6 Things International Students Should Know About the IELTS Exam

IELTS – The International English Language Testing System, is an international system for testing English proficiency for those who plan to study in foreign universities, undergo studying and practical training in English-speaking countries, as well as for those who want to move permanently to such countries like Canada, UK, New Zealand, Australia.

Thus, IELTS is one of the most popular and recognized tests in the English language. More than 8000 organizations recognize IELTS as a reliable indicator that a person is really able to communicate in English for education, immigration, and professional accreditation. IELTS strengthens its position as the most popular English language exam for higher education and global migration.

IELTS tests 4 basic English skills: Reading, Writing, Speaking, Listening. All tests are rated from 1 (lowest) and 9 (highest possible score). If reading, speaking, and listening is not difficult to cope with, then writing may cause some problems. You may be asked to write an essay on a specific topic.

1. Who invented IELTS?

IELTS is led by three reputable and serious international organizations: British Council, IDP IELTS Australia, and Cambridge English Language Assessment. British Council is a British international organization for the education and development of cultural ties. The activities of this organization are dedicated to building trust through the exchange of knowledge between people from all over the world. The British Council is represented in more than 100 countries.

IDP IELTS Australia is a division of IDP Australia, which includes 28 universities in Australia. IDP is a global leader helping international students study at institutions in Australia, the USA, Canada, New Zealand, and the UK. IDP ED has over 40 years of experience in international higher education, accommodating more than 400,000 students.

Cambridge English Language Assessment is a global leader in examinations for English learners. Each year, this organization takes English exams from more than 4,000,000 people in more than 130 countries.

Such a partnership is a guarantee that IELTS is indeed an international test in the English language, the results of which rely on educational and any other organizations located in different countries of the world. The IELTS test results are valid and recognized in more than 130 countries of the world, and a lot of people around the world pass IELTS annually.

2. IELTS Preparation

Preparation for IELTS in your city is carried out by many language centers and schools, some of them specialize narrowly in preparing for IELTS. When choosing a school to prepare for IELTS, remember that only an experienced and professional English teacher can prepare for the successful passing of IELTS.

Ideally, preparation for IELTS begins after completing the Advanced English level, but often preparation for IELTS begins after the Upper-Intermediate level, as many students need to be able to prepare for the IELTS in a short time. Actually, in cases when applicants for the successful completion of IELTS are fluent in English, they may not have to prepare for this exam on purpose.

I know many people who, without special training, received 7.0 and higher on IELTS. But these are usually those people who once graduated from school with an in-depth study of English and now use English almost every day at work and in everyday life, just for communication. If this is not your case, then definitely, you need preparation for IELTS.

 IELTS offers two versions: for academic purposes and general purposes. IELTS Academic evaluates knowledge of English for academic purposes, for education in English-speaking countries.

IELTS General Training assesses English for everyday life, assignments and texts reflect both work and social situations. The IELTS General Training version (not for academic purposes) is suitable for those planning to immigrate to Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the UK. IELTS Writing exam is passed according to your goals, and you can pass the IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training exam.

3. IELTS Academic Writing

Here, candidates also perform 2 tasks; the total time is 60 minutes. The first task takes 20 minutes. When completing Task 1 IELTS Writing, you must describe the information presented to you in the form of a table, graph, or chart. You describe it in your own words in the amount of more than 150 words.

In the second IELTS Writing task 2, candidates are presented with a problem, argument, or point of view that needs to be answered. To implement this task, you have 40 minutes, and you must write 250 words. Here, candidates need to be very careful when reading the task itself, since you should write on a given topic, and not abstractly.

4. IELTS Reading

IELTS Reading is also divided into two different types: IELTS Academic Reading and IELTS General Training Reading. IELTS Academic Reading provides 3-part reading tests, after reading which you must answer 40 questions. The duration of this test is 60 minutes. The questions you need to answer are various; they include tasks such as choosing the right answer, choosing the right information and headings, finishing a sentence, filling out a table, and so on.

IELTS General Training Reading also gives you texts for reading. This test consists of three parts for reading. In the first part, 2 or 3 small texts are given; in the second part, two texts are given, and in the third one, the long text is given. Sixty minutes are allotted for the entire task, during which you must answer 40 questions.

5. IELTS Listening

In this part of the test, you listen to the text, more precisely four different parts, and after listening to each part, you need to answer ten questions. The questions are structured so that you give the answers in the order you listen to the text, that is, in order, and not randomly. And it is very convenient.

6. IELTS Speaking

IELTS Speaking is an oral interview between the candidate and the examiner. All oral tests are recorded. The total time for this test is 11 to 14 minutes. In general, the IELTS Listening test consists of 3 parts; each part tests different speaking skills. In the first part, the examiner introduces himself or herself and asks you general questions regarding some common topics, such as home, family, work, study, your interests.

In the second part, the examiner gives you a card with the task, where a specific topic indicated on which the candidate should speak. The last third part of IELTS Speaking is a discussion, where you discuss the issues that were mentioned in the second part.

What can be advised to those who seek to get a high score, that is, seven and higher, according to IELTS? Start preparing for IELTS after the Upper-Intermediate level, and preferably after Advanced General English. Study hard, complete all the tasks that the teacher gives you, read a lot of literature in English.

Manjusha Nambiar

Hi, I'm Manjusha. This is my blog where I give IELTS preparation tips.

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