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IELTS Test - About IELTS

What do you need to know to take the IELTS test?


The IELTS test is a general test, in that you don't need specialist knowledge to take the test – everyone, no matter what their educational background or field, should be able to answer each question. However, it is always useful to be able to include 'real-life' examples in writing and speaking. To do this confidently you need a good level of general knowledge.

IELTS Topics    

IELTS questions cover a limited number of topics, so if you develop your general knowledge in these areas, it should help you in the test. The topics the IELTS test cover include:

Media, Culture and Popular Culture

Possible areas: 

  • Television.
  • Film.
  • Popular music.
  • The role of music in popular culture.
  • Privacy and the media.
  • Newspapers.
  • Accountability in the media.
  • Etc.


Possible areas:

  • Suitable punishments for crime.
  • How to rehabilitate criminals.
  • The responsibility of parents in preventing crime.
  • Etc.


 Possible areas:

  • The influence of advertising.
  • Stereotypes in advertising.
  • Ensuring responsible advertising.
  • Government regulation.
  • Etc.

Food and Diet

Possible areas:

  • Food culture in your country.
  • Food and health.
  • Should food be genetically modified?
  • Etc.


Possible areas:

  • Different education systems in different countries.
  • Males and females and the impact of gender on performance at school.
  • Different types of vocational training.
  • Etc.

The following Internet resources offer in-depth articles on a variety of topics of general interest. Read some… Check vocabulary that you don't know… Try to get a general understanding of what an article is about and try to understand some of the specific details… Don't be too serious about this - but try to pick up something from these articles. If you remember just one fact that you can use in the test, it will improve your confidence!

Obviously, one good source of general knowledge is the news. Luckily, there are plenty of news sites on the Internet:

Have you found any good sources of articles and news on the Internet? Have you found anything else that will interest others taking the IELTS test? Let us know.

What's your experience? Did anything else come up during your IELTS test? Use the comments form below… {fcomment}