If you need to study or work to a country where English is the main language of communication, there are certain tests that you must take. These assessment tests are often done to evaluate the language ability of an individual. International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is the world’s proven test and is accepted by more than 8,000 organizations in over 135 countries. Around 700 American universities and institutions recognize IELTS, including 7 of ‘Ivy League’ universities, CGFNS and the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
So to put simply, IELTS is an internationally recognized test of competence in the English language. Candidates’ abilities are examined in listening, reading, writing, and speaking sections. The test comes in two modules: General Training Module and Academic Module. The General Training Module is designed for people who want to migrate for work, while the Academic Module is designed for those who want to pursue an academic course in English. Both Modules cover all the four parts viz., listening, writing, reading and speaking skills.
Who administer IELTS?
IELTS is jointly conducted in partnership by the University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations (Cambridge ESOL), the British Council and the IDP Education Australia Ltd.
Who need IELTS test?
IELTS test is required for students applying for study in the UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the US. Medical professionals planning to work or follow further study in the UK, Australia or the US requires IELTS test. Also it is required by the people who are planning to migrate to Canada, Australia or New Zealand.
How to pass?
There is no such thing as a pass or fail in IELTS. Results are reported as band scores on a scale from 1 (the lowest) to 9 (the highest).
9 Expert User
8 Very Good User
7 Good User
6 Competent User
5 Modest User
4 Limited User
3 Extremely Limited User
2 Intermittent User
1 Non User
Who can write IELTS exam ?
There is no minimum qualification for taking the IELTS test. Anyone literate in english can appear for the exam.
The score level requirements are set by individual institutions / faculties according to their specific language needs of the course, study or work programme. The following link can tell you exactly which organisations accept IELTS and the scores they require:
IELTS score is valid for 2 years. While obtaining admission to an educational institute, the latest IELTS score is considered.
As mentioned earlier, there are four sub-tests in the IELTS test: Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking. Students must sit all the four sub-tests. While all students take the same Listening and Speaking tests, they sit different Reading and Writing tests, depending on whether they have selected the Academic IELTS test or the General Training IELTS test.
The total test time is 2 hours and 45 minutes. The Listening, Reading and Writing tests are done in one sitting. The Speaking test may be on the same day or up to seven days before or after the other tests.
IELTS listening test lasts for about 30 minutes. It consists of four sections, played on cassette tape, in order of increasing difficulty. Each section might be a dialogue or a monologue. The test is played once only, and the questions for each section must be answered while listening, although time is given for students to check their answers.
IELTS Reading test lasts for 60 minutes. Students are given an Academic Reading test, or a General Training Reading test. Both tests consist of three sections, and in both tests the sections are in order of increasing difficulty.
IELTS Writing test also lasts for 60 minutes. Again, students take either an Academic test, or a General Training test. Students must perform two writing tasks, which require different styles of writing. There is no choice of question topics.
IELTS Speaking test consists of a one-to-one interview with a specially trained examiner. The examiner will lead the candidate through the three parts of the test: an introduction and interview, an individual long turn where the candidate speaks for one or two minutes on a particular topic, and a two-way discussion thematically linked to the individual long turn. This interview will last for approximately 11-14 minutes.
Preparing for IELTS exam
You should make personal effort to improve your proficiency in English language. One should always prepare for all the four parts of the test and know the amount of time allocated for the assessment. In order to know the areas being examined, there are several manuals and CDs available online that can come in handy for a candidate.
Do read English newspapers and magazines on a regular basis, watch English movies or News channels or debate programmes in the TV. Note down any new words that you come across while reading and look them up in your dictionary. It is important to improve your speaking skills by speaking with those who can handle the language fluently. This will help boost your confidence level as you prepare for the actual exam. Seeking advice from people who have already taken and passed the test can be beneficial. They can share you the information concerning the IELTS trends and topics.
It is also important to do some “mock tests” and to attend some seminars or programmes to adequately prepare for the IELTS tests. In addition, one should always be well informed on issues concerning the test, the areas being tested and changes in the syllabus.
Candidates should always take IELTS preparation seriously to achieve a good band score from your IELTS exam. To ensure required score, you need to start off by finding a suitable reputed place for your studies. The coaching center should have experienced trainers and be equipped with relevant facilities required for proper exam preparation. If you frequently make grammatical mistakes while writing or speaking then you need to join for spoken English also to refine your fundamental grammar of English. You should also participate in group discussions and debates with your batch mates.
You can go through some tips for attending IELTS from the website of British Council. http://takeielts.britishcouncil.org/prepare-your-test/test-day-advice
The IELTS Academy
Best Coaching for IELTS in Bangalore, Karnataka, India