IELTS Course Duration - How Much Time is Required to Prepare for IELTS?


Samarpita Goswami
Updated on May 06, 2023 12:05 PM IST

As per experts, the ideal IELTS preparation time should be between six to eight weeks for average-level test takers or nearly 30 days for those having native-level English proficiency skills. Also, the minimum recommended IELTS course duration should be roughly one month. Know section-wise required preparation time for IELTS below.

IELTS Course Duration - How Much Time is Required to Prepare for IELTS?

How much time is required to prepare for IELTS? - is a question that international students most often ponder. Preparing for the IELTS exam can take from one month to up to three months depending upon a person's grasping ability and command of the English language.

Preparation for any exam requires sufficient time and so does the IELTS which is as essential as a passport to study or work abroad. Therefore, depending on the proficiency level of language, the IELTS course duration varies for each student taking the IELTS exam.

The IELTS exam puts the reading, listening, speaking and writing skills of the candidate under the scanner so that they can effectively communicate with native speakers in English-speaking countries. The preparation time for each IELTS section varies but each section must be dealt with separately in order to achieve a satisfactory IELTS score.

Though the concept of IELTS preparation time is very subjective and differs from person to person, students must not take the IELTS exam unprepared or underprepared. In such circumstances, students are likely to face difficulties with the IELTS exam pattern and be unable to give their best efforts. Therefore, it is crucial to take time from the daily routine and practice and prepare for the IELTS exam. In this article, we will try and determine the actual preparation time for IELTS.

IELTS Exam Course Details

Even though you are familiar, yet we will go into further brief detail regarding the IELTS syllabus and exam format. The assessment is most appropriate for those who favour IELTS for immigration and further education. This standard test uses a band scoring system with a scale of 0 to 9, with zero being the lowest and nine being the highest.

You must first decide between taking the IELTS Academic or IELTS General training. The reading and writing sections are where these two assessments diverge. Not to mention, the speaking and listening sections of the test will be the same for both. As a result, the exam will evaluate your skills in listening, reading, speaking, and writing English. A brief description of the time allocation and tasks is provided below; take a look over them.

IELTS Academic and General Reading Sections: A total of 40 questions must be answered in the 60 minutes allotted for the academic and general reading sections, which are both comprised of their own set of reading tasks.

IELTS Speaking Section: The speaking section receives the shortest time allotment, ranging from 11 to 14 minutes. You will be scheduled for an interview with the investigator in which you will be given a topic to express your opinions.

IELTS Listening Section: The Listening section has a time limit of 30 minutes plus a transmission time of 10 minutes. In approximately 30 minutes, you must answer 40 questions. Each question receives one point.

IELTS Academic Writing section and General Training Section: Sections on Academic Writing and General Training are each allotted 60 minutes to complete, and each of these sections consists of two questions.

You need to plan your study sessions so that you discover efficient methods for finishing each IELTS component within the allotted time and with higher precision. Given that you must achieve the required IELTS band to be admitted to your preferred college or university abroad; you cannot afford to receive even a single mark below the required minimum. Practise finishing each section within its time limit to get ready the appropriate way. For this, test yourself as much as you can with the IELTS sample questions.

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IELTS Course Duration

IELTS course duration is the total time required to prepare for the four sections of the IELTS exam which include reading, writing, speaking and listening. It can be anywhere from a month to a few weeks depending on the English language level of the test taker. Let us have a quick look at the section-wise duration and preparation time for the IELTS:

IELTS Section

IELTS Section-wise Duration

IELTS Preparation Time


60 minutes

7-10 days


60 minutes

1-2 weeks


15 minutes

1-2 weeks


30 minutes

10-15 days

 How Much Time Does It Take to Prepare for IELTS?

If it is required to address the question - how long does it take to prepare for IELTS? then the answer is bound to be subjective. Not all IELTS candidates sitting for the IELTS exam have the same knowledge and life circumstances. Depending on the proficiency level and the score band target, the IELTS preparation time may vary.

Most often, the universities set targets or cut-offs for IELTS and the applicants must achieve that or more than that to qualify for admission. Hence, it is mandatory that the candidates devote at least two to four months of time to preparing for IELTS.

