IELTS by The British Council
Who Should Take the IELTS
The IELTS is an English language examination organized by the University of Cambridge ESOL Department along with the British Council to verify candidates' proficiency in English. It is an examination that you have to appear for if you wish to study or work in UK, Canada, New Zealand, Australia or South Africa. This examination is unique since most of the audio clips that you will hear in the Listening section of the examination are in the British accent or a neutral accent. However, before you start preparing you should know what the IELTS consists of.
The test is primarily an English language test. The test is a reflection of your expertise in reading, writing, speaking and understanding English. Thus, it consists of the following 4 parts:
- Listening Section
- General Training Reading/Academic Reading
- General Training Writing/Academic Writing
- Speaking Section
As you can see from the afore-mentioned list that if you wish to fare well in the examination you will have to be skilled not only in reading and writing in English but also be able to distinguish English spoken with or without an accent.
The Listening section comprises 4 parts. Based on the recordings that you hear you will have to answer 40 questions, for which you will get 30 minutes. The Reading section is divided into 3 parts. Here too you will have to answer 40 questions and you will get 60 minutes to solve them. In the Writing section you will have to write 2 essays of 150 and 250 words respectively. You will get 60 minutes to write the samples. The Speaking test is sometimes administered on the same day or on another day, which depends on the authorities. You will have to complete the Speaking test within 14 minutes. Thus, the total time for the examination is almost 2 hrs 45 minutes.
The Listening section requires special attention, since you will need to develop an ear for distinguishing English spoken with an accent. This skill can be developed only with practice. One of the methods of preparing for this section is by getting yourself acquainted with common idioms and proverbs. Moreover, you should practice speaking in English as well. This will prepare you for the Listening, as well as, the Speaking sections of IELTS. This brings us to the eligibility criteria for the test. The following section outlines who should appear for IELTS.
If you visit the website, you will come across no specific eligibility criteria for appearing for the IELTS examination. However, if you are a student coming from a non-English speaking nation and you wish to pursue graduation or post graduation in an institute of an English speaking nation then you will have to appear for the test. The score you receive is an essential part of your admission portfolio. Although, the score alone cannot decide whether or not you will be granted admission, yet this score is required by the admission authority to evaluate how well you will understand instructions in English.
It also becomes essential if you are immigrating to a primarily English speaking nation. It is necessary for you to be fluent in English if you wish to settle and work in an English speaking country. Thus, the immigration authority will try to analyze with the help of your test score, how well you can understand the language.
Sometimes multinational companies too require their employees to appear for the test to verify their language skills. Usually such candidates need to appear for the General Reading and Writing tests unlike students, who will have to appear for the Academic versions of them. However, before you register you should check with your employer to know which version is required by your firm.
Hence, based on your requirement you should be able to decide which version of British Council test you should appear for. To help you further with your preparation some other features of the examination are discssed in the following section.
As you start preparing for the examination you will come across some minor issues which can be solved if you have a good knowledge about the examination. Some additional features of the examination are as follows:
- It is a globally accepted English test, but if you wish to know details about institutes accepting your score then you should click on the following link: http://bandscore.ielts.org/
- IELTS examination is held in nearly 800 testing centers all over the world. For a complete list of the test centers click on the following link: http://www.ielts.org/test_centre_search/search_results.aspx
- This British Council test has also a number of awards and scholarship programs for deserving candidates.
- The IELTS are held 4 times in a month. Since it is held so often selecting a date and a test center becomes easier.
The afore-mentioned list outlines the common knowhow about IELTS that you require when you register for the examination. This list will answer most of your queries regarding the test. So gather all the required information about the examination and then start preparing for it.