Update from a General IELTS exam, Holland

Straight from Amsterdam, this update was shared by an anonymous student, who is planning immigration to New Zealand – good luck, pal!

Listening test

Section 1. A male person was complaining over the phone to a female person about items which were broken during transportation. They spoke BBC English. There was an easy table to fill in the gaps.

Section 2. The story was about a female person telling what kind of employees they are searching for, for their clothing company. The task was a filling in the gaps. They spoke BBC English.

Section 3. A student was talking about a survey held about fat (food) replacements. Not so clear to hear, because of an accent. Questions: Multiple choice, filing in the gaps, table completion.

Reading test

Passage 1. A leaflet about different sightseeing tours in London.
Questions: Multiple choice, easy stuff.

Passage 2. Library rules.
Questions: true/false/not given, headings matching. Not that difficult, but you had to read carefully.

Passage 3. The differences between men and women.
Questions: headings matching, true/false/not given. Difficult to read, even if it was in my native language (Dutch) it would be difficult to match the right headings.

Writing test

Writing Task 1 (a letter)

Write a letter to a friend asking for help with a short holiday in the area where this friend lives, ask for information, etc.

Writing Task 2 (an essay)

Sometimes students are working for companies for free. What are the advantages and disadvantages of this?

Speaking test


– The examiner started with general questions, such as where do you live, do you like your village etc.
– How about the weather in Holland, are there problems with it?

Cue Card

Talk about a postcard or a letter that you recently received.


Don’t remember.

Update from an Academic IELTS exam, Australia

This IELTS update is brought to you by Lucienne from Australia.

Listening test

Section 1. An ad in the newspaper from someone selling different furniture. A woman called and asked for measurements of a bed, a mattress, a cabinet, etc.
Section 2. At a museum someone was giving information on openings hours, possibilities for school/group tours, etc.
Section 3. A woman was giving information on how rangers manage a nature park. Questions involved some tables, where you had to fill in the gaps.
Section 4. Don’t remember.

Reading test

Passage 1. A text on otters, where they live, the difference between certain breeds of otters, how they waterproof their coats, etc.
Passage 2. Whether or not parents should be involved in schooling of their children, or be active in the school. Different opinions from various researchers. The text argued that many people claim good results from parent involvement, but there is hardly any real evidence for it.
Passage 3. The task asked you to match the correct headings to paragraphs in a text on things such as satellite science in Asian countries. There were more headings than paragraphs. This one took me by surprise, but apparently I did okay.

Writing test

Writing Task 1 (a report)

We had 4 line graphs to describe, I forgot what they were about.

Writing Task 2 (an essay)

Do you think scientific development has a positive or a negative effect on the quality of food? What is your opinion?

Speaking test

Cue Card

Talk about a letter you received recently. Please say

– what it was about,
– who sent it,
– why it was important to you.


– Are letters important historical material?
– Will things change for historians when people stop writing letters?
– Now people are mainly using email and other digital communication means, will they replace handwritten letters?



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