The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is designed to help you work, study or migrate to a country where English is the native language.
If you are looking to work, live or study in an English-speaking country then this article is exactly what you need to equip you with all the necessary information you’ll need to have to be ready for your IELTS test or examination.
In the cause of reading this article, you will discover a lot of secrets that will set you on the part of success in your quest to live and work or even school in any English-speaking country.
What IELTS is all about
The IELTS is used for study, employment, and immigration in English-speaking Countries. Compared to other Cambridge English exams, the IELTS is much more useful for immigration or acceptance into university.
Cambridge exams such as the PET, FCE, and BULATS are used almost exclusively for employment at private companies, rather than the formal granting of medical licenses, skilled migrant visas, and acceptance into degree programmes.
It is jointly managed by the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge Assessment English, and was established in 1989, The English Language Testing Service (IELTS), as IELTS was then known, was launched in 1980 by Cambridge English Language Assessment (then known as UCLES) and the British Council. It had an innovative format, which reflected changes in language learning and teaching, including the growth in ‘communicative’ language learning and ‘English for specific purposes
Test tasks were intended to reflect the use of the English language in the ‘real world’.
IELTS is one of the major English-language tests in the world. At this point, it is apparent to know that the IELTS is accepted by most Australian, British, Canadian, European, Irish and New Zealand academic institutions, by over 3,000 academic institutions in the United States, and by various professional organizations across the world.
IELTS is the only Secure English Language Test approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) for visa customers applying both outside and within the UK.
It also meets requirements for immigration to Australia, where the test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and Pearson Test of English Academic are also accepted, and New Zealand. In Canada, IELTS is accepted by the immigration authority. In 2017, over 3 million tests were taken in more than 140 countries, up from 2 million tests in 2012, 1.7 million tests in 2011 and 1.4 million tests in 2009.
Who is eligible to write IELTS
The IELTS is managed by IELTS, British Council and Cambridge Assessment English. This exam is of two kinds depending on the purpose of the test.
The IELTS Academic is the test for those planning to study abroad. If you want to migrate or shift to another country for work, the exam you have to take is the general Training version. Irrespective of whichever form of the exam you appear for, the eligibility criteria remain the same. The minimum age for taking an IELTS Exam is 16 years and you must have a valid passport. IELTS does not have major conditions on its eligibility. However, there are some points you must be aware of. Minimum IELTS Score for Top University varies from one university to another.
Top Universities in the World accept IELTS Scores. Here is the requirement of to the Universities in the World:
|California Institute of Technology||7.0|
|University of Chicago||7.0|
|University||IELTS for Undergraduate||IELTS for Postgraduate|
|University of Toronto||6.5||7|
|University of British Columbia||6.5||6.5|
|University||IELTS for Undergraduate||IELTS for Postgraduate|
|University of Oxford||7||7.5|
|University of Cambridge||7||7|
|Imperial College London||7||7|
|University College London||6.5||6.5|
|University of Edinburgh||6.5||6.5|
How to prepare for IELTS
This should be detailed. How can someone prepare for the IELTS exam?
At this point, you should know the answer to “What is IELTS?” Now it’s time to start studying! As you begin your IELTS preparation, it helps to know a few other things about the IELTS, beyond its purpose. Below are some guidelines on how to prepare for your IELTS exam. There are two types of IELTS: Academic and General Training.
All test takers take the same Listening and Speaking tests but different Reading and Writing tests. Make sure that you prepare for the correct test type.
The Listening, Reading and Writing sections of all IELTS tests are completed on the same day, with no breaks in between them.
The Speaking section, however, can be completed up to a week before or after the other tests. The total test time is 2 hours and 45 minutes.
Understand the test format
Familiarise yourself with the format of the test by reviewing the test content, as well as the question and task types for each section. It’s also important to read through the IELTS rules and regulations. These are laid out in the Notice to Candidates and Declaration which are included in the application form.
IELTS sample questions
Practising with sample questions can help you familiarise yourself with the format of the test. We have provided sample questions to help you prepare for your IELTS test. This will give you an idea of what to expect in the Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking tests.
Using IELTS official practice materials will enable you to:
familiarise yourself with the test format
*experience the types of tasks you will be asked to undertake
*test yourself under timed conditions
*review your answers and compare them with model answers.
Take a timed or untimed test, receive feedback including an indicative overall band score and individual band scores for each section: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. Helping you prepare and understand the areas you need to improve or focus on.
Consider a preparation course
If you would like assistance with test preparation, IELTS centres and language schools around the world offer IELTS preparation courses. You don’t have to attend a preparation course, but many test-takers find that doing so helps them improve their performance. Talk to your local IELTS test centre to find out more. Also, you can purchase official IELTS sample materials from Cambridge University Press or an IELTS test centre.
How difficult is IELTS?
IELTS is not as difficult as being assumed by most test-takers; in case you have prepared well for the test then you can easily score high in the exam and can pursue your dream to work/study in an English native country. Like other language proficiency exams, IELTS measures your English skills on different parameters.
