IELTS is a globally popular examination to assess English language skills. IELTS scores are essential if you are applying for a visa. Every year, millions of non-English speaking people fly overseas for higher studies, better job prospects, settlement etc. And most of the universities give admission to international students on the basis of their IELTS scores. Even some of the European countries like UK, Canada, Australia and Newzealand have made the IELTS scores compulsory to grant visas.
Now, you can easily understand the importance of IELTS in shaping your future career. High IELTS scores can open the door to lucrative opportunities in foreign. In this article, we are going to tell you about IELTS in a very detailed manner. Keep on reading to solve your queries regarding this exam!
IELTS – This acronym stands for the International English Language Testing System. It is being conducted every year since 1980. The scores of this test are recognized as an international yardstick for measuring English proficiency. The test singlehandedly assesses reading, listening, writing and speaking ability of the test taker. British Council and Cambridge English Language Assessment have jointly developed this test for non-native candidates. Millions of people appear in this exam annually to get admission in their dream institution. IELTS scores are acknowledged by the world’s topmost universities and many professional colleges. The test ensures that you are competent enough in the English language. Because good communication skills and English understanding will be your saviour during the foreign stay. By preparing for this exam, you will gain a new life skill for a future career. So, appearing in this exam is really worth of your time and efforts.
ALL ABOUT THE EXAM PATTERN-
The first thing to keep in mind is that two separate modules of IELTS has been designed for the candidates. They are namely-
- IELTS Academic
- IELTS General Training
The first one is for students who want to travel to European nations for higher education. While the second one is developed for the people who want to pursue a non-academic course or work in a job in foreign. The two modules differ in types of questions asked for speaking and writing. Otherwise, both are the same in marks and time allotment.
All the candidates have to sit in a test of 2 hours and 45 minutes long. The test can be divided into 4 segments each assessing a unique language skill. Let us go through each test one by one.
This is an important skill to survive in an English speaking country. To communicate with the local people, you will have to understand their accent first. The listening test will measure your ability to interpret what people are saying in English. In this 40 minutes long test, you will be listening to audio and answering some questions related to it. There are 4 sections comprising 10 questions each. Section 1 and 2 will deal with routine conversation in society whereas section 3 and 4 will have audios related to academics. In 2 sections, you will listen to conversations between two people. In other sections, there will be recordings of a speech given by a single speaker. And don’t worry! You will be allotted sufficient time to write your answers.
This test generally measures your reading speed and comprehension. In 1 hour you will have to read three long texts containing more than 2,000 words. Along with that, you have to answer a range of questions based on the text. For academic module, the texts are taken from magazines and journals. Similarly, general training candidates will get texts related to everyday situations, general interest and job training based. Special care is to be taken while writing the answers as marks are deducted for grammatical and spelling errors.
This test has been designed to gauge your ability to write on a given topic. You are assigned two writing tasks of 20 and 40 minutes respectively. For academic candidates, task 1 will be to describe a chart, graph or diagram in not less than 150 words. And task 2 will be to write your opinion on a given argument in 250 words. For general training people, the task is to write an essay on a daily life issue and to craft a job application. You have to be very creative while writing this test.
This test is conducted as a face to face interview for assessing your spoken English level. In around 15 minutes you will be finishing three sections. The first section will be a brief introduction round. You will face questions regarding your family, home, hobbies. Thereafter, in the 2nd round, you will be given a topic to prepare and speak about. The third round is for a small discussion where the interviewer can question you about the previous speech.
HOW THE RESULTS ARE CALCULATED-
Fortunately, there is no pass-fail system in IELTS. Marks in each section are rounded off by the examiner to a grade point. Band scores range from 0 to 9 with gradations of 0.5. The highest grade point 9 is awarded to the expert user. While 0 is for the candidate who did not attempt the test. As of today, more than 3000 universities are demanding your IELTS scores before admission. Different countries and universities have set their own standardised IELTS grade point. So, a higher score can get you a seat in a better institution.
From this article, you might have fully understood the pattern of IELTS examination. The next step for you is preparation. Our sincere recommendation will be to join any online or offline IELTS coaching. Otherwise, you can also take help of ample resources available online. To gain a better grip over the exam, practice papers of previous years. Sharpen your communication skills. You will certainly boost your reading skills by going through English magazines and newspapers. To enhance listening skills, you can listen to English news channels or watch English videos with subtitles. And yes there is always a scope to improve your scores because you can take tests up to 4 times in a month. So, give IELTS skills and prove your worth for a better career!