A walkthrough on the IELTS Indicator Test

Updated on: May 15, 2024

The International English Language Test System (IELTS) is an assessment that tests a person’s level of proficiency in the English language. Over 11,000 educational institutions across the world recognise IELTS as proof of English fluency for the candidate. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, IELTS introduced IELTS Indicator, an exam international students can take in the comfort and safety of their homes. The exam gained popularity and eased the education journey of students during the pandemic. 

Sign up now to achieve a Score of 6 or higher with our free IELTS Masterclass!

Here’s everything you need to know about IELTS Indicator test.

IELTS Indicator test: An overview

  • IELTS Indicator is an online timed exam conducted for international students to test their level of proficiency in the English language.
  • The test determines your level of proficiency by evaluating your skills in fundamental English skills like listening, reading, speaking, and writing.
  • IELTS Indicator is available only for IELTS Academic test.
  • Despite conducting online, the IELTS Indicator test has the same exam format and does not compromise the difficulty level.
  • You can receive an indicative IELTS score for the sections in seven days, fast and efficiently. The scores are valid for two years.
  • It is important to note that the scope of the IELTS Indicator is not equivalent to the in-person exam. Make sure to check the entry requirements of the educational institution before applying for the exam.
  • IELTS Indicator is not accepted as proof of English language proficiency for migration in Canada, New Zealand, and Australia.

What is an indicative IELTS score?

One of the differences between the IELTS Indicator and IELTS Academic is the scores. On completing the IELTS Indicator test, you receive an indicative score. It refers to an indication of marks you would have acquired if you took the exam in a test centre.

Register now and start your free IELTS Masterclass!

IELTS Indicator test: What you need

  • Well-lit room
  • Good-working computer
  • Reliable internet network
  • Good-functioning speakers and microphone
  • Camera
  • Government-issued ID or passport to register

Note: It is important to note that the IELTS Indicator test cannot be taken on mobiles or tablets.

IELTS Indicator test pattern

No. of sections: 4

Total duration: 2 hours 45 minutes

The IELTS Indicator test follows the same format as IELTS Academic without compromising on the difficulty level of the exam. There are four sections in the IELTS Indicator test.

  • Reading
  • Listening
  • Writing
  • Speaking

You are required to attend the reading, listening, and writing sections in one sitting. The speaking section is conducted through a face-to-face session a few days before or after the exam.

Also read IELTS Exam Pattern | IELTS Exam Syllabus

Register now and start your free IELTS Masterclass!

An outline of IELTS Indicator test pattern

SectionNo. of questionsDuration (in minutes)

IELTS Indicator test syllabus

Similar to the pattern, IELTS Indicator follows the same syllabus as IELTS Academic, the only difference being the student attending the exam at home. Let’s learn in-depth about the IELTS Indicator syllabus.


No. of questions: 40

Duration: 60 minutes

The reading section of IELTS Indicator exam consists of 40 questions split into three sections. You will be given three long reading passages from which the questions will be asked. The tasks can be based on descriptive, factual, and analytical concepts. The passages can be from journals, books, magazines, or newspapers.

IELTS Indicator reading section: Questions to expect

  • Matching headings
  • Multiple choice questions
  • Sentence completion
  • Data interpretation
  • Short answer questions
  • Matching sentence endings
  • Identifying information and claims


No. of questions: 40

Duration: 30 minutes

The listening section consists of 40 questions divided into four parts. You will be given four pre-recorded monologues and conversations, and the questions will be asked based on these recordings.

IELTS Indicator listening section: Questions to expect

  • Sentence completion
  • Short answer questions
  • Multiple choice questions
  • Matching sentence endings
  • Plan, map, or diagram labelling
  • Form, note, table, flow-chart, or summary completion

IELTS Indicator listening section: Question format

  • A conversation between two people (For example, a discussion about weather or travel)
  • A monologue (For example, a speech about a local region)
  • A conversation between a group of people (For example, a discussion about a project between a professor and students)
  • A monologue on an academic topic (For example, a lecture)


No. of questions: 2

Duration: 60 minutes

The writing section consists of two tasks where you are required to provide descriptive essays between 200-250 words.

IELTS Indicator writing section: Questions to expect

TaskTask description
Task 1

A data interpretation task, where you will be asked questions from a graph, data, chart, or diagram.

You should write an essay relevant to the data provided and describe the same.

Task 2

An interpretation essay where you are required to express your point of view, argument, or problem.

It is important to keep the tone formal and maintain it in an academic style. Use relevant examples to support your idea or opinion.

Register now and start your free IELTS Masterclass!


No. of questions: 3

Duration: 11-14 minutes

The speaking section is considered the most crucial part of the IELTS Indicator test. The section is split into three tasks, and you should converse with the examiner in a face-to-face session for 11-14 minutes.

IELTS Indicator speaking section: Questions to expect

TaskTask description
Part 1
  • The examiner will ask general questions about you
  • The questions will likely be about your personal life, academic achievements, family, and others
  • The session lasts for 4-5 minutes
Part 2
  • You will be given a topic for a speech
  • You will have one minute to prepare, and the speech shall go on for two minutes
Part 3
  • The examiner asks you questions related to your previous speech
  • You will share further ideas or thoughts in this part
  • The conversation lasts for 4-5 minutes

Top essential tips to prepare for IELTS Indicator test

Here are some of the useful tips to prepare for IELTS Indicator test.

  • Develop your vocabulary by reading books, magazines, and newspapers. This contributes to the development of your skills in the English language.
  • Improve your IELTS grammar by observing sentence structure, vocabulary, punctuation, and other grammatical concepts.
  • Online tests and practice materials would help you improve your language skills and increase your pace ahead of the exam.
  • Listening section - Practise and sharpen your listening skills with the help of podcasts or YouTube videos and outline what you've heard.
  • Reading section - Work on reading long passages by skimming.
    The Reading section would likely take the longest during IELTS Indicator. Practice skimming text and familiarise yourself with taking mental notes of the main points in the passage.
  • Writing section - Start practicing essay writing every day. Read articles consisting of over 300-400 words and develop frameworks to write an essay in a structured format within the given time frame.
  • Speaking section - It is advisable to avoid memorising any answers. It will confuse your memory during the assessment. Use a range of grammatical structures and practice maintaining fluency instead of using big and unfamiliar words.

Also read: IELTS preparation tips

Sign up now to achieve a Score of 6 or higher with our free IELTS Masterclass!

Frequently asked questions

Which countries accept the IELTS indicator test?

Some countries that accept IELTS Indicator tests are the UK, USA, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, Switzerland, and others. It is important to check the entry requirements of the university before taking the IELTS Indicator test.

How long is the IELTS indicator valid?

The IELTS Indicator results are valid for two years. Make sure to check if the university you apply to accepts IELTS Indicator results.

Is IELTS Indicator available for IELTS General or IELTS Academic?

IELTS Indicator is only available for IELTS Academic. The test was introduced to ease the educational process for international students during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Also read IELTS General Training

Is IELTS Indicator offered to all the candidates?

Candidates who prefer to pursue their higher education abroad can take up IELTS Indicator. But ensure the educational institution you apply to accepts the test as proof of English proficiency.

Can IELTS be taken from home in India?

Yes, you can attend IELTS Indicator from home in India. The test requires a well-lit room, a good computer with a stable internet connection, a camera, a microphone, and any government-issued ID or passport to take the exam at home.