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IELTS Sample Questions - Section-Wise

 IELTS Sample Questions - Section-Wise

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Practicing IELTS sample questions is crucial to landing a good score in the test. Give your preparations that extra-edge by practicing section-wise sample questions listed here

Yogender Panchal
Updated on:  27 Sep 2023  | Reviewed By: 
| 9.17K | 9  min read


The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is designed to assess a candidate’s ability to speak, listen, read and write in English. The test is mainly meant for non-native English speakers who wish to move abroad to study or work. Around 10,000 institutions and organizations all over the world accept IELTS scores to find out if your English is ‘good enough’ and if you are eligible for admission into the institute.

For students looking to study abroad, the Academic IELTS score is important, since the majority of universities in the US, the UK, Australia, Canada, and so on, fix a minimum IELTS score which applicants to the universities should obtain to be eligible for admissions. Most of the universities keep 7 or 6.5 as the minimum IELTS score. If the test results are unsatisfactory, that is, lower than 6.5, one’s chances of securing admission in the university become dim.

The IELTS test can be overwhelming at first, but with practice and preparation, you can get the desired band score. The questions are straightforward and designed to assess how well you can use the  English Language. There is no pass or fail in IELTS. The results are reported on a 9-band scale (1 being the lowest, 9 being the highest). In most countries, there are various centers that offer preparatory courses, but you can also find online learning resources like tutorials and online sample practice papers and mock tests that will help you to refresh your knowledge. For the benefit of our readers who wish to take the IELTS exam, we have listed down a bunch of sample questions for each section which you can practice or refer to to get a broad idea of the types and level of difficulty of the questions asked. 


IELTS Speaking Section 

( Sample Questions )

This section involves a face to face interview with the examiner for around five minutes. There would be around twelve odd questions on various topics.; viz.
Work, Study, Hometown, Home, Art, Birthdays, Childhood, Clothes, Computers, Daily routine, Dictionaries, Evenings, Family & Friends, Flowers, Food, Going out, Happiness, Hobbies, Internet, Leisure time, Music, Neighbours and neighbourhood, Newspapers, Pets, Reading, Shopping, Sport, Television, Transport, Weather

The Speaking Section has 3 Sections - 

Part 1

The examiner will ask generic questions about the candidate and a range of familiar topics, such as home, family, work, studies, and interests. It lasts between 4 and 5 minutes. For a sample question and its answer, click on the following links

Part 2

The candidate will be asked to speak about a particular topic. The candidate will have 1 minute to prepare before speaking for a maximum of 2 minutes. The examiner will then ask one or two questions on the same topic to finish this part of the test. To know some of the questions in this section, refer to the following links:

Part 3

The candidate will be asked further questions connected to the topic in Part 2. These questions will provide the candidate with an opportunity to discuss more abstract ideas and issues. It lasts between 4 and 5 minutes. Some of the sample questions are:

Read more about: How to Prepare for IELTS - Speaking Section?


IELTS Writing Section

( Sample Questions )

The IELTS Writing section has two tasks and is for 60 minutes. The questions in the writing section could be from these topics: Art; Business & Money; Communication & personality; Crime & punishment; Education; Environment; Family & Children; Food & Diet; Government; Health; Housing; Language; Leisure; Media & Advertising; Reading; Society; Space Exploration; Sport & Exercise; Technology; Tourism; Transport; Work

IELTS Writing Task 1

In the first part, candidates are given a task based on some graphic or pictorial documents. They are required to write a descriptive report of at least 150 words on the pictorial.

Answers could vary based on the nature of a graph or diagram. The type of language will vary, but there is a certain structure they will all follow.

The candidate has to begin with one or two sentences that state what the IELTS writing task 1 shows. The title of the graph needs to be paraphrased along with a time frame if there is any. The candidate also has to mention the main trends in the graph. There is no need to give any details. More specific details need to be given in the body paragraphs.

  1. list items Writing Task 1 
  2. list items Writing Task 1

IELTS Writing Task 2

In the second task, candidates have to provide a written argument on a specific topic and to organize their answers clearly, give some examples to support your points. You will have to write at least 250 words. Some sample questions are provided below.

  1. list items Writing Sample Task 2
  2. list items Writing Sample Task 2

Read more about: How To Prepare for IELTS - Writing Section?


