Just like most popular things in the world, the IELTS is also surrounded by several myths. As the leading study abroad company in the country, it is our responsibility to clear off those myths.
Myth 1: The IELTS varies between countries
IELTS has two formats, IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training. Aside from these, there is a no different format. On any given day, the IELTS is the same across the world.
Myth 2: IELTS prep courses are not required
A course is not mandatory but it certainly helps. Find a course near you which will help you learn the tricks to work towards a great score. A good prep course should guide you in the right direction for preparation.
Myth 3: IELTS can only be taken once
The test can be taken any number of times and there is no upper limit. However, each test has a fee.
Myth 4: Too many practice tests help you get better scores
The practice is imperative, no doubt in that. However, just giving numerous practice tests is not your ticket to great scores. It is important to know the strategies of the test and hone up your English skills.
Myth 5: A native accent is important to ace the speaking test
Shed your ‘Mother Tongue Influence’ and work on your pronunciation. Stress on the right syllables and pace your speech appropriately. Voila! You are on your way to a great Speaking test. If you skip these steps and try to mimic a foreign accent, you are causing more harm than good to your test.
Myth 6: Speaking is the most important section of the IELTS
If a test has four sections and all the four sections are uniformly scored, what would make one section more important than the rest? So it goes without saying, that all the four sections of IELTS, Reading, Speaking, Writing, and Listening are equally important. The individual requirements for college admissions (and/or Visa requirements) usually include an overall score and minimum score bands for individual sections.
Myth 7: Speed may take a backseat
Every section is timed and hence you need to keep the ticking clock in mind when attending those sections. Your practice should be aimed at providing quality answers within the stipulated time.
Myth 8: The passing score in IELTS is a 7.0
There is no ‘pass’ or ‘fail’ in IELTS. It is just a scale to measure your proficiency in the English language. However, universities and organizations have their requirements with respect to the IELTS score and you need to get the required scores (overall and individual score bands) if you need to reach your dream destinations.
Myth 9: IELTS test centre should be within your city
There is nothing elitist about the test centres or the cities where the tests are conducted. There is no discrimination either. So when booking for the IELTS, just keep the test date availability and your convenience in reaching the test centre in mind.
Myth 10: IELTS is more difficult than other English tests
A tried and tested format for several years now, IELTS is considered one of the best tests for the English language. While there are other tests such as the TOEFL and the PTE, they have their formats and are not comparable with IELTS on the difficulty scale. No matter how difficult the questions, your focused practice will fetch you your dream score.
Myth 11: Should keep one’s opinions to oneself
Remember IELTS is just a test of the English language. It has no business with your opinions or ideologies. Hence, be frank and in your comfort zone to be able to speak freely and fluently.
Myth 12: It pays to exceed the word limit
Keep it crisp, concise, and meaningful. Whatever your point is, just make it and make it within the word limit.
Myth 13: The right and wrong answers
Just like there is no pass or fail, there is no right or wrong answer. Every question and every module aims at testing your grammar, pronunciation, and fluency in the English language.
Myth 14: Moderate pace of speech and extended pauses will be negative
Speak clearly and lucidly to make your point. Pauses, when made appropriately, will impress the examiner more.
Myth 15: The scoring pattern differs between IELTS Test Centres
Just like the format is uniform across centres and nations, the scoring patterns are uniform too. The examiners are calibrated and are on the same page when scoring this ‘highly-critical-to the-future-of-the-test-taker’ test.