What is IELTS?
The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is one of the most generally recognized programs for anyone who desires to demonstrate their English proficiency. The qualification is accepted as proof of English fluency by universities, businesses, government bodies, and professional organizations. But what exactly is the IELTS test? What makes it so useful?
What is the IELTS Test?
IELTS stands for International English Language Testing System and is a standardized English language competence test. It’s a global framework geared towards people who are non-native English speakers. The basic purpose of this test is to check if someone can understand and communicate in English. IELTS is used by students or other people all over the world to apply for jobs, universities, and migration in countries where English is the primary language.
There are four different sections you will be assessed on in the IELTS test.
There are two types of IELTS tests; IELTS General Training and IELTS academics. The purpose of both of them is to assess the English proficiency of non-native English speakers, however, the two are slightly different from one another. The fee IELTS varies from region to region and in Pakistan it ranges from 38000 to 42000 PKR.
The Academic IELTS.
For students who want to study at a university or an academic level above A-levels or equivalent, this course focuses on English listening, reading, writing, and speaking. This test is taken by many students who want to study in an English-speaking country.
The IELTS General Training.
It also focuses on English listening, reading, writing, and speaking, but it is better suited to students who are applying to study at a lower level than a bachelor’s degree. This test is also taken by anyone looking for work or relocating to Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand.
Therefore, it is very important to understand the requirements before applying for studies or a job abroad, so you can apply and prepare accordingly.
IELTS Test Format
Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking are all tested in the IELTS exam. The Listening, Reading, and Writing tests will all be taken in a single day, one after the other respectively, and without any breaks. On the other hand, the Speaking test is taken separately, you can schedule on a date and time you are comfortable with, by booking a slot online. If you do not select a slot within the time limit, one will be assigned to you automatically. The entire test takes less than three hours.
IELTS Sections Breakdown
Both in Academic and General Training, there are similar types of the question but the topics of the reading text are different.
IELTS General Training is a test that assesses your ability to communicate effectively in Reading passages are extracts from resources that can be found in an English-speaking country on a daily basis. This section’s questions will assess your ability to comprehend knowledge found in commonplace materials such as:
Because the IELTS Academic test is used worldwide for university applications and professional registration, the questions in this section will assess your ability to comprehend content found in academic texts.
The text may come from the following topics:• Books
The writing test consists of two activities that cover a variety of themes depending on the module you are taking. The total time allowed for this section is 60 minutes.
The two tasks are as follows:
Task 1: A graph, chart, table, or diagram will be provided to you, and you will be asked to summarize, describe, or explain it in your own words. You might be asked to describe and explain data, process phases, how something works, or a specific event or object.
Task 2: In response to a perspective, argument, or issue, you will be required to compose an essay. Both tasks must be completed formally.
The Speaking test evaluates your ability to communicate in English. The test is divided into three parts and is recorded. You will have 11 to 14 minutes to discuss different topics with an IELTS examiner during the test.
Part 1: The examiner will ask you broad questions about yourself and a variety of common questions such as about family, home, studies, career, and hobbies. This section lasts about 4 to 5 minutes.
Part 2: You will be handed a task card and asked to discuss a topic by the examiner. Before speaking for up to two minutes, you will have one minute to prepare. To complete this section of the test, the examiner will ask one or two questions on the same topic.
Part 3: You’ll be asked more questions about the topic from Part 2. These questions will enable you to talk about more abstract concepts and issues. This section of the test lasts 4 to 5 minutes.
How to prepare for IELTS from home
First of all, it is very important to understand the test format of IELTS, which you might have learned from the above text. Here are some of the tips to prepare for IELTS from home.
Demo test in the beginning
Begin your preparation by taking a practice test to determine your strengths and weaknesses. This is an important stage of your initial preparation because it will help you identify the limitations that you will have to focus on. It is not only crucial to address your weaknesses, but it is also necessary to build on your strengths to lay a firm foundation for the exam. Once you understand your weak zones and areas to focus on, schedule your time accordingly and make a plan to overcome the weaknesses.
Improve writing skills
Each day, you should practice one IELTS Writing test. You will finish 30 IELTS Writing Tasks in a month and be far better at writing than the majority of candidates.
While practicing keep in mind a few things:
- While practicing keep in mind the word limit
- Tasks two requires more time and energy than Task one
- Always practice with accuracy and in keeping mind the time constraint
- Try to cover all the points given in the test
- Always double check once you complete the test and correct mistakes
Improve listening skills
You will be provided a recording of your IELTS Exam. Because this tape will only be played once, pay attention to the full recording. Meanwhile, read the questions, at the same time listen to the recording, and fill out your response sheet with the correct answers. To put it another way, you will be a multi-tasker. The Listening Task Practice will help you improve your listening skills and to catch the right answer from the recording. You must pay great attention to the recording since the speed of the recording rises as the parts go longer. Therefore, practice as much as listening material you can from an online source.
Working on reading section
Before taking the IELTS Reading exam, you must understand the meaning of each sentence and word. While practicing, you should search for the definitions of the difficult words using a dictionary or the internet. Making mistakes, and rectifying them is an important part of IELTS preparation.
Here are a few tips for better preparation
- Practice skimming and scanning the content to quickly generate an idea.
- Read the instructions for each task attentively throughout IELTS preparation.
- While practicing the Reading Test, make a note of the keywords.
- To strengthen your reading skills, read newspapers and listen to the news on daily basis.
Improve speaking skills
In the IELTS Speaking exam, your fluency and pronunciation will be important. As a result, it’s critical to practice every day and use Cue Cards in your daily practice. You need to listen to a native speaker to hear the correct pronunciation, say out loud those words, and record them so that you understand where you are making mistakes. This is a long process and you will get better over time.
Tips to improve speaking
- Be confident and bold, speak up loudly, and be clear in practice
- Record your practice and listen to them carefully to find mistakes
- Listen or Watch English shows, movies, documentaries, or new
How is the IELTS score calculated?
IELTS scores range from 0 to 9. You can also obtain a 0.5 score, a 6.5 or 7.5 score, and so on. Each ability (listening, reading, writing, and speaking) will receive a band score, as well as an overall band score. The average of all the skills is used to calculate the overall band score. For example;
Listening Reading Writing Speaking Overall
8 7.5 7 7.5 7.5
In a nutshell, IELTS is a test that checks the proficiency of people. The test is required by most of the English-speaking nations when people apply for universities, jobs, or immigration. Most of the time above 6.5 band score an accepted score by universities or countries. There are four sections of the test Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking. The band scores range from 0 and 9, which is the average band score obtained in each section.