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What is the IELTS? Decoding the International English Test

 

Overview of the Exam

The IELTS test is a language competency exam it stands for International English Language Testing System administered by IDP Australia and Cambridge ESOL Examinations part of Cambridge University. It is offered to anyone who wants to study or work in English-speaking nations. There are mainly two types: General Training (for work, training, or immigration) and Academic (for higher education or professional registration) However there are a few other types that are required for the UNITED KINGDOM. The exam is divided into four modules: writing, reading, listening and speaking. Each module is graded on a scale from 0 to 9, and the average of the scores is the overall band score. The entire test, which consists of writing, reading and listening lasts two hours and forty-five minutes if it’s a paper-based test else for a computer-based test it is two hours and thirty minutes. The IELTS speaking exam could take place on the same day or seven days before or after your written exam. It can fall on any day before or after the exam however, IDP shares a link for your IELTS speaking exam 12 days before the written exam it has some exam slots from which the students can pick their desired slot. In some cases or if the student fails to pick a slot the system will automatically pick one and confirm via e-mail or any other mode of communication.

 

Confused between computer-based and paper-based IELTS tests

Choose the format that works best for you based on your skill level and convenience. If you can multitask, continue with computer-based formats; if not, go with paper-based ones. IELTS CBT OR PBT both offer advantages and disadvantages. For example, if you take the paper version of the test, you get an extra 10 minutes to transfer your answers onto the answer sheet along with the 30 seconds at the end of each part. If you take the computer version, you only have 30 seconds to review your answers at the end of each IELTS listening section. The test report form for the paper version is only available 13 days after the test is taken. However, the results of the computer-based test are accessible in seven days.

 

IELTS Exam preparation:

To ensure that you prepare well for the exam an optimal exam preparation is essential, it is imperative to identify one’s strengths and weaknesses and create a tailored study regimen. How can one determine their strengths and weaknesses? There are plenty of online tests on the internet which are available for free, one can take them and identify their strong and weak areas. A study schedule that is followed will enable one to accomplish the right results. There are the module wise tests:

 

IELTS writing test – a deeper insight

Simple Strategies to Boost Your IELTS Writing Test Score

When I asked IELTS students, “Which is the most difficult task out of the two IELTS writing tasks asked in the IELTS test Academic and General Training Writing test?” The majority of them replied it was the IELTS Essay Writing Task.

While Task 1 (Writing a Letter for IELTS General Training and a Report for IELTS Academic) is not easy at all, many candidates find Task 2 (Writing an Essay) of the IELTS Writing module to be more difficult.

Task 2 requires you to respond to a specific question. To be more precise, you must produce an essay of at least 250 words on a given topic for IELTS Writing Task 2. Remember that the task has a deadline. You have forty minutes to expertly and uniquely present the assigned topic in your own words without any mistakes.

Task 1 for both academic and general is less weightage (33%), whereas Task 2 is 67% one must do both the tasks equally well to score higher in the module. Your writing is assessed based on FOUR parameters, each criterion contributes 25% of the total IELTS Writing Score.
To begin with, Task achievement is answering the question correctly and providing a suitable solution. Gaining an understanding of the question’s specifications will solve half of the issue. You must consider every concern raised in the inquiry. Take a close look at the question before determining its type: conversation, opinion, problem-solving, or a combination of all four. Determine the essay’s primary keywords and ascertain exactly what the examiner is looking for. Stay away from writing about topics of general interest if you want to get higher than a band 5. Maintaining the word count is imperative, as failing to do so will result in a lower score.

Another important factor while marking an essay is Coherence and Cohesion. Write your answers clearly, exactly, concisely, and without any confusion. Connect your ideas clearly and logically. Divide your ideas into multiple paragraphs. Thoroughly explain each idea in a paragraph with relevant examples and reasons. Every new paragraph should have a new idea and all your paragraphs should be connected logically. But remember that even when your thoughts are presented in different paragraphs, they should make sense together.

For the IELTS Writing Essay Task, a four-paragraph essay works best. Only add paragraphs as and when needed. Don’t try to stuff the paragraph with extraneous details or make it longer than necessary. This will lessen the likelihood of getting a high band score.

Grammar and Accuracy is another tool for marking in IELTS Writing Task 2, using proper language, spelling, and punctuation at the relevant places is crucial. This calls for extra caution on your part. Any error, no matter how small, will immediately lower your score. Thus, to ensure success, a previous IELTS writing practice is beneficial. Using informal vocabulary and shorthand conversations is a typical occurrence in these days of SMS and other chat apps. However, it is legally forbidden to use this method for the IELTS test. If you use improper terminology or vocabulary, the examiner may become offended, which can lower your score. It is therefore recommended that you write in formal language.

