Everything You Need to Know About International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

About IELTS

Do you have to take the IELTS to prove your English proficiency to qualify for school or work? Then you’ll want to know what the exam is and how to succeed at it. IELTS stands for International English Language Testing System. The IELTS exam measures the English comprehension of people who are trying to work or study in an English-speaking country. The IELTS test is similar to the TOEFL, which is another common English comprehension exam. The IELTS tests your proficiency in four main areas: Reading, Writing, Speaking and listening.
There are two versions of the IELTS: IELTS Academic is for people applying for admission to a college or university in an English-speaking country.
IELTS General Training is for individuals moving to an English-speaking country (usually the UK, Australia, or Canada) and/or applying to training programs or jobs in said countries. People of all ages and backgrounds take the IELTS exam. That being said, there are two main reasons people sit for the IELTS:
They’re searching for a job. If you’re applying for a job in an English-speaking country, but speak another language as your native tongue, you may need to take an English-language comprehension exam like the IELTS to prove that you have the proficiency to work effectively

They’re applying to university. If you’re applying to study at an English-speaking college or university, you may need to take the IELTS to prove your English-language comprehension. Your IELTS score will show whether or not you’ll be able to complete the coursework in English. At certain institutions, your acceptance is contingent on your ability to achieve a certain IELTS score.

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Brief Details

IELTS full form: International English Language Testing System
Official Website: https://www.ielts.org/
Most popular for: Study, work, and migration to English speaking countries like Australia, New Zealand, and the UK
Also accepted by: Canada and USA
Conducted by: IDP Education Ltd.
IELTS validity: Two Years
Mode of Exam: Computer and Paper – delivered test
IELTS Fee: Different in every country
Score Range: On a scale of 1 (the lowest) to 9 (the highest)
Total length of both versions of the IELTS: two hours and 45 minutes.

Advantages

  • Objective Assessment of your English Abilities
    Test writers from different English-speaking countries write the IELTS test. IELTS test writers are highly specialized in developing content that accurately assesses your English skills. And IELTS examiners are trained to recognize your exact English level. You can trust that your IELTS score is a precise reflection of your English skills at a specific point in time.
  •  A Widely-Recognized Certificate
    Maybe you initially took the IELTS test for work and then decided to further your education by studying abroad instead. The good news is that the popularity of IELTS means that you can use it to showcase your English skills in a variety of situations and countries, including your home country!
  •  Improve your English Skills
    The process of preparing to take the IELTS test will significantly improve your English skills. IELTS has official practice materials available on its website, and there are numerous websites devoted to helping test takers to prepare for this critical exam. Taking practice IELTS tests will show you both your strong points and your weak points so that you know exactly where you stand.
  • The English that You Need
    If you’re taking IELTS Academic to get into your dream university, the process of studying for the exam will help you prepare for academic life. Not only will you add new words and terms to your vocabulary, but you will also enforce good study habits that will help you to succeed academically.
  • Motivation to Study Harder
    There’s nothing like an upcoming test date to motivate us to study! If you’ve been having trouble studying and staying focused, signing up to take the IELTS can get you going. With a clear goal in mind, you will find it easier to manage your time and stay focused, especially when you consider the
  • Greater Career Opportunities
    Your IELTS score will help your application stand out whether you’re applying for a job abroad or showcasing your English skills in your home country. Proving your English language skills can help you get a new job or a promotion in your home country and abroad. Your IELTS score on your resume will show future employers that you are a serious and committed candidate. The IELTS test is widely recognized and accepted throughout the English-speaking world. Taking the IELTS and demonstrating your English skills will open up many new opportunities for you. If you prepare well for the exam, your IELTS score will showcase your English proficiency and help you to go further.

Eligibility

The IELTS exams do not have any percentage requirements. You are eligible to take the IELTS exams regardless of your overall grade point average in 12th grade or equivalent. It is the exam required to demonstrate your English proficiency in order to gain admission to a foreign university. To take the IELTS exam, you must be at least 16 years old and have a valid passport. The candidate’s age is an important consideration in IELTS exam eligibility. For IELTS eligibility, each country has its own total band score. The majority of applicants take IELTS to study or work in English-speaking countries.

IELTS Exam Format

There are four distinct parts of the IELTS exam. The total test time is 2 hours and 45 minutes. Three of the sections (Listening, Reading, and Writing) are completed in one sitting. The final section, Speaking, may be completed on the same day or up to seven days before or after the other sections.  All test takers take the same Listening and Speaking tests. The Reading and Writing sections differ depending on whether the test taker is taking the Academic or General IELTS exam. Let’s look at the four modules in more detail.

