Why is the IELTS Academic test needed?

The reasons for taking the exam are listed below:

  • Pursuing Higher Education Abroad: Individuals who want to study in an English-speaking nation take the IELTS Academic exam. The test ascertains applicants' ability to understand the undergraduate or graduate program's curriculum taught in the English language.
  • Universally Accepted: More than 11,000 universities, business schools, and institutions globally accept the IELTS Academic examination. The test is well recognized in over 140 countries, including Canada, the UK, Australia, the USA, and New Zealand.
  • Enhance English language skills: The exam can help you hone your language skills in all aspects— reading, writing, listening, and speaking.

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IELTS Academic Eligibility Criteria

  • Anyone above the age of 16 years can attempt the exam.
  • There is no upper age bar for the test takers.
  • No minimum GPA or percentage in the 12th standard or undergraduate degree is required to take the IELTS exam. 

IELTS Academic Exam Syllabus and Pattern

The exam is timed for 2 hours 45 mins and has 4 sections: reading, writing, listening, and speaking. The exam pattern for the IELTS Academic is tabulated below:

Exam Section

Task Description


Number of Questions


Three long passages extracted from books, journals, and newspapers. Each text contains a set of questions

60 minutes



Task 1- Report writing (150 words)

Task 2- Essay writing (250 words)

60 minutes



4 audio recordings, followed by 10 questions for each recording

30 minutes



Part 1: Introduction

Part 2: Applicant’s Speech on the assigned topic

Part 3: Detailed topic discussion between the test taker and a certified IELTS examiner.

11–14 minutes

3 parts- number of questions asked depends upon the discussion 

There are two modes of the IELTS exam; computer-based and paper-based. Writing, reading, and listening will be completed on the same day for both exam patterns. The sequence of Computer-based and Paper-based tests are listed below:

  • Computer-based IELTS sequence: Listening, Reading, Writing, Speaking. The Speaking test is conducted on the same day before or after your scheduled test.
  • Paper-based IELTS sequence: Writing, Listening, Reading, Speaking. The Speaking test can be booked 7 days before or after your scheduled IELTS test date.

The Speaking examination is conducted on a video call or face-to-face with a trained IELTS examiner.

Paper-based test results are delivered 13 days after the exam date. Computer-based test results are declared within 3-5 days.

IELTS Academic Exam Score

The test is marked on a 9-band scale. The marks obtained by students in the exam are converted into band scores. The band score determines the English proficiency level of the candidate. For instance, a candidate with a 6 band score is considered a Competent English language user. Learn more about the IELTS Academic Exam Score to understand the complete marking criteria.

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IELTS Academic Exam Registration

Applicants can register at the IELTS India website through Netbanking, Debit/Credit card and Paytm. After scheduling the test, you will receive a confirmation email or text to your registered email address or mobile number. In case of a paper-based exam, you can reserve a preferred date and time slot for the Speaking test.

The following documents are required during the exam registration:

  • Photocopy of your passport.
  • Duly signed and dated declaration form.

IELTS Academic Exam Dates

Applicants can schedule their exam date in advance at the official website of IELTS. There are two options to give the exam — online or offline.

  • The computer-based exam (online) is a convenient and user-friendly test mode. If students opt for the online test, they can give it 3 times a day and 7 days a week.
  • A physical centre-based examination (offline) can be scheduled only on 4 days every month.

The exam dates keep changing yearly. Get a detailed list of IELTS exam dates in 2023.

IELTS Academic Exam Test Centers

To book your test centre, you can either book online on the official website of IELTS or stop by your closest IELTS test centre to register offline. While scheduling your exam, you must choose your preferred city and exam date. Then, the most feasible test facility is allotted, subject to availability.

The IELTS test centres are stationed across 75 cities in India. Registering for your desired location in advance is recommended to get your targeted date and time slot.

