IELTS Exam 2024-25: Complete Details for IELTS Exam

Updated on 31 January, 2024

Bulbul Sharma

Bulbul Sharma

Manager- Content @upGrad

ielts online test

IELTS: Overview

If you are preparing for competitive exams or aspire to study abroad, you must have heard of the IELTS exam. Ever wondered what the IELTS full form is? IELTS stands for the International English Language Testing System and is a popular exam that tests language proficiency of non-native English speakers who wish to work, study, or relocate to a country where English is the primary language. In this article, let us dive into the fundamentals and intricacies of the exam.


The IELTS test scores are acceptable in 140 countries, including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The scores are awarded based on the candidate’s ability to listen, read, write, and speak English. The final exam score is graded on a band scale of 1 to 9, with one being the lowest and nine being the highest band score. 

There are two main IELTS test formats – computer-based and paper-based. The speaking test in both formats is conducted before a trained examiner. For the other three parts (listening, reading, and writing), candidates use a computer in the IELTS computer-based test, and those taking the IELTS on paper use HB pencils or a pen. 

The IELTS exam in India is currently conducted solely by IDP. Those opting for the computer-based IELTS benefit from more test dates, with results being declared in 3-5 days. 

Why is IELTS Exam Required

IELTS is an important exam as it is useful in many ways for the test takers. Some of these are listed below:

  • In English-speaking nations such as Australia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, the United States, and Canada, the IELTS exam is necessary for migration as well as academic purposes. It is the only English Language Test that UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) has approved for visa applicants applying to the United Kingdom. 
  • International universities and visa-granting authorities are keen to ensure that students do not experience communication problems during their study periodin the country. TheIELTS band scores are critical because they demonstrate how good a grasp the candidate holds in English. <br>
  • A major confusion among students is whether IELTS is a compulsory exam. Some institutions may not even use IELTS scores when considering applicants. However, students should keep in mind that if they do not take IELTS, their prospects of receiving a student visa may reduce as a good IELTS score adds weight to your profile. This justifies the IELTS exam requirement for 2023-24. 

IDP IELTS has over 1,400 test locations across 56 countries, including over 260 computer-delivered IELTS centers.

IELTS Test Duration

The total time of the test is 2 hours 45 minutes and is divided into four parts:

  • Writing - 60 minutes
  • Reading - 60 minutes
  • Listening - 30 minutes (10 minutes extra are allowed to transfer answers from the question booklet to an answer sheet)
  • Speaking - 11 to 14 minutes

Types of IELTS Exam

IELTS examinations are divided into two categories: Academic and General Training. For both exams, the listening and speaking components are identical. The writing and reading sections vary depending on your choice of exam type. The reading, writing, and listening components are all completed on the same day, with no breaks in between.  On the other hand, the speaking component of the test can be completed a week before or after the other tests.

  • IELTS Academic Test: Those applying for higher education or professional registration in another country must take the IELTS Academic exam.
  • IELTS General Test: IELTS General Test: Those who intend to migrate to major English-speaking nations such as Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom must take the IELTS General test. Those who want to enroll in training programs or secondary education or get work experience in a country where English is the primary language of communication must take this test.

Download E-Books for IELTS Preparation

ielts sample essays

Importance of IELTS Examination

Improved English language skills: This exam evaluates a variety of English language skills, including speaking, listening, writing, and reading. Hence, preparing people for real-world scenarios, such as conversing with international students at college, conversing with people at work, or even traveling abroad.

Study abroad opportunities

Top-ranked and leading educational institutions demand an average IELTS score to admit international students. It is a common eligibility criterion for admission, coupled with degrees and academic results. The higher the institution's reputation, the higher the IELTS score requirement. Academic IELTS is not only required for non-native speakers to attend university but also for those desiring to register with professional organizations. 

Global employment opportunities: 

As communication is the most basic requirement for work, big brands and corporations require an IELTS score of 6.5 or above. Applicants must be able to speak, write, and communicate in English to work for employers in foreign countries. For firms with an English-speaking atmosphere and setting, language skills are critical. When it comes to offering employment, developed economies such as the United States, Australia, Europe, Canada, and the United Kingdom usually require a high IELTS score. A strong IELTS score (6.5 or higher)  is necessary for obtaining a work visa. 

Permanent residency and immigration services

When applying for PR or immigration in English-speaking nations, the IELTS score is used as a prerequisite component of the application procedure. It is required to assess applicants' English language abilities and determine whether they can integrate, communicate, and settle in an English-speaking environment. Only visa and immigration applications with a strong IELTS score are accepted and recognized by the immigration authorities. For instance, non-native English speakers are required to attain a minimum of 4.0 in speaking and listening to obtain visas and permanent residency in the UK. The IELTS score aids applicants in their quest to immigrate to and settle in the world's most developed countries.

