What is IELTS Exam ?

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The International English Language Testing System exam (IELTS Exam) is the world’s most popular English language proficiency test for higher education and global migration. IELTS Exam is recognized by educational institutions, employers, governments and professional bodies around the world.

IELTS is jointly owned by British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge Assessment English. As one of the pioneers of four skills English language testing 30 years ago, IELTS continues to set the standard for English language testing today. Governments in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom use IELTS to process immigration applications.

What is IELTS Exam ?
What is IELTS Exam ?

HISTORY OF IELTS: 

The origin of IELTS dates back to 1980 when it was started as a joint venture of Cambridge English Language Assessment and the British Council. In 1980 this venture was called UCLES or University of Cambridge Local Examination Syndicate. The number of test takers rose from 4,000 to 10,000 in 5 years but there were a lot of challenges in managing and conducting the test.

The ELTS or English Language Testing Standard project was started to counter the test administration challenges. There was a pressing need for international participation for redesigning the test and IDP the International Development program of Australian colleges and Universities joined hands with Cambridge English Language Assessment and the British Council.

This international joint venture became IELTS and went live in 1989. Since then IELTS has gone through 3 major design revisions in 1995, 2001 and 2005 to become what it is today.

History of IELTS

NEED OF IELTS:

If one is planning to enrol at a university or college, apply to business organisations, or register for a visa from government agencies in countries such as the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, or Canada, the IELTS test could be great help to reach one’s education, career or life goals.

The IELTS is used for the purposes of study, employment, and immigration in the English-speaking world.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.

  • Test of proficiency- Thousands of the world’s most reputable universities and colleges will accept your IELTS results as evidence of your English language proficiency.
  • Test for professionals- Most of the professional registration bodies in many fields accept IELTS results, including accounting, engineering, law, medicine, nursing, pharmacy and teaching bodies in many countries. This means that after completing your studies, you may need to take the test in order to gain professional registration in an English-speaking country.
  • Test for migration  IELTS scores are required by governments in more countries than any other English language test as a requirement for permanent residency. Unlike other providers, the IELTS General Training test is the only non-academic test available for migration to Australia, New Zealand, Canada, The United Kingdom and The USA.
  • Assessment of abilities- IELTS assesses you on your practical communication abilities and provides an accurate assessment of the four skills being tested. It focuses on testing the language abilities rather than specialist knowledge of the candidate and offer two versions – Academic and General Training. Plus, it allows for a one-on-one Speaking test one with an examiner in a private room with no distractions.
  • The test content for IELTS is developed by an international team of experts and undergoes extensive research to ensure the test remains fair and unbiased for any candidate regardless of nationality, background, gender, lifestyle or location.
Why IELTS Important

IELTS ELIGIBILITY:

The eligibility criteria for the IELTS Exam is as follows:

  • The minimum age of 16 is required.
  • The applicant must hold a valid, non-expired passport.
  • You are eligible if you plan to study in Australia/Canada/New Zealand/USA/UK
  • IELTS eligibility extends to medical professionals who plan to study or work further in Australia/UK/USA.
  • If you are planning to immigrate to Australia/Canada/New Zealand/UK.

TYPES OF IELTS:

There are two types of IELTS Test– IELTS Academic or IELTS General Training. Which test to go for depends on what one wishes to do.

IELTS Academic- This measures whether an individual’s level of English Language Proficiency is suitable for an academic environment. It reflects the various aspects of academic language and whether one is ready to begin suitable training or studying. IELTS Academic is usually  taken by those who apply for higher education or professional registration abroad.

IELTS General Training- This measures English language in a practical, everyday context. The tasks and tests reflect both workplace and social situations. The IELTS General Test is taken by those who wish to migrate to major English speaking countries like Canada, Australia, and the UK. This test is also taken by those who want to enroll in training programs or secondary education or want to gain work experience in a country where English is the main language used for communication.

Listening and speaking sections are the same for both these tests, however, the subject matter for the writing and reading sections are different depending on which test one takes. The Reading, Writing and Listening sections of the IELTS tests are completed on the same day of the test with no breaks between them. However, the Speaking section can be completed either a week before or after the other tests date. 

What is IELTS Exam ?

IELTS EXAM PATTERN:

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS exam) comprises four sections, Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. The candidates are tested on these four parameters. 

  • Listening Test– The IELTS Listening test is designed to assess a wide range of listening skills, which involves understanding of factual information, recognising the attitude, purpose of the speaker and following the development of the argument. 
  • Reading Test– The Reading test requires the candidate to answer 40 questions to test you on an array of reading skills. The candidate is asked to read three different passages and respond to related questions in the IELTS Reading test. This test measures how well the individual’s understanding in reading details, understanding inferences and implied meaning.
  • Writing TestWriting test is designed to assess a wide range of writing skills. This test is divided into two tasks: In Task 1, the candidate is required to write down the information they get from the graphical representations. In Task 2, the candidates  are asked to write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem.
  • Speaking Test– The test is interactive and as close to a real-life situation as a test can get. The IELTS Speaking test is designed to assess a wide range of skills such as the communication skills, a person’s organisation of thoughts, analysis of situations and justification of opinions. This section is like a face to face interview between the test taker and examiner.
IELTS Exam Pattern

IELTS REGISTRATION:

The IELTS test is available on 48 fixed dates per year (up to four times a month), depending on local demand. The candidates have the liberty of giving the exam on any of the 48 days in as per their convenience.

