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How Much Time is Required for IELTS Preparation

Updated on 12 February, 2024

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad abroad Editorial Team

IELTS is used for assessing your reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills in the English language. It helps in measuring one’s competence to study, work or migrate to an English-speaking country. So how much time is required for IELTS preparation?

We shall learn about it in a while but first, let us look at its pattern:

IELTS Exam Pattern

Here is the exam pattern mentioned below: 


Test Description

Total Questions



The section comprises monologues and conversations. 

4 parts with total 40 questions

30 minutes


There will be three long reading passages and tasks. There will be descriptive as well as factual texts. The analytical part includes diagrams and graphs.

3 sections with total 40 questions

60 minutes


A writing task of a minimum of 150 words in which the candidate has to summarize. The candidate may even be asked to describe a table, chart, graph, diagram, etc. There is another task of writing an essay of 250 words.

2 tasks

60 minutes
(Task 1 is of 20 minutes & Task 2 is of 40 minutes)


It is a face-to-face interview, including short questions, speaking on a familiar topic, and even a structured discussion.

3 parts

11-14 minutes


What is the Average Preparation Time for IELTS

It is quite difficult to mention how many days it may take for someone to prepare for IELTS. It depends upon the proficiency in English of the candidate. However, the average preparation time for IELTS is six to eight weeks. Depending upon your command of the language, you may require less or more time. 

To get started with the preparation, you must first try to understand the exam pattern. Once you are familiar with the pattern, you can prepare a study plan. Make sure the study materials you have are reliable. If you want to focus your preparation on an individual section of the IELTS test, you can follow these guidelines:

Preparation for Listening Section

The listening section of the IELTS test comprises four subsections with 10 questions each. This section needs to be completed within 40 minutes.

Section 1: A dialogue on a general topic between two people will be played. 

Section 2: A monologue on an event with factual information will be played. 

Section 3: Dialogue on an academic subject or event between two or more people will be played. The speaker’s opinions and factual information needs to be focused on. 

Section 4: A lecture on an academic topic will be played with a focus on the lecturer’s main ideas.

So, how much time does it take to prepare for the IELTS listening section? 

Usually, the preparation time for the listening section can range between one to two weeks. However, if you have additional time, it always helps. Listening to mocks and watching videos with different English accents, news, podcasts, book recordings, etc., can prove helpful while preparing for this section.

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Download E-Books for IELTS Preparation

ielts sample essays

Preparation for Writing Section

Lasting 60 minutes, the writing section can be divided into two types. The first section consists of visual information and requires you to observe, understand, and write your understanding of the information in 150 words. 

The second task requires the candidate to write down their points and ideas on a given topic in 250 words. As task 2 takes longer, the candidates should spend 40 minutes tackling this task and use the remaining 20 minutes for task 1. To prepare for this section, the participants need to practice writing short essays and getting them edited. 

How much time is required to prepare for the IELTS writing section? 

Depending on the candidate's writing skills, it may take between one to four weeks. 

Preparation for Reading Section

There are 40 questions in the reading section, including MCQs, matching headings, sentence completion, and short answer questions. There is a time limit of one hour assigned to complete this section. IELTS General exam syllabus consists of everyday English topics such as newspapers, advertisements, handbooks, etc. Studying journals, magazines, books, research articles, etc., are recommended for academic IELTS preparation. 

So, how much time is required for IELTS Reading section preparation? 

Preparation for this section varies according to the ability of the candidate. Usually, two weeks are considered sufficient. Mock tests are very helpful in the practice of this section.

Preparation for Speaking Section

The IELTS trainer interviews the candidate in this section. It is 15 minutes long and has three sub-sections. 

Section 1: General questions on family, interest, study, work, etc., are asked.  

Section 2: A task card is shared with the test taker, followed by a two-minute talk on a topic of choice from the card.

Section 3: The section consists of some questions on the topics by the trainer. The test taker needs to answer these questions in about five minutes.

