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How is the IELTS Exam Conducted?

Updated on 13 April, 2023

Mrinal Mandal

Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

How is the IELTS Exam Conducted?

The International English Language Teaching System (IELTS) is an English language test taken by candidates who want to study or work in a country where English is the native language. Some of the countries where IELTS is accepted are the UK, USA, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. IELTS is jointly owned by the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia, and Cambridge Assessment English. Do you want to know how IELTS exam is conducted? Let us discuss it at length.


How to Register for the IELTS Exam?

Registration for the IELTS exam can be done both online and offline. Let us take a look at both processes.


While registering online for the exam, make sure you have your credit card handy.

  • Begin with logging on to www.ieltsidpindia.com
  • Now choose the option ‘Register for IELTS’
  • Next, you have to select your test city and date
  • Fill up the entire online application form
  • Pay the test fee with your credit card
  • You will receive an acknowledgment for seat booking

A copy of the confirmation mail and photocopy of your passport’s first and second page has to be sent to the head office of IDP.



Register in Person at the IDP branch 

You can visit any branch office or the head office of IDP or even an Input Node to register.

Process 1

  • You can try the online method but by using the computer at the IDP office
  • You have to submit a photocopy of the first and second page of your passport
  • Duly sign the Terms & Conditions document and hand it over
  • You will receive an instant acknowledgment letter which will confirm your seat in the IELTS exam

Process 2

  • You can get an application form and fill it up properly
  • Make sure you sign the Terms  & Conditions page that is attached to the application form
  • You have to attach the photocopy of the first and last page of the passport
  • Now pay the exam fee through a Credit/Debit card or ATM card. You can also pay the fee through Demand Draft (DD). The DD has to be made from a bank that is included in the list of approved banks in the terms & conditions document
  • You can also deposit cash in the ICICI Bank branch with a customized ICICI deposit slip. You can download the slip from the website of IDP or take it from the IDP branch
  • You have to hand over the original customer copy of the customized ICICI deposit slip to the IDP branch office as proof of the payment.

Once this is done, you can request the staff at the IDP branch to enter the application form in the online registration system. They will then provide you with the acknowledgment of the booking. You will also get a tentative seat reservation.

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Register by Courier and pay the test fee by Demand Draft or ICICI deposit/Allahabad deposit slip

You have to download the application form from www.ieltsidpindia.com. You can also take an application form from the nearest IDP branch.

  • Ensure you fill-up the application form
  • Sign the Terms & Conditions sheet that is attached to your application form
  • You now have to attach the first and the last page of your passport
  • Now to pay the test fee, attach the DD. You can also attach the original customer copy of the ICICI deposit slip.

Once all of the formalities are completed, send the application form along with all the other attachments and test fees to IDP head office. Your application will be processed after the documents are received at the office. The seat allotment on the chosen date depends on availability.

IELTS registration can also be done through the website of the British Council.


IELTS Timing and Exam Pattern

To understand the timing and the exam pattern of IELTS, we can discuss this section-wise. IELTS test is divided into four sections- Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening. The Reading, Writing, and Listening sections are taken on the same day, without any break in between the tests. The Speaking part can be scheduled on the afternoon of the day of the test. You can also schedule it 7 days before or after the test. Candidates are contacted by the local IELTS test centers to be updated about the location and date of the Speaking test.

Listening Test

The test includes four recorded monologues as well as conversations. The total number of questions in this test is 40, and the duration is 30 minutes.

Reading Test

You will get three long passages to read along with tasks. You will also find descriptive texts, diagrams, graphs, etc. There are 40 questions, and the total duration is 60 minutes.

Writing Test

The writing task consists of 150 words, wherein you have to explain a chart, graph, table, etc. Another task will be 250 words in which you have to write a short essay. The total questions are 2, and you will get 60 minutes for this.

Speaking Test

This will be a face-to-face interview. You may have to speak on a familiar topic. It can also include structured discussion or short questions. In total, you will be asked 3 questions in 11-14 minutes.

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Is the Computer-Delivered Test different from the Paper-Based Test?

The computer-delivered test was introduced in 2017. Since then, many people have preferred opting for this mode. Let us understand the basic differences between the two.

  • In the paper-based test, you will get 10 minutes at the end of the Listening section. In the computer-delivered test, you will not get that extra time.
  • The paper-based test is usually done in a university or at a hotel that is centrally located. The computer-delivered test is done in a smaller room.
  • On taking a paper-based test, you will get the result in 13 days. You will get your results in 3-5 days when you take a computer-delivered test.
  • The paper-based test is available for up to 48 days each year and only on Thursdays and Saturdays. The computer-delivered test is available up to 7 days a week and 3 times each day.

Whether you are choosing a computer-delivered test or paper-based, you have to select it during registration.


Which Organization Conducts IELTS Exam?

Cambridge University designs the International English Language Testing System. Both the British Council and IDP manage the test.

Getting a good score; ideally, a band score of 7 and above in your IELTS examination will be immensely helpful for your academic and professional career opportunities. So understand every element of the exam well and prepare yourself accordingly.

Download IELTS Preparation Guide For Free

Get to know about the latest updates on the IELTS Exam, Eligibility, Preparation Tips, Test procedure,  Exam Pattern, Syllabus, Registration Process, Important Exam Dates, and much more!! This guide is a one-stop solution for every IELTS Aspirant who aims to crack the exam with an impressive band score.

Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert


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The above tips are the Author's experiences. upGrad does not guarantee scores or admissions.