Apart from this, candidates can also reattempt the exam whenever they want. Also, there is no limit for giving the IELTS test, candidates can give the IELTS exam as many times as they want or till they reach their dream score. However, every time the candidate has to pay the exam fee of Rs. 13,250. The following steps needs to be followed for successfully registering for IELTS-

  • Login to IELTS Website
  • Select the option ‘Register for Test.’
  • Select your preferred test – computer-delivered IELTS/ paper-based (IELTS, IELTS for UKVI or Life Skills).
  • Select your test type/module – Academic or General Training for IELTS, IELTS for UKVI, A1 and B1 for Life Skills 
  • Pick your desired test location/city (from the available IELTS test centres in India).
  • Once done, you will find a list of dates available for your preferences. Select your desired date and time slot.
  • Fill up the required details and complete your online application. Remember, you will also have to upload a clear, scanned colour copy of your passport to complete the process.
  • Proceed to pay the test fee.
IELTS Exam Registration Steps

IELTS TEST CENTRES:

The IELTS India exam is conducted and offered on-demand around the year at the following test centers in India: Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bengaluru, Bhatinda, Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Calicut, Chandigarh, Chennai, Coimbatore, Delhi, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Jalandhar, Kochi, Kolkata, Kottayam, Lucknow, Ludhiana, Madurai, Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Patiala, Pune, Raipur, Rajkot, Surat, Thiruvananthapuram, Thrissur, Trichy, and Vijayawada.

IELTS VS TOEFL:

Taking an English test like the TOEFL or IELTS exam can be a great way to see what level your English is at. It can also be a useful or necessary way to prove an individual’s level of English for work, study or citizenship for some countries.There are many different kinds of exams, and they are all suitable for slightly different purposes.

TOEFL and IELTS are both tests designed for people wanting to study in an English-speaking country or taking a course with a lot of English language content. IELTS has a non-academic version but it’s not as common as the academic version. TOEFL is the most common academic English test worldwide. But in some countries, such as the UK, universities prefer people to have a good IELTS score because they think it is a more accurate test of English level.

You can do the TOEFL test online or face-to-face, but you can only do IELTS in-person. TOEFL and IELTS are both valid for two years so it’s important to plan to do your test a reasonable time before you apply for your university course

IELTS vs TOEFL

IELTS SCORE AND RESULT:

IELTS is a multi-level exam. You get a score between 1 and 9 for each section. Half scores such as 6.5 are possible. Universities often demand an IELTS score of 6 or 7. They may also demand a minimum score in each of the 4 sections.

The test report form differs upon the type of exam given. If a person has taken a paper-based test, the Test Report Form would be available 13 days after the completion of the test. Similarly, If a person has taken a computer-delivered test , the results will be available between 5 and 7 days after the test.

Band Scores

IELTS PREPARATION:

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is a language proficiency test written widely by those students who want to pursue higher education or employment opportunities in English speaking nations. There are different ways of preparing for this exam- Self-Study, Online studying, Coaching Centres. People who are confident and already have a strong hold over English Language go for self-study, while the others mostly opt for coaching centres for their guidance. 

Coaching
  • British Council– It is a UK based educational organization meant to help students study in various universities across the globe.They have offices at nine cities in India like Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad  Regular IELTS Preparation classes last 7 weeks (42 hours), and Intensive IELTS Preparation lasts for 5 days. 
What is IELTS
  • IELTS Academy- This coaching institute was founded in 2002 in Bangalore and has been conducting coaching classes since then. They offer regular four-week classes, weekend four-week classes and crash course two-week classes. They also conduct practice sessions for 15 days and mock tests every week for all the IELTS courses.
  • Career Makers– Career Makers is a renowned coaching institute in Delhi and North India. The course duration for IELTS classes is 30 or 60 hours which can be taken on weekdays or weekends. Extensive study material and CDs for the students are provided by the center.
  • Megamind– This institute, situated in Delhi, is approved by the British Council and IDP. They offer a unique training program for the IELTS exam and have all the latest material. They also provide flexible class timings.

To know about how to prepare for IELTS Exam, click here

Besides the various institutes and outside help, it is always an individual’s hard work and efforts that eventually leads to a good IELTS Grade. it is suggested that candidates should also keep on taking up the IELTS practice tests every now and then. It would also help in preparing an individual for facing and handling the question paper well, without panicking on the day of the exam.

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