IELTS Initial Steps to be Known by Every Test Taker

By | June 5, 2016

IELTS Introduction

      The International English Language Testing System, or IELTS, is an international standardized test of English language proficiency for non-native English language speakers. It is jointly managed by the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge English Language Assessment.

What is an IELTS?

     The international English language testing system (IELTS) is the world’s most popular English language proficiency test for higher education and global migration, with over 2 million tests taken in the last year.

British Council:

       British Council connects people worldwide with the learning opportunities and creative ideas from the UK and builds lasting relationships between the UK and other countries. British Council is the UK’s international organization for the educational opportunity and cultural relations and is represented in more than 140 countries worldwide.

IDP: IELTS Australia

    IDP: IELTS Australia is a subsidiary of IDP Education, one of the world’s leading international education organizations offering student placement in Australia, the USA, Canada, New Zealand and the UK. IDP Education has 45 years’ experience in international higher education. IDP: IELTS Australia manages a network of more than 100 IELTS test centers in over 45 countries.

Cambridge English Language Assessment:

     Cambridge English Language Assessment is part of the University of Cambridge. We develop and produce the most valuable range of qualifications for learners and teachers of English in the world. Over 5 million people in 130 countries take our exams every year. Around the world, over 20,000 universities, employers, government ministries and other organizations rely on our exams and qualifications as proof of English language ability. Cambridge English exams are backed by the work of the largest dedicated research team of any English language test provider.

IELTS characteristics

        In IELTS, there are four papers: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. It is available in two test formats – Academic or General Training. The Speaking and Listening tests are the same in both modules, but the Reading and Writing tests are different. 

     IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training are designed to cover the full range of ability from non-user to expert user. The Academic version is for test takers who want to study at tertiary level in an English-speaking country or seek professional registration. The General Training version is for test takers who want to work, train, study at a secondary school or migrate to an English-speaking country

Academic module

Choose this if you wish to study at undergraduate or postgraduate levels, or if you are seeking professional registration, e.g. doctors and nurses. 

General Training module

    Choose this if you wish to migrate to an English-speaking country, (e.g. Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK) or if you wish to train or study at below degree level. 

Scoring

   IELTS is a test that measures the language proficiency of people who want to study or work in environments where English is used as a language of communication. An easy-to-use 9-band scale clearly identifies proficiency level, from non-user (band score 1) through to expert (band score 9).

Where did it accept?

IELTS is accepted by most Australian, British, Canadian and New Zealand academic institutions, by over 3,000 academic institutions in the United States, and by various professional organisations across the world.

When can I take the test?

   Arrange with your closest test centre. There are frequent dates, usually on Thursdays or Saturdays.

Where can I take IELTS?

    More than 1,100 test centers around the world administer IELTS. Most test centers are run by the British Council, IELTS Australia, or universities and language schools. Some testing centers also offer off-site testing for large groups by prior arrangement with IELTS. Contact your local examination center or visit www.ielts.org to find out where the nearest IELTS test center is located.

Fee Structure :

   It depends on the location you are going to take the exam. Below are the links, you can choose your location and find the test dates and fee structure.
IDP : Click here to view
British Council : Click here to view

IELTS test Format

There are two modules of the IELTS:
  • Academic Module and
  • General Training Module
The IELTS test has four parts
  • Listening: 30 minutes (plus 10 minutes’ transfer time)
  • Reading: 60 minutes
  • Writing: 60 minutes
  • Speaking: 11–14 minutes

The test total time is: 2 hours and 45 minutes.

Listening, Reading and Writing are completed in one sitting. The Speaking test may be taken on the same day or up to seven days before or after the other tests.
All test takers take the same Listening and Speaking tests, while the Reading and Writing tests differ depending on whether the test taker is taking the Academic or General Training versions of the test.

