The International English Language Testing System, or more commonly known as IELTS, is an exam that is recognized and accepted by more than 140 countries. The test is used to determine the level of English language known by a person, and for who has to give this exam, any student wishes to study English-based subjects in a foreign country.
The exam has another variant that aims towards teachers and professors who want to teach English based subjects or teach in English-speaking environments.
IELTS Test Format
There are four sections for the IELTS exam:
Students must complete all four sections to the best of their ability. Although the listening and speech tests are identical, the reading and speaking tests provided depend on which curriculum they have chosen to enroll in.
The listening section has given tasks, four to be precise. The time given to complete it is 30 minutes. All the tasks require listening to a sentence that is played only once. The method of playing the audio depends on the exam center. Either there are headsets provided during the test, or the sound is played on loudspeakers.
The four listening tasks increase in difficulty as the student progresses through them. The voices are split into two sections: The first two are recorded conversations between two people, and the last two are monologues, i.e., a long speech. After listening to the voice, the student has to answer the questions.
For each task, ten questions have to be answered first on the question paper, and then they are transferred to the answer sheet in the last 10 minutes of the exam. This brings the total questions in the first section to be 40, which have to be solved within 30 minutes.
The reading part in an IELTS test is conducted for one whole hour. The section consists of three parts, all of which have a passage that the student has to read. The source of the text can be anything, including newspapers and books. Just like the listening test, the section has 40 questions that have to be answered and transferred to the answer sheet within the given time.
For the teachers and professors who are giving the general training exam, the text is a mixture of general questions and work-related ones.
The 40 questions in this section are mixed into many small tasks. These tasks include answering MCQs, short questions, completing missing sentences, labeling diagrams, matching opinions, and more.
This section tests the student’s ability to identify and follow key points and extract information hidden in the passage to complete all the questions.
The topics used in the academic test are completely random and are easy in vocabulary. If there is any difficult vocabulary, their meaning will be written on the question paper.
The IELTS test’s writing section is structured to determine how the student organizes ideas and uses vocabulary and grammar accurately. It consists of two tasks, and the students have 60 minutes to answer them.
For the first task, students must use 150 words to illustrate, outline, and explain any facts, such as graphs, tables, maps, or diagrams. They should also make sure to use their own words clearly and concisely,
On the other hand, task 2 allows candidates to write their point of view in a specific argument by using facts and general knowledge. They have to write 250 words for this task Responses should be specific, not vague. It is recommended to spend 20 minutes on the first task and the rest of the time on this task as it requires more thinking and concentration.
Students generally fear the writing section because writing is not something that can be improved easily. Unlike reading and conversing skills, which can be improved quickly, improving a person’s writing takes years. So, it causes anxiety in many students.
Those who are not sure about their English skills may trigger anxiety, as this test requires accuracy in syntax, vocabulary, and continuity between sentences. The frightening part is that native English speakers also regularly fail this section.
Perhaps the second most difficult section is the speaking one. In this section, the student has an interview with an examiner in a one-on-one situation. The interview is completely recorded and lasts for 10 to 15 minutes.
The speaking test assesses the student’s spoken communication in many aspects. They are asked to convey their opinions on everyday matters clearly and concisely. They are also tested for their grammar by using sentences full of grammar in sentences they have to speak on. The students are also marked on how they order their answers and express themselves while doing so. How they speak naturally is also considered when marking them. This must be kept in mind at all times that the interview is recorded, and these recordings are gone through again before the marks are published.
The section starts with an introduction between the examiner and the student, so he/she does not stress out during their interview. For the first five minutes, there is a casual conversation between the two in which the examiner asks questions about the student and his everyday life.
The difficulty level is stepped up when the examiner hands the student a card with a topic written. The card also includes bullet points, which must be included while conversing with the examiner for the next 2 minutes. The examiner will not interrupt or stop the student when speaking, so they should treat this as a short speech. When the 2 minutes are up, the examiner asks a few questions for another minute regarding the topic.
Now, the examiner asks you more general knowledge-based questions that revolve around the same topic. This question-and-answer session lasts for another five minutes before finishing the exam.
The test stresses the student’s grammar and accuracy while speaking because where they plan to go, they have to converse in English. So, preparing hard for this test is extremely important.
With the end of the speaking section, the IELTS exam officially comes to an end, taking 2 hours and 40 minutes, give or take one or two.
How to Prepare for IELTS?
Passing an IELTS test is extremely important if you want to go to a foreign country to study further. To score good marks on this exam, intense training is required. Some students think they are confident enough to give the exam without preparation. It mostly does not end well for them. The same can be said for native English speakers who also study hard for the test. There have been instances of these speakers failing their IELTS test.
The main factor affecting the exam giving all students the capability is the stress of entering an exam room. The constant silence and roaming invigilators are sure to stress anyone out.
While, yes, it is true that there are millions of resources that are free of cost and can be found online, in reality, they don’t have up to date information, which may cost you more than you know.
There are many paid options available that not only prepare you for your IELTS. They also boost your confidence and comfort level while giving the exam.
One of the best IELTS course out there is provided by KCR CONSULTANTS. They have exceptional tutors and experts who have given the test themselves. They have successfully taught hundreds of students that passed their IELTS exams with flying colors.
The course is one month long. The duration may be more or less depending on the student’s English skill level. There is an option for a mock test included at the start of the course to give the students an idea about what they are about to face. It also gives students an idea of their current skill level.
The test’s main goal is to improve your accuracy and speed while retaining information and providing it. Another major part is played by time management, which makes many students leave their sections incomplete. The course provided by KCR consultants focuses on improving the student’s time management skills greatly. This is done by providing the student with tasks that have to be free of grammatical mistakes and precise, all while being done in the given amount of time.
All in all, IELTS is an extremely important step for students that are looking to push new boundaries. But they cannot do all of it alone. There should be a helping hand that guides them on the correct path. KCR consultants aim to do this for every student that reaches out to them.