What is IELTS?

What is IELTS?

IELTS is the most basic and mandatory criteria for all the students who are seeking admissions in universities and colleges in an English speaking country. So in this article, we will explain what is IELTS.

One of the many tests which is accepted for this reason is IELTS (International English Language Testing System).

It’s one of the best platforms where one can showcase one English ability as it judges a person’s ability in the four main skills namely Speaking, Writing, Listening and Reading. Reading and Writing sections of the tests have two different versions General and Academic Training Modules.

Academic Module: This is taken by the students who aspire to go for Further studies in an English speaking Country.

General Module: This is for the people who want to take up permanent residence in an English speaking Country.

In order to achieve the best possible result, IELTS like other tests helps you to learn and unlearn different skills that can be Practised.

IELTS Writing marking schemes

The two writing questions are marked out of 9 according to the following
criteria:

  • Task Achievement
  • Coherence and Cohesion
  • Lexical Resource
  • Grammatical Range and Accuracy

IELTS Speaking marking schemes

The speaking test is also marked out of 9 according to the following criteria:

Fluency and coherence

  • Lexical resource
  • Grammatical range and accuracy
  • Pronunciation

The IELTS 9-band scale

You will be given a score from 1 to 9 for each part of the test – Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. The average produces your overall band score. You can score whole (e.g., 5.0, 6.0, 7.0) or half (e.g., 5.5, 6.5, 7.5) bands in each part of the test.

 

BandscoreSkill LevelDescription
Band 9Expert userYou have a full operational command of the language. Your use of
English is appropriate, accurate and fluent, and you show complete
understanding.
Band 8Very good userYou have a fully operational command of the language with only
occasional unsystematic inaccuracies and inappropriate usage. You
may misunderstand some things in unfamiliar situations. You handle
complex detailed argumentation well.
Band 7Good userYou have an operational command of the language, though with

occasional inaccuracies, inappropriate usage and
misunderstandings in some situations. Generally you handle
complex language well and understand detailed reasoning.
Band 6Competent userGenerally you have an effective command of the language despite
some inaccuracies, inappropriate usage and misunderstandings.
You can use and understand fairly complex language, particularly in
familiar situations.
Band 5Modest userYou have a partial command of the language, and cope with overall
meaning in most situations, although you are likely to make many
mistakes. You should be able to handle basic communication in your
own field.
Band 4Limited userYour basic competence is limited to familiar situations. You
frequently show problems in understanding and expression. You are not able to use complex language.
Band 3Extremely limited userYou convey and understand only general meaning in very familiar
situations. There are frequent breakdowns in communication.
Band 2Intermittent userYou have great difficulty understanding spoken and written English.
Band 1Non-userYou have no ability to use the language except a few isolated words.
Band 0Did not attempt the testYou did not answer the questions.

 

IELTS Speaking

The last part of the IELTS is Speaking section. IELTS Speaking takes 15 minutes; during which you will have the interview with an examiner.

The first part is a conversation on a common theme: where do you want to study or work, what is your favourite animal, colour or flower. It should be remembered that it’s not necessary to give too common answers to the questions. Try to diversify your answer with the examples and more specific information. Even if you don’t have a favourite colour or animal, you can easily say this and argue your position. It will also be counted as a response. It’s not important for the examiner what you say; it is important how you present the information.

The second section of the conversation is an answer to the give question on a particular Topic. You will be offered a cue card. To prepare the answer you will be given 1 minute. That’s enough time to analyze your response and try to organize it logically.

Here are some tips for Second part of IELTS Speaking:

  • read the task carefully
  • write a short plan of your thoughts and try to cover all the points in your speech
  • use as much vocabulary as you can

The third task of IELTS Speaking is a dialogue with the examiner. Often its topic is identical with the previous question, so the examiner will ask you further questions about the same topic. You are expected to give answers with logical reasoning, so you should not just answer the question, but also complete it with examples.

Everything you need to know about the third part of the IELTS Speaking exam:

After a detailed description of the structure of IELTS Speaking we will give you some useful and effective tips:

  • Don’t try to use memorize phrases without detailed understanding of them
  • Show your rich vocabulary. It will bring you an extra point and make a good impression on the examine
  • Try to use only formal English. Slang is absolutely unacceptable in this type of conversation
  • Try not to repeat the question during your response, use as many synonyms as you can
  • Diversify your answers using examples and personal experience
  • Correct your mistakes as quickly as you can.  If you make a mistake and can correct it immediately – do it. This will show that you are able to control your speech
  • If you do not understand a question, ask the examiner to repeat or explain it. Because if you begin to answer the question, which you don’t understand, the answer will be disconnected
  • Non-verbal communication is very important. Don’t forget that the examiner assesses you and you should try to prove yourself as a good conversationalist. Eye contact can help you to make a good impression from the conversation with you

IELTS Listening

IELTS consists of four parts; the first one is called IELTS Listening. This section of the exam takes only 30 minutes, but sometimes it is the most difficult part of the test for many Students. In order to get a good Band score in this section, you should understand the specifics of the test and follow the technique.

This unit consists of four parts. These mini texts on a particular topic have some particular tasks: to choose the correct answer, to agree or disagree with the statement, to write the correct word, number, or date. It should be taken into consideration that each subsequent passage is more complicated than the previous one. So one should not relax on the first task, which is considered to be the easiest one. IELTS is an academic exam and checks the depth of your language abilities.

