IELTS — The Test for Everyone Around the World
International English Language Testing System also abbreviated as IELTS is an international standardized test to evaluate the English language proficiency of a non-native English speaker. IELTS is jointly managed by British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge English Language Assessment. TOEFL, TOEIC and OPI/OPIc are the other proven English language tests.
For applicants who are applying for the study purpose appear for the IELTS Academic version while applicants who are applying for the immigration purpose need to appear for the IELTS General version. IELTS result is issued to candidates based on their performance in 4 basic modules: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. The IELTS score band rates from band 1 to band 9.
IELTS test is conducted for 2 hours and 45 minutes wherein the candidate appears for the listening, reading and writing test on day 1 while speaking test is conducted on the day 2 or seven days before or after the other tests.
In the listening module, there are four sections with ten questions each. The listening test is conducted within 40 minutes wherein 30 minutes for listening to the audio and 10 minutes for transferring the answers into the answer sheet.
• Section one comprises of a conversation between two speakers.
• Section two has one person speaking.
• Section three has a conversation between two main speakers.
• Section four has one person speaking about an academic subject.
Each section has an introductory part so that the candidate can understand what the conversation or situation is all about. The questions will be arranged in the same order as the information will be heard in the recording.
The reading test comprises of three sections with variety of questions asked including multiple choice questions, short answer questions, identify the information, diagram labelling, matching, etc. While attending the questions in the reading test, candidate should be very careful by avoid writing wrong spellings or grammar. In the academic version, reading texts are taken from books, journals, magazines or newspapers while in the general version, there are three sections wherein first — several short texts are given, second — two texts related to professional world and third — long text related to general interest which is descriptive, longer and more complex than the earlier two sections.
Writing test comprises of two tasks wherein the first is to write atleast 150 words on a particular topic within 20 minutes and the second is to write atleast 250 words on the given topic within 40 minutes. Candidates might lose marks if the content is not sufficient or sensible. In the academic version, candidates are asked to describe a graph, table or diagram while the second task, candidates are asked to provide their opinion on a particular topic. In general version, candidates are asked to write a letter responding to a given situation and in the second task, candidates will be asked to write an essay on the given topic.
Speaking test is basically a conversation between the candidate and the examiner wherein during the first section; candidate might be asked questions related to his or her personal details while in the second section, a topic will be given wherein the candidate need to speak for 1–2 minutes. In the third section, discussion between the candidate and the examiner on a related topic will be held.
Usually candidates believe that it will be very easy for them to crack the IELTS exam but when it comes to appearing all believes are proved wrong. By proper and regular practice session only, the candidate can do well on the test day.