IELTS, or International English Language Testing System, is created to test the language abilities of candidates, who need to study or work, in an English speaking country where English is the primary language of communication for formal and informal settings.
The test is jointly managed by the University of Cambridge, ESOL Examinations (Cambridge ESOL), British Council and IDP- IELTS Australia.
The test is confirmed to be the highest International Standard for Language assessment. IELTS is ranked and respected by Universities and employers in many countries that include Australia, New Zealand, Canada, UK, and America. It is also ranked high by professional bodies, immigration authorities, and other governmental agencies.
Where to take the Test?
There are more than 1,000 Test Centres around the world which administers IELTS. Most test centers are run by the British Council, Universities, Language Schools, or IELTS Australia. Some of these centers also offer off-site testing for large groups by pre-arrangement fixed by IELTS.
So, to take the test, the student should contact the local examination center as soon as
The test format
Before starting about how to prepare for IELTS at home, let us first take a look at the IELTS test format. There are four sub-tests or modules for the person who wants to appear for the test- Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking. A student will have to sit for all the 4 sub-tests.
All students take the same listening and speaking test but sit for different reading and writing tests, and it all depends on whether they have selected the General Training Module or the Academic Module. On the day of the test, the 4 sections of the test will be taken as usual, in the following order.
The part of the Speaking Test may even take place within seven days prior to or after the
Listening, Reading and Writing test at some other centers.
- The IELTS listening test lasts for about 30 minutes, and consists of four sections, played on a cassette tape, in order to increase difficulty. Each section will be a dialogue or a monologue. The playing part is done once, and the questions for each section must be answered while listening, although time is given for the students to check the answers.
- IELTS reading test lasts for about sixty minutes, Students are given an academic reading test or general training test. Both these tests have three sections and in both the tests the sections arranged in an order that escalates the difficulty level for the student.
- IELTS writing test lasts for about sixty minutes, where students either take an academic module or a general training module. Students will have to perform two writing tasks and needs a different style of writing. There will be no choice of question topics.
- IELTS speaking tests part is a one-to-one interview session with a specially trained examiner. The entire interview is recorded and has three sub-parts- an introduction, an interview and an individual long turn where the test takers speak for one more topic for about one or two minutes at a stretch.
How to start IELTS preparation at home
For IELTS exam preparation at home, the student can follow the following steps.
1. Understand the test format– Getting familiarised with the test format, is the key, by the content of the test, the question, and task types for each of the sections. It is also very crucial to read through all the IELTS regulations and rules. The rules and regulations are laid out in the notice to the candidates and declarations which are included in the application.
2. Practicing with the Sample question papers and practice materials – Preparing with sample test papers is very helpful for the test. These will provide the test takers with a fair idea of what to expect from listening, reading, writing and speaking tests.
The 7 IELTS bands, how to prepare for IELTS exam at home
1. Improving the English- It takes time and hard work to learn the language, and the best way to learn the language is to take an English Language Course. The feedbacks which the test taker will receive from the teachers will aid in improving the specific skills involved in reading and writing, listening and speaking English.
Using the language every day. Listening, reading, writing and speaking in the language will help to improve the IELTS band score.
2. Understand the test format and rules- Getting familiarized with the test format and remembering that there are two versions of the IELTS test- IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training.
3. Reading the information booklet- That provides important information, about how to tackle the sections and cross all the hurdles. The test taker can also collect a copy from the office of the IELTS center, before the official IELTS.
- Reading carefully the Notice given to the candidates.
- Getting to know about what each level of IELTS band score means.
- Understanding, what the examiners are looking for writing and speaking tests by
going through the assessment criteria.
- Getting through with the facts, and not believing the myths and rumors about
the test, as those rumors will only distract the candidate.
4. Practicing the sample questions- In addition to practicing the sample questions at home, the test taker can also enroll in an IELTS preparation course. The preparation course will help the candidate to:
- Practicing the tasks included in the IELTS course.
- Get the feedback on the answers so that you will get the clear cut image of your progress.
- Becoming more confident in taking the IELTS exam.
- Helping the candidate to decide whether he/ she is enough prepared for the
Relaxing and to freshen up the mind before the day of the test
The day before the exam, the test taker should take out some time to refresh his/ her memory of the test rules, test format, and the location to feel relaxed. Get plenty of sleep before the exam, because it is crucial to maintain peace of mind. The candidate also needs to get familiar with the test center location before the official test.
The most crucial important aspect of the preparation is thoroughly going through the past questions as possible. The candidate will get enough idea about the standards of IELTS preparation and how to crack the exam effectively. The Cambridge/ ESOL Book is very useful.