A student of mine took his IELTS (General Training) exam today, and below is what he said about it. More recent IELTS exams are here.
1) The Listening was difficult, in one task they gave us a diagram and I had to understand directions on it. The easiest part was about archeological excavations of some sort of bones. I didn’t do too good.
2) The Reading was much better, I even had 7 minutes at the end to check myself. I remember 2 passages. There was a really long passage (2.5 pages) divided into 3 sub-sections and I had to be careful not to mix questions of different sub-sections. Its topic was distant learning, its advantages and disadvantages. The last passage was about traveling in Australia, how much money it brings to the Australian government, how much different kinds of travelers (single men, couples, etc) spend on vacations of different types.
I wrote my answers on the Answer Sheet and in the booklet – it really saved me time when I had to check myself at the end of Reading section.
Letter topic – Write a letter to a book shop manager about a book you’re looking for, ask him to find the book and send it to you. I finished it in 17 minutes and managed to check myself in the remaining 3.
Essay topic – Today the majority of children are raised by their grand parents, due to the fact that their parents are busy working. To what extent do you think it affects the whole family? I wrote an essay with 5 paragraphs – Introduction, 1 paragraph against and 2 paragraphs in favor of grandparents raising the children and, of course, the conclusion paragraph with my own opinion. I managed to finish it in 35 minutes and 5 more were left to correct spelling errors.
I messed up and gave my passport to the examiner before she asked for it. She returned it to me, switched the tape on, asked for it so the tape would record the question and then I gave it to her again, saying: “Here is my passport, please”. The whole process has to be recorded on tape.
Interview questions: Name, job, current place of living, describe apartment.
Card – Describe the apartment where you lived in the past, when, where, with whom, what did it look like.
Discussion : What has changed in our living arrangements today compared to the past.
That’s all, I hope it helps!