International English Language Testing System
International English Language Testing System

IELTS Syllabus 2023: Section-Wise IELTS Test Syllabus

The IELTS syllabus helps applicants know the content of the test. When students align their IELTS preparation with the syllabus and pattern they can perform better in the exam. Check the content and detailed syllabus here.
IELTS Syllabus 2023

IELTS Syllabus 2023

IELTS Syllabus 2023: The IELTS exam, also known as the International English Language Testing System, is a widely recognized test that assesses English language proficiency. It is taken by individuals who intend to study or work in foreign countries. To succeed in this highly competitive exam, thorough preparation is crucial, focusing on the IELTS syllabus and pattern. Familiarizing oneself with the test content and aligning preparation accordingly enhances performance. The IELTS exam comprises four key sections: listening, reading, writing, and speaking.

Also Check: IELTS Pattern

Knowing the structure and IELTS syllabus of these components is extremely important before appearing for the test. As it is an English language test, the syllabus revolves around the areas and fields of the language. One should know the types of questions that will be asked in the exam and also the format of these questions. Continue reading to understand the syllabus for the different IELTS tests. 

IELTS Syllabus 2023

The IELTS exam provides applicants with the option of the IELTS academic and general training tests. The academic test is used by students looking for admissions to top universities abroad whereas the general training test can be used by candidates look work opportunities. The test can also be used for UK visa purposes. The syllabus and pattern for these tests are more or less the same. Read on to know how the questions are asked for each section of the IELTS exam.

IELTS Syllabus 2023: Listening Test

There are six tasks in the Listening section, which are-

Task type 1: Multiple Choice

A question is followed by three potential answers in multiple-choice tasks.  The only valid response is one of the following: A, B, or C.

Test takers may occasionally be given a long list of options and instructed to select more than one. In this situation, they should carefully examine the question to see how many answers are needed.

Task type 2: Matching

Test takers must match a numbered list of answers from the listening passage to a list of possible answers on the question paper. This method is used to judge how well applicants can identify links and relationships among the data in the listening text.

Task type 3: Diagram labelling, map, plan

In this segment, candidates must complete labels in a map, diagram, or plan. The answers will have to be selected from a list of provided options in the question paper. This kind of task evaluates the candidate's ability to comprehend, for instance, a place's description and connect it to a visual representation.

Task type 4: Flowchart, summary completion, Form, note, table

In this task, candidates will need to complete the missing part from the text by carefully analyzing the audio. Put simply, they will be required to identify the missing words from the recordings. The missing text will be based on:

 A form: Factual details such as names

 A set of notes: used to summarise any type of given details

 A table: information that relates to clear categories like time or location

 A flow-chart: used to summarise information which has clear stages

Task Type 5: Sentence Completion

Students must read a series of phrases that summarise the most important details from either the entire listening passage or a specific section of it. They then use details from the listening text to complete any blanks in each sentence. 

Task Type 6: Short Question Types

In this segment, applicants will be asked to write a detailed and short answer based on the recordings. They should be mindful of the required work limit and the quality of the answer. 

IELTS Syllabus 2023: Reading Test

Task type 1: Multiple Choice

Test takers must choose the most appropriate answer from four options (A, B, C, or D), the two best answers from five options (A, B, C, D, or E), or the most suitable three answers from seven options (A, B, C, D, E, F or G). On the answer sheet, test takers must write the letter of the selected response. The arrangement of the questions matches that of the information in the text.

Task type 2: Identification of information

In this section, applicants will have to identify whether the given statement’s information is right, wrong, or not mentioned at all. They will be given a number of statements and will be asked:  ‘Do the following statements agree with the information in the text?’ Candidates can answer with true, false, or not given options. It is essential that students understand the key differences between the options “False” and “Not Given” False signifies that the provided information is incorrect while Not Given clearly states that the information is not provided at all. Any outside knowledge apart from what is given in the statements is not required.

Task type 3: Identifying the writer’s views/claims

A number of statements will be presented to test-takers, and they will be asked: 'Do the following statements agree with the writer's views/claims?'  They must check the appropriate boxes on their answer form by writing "yes," "no," or "not given."

It's critical to comprehend the contrast between "no" and "not given." "No" indicates that the writer's views or claims clearly contradict the statement, i.e., the writer expresses a view or makes a claim that is the opposite of the one stated in the question; "not given" indicates that the writer's views or claims are neither verified nor provided.

Task type 4: Matching of information

In this particular task, students will be asked to match and find various details from the passage which may include descriptions, explanations, reasons, or examples. At times, applicants will be asked to find more than one particular detail and match it with the given passage. This will test the student’s ability to scan for specific and particular information.

Task type 5: Matching of headings

This section helps in identifying the main theme/topic of the given passage. It will show the student’s potential of differentiating between the main idea from supporting ones.  A list of headings, typically denoted by lower-case Roman numerals, is provided to test takers (i, ii, iii, etc,). The primary concept of a paragraph will be referenced in a heading. Test takers must match the heading to the appropriate, alphabetically marked paragraphs or sections. On their answer sheets, test takers fill in the boxes with the proper Roman numerals.

Task type 6: Matching of features

In order to successfully complete this section of the test, test-takers must match a collection of statements or pieces of data to a list of possible answers. The options are a collection of textual elements that are denoted by letters. For instance, test takers might be asked to match various study findings to a list of researchers, traits to age groups, occasions to historical eras, etc. The ability to recognize connections and links between facts in the text as well as the test takers' recognition of theories and opinions are both evaluated by matching features. It can be applied to both opinion-based discursive texts and factual information.