It is even possible to prepare for IELTS in a month or in 7 days but everything needs careful planning and strategies. If the student has a good grasp of the English language, they would only have to brush up on their knowledge. Others who encounter difficulties even with the basics, have to dedicate themselves thoroughly throughout the IELTS course duration.

Preparation begins once the students understand the IELTS exam pattern well and know how to prepare for a particular section. Below, we will discuss in detail the IELTS preparation time for each IELTS section and some tips to effectively overcome the challenges that might come your way.

IELTS Listening Section Preparation Time

Listening is a passive communication skill and even a little bit of effort can fetch a good IELTS score. There are four sections in the listening part and the difficulty level increases with each section.

Each recording contains 10 questions which make up 40 questions in total. The students generally get one minute to answer each question and the total time for the IELTS Listening section is 40 minutes.

  • Section 1 of IELTS Listening will be based on listening to dialogue or conversation between two people on a general topic.

  • In IELTS Listening Section 2, a monologue will be played focusing on the general events loaded with factual information.

  • Section 3 in IELTS Listening will play a conversation between two or more people on academic subjects or events. The speakers' opinions and factual information must be noted carefully.

  • IELTS Listening Section 4 will contain a lecture or talk which is generally academic in nature. The listener must focus on the main ideas conveyed.

Generally, 10-15 days can be considered sufficient IELTS preparation time for a good IELTS Listening band score. The test-takers must train themselves to be attentive listeners as the recordings are played only once. During the IELTS course duration, they should practice mimicking the real scenario.

To score higher in IELTS Listening, students can listen to podcasts, audio, news and other recordings to acquaint themselves with a variety of English accents.

IELTS Reading Section Preparation Time

The IELTS Reading section also consists of 40 questions but here, more time is allocated. Students get one hour to complete the whole assignment. The IELTS Reading question types include MCQs, sentence completion, answering short questions and matching. The text passages differ for IELTS General Training and IELTS Academic.

The IELTS General Training contains topics that cover English usage in everyday life, thereby, making reading newspapers and magazines sufficient for preparation. This, however, is not the case with IELTS Academic Reading, for which students have to practice reading journals, research papers and other academic books besides newspapers and magazines.

The IELTS preparation time for the reading section can range from seven to 10 days. Students who are confident in their English abilities can devote even lesser time and channelise the extra time to prepare for the other three sections during the IELTS course duration.

IELTS Writing Section Preparation Time

The IELTS Writing section presents two tasks to the students and they get 60 minutes to complete them. Task 1 is to write 150 words on pictographic information, whereas, Task 2 is to write ideas in 250 words on a given topic.

In this section, students are required to give examples to support their writing. As the word limit is less for IELTS Writing Task 1, students should complete it within 20 minutes and for the next task/task 2, they can spend 40 minutes. Here, one should be mindful that writing simple and correct sentences is more important than ornamental English.

The IELTS Writing section preparation time can range from one to two weeks. Those who can write well get an added advantage but those who find it difficult to deliver their thoughts in a coherent manner must practise writing and get feedback on the same while on their IELTS course duration.

Preparation Time for IELTS Speaking Section

The IELTS Speaking section is a dialogue between an examiner and the test taker and it usually lasts for 15 minutes. The IELTS Speaking tasks can be divided into three parts:

  • In Part 1, the student needs to talk about personal information related to their academic profile, work, family, interests and others.

  • Part 2 requires students to speak for two minutes on a topic given in the IELTS speaking cue card.

  • Lastly, Part 3 is about answering questions asked by the examiner to the student. This drill takes five minutes to finish.

A partner can help and support the test taker while preparing for the IELTS Speaking section, which will help in reducing the IELTS speaking preparation time significantly.

In general, students can be well prepared for the IELTS Speaking section within one to two weeks. Students must make a regular habit to speak in English with appropriate pronunciation during their IELTS course duration.

How Much Time Should You Spend Every Day to Prepare for IELTS?

Students can devote three to four hours per day with one hour for each section in the beginning stage of their preparation. Later, they can strategise according to their strengths and weaknesses. Those who are in the advanced stages and have adequate knowledge of the English language can focus on improving their IELTS band score.

