10 Oct What is IELTS?
If you have a plan to work or migrate to countries like the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, etc. or want to pursue your higher education in most of the countries around the world, IELTS is a test you have to write.
WHAT IS IELTS?
IELTS or International English Language Testing System is a paper-based English proficiency test designed to evaluate your English skills to attain a visa for any English-speaking country. Jointly conducted by the British Council and IDP: Australia (Australian Education Board), IELTS was established in the year, 1989. Many of you might have this question in your mind as to what is the difference between the two IELTS: one by the British Council and the other by IDP: Australia? Logically speaking, there is none. IELTS test papers are prepared by Cambridge Assessment and it follows a common rigid method of scoring.
ABOUT THE IELTS TEST
Depending on your reason for travel, you need to choose between IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training. If you wish to go abroad for higher studies, IELTS Academic is what you need to write. IELTS General Training is for those who want to work or settle down in an English-speaking country. IELTS is scored on a scale of 0-9 where 0 refers to a non-speaker of English and 9 denotes an ‘expert user’. Scoring of IELTS is discussed in details #here. The result of the 2 hours 55 minutes test is available within 13 days from the date of the exam. The IELTS Academic score is valid for 2 years and the validity of your IELTS General Training score depends on your organization.
WHAT DOES IELTS TEST?
IELTS is a test of English. What does that mean? Or what does it mean when you say you know a language?
Being proficient in a language means having a working knowledge of how to understand, speak, read and write in that language. On similar grounds, the IELTS test comprises of Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing test of English. The test has been designed in a such a way that it tests your understanding abilities of oral English, how well you speak, how well you comprehend written English and how well you write in the language. The test is divided into four parts:
WHAT IS THE IELTS EXAM PATTERN?
Part 1: LISTENING (Duration: 40 minutes)
This is a paper-based section where your understanding of spoken English will be tested. The Listening test is common for both IELTS Academic and General Training. As a part of the test, you will have to listen to audio files and answer questions according to the audio.
Part 2: READING (Duration: 60 minutes)
Just like the previous section, this section too is concerned with the understanding of English. This section, in the form of comprehension tests, however, tests your understanding of written English. This part of IELTS is very much like the comprehension tests you wrote in school, where you are to read passages and answer the question that follows those passages.
Part 3: WRITING (Duration: 60 minutes)
This paper-based section is to test your English writing abilities. It tests your grammar, punctuation, spelling, coherence and organizational skills. The section is different in terms of content for the IELTS Academic and General Training. The IELTS Academic test requires you to describe an image and write an essay. As a part of IELTS General Training, you are to write a letter and an essay.
Part 4: SPEAKING (Duration: 11-15 minutes)
Unlike other sections, which are conducted at a stretch on one single day, the Speaking test is conducted on a separate day. The Speaking test is in the form of a face-to-face interview, in which an examiner will record and test your speaking skills. Your oral fluency, pronunciation, lexical range and the ability to develop a conversation spontaneously is tested in this section.
IELTS is score on a band of 0-9. Though there is no fear of passing or failing in the test, one requires a minimum of 6 to get into a decent institute or organization. The exact score required to be eligible, however, is decided by the concerned university or organization. The interpretation of the band 0-9 is given below:
A detailed breakup of the scoring process has been #here.
HOW TO REGISTER FOR THE IELTS TEST?
Both IELTS Academic and General Training give you the liberty to choose your own date and slot to appear for the test.
- To appear for the test, one needs to register at any of the following links: https://www.britishcouncil.in/exam/ielts/registration Or https://www.ieltsidpindia.com/Registration/Registration
- On registering, you need to choose your test date and city according to your convenience and check the seat availability.
- Once you have decided on the date and place, you will be required to accept their terms and conditions.
- You will then automatically be forwarded to fill an online application form.
- Upload documents for verification.
- Pay the exam fee online through credit or debit card. The amount to be paid (as of Oct’18) is 12650 INR.
So once you are confident about the test, feel free to book your test slot and assess your English, as a non-native speaker of the language.