Task type 7: Matching of sentence endings

This section evaluated the candidate’s ability to recognize the main theme of a specific sentence. Test takers are asked to select from a range of alternatives and will be required to complete a sentence after receiving the first half of a sentence based on the text.

Task type 8: Sentence completion

In a predetermined number of words extracted from the text, test-takers must complete sentences. For example, "NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER from the chapter," "ONE WORD ONLY," or "NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS" Such instructions will make it clear how many words or numbers test takers should use in their answers. Test takers will not be marked if they write more words than are asked. 

Task type 9: flow-chart completion, Summary, note, table

A summary of a segment of the text is presented to test-takers, and they are instructed to fill it out using details from the text. Typically, only a part of the passage rather than the entire piece will be covered in the summary. The summary can be in the form of a  note, table, or flow chart with some of its cells empty or partially empty. 

Task type 10: Diagram label completion

In this section, students will be asked to label a given diagram which will help in assessing their ability to comprehend a detailed description and use it in a form of a diagram. The instructions will indicate how many words or phrases applicants can use while labelling the given diagrams. The diagram can be of some sort of machine, of different parts of a building, or of anything else which can be depicted visually. 

Task type 11 – Short answer questions

By understanding a piece of precise information from the given text, students will be asked to build a short answer based on it. Short answer questions gauge a test-takers aptitude for finding and comprehending specific information in the text.

IELTS Syllabus 2023: Writing Test

Task 1: Test takers may be asked to describe information found in one or more graphs, charts, or tables on a related topic for Writing Task 1; alternatively, they may be given a diagram of a machine, device, or process and asked to explain how it operates. The most significant and pertinent points in the diagram should be included in their writing, which should be written in an academic or semi-formal/neutral tone. Minor details can be left out. Although, if the answer is less than 150 words, applicants will be penalized. 

Task Focus-  Students will be examined on their ability to find relevant information in the form of a diagram, table, or chart. Additionally, their writing skills will be evaluated.

Task 2: Task two carries twice the marks when compared to Task 1. Test takers are assigned a topic to write on in either an academic or a semi-formal/neutral manner for Writing Task 2. Answers ought to be discursive assessments of the relevant problems. The task should be thoroughly reviewed by test-takers, and they should offer a complete and comprehensive response. They should concentrate on the theme of the question in their response, for instance, if the topic is a specific aspect of computers they should focus on that instead of writing a generalized essay about computers. Students will be penalized if their essay is too short or off-topic. Moreover, strict actions will be taken for plagiarism.

Task focus- This task evaluates the ability to offer an argument that is coherent, relevant, and well-supported by examples or evidence, as well as overall command of the English language.

IELTS Syllabus 2023: Speaking Test

The IELTS speaking test is the only test wherein applicants will be required to speak to prove their English proficiency and fluency. The exam is divided into 3 parts, which are:

Part 1: Introduction and Interview

The examiner introduces themselves and verifies the test-takers identities during this section. Then, generic inquiries about well-known subjects including homes, families, jobs, studies, and interests are put to the test-takers. The questions are drawn from a script to maintain consistency. 4 to 5 minutes are spent on Part 1.

Task Focus: This part of the test helps in examining the communication skills of the applicants.

Part 2: Long Turn

The test takers are given a task card by the examiner that asks them to discuss a certain subject and lists key topics to cover in their discussion, while also advising them to explain one element of the subject. Test takers have one minute to prepare their speech, and a pencil and piece of paper are provided so they can take notes. The test takers are given one to two minutes to speak before the examiner stops them and asks one or two questions on the same subject.

Task Focus: The task evaluates the applicant’s ability to think about a topic on the spot and then reason and communicate on it. 

Part 3: Discussion 

In Part 3 which is the last part of the speaking test, the examiner and the test takers get into a deep discussion related to issues on the given topic in Part 2. Compared to part 2, this section is more in-depth and lasts 4–5 minutes.

Task Focus:  This section tests the candidate’s ability to justify their own opinions.

Also Check: IELTS Books

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What skills are measured by the IELTS exam?

The main skill set that is measured under the IELTS test is the English language proficiency of applicants.


Will the IELTS One Skill Retake have a different syllabus?

IELTS one skill retake is a newly introduced policy that enables students to retake any of the one sections of the exam. Applicants must note that the pattern and syllabus of the section they are planning to retake will remain the same.

Is the speaking test conducted on a different date?

Yes, the IELTS speaking test is conducted on a different day. The reading, writing, and listening tests will be conducted on the same day but the speaking test may be conducted a week before or after these tests.


What is the content of the IELTS speaking test?

The speaking test consists of three major parts, which are an introduction, a long turn, and a discussion. To read more about it and understand what these contain, check the article out. 

Is the syllabus and pattern similar for the IELTS Academic and General Training tests?

The IELTS Academic and General Training tests have different writing and reading sections. The academic test will cover subjects that are suitable for students entering colleges or professional institutions. Topics of general interests will be covered in the general training writing and reading tests. Although, the listening and speaking sections will be similar for both tests.

What is the syllabus of the IELTS listening test?

There are a total of 6 tasks in this particular section, which are: multiple choice, matching, Diagram labelling, summary completion, sentence completion, and short question types.

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