But the students should never reach the IELTS test centre without even glancing over the syllabus. Most often, students do not pay heed to the IELTS exam pattern and/or syllabus and think they can do well without preparation. Even the students with adequate knowledge should spend at least a day or two acquainting themselves with the syllabus and exam pattern of the exam.

Is One Month Enough to Prepare for IELTS?

Yes, one month is enough to prepare for IELTS with proper planning. Students who are at an advanced level can be well-prepared for the IELTS in one month by studying only for two hours every day. However, those facing difficulty in the English language must study for four to five hours every day.

One must remember that they must first understand the format of the IELTS exam, syllabus and timing along with the marking criteria. It is also essential to take IELTS practice tests to solidify the knowledge accumulated. The students can also take the IELTS coaching classes for quick preparation.

One of the best ways to prepare for IELTS in one month is to take IELTS practice tests or go through as many IELTS sample questions as possible. This will not only help them have a better understanding of the exam structure but also allow them to manage their time better on exam day.

Preparation for the IELTS exam is not as time-consuming as it seems. It requires dedicated effort and uninterrupted flow. All the sections of the IELTS have equal importance so the candidates should devote sufficient time to them. Students will surely succeed with flying colours if they take the IELTS exam seriously and do not go to the test centre without taking enough IELTS course duration.

Got any questions about the duration of IELTS course or IELTS preparation time to achieve your targeted score for admittance to your desired university abroad? Write to us at

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Will IELTS coaching help to reduce the time of preparation?

Yes, taking IELTS coaching can help to reduce the time of IELTS preparation. Here you will not need to do all the research by yourself. You will be given an idea of the exam by the IELTS experts and you can take their help whenever you face difficulty which will save lots of time for preparation.

Can I prepare for IELTS in two days?

Technically it is not possible to cover the whole syllabus of IELTS in two days. But if you are short of time and have only two days to dedicate to IELTS preparation then you have to first thoroughly understand how the IELTS exam takes place and then gloss over the important areas.

Can I prepare for IELTS in 10 days?

Yes, you can prepare for IELTS in 10 days. Though it is wise to start preparing for IELTS early still if you do not have time you can study 10 days before to crack the IELTS exam. A thorough knowledge of the IELTS test format along with quick glancing over all the topics and practice of two mock papers can serve the purpose.

What is the timetable for IELTS preparation?

The timetable for IELTS preparation is made keeping in mind all the sections of the IELTS.  Students who are at beginners level can devote 1 hour to each section each day where they read books and articles, practice IELTS mock tests, write essays, work on grammar and vocabulary and speak with a partner.

Are 2 weeks enough to study for IELTS?

Yes, two weeks is enough to study for IELTS. Students should practice writing for an hour atleast during this time to make it a habit. They can also watch BBC programs and hear recordings to acquaint themselves with the various accents. They should also read an article each day and practice speaking on general topics with friends and family.

How much time should I spend practising full-length IELTS papers?

The time you should spend practising full-length IELTS papers must be atleast three to five days. Solving one IELTS mock test paper a day will boost your confidence and also help you to find out the areas where you will have to work harder. It will help you to solidify your preparation.

Which section of the IELTS requires the most time for preparation?

The writing and speaking sections of the IELTS require the most time for preparation. For the writing section, students have to go through many writing samples for a better understanding of the writing style and practice them daily to gain mastery over it. The speaking section also requires time as one has to acquire a certain level of fluency before appearing for the test.

Can I crack IELTS in seven days?

Yes, you can crack IELTS in seven days provided you study hard and give your life and soul to it. However, you can take this last moment preparation only if you have initial proficiency and command of the English language. You can go through the IELTS exam pattern first and study selectively, the areas where you find difficulty. Once done move on to areas where you are confident.

How many hours do I need to study for IELTS?

You need to study for atleast two to four hours per day for IELTS preparation. Making a timetable for the study is an efficient and effective way to study. You can devote 45 minutes to 1 hour per day for each section of the IELTS. In the beginning, you must work hard studying and later can practice mock tests.

How many weeks are required for IELTS preparations?

It takes around four to eight weeks to prepare for IELTS depending on the level of previous learning of the test-taker. Those who have a good understanding of the English language require 2 weeks to four weeks. The ones who have only basic knowledge need to work harder and it can take up to eight to ten weeks to prepare for IELTS.

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