A Beginner’s Guide to IELTS: Everything you need to know about the exam

A Beginner’s Guide to IELTS: Everything you need to know about the exam

English is one of the most widely spoken languages globally and is used widely across different industries, academic spaces, and common markets. Therefore, proficiency in the English language can ensure you can accomplish basic tasks, including reading this article!

Many English-speaking countries often require foreign students and aspiring professionals to prove that they are proficient in English. The proof is usually in the form of an acceptable score in an English language testing qualification.

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) examination is among the most popular English language proficiency exams. IDP, a common IELTS exam provider, estimates that more than 3 million people take the test every year for study, work, or migration to certain foreign countries.

Additionally, an IELTS score is recognised by more than 10,000 academic or professional associations across 140 countries. Therefore, preparing well for your IELTS exam can be the first step towards bright career prospects.

Read ahead to learn everything you need to know for your IELTS exam preparation.

What is IELTS, and what does the exam involve?

The IELTS exam syllabus evaluates your ability to speak, write and read the English language. The exam is divided into two modules—academic or general training. The academic module is generally required by universities abroad for their international students. On the other hand, the IELTS general reading module is used to prove English proficiency for work or immigration purposes.

You can choose to take your IELTS test either on paper or at a computer centre depending on which option is most convenient.  However, there’s no difference in the format or level of difficulty between the two exam forms.

Want to ace your exam but unsure about how to prepare for IELTS? Your search can stop with the Preparatory Course for IELTS offered by the London School of Business and Finance in Singapore.

The course adopts a small student-teacher ratio which can promote individual attention on students and allow you to easily approach your instructors. In addition, the course modules cover comprehensive exam-giving techniques and ample practice in the form of mock tests.

The course can help you to achieve a high score on your IELTS exam, allowing you to pursue further studies from any English-speaking university abroad.

Click here to apply for the IELTS preparatory programme at LSBF in Singapore.

You are scored on a scale of one to nine in each section and cumulatively. A cumulative score of 6.5 or above is generally considered by most foreign universities and colleges.

What is the test format for IELTS?

The exam is divided into four significant portions—listening, reading, writing, and speaking. In most cases, you might be asked to attempt the first three portions on the same day without any breaks. You can book a different time slot for your IELTS speaking test on another day as per your preferences.

The details of all four exam sections are outlined in the table below.

Serial Number

Exam section

Time allotted

Test description



30 minutes

In this section, you will be asked to listen to four audio recordings of native speakers talking in English. You then have to answer a set of questions based on the information you heard in the recordings.



60 minutes

This section contains a comprehension passage and around 40 multiple choice questions that test you on an array of reading skills. You may have to pay special attention to the main idea of the comprehension passage, details, and the opinions outlined.



60 minutes

The writing section allows you to draft two long-form copies like an essay or a letter. Your drafts are evaluated for their grammatical correctness, vocabulary, flow, and ideas.



10-15 minutes

The speaking test is usually administered by an English expert hired by the IELTS provider. The instructor evaluates your fluency, vocabulary, and ease of conversing in English.

Handy tips to ace your IELTS exam

IELTS can be easy for you if you are a native English speaker or have completed your primary education in the language. However, you can still benefit from a thorough preparation for the exam.

Here are some sure-shot tips that can help you prepare for your IELTS exam:

  1. Starting your preparation early on can give you enough time to focus on all four exam sections. Therefore, aim to start your practice at least six months before your exam date. 

  2. Basic grammar rules are integral to your writing exam and grammatical or spelling mistakes can be penalised. Therefore, pay special attention to your grammar skills.

  3. Mock tests can give an accurate picture of your capabilities and help you track your progress. They can also improve your familiarity with the test format and help you feel more comfortable in the actual test settings. Therefore, make sure you attempt frequent mock tests throughout your preparation.

  4. Don’t ignore any particular exam section during your preparation, even if you feel proficient in that section.

Investing in a good-quality IELTS Singapore preparatory course can allow you to put all the tips mentioned above into practice. Therefore, look for a suitable IELTS preparation course today to ensure you will achieve a high IELTS score.


Suggested Programmes

MBA in International Business

Throughout the programme, you will develop your understanding of global strategy, international marketing, sustainability and international entrepreneurship.

MA in International Business

This MA programme will help you understand about international business strategy whilst developing your leadership, problem-solving and collaboration skills.

Postgraduate Diploma in Business

Focus on economics, business and business statistics in the postgraduate diploma to excel in your career or even progress onto an MBA programme.

Recommended Blogs for You

Choosing the Right Masters Programme: Factors to Consider

If you’re considering doing a master’s degree, it's important that you do your research to ensure you select the best…

Budgeting for College: Simple Tips and Strategies for Saving Money as a Student

If you are a budding college student, here is a guide on how to budget for college and save money.…

MBA vs. MS: What’s the Right Choice for You?

When deciding between an MBA and an MS degree, how can you decide which one is the best for you?…

Request More Information

Contact a programme advisor by calling
+65 6580 7700

Back to top