Education, Language

The IELTS Exam Format and Some Effective Review Tips

The need for an English proficiency exam certificate has been very popular among Filipinos nowadays. These Filipinos are usually working professionals or students applying for work or a spot in a university overseas. Having an English proficiency test certification proves that an individual is good at using the English language. Amongst the many English tests made available today, the IELTS or the International English Language Testing System examination is the most taken by Filipinos.

The IELTS examination is a paper-based test. It evaluates the English language proficiency of the test takers who want to study or work in an English-speaking country. The examination is held in over 900 locations in the world. People choose the IELTS because it uses both American and British English and has incorporated English accents from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the Unites States of America.

The IELTS has four different sections. Let us understand the test format of each section.


The speaking examination is done face to face with a native English speaker. Most Filipinos are quite apprehensive with this test. The test is done for about ten to fifteen minutes. There are three parts of the speaking test. First, the candidate will be asked general questions about himself or herself. The topics can be about home, family, career, interests and studies. This task is for about five minutes. In the second task, the candidate will be given a cue card. A topic is printed in the cue card along with guide questions. The candidate is given a minute to prepare and another couple of minutes for his response. Finally, task three is a more detailed conversation on the topic on the second task. This will promote more interaction between the candidate and the interviewer.


The listening task is composed of four recorded passages. It can be monologues or conversations. The candidate is given thirty minutes to finish this section. The candidate is evaluated with how well he or she can understand and recognize main ideas and detailed factual information in these passages. The first recorded message is a conversation in a social context. Next, the candidate will hear a monologue on an everyday social context. Following this, the candidate will hear a conversation among people in an educational or training context. Finally, there will be a monologue on an academic subject.


To be completed within an hour, the reading is composed of forty questions. The content of the reading section varies if the candidate is taking the Academic or the General Training module.


Candidates are presented with three long passages derived from books, journals, magazines and newspapers. These passages can be from descriptive to factual to the discursive and analytical.

General Training

The passages are much shorter. The context is usually topics which individuals are likely to encounter on a daily basis. Materials come from books, magazines, notices, handbooks and even advertisements.


The same with the reading section, the writing section is completed with an hour. Questions vary if the candidate is taking the Academic or the General Training modules.


Candidates are tasked to interpret a graph, table, or diagram in the first task. In the second task, the candidate has to write an essay based on an argument or problem. He or she has to present his or her own point of view.

General Training

The candidate is given a situation wherein he or she needs to write a letter in response to the task. The second task of this writing is an essay showcasing the individual’s viewpoint on a given argument.

Due to the level of difficulty of the IELTS examination, candidates for the test are encouraged to take IELTS course programs to hone their English skills. With the right IELTS program, candidates will develop their knowledge and proficiency that will bring them success in the IELTS test.


Know more about IELTS here:


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s