IELTS is an acronym for International English Language Testing System and is an international standardised test of English language proficiency for non-native English language speakers.
The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is the world’s most popular English language proficiency test for higher education and global migration.
IELTS is jointly managed by the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge.
IMPORTANCE OF IELTS
More than 10,000 organisations globally trust IELTS, so when you take the test you can be confident that it is recognised by educational institutions, employers, governments and professional bodies around the world.
As one of the pioneers of four skills English language testing 30 years ago, IELTS continues to set the standard for English language testing today. Governments in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom use IELTS to process immigration applications.
AREAS FOR IELTS
The IELTS test is similar to the TOEFL, which is another common English comprehension exam.
Your proficiency in four main areas is tested in IELTS. These areas are:
There are two versions of the IELTS:
IELTS Academic: For people applying to admission at a college or university in an English-speaking country.
IELTS General Training: 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.
WHY PEOPLE SIT FOR IELTS
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.
MODULES OF IELTS
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
REGISTER FOR IELTS
There are more than 50 IELTS test centers in the United States and hundreds aboard. In order to register, you’ll first need to find the test center nearest you using the search engine on the official IELTS website.
Once you’ve found your test center, you’ll decide whether you want to take a paper or computer version of the test. Next, you’ll fill in your application details (including name, contact information, first language, passport number). Finally, you’ll choose where to send your IELTS scores to.
Let us look at these steps closely:
Step 1 – Find your nearest IELTS test location
With more than 1,600 IELTS test locations in over 140 countries, there is bound to be one near you. Find my nearest centre.
Step 2 – Register for your IELTS test
You can register and pay online or download an application form to print, complete and submit to your local test centre.
Don’t forget to provide a copy of your valid identity document. You will also need to present the same identity document on the day of the test.
Step 3 – Your IELTS test is booked
Once your application has been processed, the centre will send you a written confirmation of the date and time of your test. The Speaking and Writing tests typically take place on the same day. If this is not possible, the tests will take place within seven days of each other.
You can also register for IELTS with the British Council. Check this out https://ieltsregistration.britishcouncil.org/test-chooser
There is no specific score you need for the IELTS exam: what constitutes a good score will depend on what you need to accomplish. If you’re applying to higher education, for instance, the university may have specific standards for the score you need. The same goes if you’re applying for a job. It’s best to check with the institution you’re applying at to see what score you’ll need. Taking an IELTS practice test can help you raise your score if you’re struggling with your IELTS preparation.
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