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Sample IELTS test papers

Free IELTS practice tests

Prepare for IELTS with these free practice tests and answers. Time yourself and develop your exam technique.

The practice tests in this section offer you the opportunity to:

  • get to know the test format
  • experience the types of tasks you will be asked to undertake
  • test yourself under timed conditions
  • review your answers and compare them with model answers.

Remember, you will take the Listening, Reading and Writing tests all on one day with no breaks in between, so it is important to do the practice tests under similar conditions.
If you prefer to practise offline, download the tests, blank answer sheets, transcripts and answers from the following pages.

Listening practice test 1

Listening

The Listening test is 30 minutes long (plus 10 minutes transfer time) and is four separate recordings.
The Listening test is the same for both Academic and General Training tests.
Test Parts: There are 4 sections.
Section 1 is a conversation between two people set in an everyday context (eg. a conversation in an accomodation agency)
Section 2 is a monologue set in an everyday social context (eg. a speech about local families)
Section 3 is a conversation between up to four people set in an educational or training context (eg. a university tutor and student discussing an assignment)
Section 4 is a monologue on an academic subject (eg. a university lecture)

The following IELTS Listening Sample Tasks are to be used with the Answer Sheet and MP3 audio files/transcripts. Each answer sheet indicates which Recording to listen to, or if a transcript is provided.

Downloadable Listening Sample Tasks

Section 1

Listening Sample Task – Form Completion (PDF)

IELTS Listening Recording 1 (MP3)

Section 2 (Sample A)

IELTS Listening Recording Section 2 (Sample A)  (MP3)

Listening Sample Task – Multiple Choice (PDF)

Section 2 (Sample B)

IELTS Listening Recording Section 2 (Sample B)  (MP3)

Listening Sample B Questions (PDF)

Listening Sample B Answers (PDF)

Section 3 (Sample A)

IELTS Listening Recording Section 3 (Sample A)  (MP3)

Listening Sample Task – Short Answer (PDF)

Section 3 (Sample B)

IELTS Listening Recording Section 3 (Sample B)  (MP3)

Listening Sample B Questions (PDF)

Listening Sample B Answers (PDF)

Section 4

IELTS Listening Recording 4  (MP3)

Listening Sample Task – Sentence Completion (PDF)

NEW Listening Samples

IELTS Listening Recording 5  (MP3)

Listening Sample Task – Matching (example 1) (PDF)

IELTS Listening Recording 6  (MP3)

Listening Sample Task – Matching (example 2) (PDF)

IELTS Listening Recording 7  (MP3)

Listening Sample Task – Plan/Map/Diagram/Labelling (PDF)

Listening Answer Sheet

Listening answer sheet (PDF)

Reading practice test 1 – IELTS Academic

Academic Reading
The Academic Reading test is 60 minutes long.

Test Parts:
There are 3 sections. The total text length is 2,150-2,750 words.

  • Each section contains one long text.
  • Texts are authentic and are 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 to, and accessible to, test-takers entering undergraduate or postgraduate courses, or seeking professional registration.
  • Texts range from 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, a simple glossary is provided.

Question types
A variety of questions is used, chosen from the following types: multiple choice, identifying information, identifying writer’s views/claims, matching information, matching headings, matching features, matching sentence endings, sentence completion, summary completion, note completion, table completion, flow-chart completion, diagram label completion, short-answer questions.

Marking
Each correct answer receives 1 mark. Scores out of 40 are converted to the IELTS 9-band scale. Scores are reported in whole and half bands.

Downloadable Academic Reading sample tasks

Academic Reading sample tasks

Academic Reading Sample Task – Identifying information (PDF)

Academic Reading Sample Task – Identifying writer’s views (PDF)

Academic Reading Sample Task – Matching features (PDF)

Academic Reading Sample Task – Matching headings (PDF)

Academic Reading Sample Task – Multiple choice questions (PDF)

Academic Reading Sample Task – Table completion (PDF)

Academic Reading Sample Task – Diagram label completion (PDF)

IELTS Reading answer sheet (PDF)

General Training Reading

The General Training Reading test is 60 minutes long.
There are 3 sections.
Section 1 contains two or three short factual texts, one of which may be a composite (consisting of 6-8 short texts related by topic, eg. hotel advertisements). Topics are relevant to everyday life in an English-speaking country.
Section 2 contains two short factual texts focusing on work-related issues (eg. applying for jobs, company policies, pay and conditions)
Section 3 contains one longer, more complex text on a topic of general interest
Texts are authentic and are taken from notices, advertisements, company handbooks, books, magazines and newspapers.