IELTS Eligibility

The IDP, which administers IELTS, has not established any IELTS eligibility requirements. The exam is open to anyone, regardless of age, gender, race, nationality, or religion. Moreover, there is no age limit either. Candidates who are under the age of 16 are not encouraged to apply. However, they can take the test if they wish to.

The IELTS IDP exam is open to anyone who wishes to pursue higher education or employment in a foreign country (both Academic and General Training). Candidates should, however, carefully check the educational institution's or organization's eligibility requirements before applying.

IELTS Registration

IELTS exam registration can be done in the following ways:

  1. Online registration:

This is one of the most convenient methods of scheduling your IELTS exam. You can pay the IELTS test fee online. After successful registration, you will also receive an instant confirmation. Follow the steps below to book your IELTS exam slot: 

  • Visit
  • Choose "Register for IELTS"
  • Choose the test day and location (students will see the seat availability status)
  • Fill out the online application
  • Pay for the exam with a credit card (Mastercard or Visa)
  • Get an instant seat reservation and confirmation

2. In-person registration:

To complete your IELTS registration in person, head over to any of the IDP Education India Pvt. Ltd. offices.  Here, you can fill out a physical application or complete your form online. You have the option to pay the fee by a demand draft or a credit/debit card. The candidates can also deposit cash in HDFC/ICICI banks by downloading the customized deposit slip from the website of IELTS IDP India or obtaining the slip from the IELTS IDP office. For successful registration, the original copy of the deposit slip must be attached to the IELTS application form. After successful payment, a confirmation will be sent to you. 

3. Courier: 

You can complete the IELTS application form and send it along with the demand draft for the test fee via courier to the following address: 

IDP Education India Pvt. Ltd.

Global Gateway Towers, Tower-B, 5th Floor,

Sikanderpur Ghosi,Sector-26,

M.G. Road, Gurugram,

Haryana - 122002, India.

Tel: +91-124-4445999

Here, your application will be processed and your placement will be done depending on the seat availability. It is to be noted that the above-mentioned address and contact details are true as of November 2023. Candidates are advised to check the same before proceeding.

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IELTS Registration Fee

The IELTS fee for registration in India is ₹17,000 but it is subject to changes. Therefore, applicants must confirm the amount when scheduling a test slot and then pay with a digital payment method. The table below shows the fees of different IELTS test types in India.

IELTS Test type 


Computer-delivered IELTS for UKVI


Computer-delivered IELTS


IELTS Life Skills (A1 and B1)


IELTS for UK Visas and Immigration


Pen and paper-based IELTS


Note: The fees provided here is subject to change

IELTS Cancellation Fee

  • You will receive a refund minus a 25% administrative fee if you cancel your IELTS application more than five weeks before the test date.
  • You will not be refunded if you cancel your IELTS exam less than five weeks before the test date.
  • If you fail to show up for the test without any prior notice, the test amount will not be refunded. 
  • If you are unable to attend the exam due to ill health, you can furnish a medical certificate within five days of your test to be eligible for reimbursement minus the local administration fee. 

IELTS Reschedule Fee

If you need to modify the test date, request a test day transfer at least five weeks before your scheduled test date and pay the cancellation/postponement cost. Furthermore, your test date should only be 15 days from your replacement date. For the transfer of the exam date, candidates must pay an administrative fee of INR 4,050(Paper-Based Test), inclusive of all taxes.

IELTS Exam Dates

The IELTS test is offered at various times throughout the year. You should choose an IELTS exam date that is convenient while also considering the institution's admissions deadlines. To prevent making a last-minute mistake, you must plan to take the IELTS exam three to four months before the application deadline of the institute to which you are applying. 
To know more about the dates and centers, visit

Download IELTS Preparation Guide For Free

Get to know about the latest updates on the IELTS Exam, Eligibility, Preparation Tips, Test procedure,  Exam Pattern, Syllabus, Registration Process, Important Exam Dates, and much more!! This guide is a one-stop solution for every IELTS Aspirant who aims to crack the exam with an impressive band score.

IELTS Exam Pattern and Syllabus 2023-24

SectionNumber of Questions and Duration ContentRemarks

Four recordings

40 questions

30 minutes + 10 minutes (transfer time)

Four recorded monologues and conversations.

A correct answer is awarded one mark, and the final score is provided as a band score in the range of 1-9.




40 questions

60 minutes

Three passages which can be analytical, factual, discursive, or descriptive.

Each correct answer is awarded one mark, and the final score is provided as a band score in the range of 1-9.


Writing60 minutes

Task1: Summarize or describe a table, graph, chart, or diagram in at least 150 words.

Task2: Short essay task of at least 250 words.

