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What is IELTS?
IELTS, or the International English Language Testing System, is a language proficiency test for non-native English speakers. Established in 1989, universities across many countries accept IELTS scores. International students planning on studying abroad, especially in English-speaking countries, must answer IELTS. The British Council, Cambridge Assessment English, and IDP: IELTS Australia jointly manage the test. While the test assesses your English language proficiency, IELTS preparation can be tricky. Keep reading to know all about the exam!
About IELTS exam
IELTS measures a student’s grasp of the English language who is seeking to study or work in a country with English as a native language. It assesses your English proficiency in the following areas –
Types of IELTS test
Before starting your IELTS exam preparation, you need to know that this test has two versions, namely –
This test is applicable to those who want to study at a college or university in a country where English is the native language.
IELTS general training
The general training version is applicable for individuals wanting to migrate to an English-speaking country for work or training.
IELTS preparation | Exam format
The IELTS test is conducted in four parts. The total duration of this exam is 2 hours and 45 minutes. You need to complete three of these sections in one go. The remaining section, i.e., the speaking part, could be finished on the same day or within seven days after or before completing the other sections.
Further, all students must answer the same questions for the listening and speaking sections. However, the questions in the reading and writing section vary depending upon the IELTS exam version.
Let’s look at the IELTS preparation modules in detail
Comprehensive knowledge about this exam format will assist you during your IELTS preparation at home. Let us take a look at the various modules of this exam in detail –
|The module of the test||What does the module include?|
|Listening||Contains four sections with ten questions in each one of them. Sections 1 and 2 consist of questions about social situations, whereas sections 3 and 4 contain training and education situations. As a part of this section, you have to listen to a few recordings and answer the given questions based on what you have heard.|
|Writing||The writing module includes two tasks. For the first one, you must write a 150-word essay in about 20 minutes. You must complete a 250-word essay in 40 minutes for the second task. The topic of these essays varies depending on whether the student is taking the general or academic test version.|
|Reading||The reading module includes three sections. In this module, you must read three texts from various sources, such as books, journals, and magazines. After reading the texts, you must answer MCQs and write short answers.|
|Speaking||You will have to sit through 3 modules: introduction, long turn, and discussion. The introduction round consists of answering basic introductory questions while the long turn interview provides you with a particular topic. You get a minute to prepare and convey a 2-minute speech. Lastly, in the discussion round, you have to discuss the topic in-depth with the test-taker.|
IELTS exam scoring
Along with the overall score, you will also get individual scores for all the test sections. Thus, ensure to gather the necessary IELTS preparation materials and give equal importance to each section.
The test score ranges from 0 and 9. Your overall score depends on the average of all the scores you get in the modules. Moreover, each IELTS band score depicts your skill level, which foreign universities highly consider.
Steps to register for the IELTS exam
To register for this exam, follow these simple steps online –
Step 1: Visit the official IELTS website.
Step 2: Navigate to ‘Register for Test’ and choose your preferred test version, type, and date.
Step 3: Enter your personal and registration details.
Step 4: Next, you have to upload your passport copy.
Step 5: Choose the universities where you want to send your test score.
Step 6: Review your details and make the payment.
Alternatively, you can register for IELTS at your nearest IDP office. Simply fill out the exam application form and submit the fee to expedite the process. Remember to take a printout of the acknowledgment receipt for further use.
Essential tips to aid your IELTS preparation
Here are three absolute tips that will help you improve your IELTS preparation –
#1. Solve numerous practice tests
Solving practice tests before taking the test will help your IELTS exam preparation. It is an integral part of the initial preparation, which will define where your strengths and weaknesses reside.
However, if you struggle to understand your mistakes from this approach, then you can consider having an expert by your side by taking up an IELTS preparation course.
#2. Know the exam time limit
Most students struggle with completing the IELTS exam within the prescribed time limit. It happens mainly due to a lack of practice and an unclear understanding of the test structure.
If you clearly understand the test structure, your chances of completing it within the given time limit become higher. So, while taking practice tests, remember to carry your IELTS preparation under the prescribed time.
#3. Understand the exam format
Before you begin your IELTS preparation at home, you must become fully accustomed to the test format. You need to know the different modules in the test and the types of questions it contains.
You can learn more about the test format via various online sites. Visit them and go through numerous sample question papers.
- IELTS is a basic admission requirement in most universities across the US, the UK, New Zealand, Australia, and Canada.
- The IELTS exam consists of four modules, i.e., speaking, listening, writing, and reading.
- The questions in the writing and reading sections change as per the test version.
- The test has a score band of 0 to 9.
- IELTS preparation can be tricky for some students, given the vast structure of this test.
- Students can incorporate a few healthy habits while starting their IELTS preparation.
- It includes solving various practice tests, understanding the exam format, and solving the practice tests within the prescribed time limit.
In addition, if students need more assistance, we are here. Comment your query below or get in touch with us today!
Liked this blog? Then read, IELTS band calculator | 5 amazing things to know about the system!
Question 1: What IELTS score do I need to apply to international universities?
Answer: The minimum requirement for an IELTS score varies as per the university and the course you choose to study. However, most universities set an admission eligibility criterion, including a minimum overall band score of 6.0 in IELTS.
Question 2: Who should take the IELTS exam?
Answer: There is no age limit to take this exam. That said, individuals seeking to study or work in an English-speaking country must take this exam to meet the minimum eligibility parameters.
Question 3: What documents should I carry on the test date?
Answer: You should carry your passport and original ID card to the test center. Keep in mind that the documents should be the same as the ones used during the IELTS exam registration.