IELTS & English Language Proficiency

English language proficiency is an integral part of the Australian visa system. For many people it has become a barrier to gaining positive visa outcomes. As migration agent / lawyers Valid Visas understands the tight time lines for valid visa applications and our clients sense of urgency in securing the necessary IELTS score. Valid visas IELTS will offer you a structured IELTS training program that has proven results.

At no additional cost to our own in-house program, valid visas IELTS can arrange for a language professional to visit your company premises to deliver specialised IELTS programs to your staff. We can tailor a program that meets your individual language needs at time and place that suits you. Valid visas IELTS offers this same service to individuals and community groups seeking superior IELTS results.

All valid visas IELTS clients gain the benefit of our IELTS experience to maximise their chances of IELTS success.

Kel Mateer is a Certified IELTS Examiner (996431). He is a specialist in IELTS training and academic literacy. He has worked as a lecturer at Griffith University and Queensland University of Technology in Australia. His international experience includes lecturing positions at Yonsei University in South Korea and UKSW in Indonesia.

About The Test

Each candidate takes four IELTS test modules, one in each of the four skills, Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. All candidates take the same Listening and Speaking Modules. There is a choice between Academic and General Training in the Reading and Writing Modules (Cambridge, 2011).


40 questions, approximately 30 minutes.

There are four sections to this part of the test and they are always in the same order. Each section is heard ONCE only. During the test, time is given for you to read the questions and write down and check your answers. Ten minutes is allowed at the end of the test for you to transfer your answers from the question paper to an answer sheet (Cambridge, 2011).


40 questions, 60 minutes

There are three reading passages in the Reading Module, with a total of 2,000 to 2,750 words (Academic) or 2,000 to 2,500 words (General Training). All answers must be entered on an answer sheet during the test. No extra time is allowed to transfer answers (Cambridge, 2011).

2 Tasks, 60 minutes

Task 1: Writing a letter (General) 
You will be assessed on your ability to:

  • Write a personal or formal letter
  • Ask for and provide factual information
  • Express needs, wants, likes and dislikes
  • Express opinions, complaints

You must write at least 150 words (Cambridge, 2011).

Task 2: Writing an essay (General) 
You will be assessed on your ability to:

  • Provide general factual information
  • Outline a problem and present a solution
  • Present, evaluate and challenge ideas

You must write at least 250 words (Cambridge, 2011).


2 Tasks, 60 minutes

Task 1: Describing graphic data in a diagram (Academic)

Allow about 20 minutes for this task

You will be assessed on your ability to:

  • Organize, present and compare data
  • Describe a process
  • Describe an object, event or sequence of events
  • Explain how something works

You must write at least 150 words (Cambridge, 2011).

Task 2: Writing an essay (Academic)

Allow about 20 minutes for this task

You will be assessed on your ability to:

  • Present the solution to a problem
  • Present and justify an opinion
  • Compare and contrast evidence
  • Evaluate and challenge ideas

You must write at least 250 words (Cambridge, 2011).

3 Parts, 11-14 minutes

Part 1: Introduction & Interview (4-5 Minutes)

The examiner introduces him/herself and asks the candidate to introduce him/herself and confirm his/her identity. The examiner asks the candidate general questions on familiar topics, e.g. home, family, work, studies and interests.

Part 2: Individual long turn (3-4 minutes)

The examiner gives the candidate a task card which asks the candidate to talk about a particular topic and which includes points which the candidate can cover in their talk. The candidate is given 1 minute to prepare their talk, and is given a pencil and paper to make notes. The candidate talks for 1-2 minutes on the topic. The examiner then asks the candidate one or two questions on the same topic.

Part 3 Two-way discussion (4-5 minutes)

The examiner asks further questions which are connected to the topic of Part 2. These questions give the candidate an opportunity to discuss more abstract issues and ideas.

Skills assessed: A wide range of speaking skills is assessed, including the ability to communicate opinions and information on everyday topics and common experiences and situations by answering a range of questions; the ability to speak at length on a given topic using appropriate language and organising ideas coherently; and the ability to express and justify opinions and to analyse, discuss and speculate about issues.