Thorough preparation for IELTS is required and there is no pass or fail in IELTS. Your results will be reported on a 9-band scale (1 being the lowest, 9 being the highest). Your Visa Requirement and application process to your preferred university is completely dependent on the IELTS score band. IELTS preparation is more rewarding if you follow a good study plan and stick to it for the entire time you are preparing for it.
you need to have a detailed focus on several different areas of English which include:
The test takers are given a task card where they need to speak for 2 minutes. Many times, the candidates unknowingly repeat the same story which is quite a common speaking mistake in the test done by many individuals.
How to improve your IELTS score
There are lots of resources to do this on google.
As you might be knowing, IELTS is divided into four sections; namely, Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing. And you need to prepare for each section of the exam separately. here is a little info to help you through.
In the first recording, you will have to listen to a conversation between two people & answer questions likewise. Now, these recordings can be in any accent, like American Or British.
The second recording is a monologue on social context & the fourth one is a University speech. To prepare for both of these recordings, the key is to pay attention to the central idea conveyed in the recording. The third recording is usually a group discussion between around four persons.
In the fourth recording, when watching videos to prepare yourself for the exam, try to start with videos that have subtitles, as that will help you understand them better & help improve your vocabulary.
This is the most dreaded part of the exam. But, with a few tips, you can easily overcome it. In the first task in this section, you have to answer some simple questions regarding yourself, like family, hobbies, aspirations, etc. For the second task, you have to speak on a given topic for around two minutes. Try not to sound over-enthusiastic or even nervous when answering the examiner. Answer calmly and smartly.
You have to finish two tasks in this section; a 150 words description of the given figure or graph & 250 words essay, both in 60 minutes, The smarter move is to first finish the essay, since that consumes more time & then go on to task 1. When writing the essay, make sure you convey the central idea of the essay precisely & in a very intelligible manner.
Tips to prepare for the IELTS exam:
- Be prepared
- Work on your Language
- Spear no question
- Be quick
- Be calm
How to prepare for IELTS at home
There are a few simple steps that you can take from home to maintain your general English level.
- Test yourself with practice questions
Rotate between doing timed practices and allowing yourself as long as you need to understand the questions and texts. If you have any of the IELTS Authentic Practice Tests, there are model answers and examiner comments to help you analyze your work.
- Record yourself doing an IELTS Speaking test
If you have a friend who can practice with you, either at home or somewhere else, why not take turns being the examiner and the candidate. Listen back and assess your performance.
You could also try to jot down the word you said, like a transcript, this will enable you to identify any mistakes that you made.
- The Academic Wordlist
It was developed by Averil Coxhead at the School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. The list contains 570-word families which were selected because they appear with great frequency in a broad range of academic texts. The Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) have a great, free resource that you can access to learn these important vocabulary items.
IELTS 2 months study plan
300 words. Find it on Google, edit it and put it here.
Two months study plan for IELTS is prepared in the table below.
|Day 1-2||General||Get an overview and IELTS exam format|
|Read the sectional overview with task details|
|Learn about scoring|
|Day 3-13||IELTS reading||Focus on vocabulary|
|Read newspapers, magazines, and journals,|
|Highlight the unknown words and learn the meanings|
|Revise the unknown words with their meanings learned and try to make sentences with these|
|Learn tips and strategies for IELTS reading|
|Understand the information skimming and information scanning technique|
|Solve IELTS reading practice papers|
|Find out which reading question type appears as the most difficult one and learn the tricks specific to it|
|Take more mock tests|
|Raise the level of difficulty of the texts|
|Learn new words every day and practice|
|Day 14-30||IELTS listening||Listen to the podcasts and interviews on the internet.|
|Try to understand what the speakers are saying in one go.|
|Be familiar with the accents.|
|Start with the excerpts with 2-3 speakers, gradually difficult ones.|
|Learn tips and strategies for IELTS listening|
|Learn about note-taking|
|Take a mock test|
|Find out your weaknesses and try to rectify that by finding out proper strategies|
|Don’t forget to practice IELTS reading at least for 30-45 minutes every day.|
|Day 31-42 (at least one and a half hours a day)||IELTS speaking||Stand in front of the mirror and practice speaking|
|Make yourself comfortable|
|Pair with your friend while speaking to make it more interactive|
|Listen to the interviews to be familiar with the communicative English|
|Answer the general question|
|Pick topics and speak|
|Learn tips and strategies for IELTS speaking|
|Practice with IELTS speaking practice sets|
|Stay calm – being nervous will not help|
|Day 43-53||IELTS writing||Learn tips and strategies for IELTS writing|
|Learn compare and contrast technique and essay structure or template for essay writing|
|Stay updated with the recent happenings all over the world because the topic is unpredictable|
|Gain a proper writing speed|
|Learn the use of conjunctions and relating words|
|Practice the remaining sections at least once a day|
|Day 54-56||General||Practice 4 sections back to back|
|Take full IELTS mock test|
|Revise all the sections and everything you have learned so far|
Remember, there is no ‘best way to prepare for IELTS.
Everyone learns differently.
Some people are independent and talented at learning languages and can do 100% self-study.
Other students may need a tutor some of the time, or even all of the time. That’s fine, know yourself, and then choose the path best suited to you and your learning style.
Overall, you will do well if you:
- Spend time with the language
- Notice things
- Take notes
- Practice as often as possible
- Build your vocabulary.