have in your library:

Listening and Speaking Skills by Barry Cusack and Sam McCarterClick Here to Buy
IELTS General Training & Academic Study GuideClick Here to Buy
IELTS Preparation and Practice: Reading and Writing Academic Student BookClick Here to Buy
Success to IELTS: Tips and TechniquesClick Here to Buy
IELTS Reading Tests by Sam McCarterClick Here to Buy
Check Your English Vocabulary for IELTS by Rawdon WyattClick Here to Buy
Improve Your IELTS Writing by Norman Whitby and Sam McCarterClick Here to Buy
Cambridge Grammar for IELTS Click Here to Buy
Ace the IELTS: IELTS General Module – How to Maximize Your ScoreClick Here to Buy

Here’s all the IELTS Study Material for getting a High Score

So that was all about IELTS syllabus. Hope the blog has answered all your queries.

                                                              Related Blogs 
IELTS Speaking Cue Cards, Topics, & StrategiesIELTS Marking Scheme | IELTS Scoring System & GradingIELTS Sample Tests: PDF (Download), Exam Pattern
IELTS Preparation Tips: General Tips and Section Wise …IELTS Speaking TipsIELTS Eligibility: IELTS Exam Age Limit & Qualification


Are there any pass marks for IELTS?

There are no pass marks, however, scores of all 4 sections are calculated on the 9-band range (0-9).

What is the syllabus of IELTS?

IELTS syllabus contains a total of four sections, i.e. Reading, Speaking, Writing and Listening. For the two types of IELTS tests, i.e. Academic and General, the sections of Reading and Writing are different while the Listening and Speaking sections remain the same for these two versions.

How can I prepare for the IELTS exam?

While preparing for the IELTS, you need to familiarize yourself with the exam pattern of the IELTS test you are planning to take. Along with this, understand the type of questions as well as tasks you might get under each section of the IELTS syllabus. While working on each section of the IELTS exam, make sure that you are practising through sample tests and mock tests to analyse what you have learned.

What is the eligibility for the IELTS exam?

The basic IELTS eligibility requirements are: The candidate must have a non-expired and valid passport, the minimum age limit for IELTS is 16 years, and if you are planning to migrate or study in Canada, Australia, the USA or New Zealand.

How many times can I take IELTS?

There is no certain limit to taking IELTS. But British Council has specified 48 days in a year for IELTS General while 24 dates for IELTS academic exam. The specific date will usually differ depending upon your nearest test centre.

Visit the Leverage Live page of Leverage edu or contact our study abroad experts at 1800-57-2000 to strengthen your scores and application to secure your spot in your dream college. 

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  1. hi,
    im divyta here.pls send me the required details of the ielts exams that are coming up.i would love to register myself for the next ielts exam taking place.

    1. Hi Shobhit!
      In relation to your query regarding Australian work and student visa, our blog Australian Visa Types might shed some light. If you are interested in knowing more about Australian visas and other study abroad related services call Leverage Edu anytime at 1800 572 000 for a free consultancy session.

    1. Hey Varsha,
      You can become an IELTS trainer by obtaining a CELTA/DELTA trainer certificate via TEFL/TESOL.