IELTS Test: English Test Simulation, Preparation, Format and Scores

The IELTS exam: it has 3 versions, Academic, General Training, IELTS UKVI and Life Skills. They all have a 4 part division similar to TOEFL: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. The exams are given in authorized and specialized centers.

In any case, despite having the same format, these 3 exam models have a different purpose and for which they are given. Academic is for anyone wanting to study in English-speaking countries, General is for anyone wanting to move to English-speaking nations,UKVI is to immigrate to the UK and Life Skills tests basic English.

From Speakingathome we can help you so that you can give your best when you are facing the exam.

IELTS Format

The evaluation, as mentioned before, is given in 4 parts:

The Reading takes 60 minutes, it has 3 long texts that must be read (With diagrams, graphics and illustrations). The texts can vary from descriptive and factual formats, to discursive and analytical. It has 40 questions created to test the range of reading comprehension skills of the examinee, ergo the understanding of the main ideas, the details, the logical argument and recognition of the opinions of the authors of the text, attitudes and purpose. The texts are taken from articles from newspapers, magazines, etc. and it was chosen because they are not made for specialized audiences (Scientists etc.).

The Writing, which lasts 60 minutes, is divided into 2 tasks: in the first you must write a document of at least 150 words where you must summarize, explain or describe the text provided. In the second, you will have to write an essay where your answer is argued against a conflicting point of view, argument or situation and has a minimum of 250 words.

IELTS Scores

Exam scores are the same for all types of IELTS (Academic, General Training, and IELTS UKVS), but in Life Skills it is pass or fail. The way in which the exams are scored ranges from grades (or bands) from 0 to 9.

The grades, depending on the results, can be divided into full grades (1,3,5) or half grades (2.5, 4.5 etc.). Qualification grades are given as follows:

  • 9: Expert User
  • 8: Very good user
  • 7: Good User
  • 6: Competent User
  • 5: modest user
  • 4: Limited User
  • 3: Very limited user
  • 2: Intermittent User
  • 1: No user
  • 0: did not take the exam

These results compared with the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) would be the following: 4 is equivalent to level A2 bordering on B1, from 4.5 to 5 is equivalent to level B1, 5.5 to 6.5 is equivalent to B2, 7 to 8 is equivalent to C1 and finally from 8 to 9 it is equivalent to a C2 level in English.

IELTS Preparation

Taking an exam is never easy, you always have a feeling that you are never sufficiently prepared, but those feelings of inadequacy can always be solved with a clear and constant effort.

To prepare for the IELTS exam, most English academies recommend starting to study about 6 months before the exam date. Since each section of the exam requires a different way of preparing.

Reading: What is necessary to be able to prepare for reading is to practice reading comprehension of texts, spelling rules, verbal rules, etc. It is recommended that you read texts in English, such as news websites (, etc.) if you want to have a general knowledge of what the use of speech is like, but you can also read any page as long as it is in English.

Writing: It is recommended that to improve your writing skills you select a topic at random and try to write long texts for no more than 20 minutes and then try to time your time so that it is less and less.

Listening: For listening practice it is recommended to listen to lectures in English to train the ear but also listening to music can help. It is not recommended to listen to songs that have a very closed accent or a strong use of the colloquial word of the musician but rather more regular songs such as of Frank Sinatra or Elvis Presley.

Speaking: If you want to speak English fluently, it is advisable to communicate with native English speakers. One option is to go to bars where English-speaking immigrants hang out, but it is better if you decide to take an online course to practice.

IELTS Exam simulation

This is a simulation, real life experience may vary.



Questions 1 – 8 Complete the form below. Write NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER for each answer. 

PACKHAM’S SHIPPING AGENCY – customer quotation form 

Name: Jacob 1 ………… 

Address to be collected from: 2 ………… College, Downlands Rd 

Town: Bristol 

Postcode: 3 ………… 

Size of container: Length: 1.5m   Width: 4 ………… Height: 5 ………… 

Contents: Clothes 6 …………  7 ………… 

Total estimated value: 8 £…………


This is an extract from an Academic Reading passage on the development of rockets. The text preceding this extract explored the slow development of the rocket and explained the principle of propulsion.