IELTS Reading section

( Sample Questions )

This section will have 3 long reading passages and 40 questions. The duration of this section will be 60 minutes. Each section contains one long text. Texts are authentic and could be taken from books, journals, magazines, and newspapers. They have been written for a non-specialist audience and are on academic topics of general interest. Texts are appropriate and accessible to candidates entering undergraduate or postgraduate courses or seeking professional registration. Texts range from the descriptive and factual to the discursive and analytical. Texts may contain non-verbal materials such as diagrams, graphs or illustrations. If texts contain technical terms, then a simple glossary is provided. Read more about: How To Prepare for IELTS - Reading Section

Read more about: How To Prepare for IELTS - Reading Section?


IELTS Listening Section

( Sample Questions )

The IELTS Listening test takes about 30 minutes, and students will have an extra 10 minutes to transfer answers to the answer sheet. There are usually four different audio clips against which there are ten questions each that the students have to answer. Here is a list of probable topics for each audio recording. 

The first audio recording may contain a conversation between two speakers about subjects like ticket booking, arrangements for a party or celebration, or travel plans. 
The second audio recording is likely to have a monologue/speech which will be set in an everyday social context. 
The third audio will have a conversation between two individuals, for example, between a teacher and a student, or between two students planning to write a research paper. 
The fourth audio will contain a speech related to topics of general academic interest. Following are the sample questions:  

Read more about: How To Prepare For IELTS - Listening Section?


What is the Importance of Practicing Complete Mock Tests?

  • list items One cannot emphasize enough the importance of practicing complete mock tests for the IELTS exam. However, when we talk about solving complete mock tests, we mean solving one whole test under the same time constraints and conditions of the exam, instead of solving only one section or a couple of questions without timing yourself. Adopting this preparation strategy ensures that you familiarize yourself with the pattern and difficulty level of the exam so that attempting the IELTS on the day of the exam is a cakewalk for you. Furthermore, once you get habituated to the test, you are likely to feel more confident.
  • list items Also, while solving complete mock-tests, you do not only get a chance to solve different types of questions at a stretch, but you are also able to build your tenacity to attempt four sections back to back. Once you acquire this skill, you are certain to perform well in the exam. 
  • list items One of the key advantages of practicing complete mock tests is that you get to practice a number of different types of questions which significantly adds to your conceptual clarity. Additionally, while practicing such questions, you are bound to come across a few doubts. If you manage to get them addressed from a senior or mentor, you will be able to acquire a firmer group over the concepts. 

How to Make the Best Use of IELTS Sample Questions 

  • list items You should cultivate the habit of reading the directions while practicing the sample questions/sample papers. This is because applicants need to pay attention to the number of words required for each task in the test. You will lose marks if you fail to write within the minimum number of words. Therefore, if one starts taking account of the instructions in their practice period itself, one will find abiding by the instructions in the exam a cakewalk. 
  • list items Take practice tests in a way wherein you pace yourself with time limits. Doing so will help you to simulate the time constraints of the exam. This will not only habituate you to the conditions and difficulty level of the exam but also allow you to gain a firm grip over the general pattern of the questions and as a result acquire faster-answering speed.  
  • list items Identify your strengths and weaknesses. Once you are done with the mock tests and practice sessions, dwell upon the areas where you are likely to commit most of the mistakes in. It will also give you an idea of which module you are particularly weak in. As an example, if you have difficulty in reading, you should devise techniques that will help you remember the English words you’re having trouble in.
  • list items Develop a strategy. With ample knowledge of each test and its parts through a regular practice of the sample questions, the student can develop time-saving methods and techniques to answer each question more efficiently. To save time during the reading test, one may go straight to the questions first. You need to note that some methods might work for you but not for others. It is important to know the strategy that suits you.
  • list items Develop a good ear for accents. The test uses the accents of various native-speakers in the listening test, so it’s a huge advantage if you can understand all of them. Students should train their ears by subscribing to English podcasts and TV news channels. 
  • list items Write like a native English speaker. Reading and writing go hand in hand. Students must go through a wide range of texts and topics: read manuals, advertisements, magazines, news articles, essays and reports about culture, science, etc. They can also test their English vocabulary by writing sentences using the new words they have encountered.

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If you wish to practice complete mock tests or solve sectional answers apart from the aforementioned, you could refer to the following unpaid and paid resources available online which provide you with tons of practice tests and mock tests.
Some of the most useful free online resources you can refer to are: 

Solving sample papers and questions constitutes a major part of your preparation. However, we would also like to mention that diving directly into sample tests will hardly yield any benefit if your foundational concepts are not clear. Therefore, we suggest every IELTS test taker to firstly learn the basic and essential concepts of each section and understand how questions are to be answered and then start with the sample papers. We give here the link to our section-wise IELTS preparation guide which will help you to kickstart your preparations.   

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