IELTS


This test is for people who intend to study or work where English is the language of communication. It measures ability to communicate in English across all four language skills – listening, reading, writing and speaking. IELTS is jointly managed by British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and the University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations (Cambridge ESOL) through more than 350 locations in 120 countries.

Why IELTS

It opens doors for you to more than 2000 educational institutions, government agencies and professional organizations across 120 countries where IELTS scores are recognized as a trusted and valid explaination of ability to communicate in English. IELTS is an English Language skill test that is required to be taken by non-native students for study in countries where the medium of instruction is English. Among the popular study destinations IELTS is accepted by universities in UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and USA.

Types of IELTS Tests

IELTS is offered as 2 types of tests. One, General Test, that is required to be taken by applicants who wish to seek permanent residence or employment in countries like Australia. Two, the Academic Test, to be taken by students who wish to Study Abroad.

IELTS Test Structure

Listening

Duration and format
The Listening Module takes around 30 – 35 minutes. There are40 questions. There are four sections. The Listening Module is recorded on a CD and is played ONCE only. During the test, time is given for candidates to read the questions and write down and check their answers. Answers are written on the Question Paper as candidates listen. When the recording ends ten minutes are allowed for candidates to transfer their answers to an Answer Sheet.

Marking and Assessment
One mark is awarded for each correct answer in the 40 item test. A private band score conversion table is produced for each version of the Listening Module, which translates scores out of 40 into the IELTS 9-band scale. Scores are reported as a whole band or a half band. Care should be taken when writing answers on the Answer Sheet as poor spelling and grammar are penalized.

Reading

Duration and format
The Reading Module takes 60 minutes. There are 40 questions, based on three reading passages with a total of 2,000 to 2,750 words. Texts and questions appear on a Question Paper which candidates can write on but not remove from the test room. All answers must be entered on an Answer Sheet during the 60-minute test. No extra time is allowed to transfer answers.

Marking and Assessment
One mark is awarded for each correct answer in the 40 item test. A Band Score conversion table is produced for each version of the Reading Module which translates scores out of 40 into the IELTS 9-band scale. Scores are reported as a whole band or a half band. Care should be taken when writing answers on the Answer Sheet as poor spelling and grammar are penalized.

Writing

Duration and format
The Writing Module takes 60 minutes. There are two tasks to complete. It is suggested that about 20 minutes is spent on Task 1 which requires candidates to write at least 150 words. Task 2 requires at least 250 words and should take about 40 minutes. Candidates may write on the Question Paper but this cannot be taken from the test room and will not be seen by the examiner. Answers must be given on the Answer Sheet and must be written in full. Notes are not acceptable as answers.

Marking and Assessment
Each task is assessed independently. The assessment of Task 2 carries more weight in marking than Task 1.
Writing scripts are marked by trained and certificated IELTS examiners. IELTS examiners all hold relevant teaching qualifications and are recruited as examiners by the test centers and approved by British Council or IDP: IELTS Australia. Scores are currently reported as whole bands. Detailed performance descriptors have been developed which describe written performance at the 9 IELTS bands. These descriptors are confidential and apply to both the Academic and General Training Modules.
♦  Task 1 scripts are assessed on the following criteria:
♦  Task Achievement
♦  Coherence and Cohesion
♦  Lexical Resource
♦  Grammatical Range and Accuracy
♦  Task 2 scripts are assessed on the following criteria:
♦  Task Response
♦  Coherence and cohesion
♦  Lexical Resource
♦  Grammatical Range and Accuracy
♦  Scripts under the required minimum word limit will be penalized.

Speaking

Duration and Format
The Speaking Module takes between 11 and 14 minutes and consists of an oral interview between the candidate and an examiner. All interviews are recorded. The overall structure of the test is summarized below.
There are three main parts. Each part fulfils a specific function in terms of interaction pattern, task input and candidate output.

♦  In Part 1 candidate answers general questions about themselves, their homes/families, their jobs/studies, their interests, and a range of familiar topic areas. This part lasts between four and five minutes.
♦  In Part 2 the candidate is given a verbal prompt on a card and is asked to talk on a particular topic. The candidate has one minute to prepare before speaking at length, for between one and two minutes. The examiner then asks one or two rounding-off questions.
♦  In Part 3 the examiner and candidate engage in a discussion of more abstract issues and concepts which are thematically linked to the topic prompt in Part 2. The discussion lasts between four and five minutes.

Part 1
Introduction: Examiner introduces himself/herself and confirms candidate’s identity. Examiner interviews candidate using verbal questions selected from familiar topic frames.
Part 2
Individual Long Turn: Examiner asks candidate to speak for 1–2 minutes on a particular topic. Preparation time of 1 minute is given to make notes. Examiner asks one or two questions to round off the long turn.
Part 3
Two-way Discussion: Examiner invites candidate to participate in discussion of a more abstract nature, based on verbal questions thematically linked to Part 2 topic.

Tips & Strategies

IELTS exam involves technicalities, you must prepare for IELTS exam like any other exam even you have mastery over usage of English. On one hand, the fee for IELTS test is high. A person who achieves a low band score in IELTS has to wait for a month before he or she can appear for the test again. Thus, even you have a good level of English, you must prepare for at least 2-3 weeks for IELTS exam

 

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