You will be given 10 minutes to transfer your answers to the answer sheet.

The key to success in IELTS Listening is not only the ability to listen difficult English texts. More important is to be able to analyze the information and choose the correct answer.

Try to start with a reasonable allocation of time. Remember that you get to listen to the text only once. Before each text, you are given about a minute to check your answers and get familiarize, with the subsequent task. Don’t waste time checking the answers, you still will not be able to hear the text again.

Try to determine what kind of task you have to solve. If you need to fill the gap, try to find a clue. For example, if the sentence is presented with a currency symbol you can guess what you have to do. Such markers can help you in advance.

How to prepare for IELTS Listening?

There are only three ways to prepare for Listening

  • Practise
  • Practise
  • Practise

IELTS Reading

In the section “IELTS Reading” of the academic version of IELTS exam participants need to read texts and answer 40 questions (13-14 questions for each paragraph). In the General Section of the exam, texts are simpler and shorter than in academic one.  You have 60 minutes to do all the tasks of the Reading section

There are various types of the tasks, which check the ability to read the text and understand it.

 

The following tips will help you find the right approach to this section of the IELTS exam:

  1. If you understand the essence of the text before reading it, it will facilitate the subsequent understanding. Attentive view of the graphs, tables, and any other illustrations often gives a clear idea about the topic of the paragraph.
  2. Remember that there is no extra time to transfer answers. Make sure that you write on the test answer sheet and not on the questionnaire.
  3. If you read the text and answer the questions in a random order, be careful that the answers are in the right place in the table of responses.
  4. If you’re unsure whether your answer is correct, try to reread the text and find the right option. Remember that IELTS Reading don’t last more than an hour and you need to answer 40 questions. If you spend more than a minute on each question, you will have an extra 20 minutes to read the text. If it’s hard to find the answer, go to the next question.
  5. Of course, questions “true/false/not given” are the most difficult types of the tasks, because most of the students get confused with this section.
  6. IELTS Reading section contains questions with words that often are not in the response. Therefore, you should pay attention to the synonyms of keywords.
  7. If your text contains a lot of dates, mark them during the reading, because often they can carry very important information. And don’t forget to read as much as you can! If you have a good practice, you will pass IELTS Reading successfully!

IELTS Writing

IELTS Writing consists of 2 tasks; the total time to perform them is 60 minutes. It’s recommended to spend 40 minutes on the second task and 20 minutes on the first one because the result of the second part determines the final mark for the test. IELTS Writing is usually the most difficult section of the exam. For all foreign candidates, and therefore it requires the most Intense preparation.

The first task in IELTS Writing in the Academic Module consists of the description of information that is presented in the form of diagram, charts, tables or graphics.

What abilities are tested?

  • the ability to describe the information objectively;
  • the ability to contrast and compare the information;
  • the ability to use specialized graphics language, not to express your own opinion and don’t evaluate the data.

In the General Module, you should write a letter in which it is necessary to describe the problem and its possible solution.

What is tested in this task?

  • the ability to conduct personal correspondence;
  • the ability to analyze and provide general information;
  • the ability to express your wishes, needs, preferences, express complaints, opinions, etc.

For both modules of IELTS, the second task includes writing an essay in which you have to explain your own point of view on controversy view or the issue. IELTS essay is more important than the first part of the section.

What abilities are tested in the IELTS essay?

  • One should be able to come up with solutions;
  • the ability to express your opinions;
  • the ability to contrast and compare the opinions and facts;
  • the ability to evaluate facts, ideas or arguments.

In this article we present some effective tips which will help you to fulfill IELTS Writing:

  • Don’t be impatient!

Yes ! it is very important to perform both tasks of the section, but that doesn’t mean that you have to start writing immediately. Start writing only when you know the jist of the story.

  • Don’t use the phrases from the Question.

If you rewrite the whole task the examiner will not count these words, so your 260 words can turn into 230 if you’re not careful.

  • Expand the vocabulary

In IELTS Writing you need to demonstrate your knowledge of vocabulary. Therefore, always check for repetition of words. It doesn’t mean that you have to use long sentences, on the contrary, try to use the words with exact meaning.

  • Check what you have written

It is important to check your texts for grammar mistakes. Before official taking the exam, make a list of your most common errors. Try to practice as much as you can, it will be perfect if you write essays on the different topics every day.

Why Choose IELTS?

Why Choose IELTS?

Are you Thinking of studying abroad? Applying to an international university program? Willing to work in an English-speaking country? If Yes! IELTS is one of the most common English language test required by schools and companies and it is widely accepted. Almost all English-speaking countries choose IELTS.

  1. Recognized worldwide

    IELTS is accepted as evidence of English language proficiency in more than 135 countries, for education, immigration, and professional purposes.

  2. Good training exercise for your English language skills

    IELTS test, Prepare you for all the four skills required, Reading, Speaking, Writing and Listening.

  3. Specific scores requested by Universities and Companies around the world

    IELTS prepares you to achieve the Band score required by the university or the company that you are applying for.

  4. Two types of test to choose from

    You can choose between IELTS Academic or IELTS General Training.

  5. British English or American? Both!

    In terms of spelling, grammar and choice of words, IELTS covers both British English and American English. Whether you want to study in the US, in the UK or even in another English-speaking country such as Australia, Canada or New Zealand