IELTS Progress Check – General Training Format

The IELTS General Training Practice Test is structured the same as the real IELTS exam; any differences will be described in the instructions that you see before each section of the test. To learn about the differences between the IELTS Progress Check practice tests and the real IELTS test, read more here.

The IELTS General Training Practice Test comprises the following:

Listening

Test Format – Listening (30 minutes)

The Listening component consists of 40 questions. You will listen to four recorded texts, such as monologues and conversations, by a range of native-speakers and write your answers to a series of questions. These include questions that test your ability to understand main ideas and detailed factual information, ability to understand the opinions and attitudes of speakers, ability to understand the purpose of an utterance and the ability to follow the development of ideas. A variety of voices and native-speaker accents are used and each section is heard only once.

Section 1
A conversation between two people set in an everyday social context.

Section 2
A monologue set in an everyday social context, e.g. a speech about local facilities.

Section 3
A conversation between up to four people set in an educational or training context, e.g. a university tutor and a student discussing an assignment.

Section 4
A monologue on an academic subject, e.g. a university lecture.

Reading

Test Format – Reading (60 minutes)

The Reading component consists of 40 questions. A variety of question types is used in order to test a wide range of reading skills. These include reading for gist, reading for main ideas, reading for detail, skimming, understanding logical argument and recognising writers’ opinions, attitudes and purpose.

The General Training version requires test takers to read extracts from books, magazines, newspapers, notices, advertisements, company handbooks and guidelines. These are materials you are likely to encounter on a daily basis in an English-speaking environment.

Writing

Test Format – Writing (60 minutes)

The Writing component includes two tasks that are based on topics of general interest.

Task 1
You will be presented with a situation and asked to write a letter requesting information or explaining the situation. The letter may be personal, semi-formal or formal in style.

Task 2
You will be asked to write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem. The essay can be slightly more personal in style than the Academic Writing Task 2 essay.

Speaking

Test Format – Speaking (11-14 minutes)

The Speaking component assesses your use of spoken English and takes between 11 and 14 minutes to complete.

You will hear a recording of the examiner’s voice and you will record your answers, using your microphone. The Speaking component is delivered in such a way that it does not allow people to rehearse set responses beforehand.

Part 1
You will hear the examiner’s voice. He will ask you general questions about yourself and a range of familiar topics, such as home, family, work, studies and interests. This part lasts between four and five minutes.

Part 2 
You will hear a question that asks you to talk about a particular topic. You will have one minute to prepare before speaking for up to two minutes. You will then hear one or two questions on the same topic to finish this part of the test.

Part 3
You will hear further questions connected to the topic in Part 2. These questions will give you the opportunity to discuss more abstract ideas and issues. This part of the test lasts between four and five minutes.

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