The contribution of Task 2 is twice that of Task 1 in the final writing score.
Speaking 11 to 14 minutes

Face-to-face interview with three parts which are recorded.

The first part involves answering short questions.

The second part involves speaking at length about a general topic, followed by a structured discussion in the third part.

Each part of the test assesses speaking skills in different ways, like interaction pattern, task input, and test taker output.

IELTS Reading Section

  • The reading module comprises three partsand has 40 questions in total. 
  • Candidates' reading abilities are examined by various types of questions such as short answer questions,  fact identification, sentence or summary completion, identifying writer's attitudes/views, and matching lists or phrases.
  • Students will have 60 minutes to complete the portion,including transfer time.

IELTS Writing Section

  • In this section of the IELTS exam, there are only two questions. Candidates will be given a diagram, data, or a table in the first question, and they must then represent the information in their own words. This question has a word limit of 150 words.
  • Candidates are given an argument or point of view problem to discuss in the second question. The goal is to evaluate the candidate’s writing skills based on their opinion, justifications, ideas, and evidence. Candidates will have 60 minutes to complete the writing test. 

Ace your IELTS Writing Score with our comprehensive list of expert-approved IELTS Writing Task 2 Topics.

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IELTS Listening Section

This element of the IELTS exam is divided into four sections, each of which includes audio clips. The first two will be about social, everyday situations, whereas the next two will be based on educational and training situations.  The audio clips might be a dialogue or a speech that will last approximately three minutes and are only played once. Short answers, note completion, MCQ, and a variety of other sorts of questions will be asked based on these clips. This section's syllabus includes

Audio 1 - Dialogue based on social situations

Audio 2- A monologue addressing social issues that people face daily

Audio 3- A conversation between four people about education

Audio 4- A monologue about a topic related to academia

IELTS Speaking Section:

Part 1 (Introduction followed by an Interview) - The examiner gives his/her introduction and begins the assessment by asking basic questions about family, hobbies, interests, educational history, and so on to the candidate. This part lasts for 4-5 minutes. 

Part 2 (Long Turn) - Candidates will be given a flashcard with a topic printed on it for this stage of the IELTS speaking exam. They can think for a minute, acquaint themselves with the issue, and then speak about it for at least 2- minutes.

Part 3 (Discussion) - There will be further discussion on the topic presented in Part 2. Candidates will have the opportunity to go deeper into the subject and cover it in greater detail. This task usually takes 4-5 minutes to complete. The candidate's ability to express their opinions and discuss various issues is analyzed during this task. 

IELTS Exam Score Calculation

Listening Score Calculation

Listening band scoreCorrect Answers
939 – 40
8.537 – 38
835 – 36
7.532 – 34
730 – 31
6.526 – 29
623 – 25
5.518 – 22
516 – 17
4.513 – 15
411 – 12

The IELTS listening band score chart above depicts the bands awarded to applicants depending on the number of questions answered correctly in the listening skills section.

Note: The IELTS Listening Band score chart here represents the typical number of marks needed for each band score. Due to the variety of listening questions used on different occasions, actual marks can vary between examinations. 

Reading Score Calculation

Academic Reading TestGeneral Training Reading Test
Band ScoreCorrect AnswersBand ScoreCorrect Answers
836 – 35837 – 38
7.534 – 337.536
732 – 30734 – 35
6.529 – 276.532 – 33
626 – 23630 – 31
5.522 – 195.527 – 29
518 – 15523 – 26
4.514 – 134.519 – 22
412 – 10415 – 18
3.59 – 83.512 – 14
37 – 639 – 11
2.55 – 42.56 – 8

Note: The IELTS Reading Band score chart above illustrates the typical marks required to earn each band score. Because different texts are utilized at different times, actual scores may vary slightly between tests. 

Read More About : IELTS Reading Band Score 

Writing Section Scoring Criteria 

Task Achievement (Task 1)

Providing a proper overview and highlighting key features/stage, details supported with proper data.

Task Response (Task 2)

Satisfying the requirements of the task and addressing the prompt in depth.

Providing relevant and well-supported ideas with a clear conclusion.

Cohesion and Coherence

Organizing ideas and information into paragraphs and having a particular central idea in each paragraph. 

Appropriately using a range of connectors.

Lexical Resource

Appropriate use of a range of vocabulary. 

Avoiding errors in spelling and using paraphrasing. 

Grammar Range and Accuracy

Using a range of grammar tenses and avoiding errors.

Speaking Section Scoring Criteria

Fluency and Coherence

Talking at length and speaking without pause or hesitation and using connectors that are easy to understand for listeners.

Lexical Resource

Using a variety of words, paraphrasing, and collocations.