One of the four writing assessment criteria that goes toward determining your IELTS writing score is Lexical Resource. However, a large number of IELTS candidates are ignorant of the usage of vocabulary. Lexical resources include using a wide enough vocabulary, spelling words correctly, using collocations correctly, and word formation. Those who are unaware of this tend to utilize recurring words in their essays. However, the examiner is searching your response for a range of terms and expressions. When he or she cannot find any diversity in the phrase, it gives the sense that your vocabulary is lacking. He or she assigns you a lower grade because they believe you to have little language proficiency.

Academic writing on the IELTS writing report is based on what you observe in the task. The task may take the shape of a process diagram, table, chart, or graph. It’s also possible to come across two diagrams simultaneously, such as a table and a diagram, a graph and a chart, or even two pie charts. The report must be written in no less than 150 words, and it should take you 20 minutes to finish. Report writing is the first writing assignment for academic candidates, and it should ideally take 20 minutes to complete. Additionally, the work has a minimum word count of 150.

The assessment criteria for report writing, or task 1, remain the same, however knowing the framework and following the guidelines will help you get the required score. The structure consists of an introduction, an overview, and body paragraphs. One should rephrase the question for the introduction. An overview should provide a summary of the diagram’s contents. The body paragraphs should contain thorough information on the first main comparison paragraph and the second main comparison paragraph, respectively.

Writing a letter is one of the tasks in the General Training. Understanding the goal of the letter, responding to it appropriately, structuring your ideas rationally, and keeping your tone constant are all necessary for success in the process. A well-organized introduction with a distinct purpose for writing, well-developed body paragraphs with examples to support them, and a concluding statement that summarizes the main points are essential components. Proper grammar and punctuation, together with a diverse vocabulary, are indicators of language competency. Respecting the allotted word count is essential, and frequent IELTS writing practice—which includes going over sample letters—is advised to enhance performance. There is a focus on time management as well as formality and courtesy, particularly in formal correspondence. The letter should include details from the prompt and conclude with the writer’s name and an acceptable closure.

 

Book reading

IELTS Reading Test:

There are two modules in the IELTS Reading test: Academic and General Training. Designed for professionals or college applicants in mind, Academic Reading assesses understanding of complex academic material throughout three extended parts covering scholarly subjects. Multiple choice, True/False/Not Given, matching facts, matching headers, and sentence completion are some of the question kinds available. Some tips are to prioritize the most important points, practice scanning and skimming, and concentrate on academic language. The General Training module, which evaluates the capacity to extract knowledge from common materials in three sections, is intended for individuals looking for work or immigration. Sentence completion, matching features, identifying information, and short response questions are some of the question types. Guidance for General Training places a strong emphasis on paying attention to details, understanding directions, and using English practically. The key components of effective reading include time management, consistent IELTS reading practice, vocabulary growth, and looking for details while glancing over the key points. The General Training Module assesses data extraction from job applications and advertisements to prepare applicants for situations where English is the primary language. To succeed, one must communicate in clear English, pay close attention to details, and follow instructions with skill. Time management, practicing with a variety of questions, expanding vocabulary, and improving your skimming and scanning techniques are some general tips for both modules. It takes consistent test-taking practice to get the target score.

 

Audio listening

IELTS Listening Test:

It is essential to be familiar with the test pattern and question types to do well in the IELTS listening test, whether it’s the Academic or General module. Practice listening to various accents, especially of native speakers, and more importantly, listen to lectures. Make use of the time wisely when they give time to go through the questions understand the questions and make a note of keywords. When you are listening remember the information and be attentive and note down any important. Rather than focusing on unnecessary information focus on information that is required to answer the questions. Good vocabulary is important, so work on developing it. To get familiarized with the test pattern practice with your timer on. If unsure, recollect information and write down the answer you feel is right as there is no negative marking it is essential to answer all the questions. If you have time, go over your answers after each part. Remain calm be consistent and focus on the next questions. To perform well in the exam, you must regularly practice using past exams and example questions. In short, the key to taking the IELTS Listening test is to plan, stick to your plan and practice often, emphasize on understanding the language, and work on time management techniques.

 

Boy speaking

IELTS Speaking Test:

To perform well on the IELTS Speaking test, you must comprehend the structure, which includes the Introduction, Long Turn, and Discussion sections. Frequent IELTS speaking practice is essential for increasing confidence and fluency; you can also record yourself to check your pronunciation and clarity. Having a wide vocabulary improves your capacity to communicate concepts. To maintain a natural conversation flow, answer questions directly, put fluidity above perfection, and refrain from memorization. Try your pronunciation, be sparing with fillers, and strive for succinct, pertinent responses within the allotted time. To mimic the exam setting, keep a cheerful attitude, pay close attention when others are speaking, and participate in IELTS Speaking practice interviews. Display a range of linguistic styles, ask for clarification when necessary, and pause to collect your thoughts before answering. Be genuine, show off your individuality, and manage your time well. These techniques help you do well on the IELTS Speaking test when used in combination with consistent practice. The IELTS Speaking test is assessed on fluency, coherence and cohesion, grammar and accuracy, pronunciation, vocabulary, body language and eye contact.

