If you are one of those who wish to study abroad, you might know about the IELTS exam. The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is the world’s most popular English language proficiency test for higher education and global migration, with over 3 million tests taken in the last year.
IELTS assesses all of your English skills — reading, writing, listening, and speaking, and is designed to reflect how you will use English at study, at work, and play, in your new life abroad.
And if you want to improve your chances of getting your application accepted, it is imperative that you score high on the test. However, the test is no cakewalk and requires considerable preparation. So let’s get to know about this test in detail.
IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is the most popular English Language Test for higher education and has been accepted by over 10,000 organizations around the world. It has two test forms: IELTS Academic (for those who want to study abroad) & IELTS General (for immigration purposes).
The test is divided into four sections: Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking. In the IELTS score, the student will be graded using 9 BAND scales. BAND 9 is given for an Expert User of the English Language. In IELTS, students are given real-life situations to test whether a candidate can survive in English speaking academic and social environments.
You may register for the exam at INR 12,100. You can select your convenient online test date and center from the given list of dates and centers. Kindly take note that your passport will be the identity document for IELTS registration and on test day. Also, you can do IELTS exam booking easily online through portals like that of the British Council or IDP India.
How to prepare for IELTS?
IELTS academic exam pattern is as given below:
• Listening – 4 Sections; 40 questions, 30 minutes
• Reading – 3 Sections; 40 questions, 3 long texts, 1 hour
• Writing – 2 tasks, 1 hour
• Speaking – 3 sections, 11-14 minutes
The test measures your reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills, and assesses your ability to communicate for work, study, or life in an English-speaking country.
The first step is to make sure you understand the IELTS test format. You need to know what will be expected of you on test day.
1. Understand the IELTS test format: Study the test format to make sure you know what to expect. One should look carefully at the content of each part of the IELTS test: listening, reading, writing, speaking, and get to know the different types of questions asked from each part.
2. Preparation activities: To help you in your preparation for IELTS, here are some tips- Download the IELTS Prep App to aid you in your preparation. You can also register for the ‘Road to IELTS’ online preparation course designed by the British Council. Also, buy some IELTS self-study books and materials and take practice tests under timed conditions. You can also practice with the British Council's IELTS online preparation resources, available free when you book your test with the British Council.
For your writing exam, prepare a plan on how to write answers. Need to formulate a structure on what all you need to include in an answer. For the IELTS speaking test, try to record yourself while practicing. Listening back to this record will help you to find out your mistakes and improve. In listening and reading tests, you will get to notice the use of many synonyms. So, it is important to familiarize yourself with synonyms.
After giving the IELTS test, you can expect your result 13 days after. When you apply to institutions abroad, they may need original copies of your Test Report Form (TRF). So, ensure to keep your Test Report Form (TRF) safely. Usually, institutions do not accept a Test Report Form that is more than two years old.
When you have listed your choices of universities to study abroad, you need to understand the IELTS score required for those universities. Parallel with other requirements for getting admission, you need to study well for the exam and get the required band. IELTS is also as important as other requirements. So, plan and prepare well for your IELTS exam.