Test takers need to practice with a partner and focus on minimizing fillers and perfecting pronunciation. 

How much time is required to prepare for the IELTS speaking section? 

The preparation time of one to two weeks for this section is adequate for most people.

Taking mock tests for IELTS is a great way to prepare. The sooner you get started, the better your results will be!

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IELTS Preparation Time for Retake

If your IELTS test score hasn't been satisfactory and you intend to take a retest, it is advisable to take it whenever you feel ready. 

Usually, a time of four months is considered sufficient for preparing yourself for the retest.


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.

Things to Consider When Reapplying for IELTS

Think through the following when reapplying for IELTS: 

  • Identify your weakness and work dedicatedly on it. 
  • It's important to have a goal and work towards it. In this case, have a target IELTS band score in mind when preparing. 
  • Practice mock tests. 
  • Have a strategy in place to attempt all the four IELTS sections. 

Example of IELTS Preparation Timetable 

Here's a one week IELTS preparation schedule sample for your reference: 


30 mins - practice reading section

30 mins - attempt speaking section questions

60 mins - read writing task 1 samples and practice their responses


30 mins - dedicate to vocab building

30 mins - practice speaking for the one-to-one interview

60 mins - go through writing task 2 samples and practice writing them


30 mins - reading practice

30 mins - practice speaking topics

60 mins - read writing task 2 samples and practice their responses


30 mins - listening section practice

30 mins - attempt speaking section questions

60 mins - read writing task 1 samples and practice their responses


30 mins - undertake listening practice

30 mins - practice speaking section

60 mins - work on errors identified throughout the week


Take a full-length mock test

Check for errors

Re-attempt portions that need improvement


Take a full-length mock test

Check for errors

Re-attempt portions that need improvement

To cater end-to-end requirements of learners planning to pursue higher education abroad, upGrad Abroad offers support to students in preparation for IELTS. A good IELTS score ensures aspirants can kick-start their study abroad journey smoothly and with a strong foundation.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How much time is required to prepare for IELTS?

The time required to prepare for IELTS should hover between 30 to 60 days. Experts recommend that one must spend three to four hours a day preparing for IELTS.

Is 30 days a good time to prepare for IELTS?

With a proper plan in place, no period is too short to prepare for IELTS. All you need is dedicated effort to prepare for the exam and a convenient schedule to follow regularly. So, to answer the question, a 30-day period is good enough to prepare for IELTS.

What is the hardest part of IELTS for preparation?

The hardest part of IELTS preparation will vary for individual aspirants. However, most learners believe that the writing section is the most difficult to prepare for.

Which is the easiest part of IELTS?

The proficiency of English skills varies from one aspirant to another. But the sections that are considered the easiest when taking the IELTS test are: Listening and Speaking.

How to manage time during the IELTS test?

Here are some time management tricks to incorporate when taking the IELTS test: 

  1. Familiarize yourself with the test format and the time allowed in each section. 
  2. Get an understanding of your language proficiency and prepare accordingly. 
  3. Try to stay calm and stress-free on the test day. 
  4. Practice writing, paraphrasing, listening and speaking to take the test confidently. 
  5. Don't spend too much time on one question.

What is the minimum time required for IELTS preparation?

The minimum time required for IELTS preparation will depend on your command of the language. While a week can be enough for some, others may need 30 to 60 days or more for the same.

Can I prepare for the IELTS exam by myself?

Yes, you can prepare for the IELTS exam by yourself if you have a good command of the language and have access to the right study material. However, most aspirants claim to have benefited much from professional help.

Download IELTS Sample Papers

Reading sample test
Writing sample test
Ielts sample paper1

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upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad abroad Editorial Team

We are a dedicated team of study-abroad experts, ensuring intensive research and comprehensive information in each of our blogs. With every piece written, we aim at simplifying the overseas education process for all. Our diverse experience as journalists, content writers, editors, content strategists, and marketers helps create the most relevant and authentic blogs for our readers.

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