With the knowledge and insights provided in this blog, you are all set to start studying and get your desired exam results. Best of luck.

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION

How long will it take me to receive my IELTS test score?

The format of the test affects how long it takes to get the IELTS test results. Results for the paper-based IELTS test are usually available 13 days following the test, and a Test Report Form (TRF) will be sent to your home address. Results for the computer-delivered IELTS test are typically available online five to seven days following the exam. It is crucial to remember that these schedules are only estimations, and people are encouraged to confirm the precise facts with the test center or on the official IELTS website. A week before to or following the main examination day, IELTS speaking exam may also be scheduled separately, and the results will be included in the final TRF. If there are any issues with the scheduling or delivery of the score, it is advised to get help by getting in touch with the exam center or IELTS test customer support.

 

Do all universities around the world accept the IELTS test?

The IELTS test is the most commonly accepted test for English language proficiency among institutions worldwide. However, acceptance differs from school to school based on their own entrance requirements. Alternative exams like the TOEFL or Cambridge English exams may be preferred by certain universities. There is also specific score requirements; greater competency levels are required for some programs or institutions. Prospective students ought to carefully study the entrance requirements of their desired universities, which are available on official websites or by getting in touch with admission offices, to work through these details. In summary, even though the IELTS test is widely recognized, applying successfully requires a customized grasp of each institution’s requirements.

 

Why IELTS test?

People choose to sit for the IELTS exam for a variety of reasons. It is primarily a starting point for students who want to study overseas because IELTS test results are generally acknowledged and many universities require documentation of English language proficiency. In the professional sphere, IELTS test is also a useful tool for employers, particularly in environments where English is the primary language. IELTS is a test that assess language proficiency for anyone who want to pursue career in land where English is predominantly spoken it is even used for some occupational courses and practices and for countries like Canada and Australia it is essential document to understand your English proficiency for permanent residency as well. To put it in other way it is an exam to show your English proficiency for academic and other purposes, it is an exam to understand your listening, reading, writing and speaking skills. This exam is widely accepted approximately 95% of the institutions, colleges, universities accept IELTS. The choice to sit for the IELTS exam is ultimately for personal, professional, and academic objectives.

 

When will the IELTS speaking exam be scheduled? What happens if my IELTS speaking test date is not confirmed?

The IELTS speaking exam has a different schedule and could take place on a different day than the main exam. There is a possibility that it will take place on the same day as your written test. You will receive an email with a link to confirm your IELTS speaking slot. If you do not select one, the system will create one for you and send you a confirmation email. First, check the confirmation details you received when you registered. These documents usually include information on the speaking and written components of the test. If this information is missing, get in touch with the testing facility right away by using the contact information listed on official correspondence or the IELTS website. It’s important to be cautious; find out the location and schedule of your IELTS speaking test by getting in touch with the testing center well in advance. The IELTS speaking exam date and time may be found on the official online page for individuals who registered for the computer-delivered IELTS test. Early resolution of any doubts promotes a seamless experience and ensures you have all the information required for both components.

 

Which IELTS test should I take—the CBT or the PBT?

The choice between the IELTS Computer-Based Test (CBT) and Paper-Based Test (PBT) depends on the test taker’s comfort level with each format and personal preferences. The CBT may be right for you if you are fast at typing, can multi-task and value receiving feedback in a matter of five to seven days. Additionally, CBT is user-friendly and appealing to people who are comfortable with digital technologies. However, PBT can be a more comfortable choice if you like to write by hand, or are less comfortable using a computer. Choose the format that best suits your needs and preferences—both assess the same level of English language proficiency. Check with your intended colleges that they accept scores in the format of your choice after practicing with examples of questions in each format.

 

In how many modules can I retake? What is the cost of it?

You can retake the IELTS single-module exam within sixty days following your first attempt. The exam’s time and format won’t be altered. Only one module retake is available after a full test. The cost of IELTS One Skill Retake in India is 16,250 INR. The exam fees remain the same regardless of the number of times you take the IELTS test. You will receive a new score report if you retake the IELTS One Skill. It will be beneficial for immigration as well as for learning. Depending on the outcome, you can select to use the previous or the current score report for the skill you retook.

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