There is only one type of IELTS test, but you can choose from two modalities: If you are planning to do an internship, finish secondary studies in English speaking institutions, or to request a residence visa in Australia, Canada or New Zealand, choose the General Training module. If you are planning to undertake academic study in a higher education institution, or to work in certain professional fields such as nursing or medicine, then choose the Academic module. Each candidate is responsible for choosing his or her own module.

How the test works
IELTS tests the complete range of skills commonly needed by persons studying or training in English. All candidates take the same Listening and Speaking tests. The Reading and Writing tests are different for those doing the two different modules.

The test is conducted in the following order:

The Listening Module takes approximately 45 minutes. There are 40 questions in four sections. The Listening Module is recorded on a CD and is heard only ONCE. During the test, time is given for candidates to read the questions and enter and then check their answers. As candidates listen, they enter their answers on the Question Paper. When the CD ends, an additional 10 minutes are allowed for candidates to transfer their answers to an Answer Sheet.

The Reading Module takes 60 minutes. There are 40 questions based on three reading passages with a total of 1,500 to 2,500 words. A variety of questions is used, and these are chosen from the following types: multiple choice, short-answer questions, sentence completion, notes/summary/diagram/flow-chart/table completion, choosing from a 'heading bank' for identified paragraphs/sections of the text, identification of writer's views/attitudes/claims, yes, no or not given classification, and matching lists/phrases.

The Writing Module takes 60 minutes. There are two tasks: in Task 1 candidates are asked to look at a diagram or table, and to present the information in their own words; Task 1 requires candidates to write at least 150 words. In Task 2, candidates are presented with a point of view or argument or problem. Task 2 requires at least 250 words.

The Speaking Module takes approximately 15 minutes. It consists of an oral interview, which is essentially a conversation between the candidate and an examiner.

Download or read through a copy of the IELTS handbook for more detailed information. If you would like to know more about the IELTS exam, please contact:

IELTS Administrator
IELTS Examination Centre
Department of Language, Linguistics & Philosophy
University of the West Indies Mona, Kingston 7, Jamaica
Telephone: 1 876 977 0887, 1-876-970-6793, 1-876-476-7092, 1-876-343-1488


The IELTS Office official opening hours are: 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Mondays and Tuesdays and 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. on Wednesdays. These opening hours are strictly enforced.

Please note that you are required to submit a copy of your ID (Passport or National (Jamaican)) and proof of payment to the IELTS office upon application. These can be scanned and emailed to the office. All overseas applicants are asked to enclose a pre-paid airway bill for the return of their test results.


The Department of Language, Linguistics & Philosophy and the Examining Board take all reasonable steps to provide continuity of service. We feel sure you will understand, however, that we cannot be held responsible for any interruptions caused by circumstances beyond our control. If examinations or their results are disrupted, cancelled or delayed, every effort will be made to resume normal service as soon as possible. The British Council's liability will be limited to the refund of the registration fee or re-testing at a later date.