Grammar Range and Accuracy

Avoiding grammatical errors. Using a range of tenses and correct sentence structures.


Using a variety of phonological features to communicate effectively.


IELTS Exam Results

Students do not have to wait long for their results as IELTS test results are released within 3-5 days(computer) or 13 calendar days (pen and paper) after they sit for the test. When the results are available, students will be notified via email. They can log into their IELTS account on the IELTS results website to see their scores. However, these are only provisional until the candidate receives an official Test Report Form(TRF). This is sent to their postal address. 

IELTS Test From Home

IELTS Online allows students to take the test from their home or another suitable location to achieve their study and career goals.  

The test is similar in substance and format to the pen-and-paper and computer-based IELTS tests. The IELTS Academic in IELTS Online covers all four skills - Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking. It also features the same rigorous assessment by competent examiners and a human-administered speaking test that will provide a true indicator of the test taker's ability to converse properly in English. However, it should be noted that this new IELTS test is only available for those who want to enter higher education in nations where tests have been suspended due to coronavirus.

When booking starts on April 22nd, the countries where this test will be available will be announced. Furthermore, it is only accessible for a limited time. On April 22nd, information about the fees will be provided as well. Also, this test is only for those who want to enter higher education.

Preparation for IELTS

A practice exam is recommended since it is the most effective technique to discover shortcomings. This is an important step in the initial preparation process because it will help students determine their strengths and limitations. It is not only crucial to improve on deficiencies, but it is also necessary to build on strengths to lay a firm foundation for the exam.

Before a student begins practicing, it’s extremely important that they know what to expect from the test format. They should familiarize themselves with it by reviewing the content of the test, as well as the question and task types for each section. 

One of the most common mistakes students make is concentrating solely on the test. They take a lot of IELTS practice exams, but they don't realize how important it is to improve their English in general. Students should begin studying for the exam at least 3–6 months ahead of time to score well in the IELTS exam.

Important Tips for IELTS Exam

  • Candidates should focus equally on vocabulary, tenses, grammar, and sentence structure.
  • Candidates should write precise, relevant answers and avoid long paragraphs and sentences.
  • Candidates should conform to the word limits to finish the exam in the time allocated.
  • Candidates should test themselves in 2 hours and 45 minutes, just like they will be tested on the exam day. This will help them know what it feels like to take the reading, writing, and listening tests consecutively.
  • Candidates should not spend too much time on the questions they can’t find an answer to. They should move to the next question and get back to it if they have any time left at the end.
  • Candidates should practice both British and American accents, as some numbers and words are pronounced differently.
  • Focus on grammar is very important. Students should make sure all the tasks are grammatically correct. 
  • Candidates should ensure they have a good vocabulary and maintain the right pronunciation for all the test papers.

Download IELTS Sample Papers

Reading sample test
Writing sample test
Ielts sample paper1

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the full form of IELTS?

IELTS stands for International English Language Testing System. The testing system is designed to examine the ability of non-native English speakers who desire to get employed or study in English-speaking countries. 

Which IELTS test do I take?

If a student wants to study in an English-speaking country, the IELTS Academic test should be taken. Whereas, the IELTS General Training test should be taken for immigration or work.

Who accepts IELTS?

IELTS scores are accepted by over 11,500 organizations in more than 140 countries around the world. Some of these organizations include professional bodies, companies, universities, and training colleges. IELTS is recognized in major countries like the US, the UK, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. 

Can you take the IELTS online test from home?

Yes, candidates who opt for IELTS online can take the test from the comfort of their homes. The reading, writing, and listening questions are answered on the computer, and the speaking test is done through an online video call in the presence of a trained examiner. 

Why choose IELTS?

IELTS prepares students for real-life situations, including conversing with coworkers or even traveling overseas. Major companies and corporations require a valid IELTS score since communication is the most basic necessity for a job. To work for a global firm, applicants must be able to speak, write, and communicate in English. In addition, the IELTS score is a necessary component of the application process when applicants seek PR or immigration in English-speaking countries.

How many days before the IELTS exam can be booked?

Candidates can register up to three months prior to the IELTS test date and latest by one week before the exam day. This is contingent on seats being available in the city/test center where they wish to register for the exam.

IELTS exam results come after how many days?

If  IELTS is given on paper, the test report will be available 13 days after the test is completed,  whereas if IELTS is given on a computer, the results will be available three to five days after the test.

Who conducts the IELTS exam in India?

In India, IDP Education is a recognized organization that conducts the IELTS test.

Bulbul Sharma

Manager- Content @upGrad

Bulbul is a self-driven professional and an expert writer & editor. She has been a part of the ed-tech industry for the past 2 years now and is motivated to provide study abroad aspirants with factually correct and relevant information. Her knack for impactful writing makes her blogs worth a read!

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