Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2018
The International English Language Testing System or IELTS is an English language proficiency test. This test is jointly conducted by the British Council, Cambridge English Language Assessment and IDP Education Australia. The exam is accepted by over 9000 organizations in more than 135 countries as a proof of English language proficiency for non-native speakers for education, immigration and professional purposes.
2 variants of IELTS
IELTS is divided into 2 types – Academic and General. The Academic IELTS exam assesses competence and ability in the English language in students applying for higher education. The exam is used to determine if you are ready to start training or learning in an English speaking environment.
The IELTS General training is for those who are going to English speaking countries for work experience or training programs. It is also a pre-requisite for working in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK. The test focuses on basic survival skills in social and workplace contexts.
A good score in IELTS is not hard to achieve if you are well versed with all aspects of the English language including reading, writing, speaking and listening. Each of these ‘bands’ of the IELTS exams must be prepared for and dealt with differently.
How to get a good speaking score
The speaking exam entails a face to face conversation with a certified examiner. It is divided into 3 parts including an introduction and interview, an individual long answer and a two-way conversation. Candidates are marked upon various criteria including fluency and coherence, lexical resource, grammatical range and accuracy, and pronunciation. Here are a few tips for this test:
· Learn how to create information and speak at length about unfamiliar topics
· Listen to the question carefully before answering
· Ask for clarification about questions if necessary
· Using too many fancy words can make your speech sound artificial – be as natural as possible
· Organize your ideas and speak coherently
· Justify any opinions that you express
· Relax and speak fluently
How to get a good reading score
The reading section of IELTS assesses a wide range of skills including your understanding ability and analytical skills. The 60 minute test requires you to read 3 passages and answer questions based on them. Here are some tips to sail through the test:
·Do not leave any answer blank as there is no negative marking
·Take practice tests to familiarize yourself with each type of question
·Attempt more challenging questions first
·Learn how to skim through text while highlighting important words and phrases
·Write rough answers on your sheet while reading
How to get a good writing score
The IELTS Academic writing test comprises of 2 tasks. The first task involves writing a report using given charts and pictorial representation of data and the second one requires you to write a descriptive argument on a given topic. The IELTS General writing test consists of a letter and a short essay.
Following are a few tips to get a good score on the writing test:
· Use formal language for essays and formal letters.
· Don’t give personal opinions in the report derived from given data. Try giving accurate descriptions and a summary.
· Follow a structure to make your writing coherent
· Write to the point, succinct answers
· Make sure you don’t miss out on any questions
How to get a good listening score
The listening part of the IELTS exam requires candidates to write down answers to audio-based questions. It tests their listening and comprehension skills. Here are some ways to get a great score in this test:
· Do not worry about spelling and grammar mistakes while writing answers. You will be given 10 minutes to edit and write your final answers on a separate sheet
· Use the extra time given after each question to predict the questions coming up. This is easy but requires concentration.
· Practice listening to different English accents before the exam
· Listen for meaning and paraphrase the audio in the answers
· Pay attention to the word limit
Just a simple glance at these tips would not suffice to get you a great score on the IELTS. Each section of the test requires thorough practice so make sure you take enough mock tests to prepare yourself for the exam. Remember to stay calm and confident, and you’ll definitely ace it.
(The author, Arun Subramanyam is a senior teacher at Kings Learning)
The International English Language Testing System or IELTS is an English language proficiency test.
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