Test Prep for IELTS


Working knowledge of English is considered necessary in almost every field and profession. A major population of the world today speaks English. Because it has been adopted as an official language in most of the countries, it is considered as a global language. If you want to be successful in life then you need to have capabilities to function anywhere in the world. This is where English becomes a necessity for you. Therefore a majority of schools in English speaking countries have made it compulsory to clear an English exam before joining them for those who do not have English as a first language. IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is one such exam. In most of these countries this exam is compulsory for immigration purposes or if you wish to enter for some sort of a job or training.

Your knowledge of English is tested by this test. This test is designed and conducted jointly by University of Cambridge ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) Examinations, British Council and IDP IELTS Australia. This test measures your skills at reading, writing, listening and speaking. Getting a good score in this test is not difficult if you do proper preparation. The  preparation can be done by adopting various methods or techniques. This article will guide you for choosing the right preparation mode.

Steps to Follow

The preparation should be done in a step by step format. An organized way of studying for the test will give you the desired results. One should always try to give his whole hearted attempt. Follow the following steps carefully.

Step 1- Know the Test

The aim of this test is to test your skills at reading, writing, listening and speaking in English. The test has two modules, the Academic module and the General Training module. The role of each of these modules is different. Academic module is for those who want to study in English speaking countries while General Training module is required for those who wish to do jobs in these countries or those who want to immigrate to these countries. The difficulty level and purpose of both the modules is different. You can apply for any one of these modules at a time.

Both the modules of the test have four sections. The reading and writing tests are different for both modules. But the listening and speaking tests are same for both the modules. The number of questions and time allotted for each section is as follows:

Listening Test - 4 sections, 40 questions, 30 minutes

Reading Test - 3 sections, 40 questions, 60 minutes

Writing Test- - 2 pieces of writing, 60 minutes

Speaking Test - interview, 3 parts, 15 minutes

Each section of the test is scored on a band of 0 to 9. The final score is calculated by averaging the scores of each section on a band of 0 to 9.

Step 2 Decide About Test Date

Preparation can be planned once you know the time available with you till your exam date. The test is conducted on 48 days throughout the year. The test is conducted on Saturdays and Sundays. Your prep duration will depend on your level of English before the preparation and abilities to grasp the concepts. It is however suggested that if you can spare a minimum of two months then you can complete your prep comfortably. Keeping these things in mind you should decide on your test date. The test dates can be found from the official web site www.ielts.org.

Step 3 Decide About a Test Center

The test is conducted at around 300 centers in 120 countries. That means every country should have a minimum of two to three test centers. You can find out the list of these test centers online (e.g. www.ielts.org). Deciding a test center well in time is very important for your prep. The first and foremost thing is that your registration forms have to be dispatched to the test center of your choice. Secondly, every test center may offer the test on a different date. Also every test center may not offer both the modules of the test on every test date. Therefore it is very important for you to select a test center wisely. At web site www.ielts.org you will find the latest information about all the test centers along with the test dates and the modules offered there. Lastly, you need to coordinate your journey to the test center well in time if it happens to be very far.

Step 4 Complete Your Registration

Registration is the mandatory requirement for the test. It involves getting an application form, filling it in all respects and dispatching it along with the requisite documents to the test center of your choice. It is completed only when you get an acknowledgement. Therefore timely registration can allow you to concentrate properly on preparation.

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