IELTS Academic Exam Fees

The fee structure might vary for each exam type. There are different modes of payment available for depositing the exam fees:

  • Debit card
  • Credit card
  • Netbanking
  • DD
  • Bank deposits in ICICI or Allahabad Bank branches

The exam fees for 2023 are tabulated below:

Exam Type

Fees (INR)*

Computer-delivered IELTS Academic


Pen and paper-based IELTS Academic


* IELTS Exam Fees are subject to change- might vary each year.

IELTS Academic Practice Test

IELTS Academic Practice tests help you familiarize yourself with the exam format and pattern in real-time. Further, the mock tests enable you to review your performance and identify your strong and weak areas more vigilantly.

It is advisable to take practice tests as per the section-wise time allotted in the actual test. This is a fantastic technique for determining the time required for each section to complete the test on time.

You need to plan your practice tests carefully. Taking an IELTS Diagnostic test will help you understand your current level of expertise. A structured practice approach will help you ace the IELTS exam.

IELTS Academic Sample Practice Questions

IELTS Academic sample questions remain the same for the listening and speaking sections. However, you might have to refer to a different set of sample questions for the reading and writing test sections.

Reading the sample practice questions gives you a fair idea about the exam pattern and the difficulty level of questions.

You can take an IELTS Progress Check test once you have rigorously practised the sample questions. This test allows you to evaluate your preparation status and identify your weak spots.

How is the IELTS Academic Exam different from the IELTS General?

Core differences between the IELTS Academic and General are listed below:

  • Purpose: The IELTS Academic is taken by students who aspire to seek higher education abroad. On the contrary, IELTS General is intended for work and migration in an English-speaking nation.
  • Exam Structure: The listening and speaking sections are similar for both IELTS Academic and General. However, the reading and writing sections are distinct for both exam types.
  • Evaluation Criteria: IELTS Academic judges a candidate's ability to comprehend the English medium of instruction used in universities and colleges worldwide. However, IELTS General judges the applicant's basic communication skills required to live and work in an English-speaking environment.

Don’t Forget to Read:

IELTS Academic Vs IELTS General

How can the IELTS Exam help you to Study Abroad?

Students with study abroad aspirations understand the significance of taking the IELTS test. There are multiple reasons to take the exam, as listed below:

  • Excellent Overseas Opportunities: IELTS Academic results are widely accepted by top-notch universities in the UK, Australia, Canada, and the USA. A score of 7 or higher increases your chances of admission to the Ivy League and other globally competitive universities.
  • Showcase your English proficiency: Many elite universities value IELTS scores to determine candidates' suitability for studying in English-speaking countries.
  • Amplifies your Visa Approval chances: A good IELTS score can help you skip the long PR waitlist. Thereby resulting in faster visa processing for Canada, the UK, Australia, and the USA.

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Frequently asked questions

IELTS Academic test is required to pursue higher education in an English-speaking nation. Many universities and colleges in the UK, Australia, Canada, and the USA, judge the candidate’s ability to understand English-based syllabi taught in graduate and postgraduate courses.

IELTS Academic results are accepted for student visas and several universities in English-speaking countries as proof of English proficiency. Around 140 countries recognize the test results for a student visa, including the UK, Canada, the USA, Australia, Ireland and New Zealand.

Anyone above the age of 16, with valid ID proof, can give the exam. However, the main intent for taking the exam is to showcase the applicant’s command of the English language required to study in graduate and postgraduate programs abroad.

IELTS General is relatively easier than IELTS Academic. The reading section of IELTS Academic is based on explicit academic content extracted from journals, books, and magazines.

On the contrary, the IELTS General Reading is based on more generic topics extracted from newspapers, magazines, company manuals, etc.

No. IELTS General is valid for work and migration purposes. If a student wants to study abroad, then IELTS Academic is required.

Students above 16 years can take the exam with a valid passport.

There is no minimum educational requirement for attempting the exam.

Applicants can take the IELTS exam both online and offline.

Applicants writing a paper-based IELTS exam can use a pen or HB pencils.

Yes, applicants can take the test from their homes. Writing, Reading, and Listening sections can be attempted on a single day without breaks on your laptop or computer. You require a properly functioning camera and microphone for the speaking test, which will be conducted on a video call.