What is the IELTS test?
The IELTS (International English language testing system) has been established to help you move to an English-native country, be it for work purposes or to pursue your studies abroad. Some countries you may be familiar with include the USA, the UK, Canada, Australia, etc.
If you’re planning on studying abroad, most universities have the IELTS exam as a core requirement to be given before admission can even be considered. This helps them evaluate whether they want to admit you into the university.
There are two types of IELT exams, academic and general training.
Academic – for those wanting to Pursue higher education in an English-speaking country
General – for those applying to study below degree level. This is usually also necessary to give if you’re migrating to an English-speaking country.
The IELTS exam has four main parts: listening, reading, writing, and speaking.
- What is the Listening test in IELTS?
You are given four recordings of native English speakers and are asked to answer some follow-up questions. There will be 40 questions in total. You get 40 minutes for it.
- What is the Reading test in IELTS?
The examiner will provide you with three different passages followed by 40 questions. The reading test focuses on detail, argument, the main idea, implied meaning, and the writer’s purpose and attitude. You get 60 minutes to do so.
- What is the Writing test in IELTS?
The examiner will provide you with two tasks. The first task entails interpreting information from statistical data and explaining it. The second task entails writing an essay responding to something they provide you with. You will get 60 minutes to do so.
- What is the Speaking test in IELTS?
This part of the test is interactive. You speak to a certified IELTS examiner so they can see how well you can usually communicate, how much you can talk about a specific topic, how you express your ideas, and your discussion skills. This is divided into three parts and usually takes about 15 minutes. The IELTS speaking test may also be conducted online.
How the Scoring system works:
The IELTS exam is marked on a band system. This consists of a 9-point scale.
- barely any ability to understand the language
- difficulty in understanding English
- limited understanding of English
- unable to use complex sentences
- partial understanding of language
- effective in using the language, with some errors
- can handle complex language, with few errors
- has a great understanding of the language
- full competency in understanding the language
- You should know how the test is formatted/structured, so knowing what you will face during the exam day is easier. You can find samples of the test online to help see what is in store for you.
- Try to use English in your daily conversations with family and friends. Use resources online or hire a proficient and certified speaker to help you with grammar and speaking skills.
- You will need to have had tons of practice for the writing task. It would be best if you ideally spent a lot of time writing regularly. You can find topics online to write about. Write things out. Don’t just read.
- It is very important for you to build a reading habit. This makes the biggest difference. It will help you learn grammar as well as writing skills. You can read sample essays, stories, articles, and whatnot.
- Since the exam is structured in comprehension style, you should practice those.
- Before starting your preparation, realize what band you currently align with. Once you know that, you’ll know how and what to improve. Self-evaluation is key.
- Remember to eat a good breakfast and have a good night’s sleep. This will play a big role in your test attempt.
- Get to your test center early, or you will not be allowed to give it.
- Have sufficient stationery.
- Do not keep writing when the examiner tells you to stop. They might cancel your entire test.
Writing – Spend not more than 20 minutes on task 1. Task 2 is much too intensive to do in anything less than 40 minutes. Make sure to write a conclusion for your 2nd task and ensure you’re focusing on the quality of your work, not the quantity.
Speaking – You do not have to sit the test thinking it is an interview. Converse as you would with a friend. Focus on answering the question instead of steering away from the topic, and don’t spend all your time worrying about your vocabulary.
Reading – If you are unable to answer a question, don’t think too much about it. Rather, move to the next. You don’t necessarily have to understand the entire passage to answer the questions, so do not panic if it might not make the most sense.
Listening – First and foremost, make sure you can hear the recording clearly, so the audio does not hinder your ability to listen and understand the language. Make sure to read through the questions before starting the recording, so you know what to hear for. This will help you speed up the process.
If you’re worried about scoring badly, you can always sign up for another test to have the ability to do better than the last. With the use of mock tests and online training (or self-learning), you can surely be on your way to scoring the band you need.
Be consistent with your practice, and your IELTS exam preparation will be to the best of your ability.
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