The invention of rockets is linked inextricably with the invention of 'black powder'. Most historians of technology credit the Chinese with its discovery. They base their belief on studies of Chinese writings or on the notebooks of early Europeans who

settled in or made long visits to China to study its history and civilisation. It is probable that, some time in the tenth century, black powder was first compounded from its basic ingredients of saltpetre, charcoal and sulphur. But this does not mean that it was immediately used to propel rockets. By the thirteenth century, powder propelled fire arrows had become rather common. The Chinese relied on this type of technological development to produce incendiary projectiles of many sorts, explosive grenades and possibly cannons to repel their enemies. One such weapon was the 'basket of fire' or, as directly translated from Chinese, the 'arrows like flying leopards'.

The 0.7 metre-long arrows, each with a long tube of gunpowder attached near the point of each arrow, could be fired from a long, octagonal-shaped basket at the same time and had a range of 400 paces. Another weapon was the 'arrow as a flying sabre', which could be fired from crossbows. The rocket, placed in a similar position to other rocket-propelled arrows, was designed to increase the range. A small iron weight was attached to the 1.5m bamboo shaft, just below the feathers, to increase the arrow's stability by moving the centre of gravity to a position below the rocket. At a similar time, the Arabs had developed the 'egg which moves and burns'. This 'egg' was apparently full of gunpowder and stabilised by a 1.5m tail. It was fired using two rockets attached to either side of this tail.

It was not until the eighteenth century that Europe became seriously interested in the possibilities of using the rocket itself as a weapon of war and not just to propel other weapons. Prior to this, rockets were used only in pyrotechnic displays. The incentive for the more aggressive use of rockets came not from within the European continent but from far-away India, whose leaders had built up a corps of rocketeers and used rockets successfully against the British in the late eighteenth century.

The Indian rockets used against the British were described by a British Captain serving in India as ‘an iron envelope about 200 millimetres long and 40 millimetres in diameter with sharp points at the top and a 3m-long bamboo guiding stick’. In the early nineteenth century the British began to experiment with incendiary barrage rockets. The British rocket differed from the Indian version in that it was completely encased in a stout, iron cylinder, terminating in a conical head, measuring one metre in diameter and having a stick almost five metres long and constructed in such a way that it could be

firmly attached to the body of the rocket. The Americans developed a rocket, complete with its own launcher, to use against the Mexicans in the mid-nineteenth century. A long cylindrical tube was propped up by two sticks and fastened to the top

of the launcher, thereby allowing the rockets to be inserted and lit from the other end. However, the results were sometimes not that impressive as the behaviour of the rockets in flight was less than predictable

Questions 1 – 3

Look at the following items (Questions 7-10) and the list of groups below. Match each item with the group which first invented or used them.

Write the correct letter A-E in boxes 7-10 on your answer sheet. NB You may use any letter more than once.

7 black powder

8 rocket-propelled arrows for fighting

9 rockets as war weapons

10 the rocket launcher

First invented or used by

A the Chinese

B the Indians

C the British

D the Arabs

E the Americans



You should spend about 20 minutes on this task. 

The chart below shows the number of men and women in further education in Britain in three periods and whether they were studying full-time or part-time. Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant

Write at least 150 words. 


You should spend about 40 minutes on this task. 

Write about the following topic: 

Children who are brought up in families that do not have large amounts of money are better prepared to deal with the problems of adult life than children brought up by wealthy parents. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion?

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.  Write at least 250 words


Part 1 Introduction and interview

[This part of the test begins with the examiner introducing himself or herself and

checking the candidate’s identification. It then continues as an interview.]

Let’s talk about your home town or village.

• What kind of place is it?

• What’s the most interesting part of your town/village?

• What kind of jobs do the people in your town/village do?

• Would you say it’s a good place to live? (Why?)

Let’s move on to talk about accommodation.

• Tell me about the kind of accommodation you live in?

• How long have you lived there?

• What do you like about living there?

• What sort of accommodation would you most like to live in?

Part 2 – Individual long turn

Candidate Task Card

Describe something you own which is very important to you.

 You should say:

 where you got it from

 how long you have had it

 what you use it for

and explain why it is important to you.

You will have to talk about the topic for 1 to 2 minutes.

You have one minute to think about what you're going to say.

You can make some notes to help you if you wish.

Rounding off questions

• Is it valuable in terms of money?

• Would it be easy to replace?

Part 3 – Two-way discussion

Let’s consider first of all how people’s values have changed.

• What kind of things give status to people in your country?

• Have things changed since your parents’ time?

Finally, let’s talk about the role of advertising.

• Do you think advertising influences what people buy?