A Definitive Guide to IELTS for Those Seeking to Study Abroad

WHAT IS IELTS?

International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

The most frequently used English language competency test in the world for higher education and international migration is the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

Your English language competency is assessed with the IELTS test for academic, immigration, and professional purposes. The exam can be taken in more than 900 examination centres across 140 countries, and it is accepted by more than 10,000 organisations worldwide. Annually, almost 2 million people take this exam.

If English is not your first language, you’ll definitely need to include your IELTS exam results in your application if you really want to enroll in a British study program overseas. Your English proficiency will be evaluated on IELTS in each of the four language skill categories—listening, reading, speaking, and writing.

WHAT TYPE OF IELTS TEST DO I NEED TO TAKE?

IELTS exams can be either academic or general training.

You should take the IELTS Academic test if you intend to study abroad in an English-speaking nation. The IELTS General Training test is advised for immigration or employment purposes.

The sort of organization you’re applying to or the country you’re seeking for a program in will decide which test you need to take. Which test you must take will be made obvious by your host institution. The speaking and listening portions of both exams are similar.

ACADEMIC

The Academic IELTS test will often be needed among all international students. Anyone applying to a study or training programme at an English-speaking university or higher education institution must take this test. The results of this test will determine whether or not a student gets admitted to a programme at the undergraduate or graduate level. You could be required to take this exam by some professional institutes as well.

ON THE EXAM DAY

You must bring the same passport and/or national identity card that you specified on your IELTS application on the day of your exam. Make sure you have something to eat and drink in advance as the IELTS exam lasts for a total of 2 hours and 45 minutes (listening, reading, and writing), with no pauses.

Only a clear water bottle may be brought into the examination room with you. Some sites will additionally demand that you get your picture taken on the exam day for the results form.

The exam will be divided into four sections: speaking, writing, reading, and listening. The speaking portion of the test will take an extra 10 to 15 minutes and is made up of 3 parts.

HOW IS AN IELTS TEST SCORED?

The band scale used to grade your IELTS exam will place your overall score in one of nine bands, with 0 representing the lowest and 9 the highest. Your total score, which is rounded to the closest whole or half-band, is calculated as the average of your performance across all four exam components. The exam’s components are all equally weighted.

You will be provided both your aggregate test score as well as your element scores when you receive your results. Different institutions may have different test score criteria; however, the majority usually want you to get at least a 6 overall.

For computer-delivered exams, results are available in 5–7 days; for paper- based IELTS exams, results are available in 13 days. Additionally, you can arrange for your IELTS centre to submit your results immediately and gratis to up to five colleges. Your results are going to be good for two years.

IELTS TIPS

The best strategy to prepare for the IELTS exam is to introduce oneself to as many resources written and spoken by native English speakers as you can. Watch English-language film and TV, and study magazines, newspaper, and literature. Your ability to communicate with English in a range of registers and conditions will be tested on the exam, so the more context-specific your comprehension of English, the better. As much as you can, practice speaking, even if it’s just to yourself in front of a mirror.

If you’re taking the IELTS Academic test, see if you can find some public lectures with academic material to download. Downloadable lectures and podcasts are available from several universities have free, downloadable lectures and podcasts available. Even if the subject is a little above your area of expertise, try to become comfortable with the tenor and usage rules of academic language; you’ll be delighted at how quickly you pick it up.

To help you get ready for each individual test component, you may also download a number of sample exams from IELTS study aid and information websites or read our study guides.

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