IELTS is important for students because it gives them a chance to prove their ability to integrate into the social and professional of the country they are going to. The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) consists of four kinds of cognitive tests that show your prifienciency in the English language. While many students opt for it to apply abroad for further studies, it is also an excellent option for them because of the immigration eligibility for a lot of English speaking countries. You will need to demonstrate your language skills in order to be accepted by the relevant government body assessing you for the visa.
Importance of IELTS in University Admissions
If you are an ambitious student who wants to apply to the most prestigious universities, IELTS will be required for your admission proces. Your test results show your proficiency and your ability to communicate in English. The UK, US (more than 3000 universities in the US accept IELTS, including Ivy League universities), Canada and Australia all accept the IELTS for their university admissions. Universities usually specify a certain IELTS score for admission to different programs. Even some non-English speaking countries require the students to show that they can understand English because the medium of education is in English. Being able to understand the course content is of utmost importance when you are going abroad for a long time and investing time and energy into a field of study.
Preparing for the IELTS can be difficult but it gives you confidence because your repeated efforts and learning from your mistakes can give you an excellent chance to improve your English language skills.
The Global Recognition of IELTS
IELTS is accepted in over 140 countries and in more than 11,000 institutions all over the world. Whether these are educational or training institutes, professional or industrial organisation or government and immigration bodies, all of them recognise the importance of IELTS in proving the English language skills of an individual. The easy to use 9-band result score makes it very easy to assess people form around the world which has made IELTS a reliable and fair authority to test English language proficiency of people around the world.
Before applying to any university, job or immigration visa, you should look at the minimum requirement of IELTS score by the institution before starting your application process.
IELTS and Immigration
For non-native speakers applying for immigration, study or work in Australia, UK , Canada and New Zealand, IELTS is required for proving your English proficiency to the immigration authorities. Each country requires a different IELTS score for its visa process and candidates must get a score that is equal to or more than the minimum requirement. It is recommended that the IELTS test taken for immigration should be in-person and not online.
In Australia, the Department of Home Affairs requires the IELTS score for different classes of visas and PR (permanent residence). Not only that, if you are getting registered with a professional orgnisation for accreditation purposes, you will also require a minimum IELTS score. These professional bodies could be related to careers like nursing, law, accounting, engineering, medicine, etc.
The minimum IELTS score for immigration is 6 in Australia and for New Zealand, it is 6.5. Similary, for Canada you will require this score to show your professional skills and eligibility for the PR (permanent residence). The relevant score should be checked on the IRCC website. The UK has a varying IELTS score requirement for different purposes- it could be anywhere from 4 to 7. For more information about visa and eligibility regarding English proficiency, book a session with our helpful mentors.
Adapting to a Multicultural Environment
As the world becomes more globalised, the most common medium of information exchange is the English language. As an international student, you are required to demonstrate your abilities to adapt in a culturally diverse environment because it shows how open and tolerant you are towards different perspectives. You will only be able to communicate well and adjust with life in a country if you can speak confidently in English. The IELTS test prepares you to be fluent in English when you are studying in an international university.
IELTS Score: A Measure of English Language Ability
The IELTS exam is designed in a way that it is the perfect and holistic way to measure the test taker’s ability to understand and speak English. There re four components- Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. This shows that you not only have to be able to read and write but also converse and understand the different accents (this sets the IELTS test apart from other English language assessments). If you fulfil these criterias, you will get a good IELTS score which will open doors for you to study, work or settle abroad.
The overall IELTS score is calculated by getting the average score from all the four section. So for example, if your score is 6.5 in Listening, 6.5 in Reading, 5.0 in Writing and 7.0 in Speaking, your overall IELTS score would be 6.25 which will be rounded off to 6.5 (it rounded off to the near whole or half band).
The Benefits of Achieving a High IELTS Score are manifold- it is certainly impressive for multi-national companies’ employers and professors in universities as it can even land you a job as a Teacher’s Assistant.
IELTS Academic vs. General Training
In order to bring more fairness to the testing process, two kinds of tests are available for candidates- the IELTS Academic module and the IELTS General Training module. Both these tests measure English proficiency in different kinds of real-life applications. The Academic one is more focused on higher level of learning while the General Test is more suited to social and professional situations. IELTS Academic should be taken by students who want to study at undergraduate level or above, or if you are applying for a job as a nurse, doctor, lawyer or teacher. The General Training one is suited for immigration and job applications or to study at below degree level.
Common Mistakes to Avoid on the IELTS Exam
There are some common mistakes that everyone makes due to lack of strategy so be sure to avoid these and make it a part of your practice to check your answers before completing the exam
- Do not write lesser than the required word limit. You should know how to quickly count the words you have written. Task 2 has a word limit of 250 whereas Task 1 has a word limit of 150 so make sure you keep that in mind
- Don’t try to push the word limit by adding more transitional words. It destroys the cohesion
- You may be wondering how you can improve your accent in a short time but that is not as important as your ability to pronounce correctly. Work on your pronunciation instead of your accent
- When speaking, try to keep your answers concise. Never rote-learn speeches and answers beforehand. Instead, practise for spontaneous speech and respoinding to questions in a coherent manner
Tips for Achieving a High Score on the IELTS Exam
- Properly acquaint yourself with the IELTS exam format. If you don’t know the different sections and the time allocated for each type of question, you will feel very lost during the exam
- Before starting the studying process, it is important to know your current level of English and then make a plan accordingly. Make sure you have enough time before thetest to properly tackle each section with confidence
- Read and expose yourself to as many English resources as you can. This also depends on your type of test. Read more academic articles if your test is Academic and for General Training one, watching movies or listening to podcasts might prove more useful
- Make a vocabulary book in which you can record all the new words you learn and try to use them in your sentences
- When you are reading the different essays and articles, try to make side notes on what you understood. This will increase your paraphrasing power and understanding of written text. Most candidates forget that developing your English is also important besides making IELTS preparation strategies so keep this in mind when you are preparing.
- Practise your pronunciation with natives online or with friends living abroad. There are many apps and websites that are built for language exchange and are safe to use
- Learn to manage your time by practising as many past exam papers as you can
- When you are planning to write, analyze the statement properly. Then make thesis statements for each paragraph and begin writing. Make sure you read your written passage again and check for common mistakes that you make
- During the Reading task, you will have 60 minutes to 40 questions so dedicate more time to the longer questions and do not give equal time to each question as some of them are shorter and require less attention
- For the Listening component, focus on the words instead of writing constantly. You need to focus on all the information