Question types
A variety of questions are used, chosen from the following types; multiple choice, identifying information, identifying writer’s views/claims, matching information, matching headings, matching features, matching sentence endings, sentence completion, summary completion, note completion, table completion, flow-chart completion, diagram label completion, short-answer questions.

Marking
Each correct answer receives 1 mark. Scores out of 40 are converted to the IELTS 9-band scale. Scores are reported in whole and half bands.

Downloadable General Training Reading sample tasks

IELTS General training Reading sample tasks

General Training Reading Sample Task – Flow Chart Completion (PDF)

General Training Reading Sample Task – Identifying Information (PDF)

General Training Reading Sample Task – Matching Information (PDF)

General Training Reading Sample Task – Matching Features (PDF)

General Training Reading Sample Task – Matching Headings (PDF)

General Training Reading Sample Task – Sentence Completion (PDF)

General Training Reading Sample Task – Short Answer Questions (PDF)

IELTS Reading Answer sheet (PDF)

 

Writing practice test 1 – IELTS Academic

  • Academic Writing

The Academic Writing test is 60 minutes long.

The here are two tasks. Candidates are required to write at least 150 words for Task 1 and at least 250 words for Task 2.  Both responses should be written in a formal style.

Task 1
You will be asked to describe some visual information (graph/table/chart/diagram), and to present the description in your own words. You may be asked to describe and explain data, describe the stages of a process, how something works, or describe an object or event. You need to write 150 words in about 20 minutes.

Task 2
You will be presented with a point of view, argument or problem. You need to write 250 words in about 40 minutes.
Below are samples of Task 1 and Task 2.
(Note that the Academic Writing test is different to the General Training Writing test).

 

Downloadable Academic Writing samples

 

Academic Writing sample task 1A (PDF)

 

Academic Writing sample task 1B (PDF)

 

Academic Writing sample task 2A (PDF)

 

Academic Writing sample task 2B (PDF)

 

IELTS Writing answer sheet task 1 (PDF)

 

IELTS Writing answer sheet task 2 (PDF)

 

IELTS Academic Writing Sample Script (PDF)

Writing practice test 1 – IELTS General Training

  • General Training Writing
    • The General Training Writing test is 60 minutes long.
    • It has two writing tasks of 150 words and 250 words.
    • In Task 1, candidates are asked to respond to a situation, by writing a letter for example, requesting information or explaining a situation.
    • In Task 2, candidates write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem.
    • Below are samples of Task 1 and Task 2. (Note that candidates for the General Training module do a different Writing test to the Academic module).

 

Downloadable General Training Writing Samples

 

General Training Writing sample task 1 (PDF)

 

General Training Writing sample task 2 (PDF)

 

IELTS Writing Answer sheet task 1 (PDF)

 

IELTS Writing Answer sheet task 2 (PDF)

 

General Training Writing sample script (PDF)

Speaking practice test 1

Speaking

In the Speaking test, you have a discussion with a certified Examiner. It is interactive and as close to a real-life situation as a test can get.

The test is 11 to 14 minutes long with three parts.

  • In Part 1, you answer questions about yourself, your family, your work and your interests.
  • In Part 2, you speak about a topic. You will be given a task card which asks you to speak about a particular topic and includes points that you can cover in your talk. You will be given 1 minute to prepare your talk. You will then speak for 1-2 minutes.
  • In Part 3, you have a longer discussion on the topic. The examiner will ask you further questions connected to the topic in Part 2.

The Speaking test is the same for both Academic and General Training tests.

 

Downloadable Speaking Sample tasks

 

Speaking Sample Task Part 1 (PDF)

 

Speaking Sample Task Part 1 – Recording (MP3)

 

Speaking Sample Task Part 1 – Transcript (PDF)

 

Speaking Sample Task Part 2 – Prompt (PDF)

 

Speaking Sample Task Part 2 – Recording (MP3)

 

Speaking Sample Task Part 2 – Transcript (PDF)

 

Speaking Sample Task Part 3 – Prompt (PDF)

 

Speaking Sample Task Part 3 – Recording (MP3)

 

Speaking Sample Task Part 3 – Transcript (PDF)