My wife and I are taking the IELTS exam in a few days and this question just occurred to me - When taking the test, do students receive the whole listening/reading/writing package or do they receive individual sections as they finish the previous section?

I ask because during my practice sessions, I realized that I would usually finish the listening and reading sections a few minutes before the time limit. On the other hand, I always finish my essay in the writing section only one or two minutes before the time limit. Therefore, by the end of the listening/reading sections I usually end up with a combined ~6-minute spare time. I would love to use that extra time to plan and actually write my essay, but that would not work if we can only do one section at a time.

So, how does the exam work? Do students receive all the sections to answer at their own pace Or do they receive individual sections, only receiving the next section after the previous one is finished?

  • While IELTS might occur at a university, it is not part of academia. – Anonymous Physicist Jul 7 '19 at 9:49
  • @AnonymousPhysicist well it's an academic test isn't it? – thiagoveloso Jul 7 '19 at 10:41
  • Please consult the site tour. – Anonymous Physicist Jul 7 '19 at 11:12

The IELTS test format provides the necessary details. Each section of the exam is timed separately. Normally, all the materials of a previous section are collected before the next one is distributed.

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For a similar exam I was involved in, each section was given with its time controlled so the reading / comprehension section had 40 minutes for example, then the listening section had its time and the final section its time.

Each section was timed individually for that exam, so you could not take spare time from one section to another as being able to add 10 minutes to the listening section defeats part of the purpose of the time limit.

Just to say that you sound as if you have been preparing well and the times are sufficient for each section to be completed, they are not made so that it is impossible to finish "just to see how far you get"...

So if you do finish ahead of time then just relax and don't panic.

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