Full name: International English Language Testing System
Exam Board: Cambridge ESOL International English
CEF Level: n/a


The exam is taken worldwide and many universities have now made it a requirement that foreign students should have a specific level before entering study. This is normally placed between bands 5.5 and 7.5




3 passages with a total of 1500-2500 words
40 questions that get progressively more difficult
At least one of the tests will contain a detailed logical argument

Two writing tasks – students are marked on the use of a range of vocabulary and grammar, organization and development and how they respond to the task. Specialist knowledge is not being tested.
Task 1 Factual description of data – either a graph, table, bar chart or diagram
Using a minimum of 150 words
This takes about 20 minutes
Task 2 Essay discussing an argument, opinion or a point of view
Students may be asked to write about one or more of the following specific aspects of a topic: causes, effects, solutions, problems, measures, proposals, suggestions, advantages/disadvantages, reasons for/against
Students may be asked to put forward their own opinion and suggestions for causes and solutions
This takes about 40 minutes and requires around 250 words
30-40 mins approx

4 sections – 40 questions getting progressively more difficult
Section 1 Conversation between two people on a general or social theme each section will only be played once
Section 2 Monologue or interview on a general or social theme
Section 3 Conversation between up to 4 speakers on an educational or training theme
Section 4 Talk or lecture on a theme of general academic interest
11-15 mins

Part 1
(4-5 mins)

The examiner will introduce themselves and ask questions about the students
Part 2
(3-4 mins)

Monologue or interview on a general or social theme
Part 3
(4-5 mins)

The student and the examiner have a discussion linked to the subject from part 2.

Did you know…?
All IELTS answers must be written on the official answers sheet for them to be considered.

Band scores are awarded between 1 and 9.


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