IELTS- An English Exam

Importance of IELTS Exam

IELTS is the International English Language Testing System. This test had become the world's most popular test for checking proficiency in English and is accepted by most universities and government organisations in the world. If you are applying for higher education, work experiences or migration to a country where the native language is English, you will most probably be required to take the IELTS exam in English so that your language skills can be properly tested.

Nature of the Test

The English exam is a secure, standardised test which assesses an individual's Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening abilities in the English language. The test is subject to the highest testing standards and the examiners that conduct it are all IELTS certified examiners who undergo intensive training to become an examiner.

Importance of the IELTS English Exam

Students often question why they are made to spend so much time, money and effort in preparing for the English exam. The answer is simple. If you are aiming to obtain higher education, work experience or applying for migration to a country where the most widely spoken language is English, it is important that you have a certain level of proficiency in the language so as to make your own experience in that country more productive. There is no use in studying in a university where the professors all teach in English if you cannot understand them. Your social interactions would also be hampered if you cannot understand your peers. This would only lead to a gross waste of time and money and would render your going to that country useless. The same reasons apply if you are hoping to migrate to an English-speaking country. Thus, the only person who will benefit from devoting the time and energy required in acing this test is you. This is why the IELTS exam in English is accorded so much importance.

IELTS Test Formats

This test forms the most efficient means of testing your language skills. The test has two modules - Academic and General Training. The module you need to appear for depends on your purpose of visiting that country. If you are applying for migration or general work experience and training, you will be required to take the General Training module. If the purpose of your visit is to obtain higher education or professional training abroad, then you required to take the Academic module.

Structure of the Test

The exam is divided into four main sections - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking. The Listening and Speaking sections are common to both modules whereas Reading and Writing differ slightly between General Training and Academic module.

Listening Section

  • In the Listening section, four recordings are played out for the test taker on the basis of which he will have to answer 40 questions.
  • The questions are mostly multiple choice, fill-in-the-blanks and short answers.
  • A candidate's understanding of the language, and his ability to identify the main ideas are judged.

Speaking Section:

  • The Speaking exam is a face-to-face interview which has 3 parts.
  • The first part is an introduction in which the candidate is asked general questions about himself.
  • In the second part, the candidate is given a topic on which he has to speak for a minute or two.
  • The third part is a follow up discussion on the basis of his speech in the second part.
  • This section tests how well the candidate can speak in English and how articulately can he express his ideas.

Writing Section:

  • The writing section has two tasks in both modules.
  • The second task is an essay for both modules.
  • In the Academic module, Task 1 is a description based on pictorial information and in General Training, Task 1 is a letter.
  • The Writing section checks the written correspondence of an individual and his spelling and grammar.

Reading Section:

  • The Reading section has three sub-sections which are again different for both modules.
  • The Academic module has three long texts on general academic topics whereas in the General Training module, the first two sections have 2-3 concise factual texts and one long text.
  • Questions are in the form of multiple choices, fill-in-the-blanks and Yes/No type questions. There are 40 questions in all.
  • An individual's abilities to comprehend the meaning of and identify the important points from a written piece of work are checked.

Thus, the IELTS exam proves itself to be a thorough examination of an individual's proficiency in the English language.