Listening :

You will listen to four recorded texts, monologues and conversations by a range of native speakers, and write your answers to a series of questions.
     These include questions that test your ability to understand main ideas and detailed factual information, ability to understand the opinions and attitudes of speakers, ability to understand the purpose of an utterance and the ability to follow the development of ideas.
A variety of voices and native-speaker accents are used and each section is heard only once.
Section 1 
A conversation between two people set in an everyday social context.
Section 2 
A monologue set in an everyday social context, e.g. a speech about local facilities.
Section 3 
A conversation between up to four people set in an educational or training context, e.g. a university tutor and a student discussing an assignment.
Section 4 
   The Reading component consists of 40 questions. A variety of question types is used in order to test a wide range of reading skills. These include reading for gist, reading for main ideas, reading for detail, skimming, understanding logical argument and recognising writers’ opinions, attitudes and purpose.
        The Academic version includes three long texts which range from the descriptive and factual to the discursive and analytical. The texts are authentic and are taken from books, journals, magazines and newspapers. These have been selected for a non-specialist audience but are appropriate for people entering university courses or seeking professional registration.

Academic Writing

        The Writing component of IELTS Academic includes two tasks. Topics are of general interest to, and suitable for test takers entering undergraduate and postgraduate studies or seeking professional registration.
 
Task 1
     You will be presented with a graph, table, chart or diagram and asked to describe, summarise or explain the information in your own words. You may be asked to describe and explain data, describe the stages of a process, how something works or describe an object or event.
Task 2
    You will be asked to write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem. Responses to both tasks must be in a formal style.

Speaking

    The Speaking component assesses your use of spoken English, and takes between 11 and 14 minutes to complete. Every test is recorded. The Speaking component is delivered in such a way that it does not allow people to rehearse set responses beforehand.
Part 1
The examiner will ask you general questions about yourself and a range of familiar topics, such as home, family, work, studies and interests. This part lasts between 4 and 5 minutes.
Part 2 
You will be given a card which asks you to talk about a particular topic. You will have 1 minute to prepare before speaking for up to 2 minutes. The examiner will then ask one or two questions on the same topic to finish this part of the test.
Part 3
You will be asked further questions connected to the topic in Part 2. These questions will give you the opportunity to discuss more abstract ideas and issues. This part of the test lasts between 4 and 5 minutes.

General Training Reading

     The Reading component consists of 40 questions. A variety of question types is used in order to test a wide range of reading skills. These include reading for gist, reading for main ideas, reading for detail, skimming, understanding logical argument and recognising writers’ opinions, attitudes and purpose.
    The General Training version requires test takers to read extracts from books, magazines, newspapers, notices, advertisements, company handbooks and guidelines. These are materials you are likely to encounter on a daily basis in an English-speaking environment.

General Training Writing

   The Writing component of IELTS General Training includes two tasks which are based on topics of general interest.
Task 1
You will be presented with a situation and asked to write a letter requesting information, or explaining the situation. The letter may be personal, semi-formal or formal in style.
Task 2
You will be asked to write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem. The essay can be slightly more personal in style than the Academic Writing Task 2 essay.

Score Analysis for IELTS :

Prepare for your IELTS test

  • Building your communication skills in English is the key to success in your IELTS test. To supplement your own individual activities to improve your English and prepare for the test.
  • Download some useful preparation tools,
  • Read up on some tips to understand how your English skills will be scored and how to manage your time on test day.
  • Understand the assessment criteria and how IELTS examiners are scoring you.
  • Consider doing the free practice test.

Results in 13 calendar days

  • IELTS test results are released 13 calendar days after you sit the test.
  • Preview your results online 13 days after the test. Click here to view
  • Test centres will post your Test Report Form to you 13 days after the test or have it ready for you to pick up in person.
  • You will only receive one copy of your Test Report Form.
  • If you have nominated institutions to receive copies of your IELTS test results when booking, these will be sent automatically on your behalf (any additional copies will incur a small administration charge).
Click here, To get the preparation material of IELTS.

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