Listening
The Listening module has four sections with ten questions in each. Sections 1 and 2 are typical social situations. Sections 3 and 4 are education and training situations (such as a discussion between two university students). During this section, test takers listen to a recording and then must answer questions based on what they’ve heard.

Reading
The Reading module has three sections. Test takers will read three texts, which may come from books, journals, magazines, newspapers, or other forms of media. After reading the text, test takers must answer multiple-choice and short answer questions.

Writing
The Writing module is comprised of two tasks. For the first task, test takers must write at least 150 words in 20 minutes. For the second task, test takers must write at least 250 words in 40 minutes. The tasks and topics vary depending on whether the test taker is taking the Academic or General Training Exam.

Speaking
The Speaking module is a face-to-face interview during which the test taker sits with an examiner and has a conversation. The module has three different sections:
Introduction: The test taker answers about his or her home, family, work, studies, hobbies, interests, reasons for taking IELTS exam as well as other general topics.
Long Turn: The test taker is given a task card about a particular topic. The test taker has one minute to prepare to talk about the topic, then they must give a two-minute speech about the topic.
Discussions: The examiner and test taker engage in a more in-depth discussion about the topics covered during the long turn section.

IELTS test tips

IELTS Test can be a bit challenging if you are prepared enough. Also, to score well, it is important that you start your preparation well in time. It is a three-hour test that evaluates you on all four language skills – listening, reading, writing, and speaking.
Here are some pointers to help you score well in your IELTS exam:
IELTS Listening test tips
Most important:  check if your headphones are working, if not, raise your hand Utilize the time allotted to prepare the questions. Read through them before the recording starts         
Listen to the recording attentively and focus more on answers than understanding everything. Remember that the recording is played only once, take notes on your question paper when listening to the recording Write within the given word limit for each question Revise and proofread for spelling and grammar errors before submission, Try to use all capital letters for your answers

IELTS Reading test tips
Examine every detail of the figures, graphs, or images in the question paper to be precise while answering, if you can’t understand a question, don’t waste time on it. Rather than move on to the next, you can always come back later to finish this, don’t waste time writing on the question paper. There is a time limit and you will get no extra time to transfer answers, later on, Understand the questions carefully and focus on finding answers from the passage, Be precise, grammatically correct, and to-the-point. Proofread before submission, try to use all capital letters for your answers.The General and Academic Training Reading tests are usually graded to the same level. However, the texts mentioned in the Academic Reading Test can be more challenging as compared to those mentioned in the General Training Test.

IELTS Writing test tips
Perform a thorough analysis of assigned tasks and quickly prepare the answers mentally, divide your time smartly, 20 minutes for task 1, and 40 minutes for the task (as it is lengthier and carries more marks), Try to write over 150 words for task 1 and over 250 for task 2, Avoid repetition of ideas, phrases, and words, ensure that you write a conclusion for task 2, Write precise, relevant answers. Avoid writing long paragraphs and sentences. Use active voice. Avoid writing in the passive voice, do not submit without a thorough revision and proofreading

IELTS Speaking test tips
Speak clearly (slow and fluently), Listen to the questions asked carefully, and answer directly, you can add more information to the answers, and ensure the answers remain relevant, If required, ask the examiner to repeat the question, and Be confident as you speak, Don’t take long pauses, Focus on vocabulary, range of tenses, grammar, and sentence structure equally

Quick tips for the test day
Ensure that you carry your relevant ID proofs. Carry the same identification document as used at the time of the test application.Double-check test location, date, and time. Keep enough travel time so as to avoid getting late.No watches are allowed in the exam room, there will be a wall clock in the examination room to refer, be attentive when the supervisor is giving instructions, and ask again if you have any doubts.Try to attempt all questions as there is no negative marking.Do not try to cheat or copy any other student’s work.Leave your belongings outside the examination hall, as directed by the supervisor.Do not take back the question paper or answer sheet with you.Seek your supervisor’s permission before leaving the room.

How to Apply?

Step 1: Find Your Nearest IELTS Test Center.
Step 2: Select a Type of IELTS (Paper or Computer).
Step 3: Choose Your Test Date.
Step 4: Create an Account (If You Haven’t Already).
Step 5: Fill in Your Application Details.
Step 6: Choose Where to Send Your IELTS Scores.
Step 7: Review Your Details and Pay.

Apply Now

For more information, kindly visit IELTS‘s official website.