IELTS is an international testing system for determining the level of knowledge in the field of English. Created jointly by three organizations – the British Council, the Australian Educational Organization IDP and the University of Cambridge – this exam has now gained immense popularity. Each of these organizations is one of the world leaders in the field of knowledge testing. Thousands of students take this exam every month to obtain a coveted certificate.
The first conspicuous advantages of this exam are:
- Unlike other existing programs, this test is easier in terms of preparing and obtaining a certificate. All that needs to be done is to register shortly before the planned passing and undergo preparatory courses. In case of receiving an unsatisfactory grade, the exam can be re-issued every three months, which is also an advantage;
- Another distinctive characteristic of IELTS exam is the division into difficulty levels and the assessment of the degree of knowledge of the British version of English, and not the American one, such as the similar TOEFL system. Therefore, if you want to enter a foreign university, work abroad or completely emigrate, from this point of view the most profitable will be the possession of this certificate;
- Its owners can count on unhindered employment and quick integration in the community. The scope of this document is very wide. It can be a good help for career growth. Without a certificate, employment and immigration to countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Canada and others is not possible;
- The development of the IELTS program and the assessment of the level of knowledge are carried out by highly qualified linguists, thanks to this its certificate is officially recognized by more than 9000 organizations, has about 300 centers for examinations in 140 countries;
- This is the only exam that provides the ability to select a module depending on your future goals. The academic module is submitted by candidates wishing to study in higher education institutions around the world. The general module is submitted by candidates for emigration and future professional training.
Why Is IELTS So Popular?
IELTS is the diagnostic examination. This means that you cannot fail it and you will get a score of 0 only if you do not show up at the exam. In any other case, you will receive a certificate with a score of 1 to 9 – this is your estimate. Typically, immigration requires an assessment of 5-6. As a rule, the required minimum for admission to undergraduate programs – 0 – 5,5. This is equivalent to level B1/B2. On some courses, for example, if you want to study journalism or philology in the UK, you will need a total ball 7. For admission to the magistracy and postgraduate study, most universities require you to receive from 6 and higher. This is equivalent to level B2. Different universities have different passing scores, so it is better to check the information for each institution.
The certificate is valid for 2 years. Then the level of English will have to be confirmed again. IELTS is similar to the TOEFL by this and differs from the Cambridge group exams: they are famous for their "perpetuity". However, it should be remembered that the Cambridge certificates do not have any specific applications. And although many British and European educational institutions accept CAE and CPE certificates (with points A, B), in this case, the university always pays attention to the "age" of the certificate. That is, as soon as it comes to the real possibilities of using Cambridge certificates, their "perpetuity" becomes quite an ephemeral concept.
As already mentioned, the most important advantage of this exam is the fact that, unlike other international exams, it takes into account the conditions of the environment in which the candidate's future activities will take place. In other words, when passing the exam, you immediately designate specific goals for obtaining it. In this regard, there are two modules (format) of this exam: academic and general, requiring some special training.
During the exam, the four main language skills tested: listening, speaking, writing and reading. IELTS is considered an "integrated" exam. First of all, this is already indicated by the fact that all the skills of language proficiency are evaluated and all these estimates make an equal contribution to the final result. In addition, although each part is focused on a particular skill, the exam assignments often involve the use of other skills: most evidently in the parts "Writing" and "Speaking" (answers of the person are based on the information that he or she has read or heard).
- Listening: you listen to four audio tapes with the conversations of native speakers and answer questions. There will be people with different accents and in different surrounding conditions on the records, each audio recording is played only once;
- Reading: this part contains 40 questions that test a wide range of reading skills, including general perception of the text, ability to highlight the main idea and details, fluent reading, understanding of the course of reasoning and the author's idea;
- Writing: this section includes two tasks that will vary slightly depending on which test you pass – Academic or General Training. The second task is always an essay;
- Speaking: it takes place on a separate day with the participation of the examiner. You will need to say something about yourself, your life and family, then talk on some specific topic and answer questions about it. You are given one minute to prepare.
Each part is evaluated on a scale from 0 to 9 with a gain of 0,5, where 9 is the level of the native speaker. The final score is the average of the points obtained for all 4 parts, it can also vary from 0 to 9.
In most cases, the certificate is ready after two weeks after the passing, whereas the TOEFL results come not earlier than 4 weeks, and Cambridge certificates can be obtained only after three months.
Seven Secrets of IELTS
- Certificate IELTS (Academic) is accepted upon admission to the university all over the world. Although other tests, for example, TOEFL, are also recognized in other countries, they are not so widespread. IELTS is the only test that is accepted in the UK when entering a university or obtaining a long-term visa. In addition, the IELTS certificate adds points to your resume;
- If you do not need it at the moment, this exam is not the best idea. Preparing for the test will not improve your language skills on the scale that ordinary English classes can do, because it is designed to test your level. The IELTS certificate is only valid for two years, so if you want to receive a long-term document, it is better to pass another exam;
- Students take the test to obtain a visa or immigration, for admission to the university, as attestation of the level of English for work, to measure progress, because this test is very suitable for this;
- The test in the UK must be registered and confirmed in the examination center. It is best to apply there five weeks before IELTS;
- Speaking will be separate from the other parts of the test and may be scheduled for the next day before or after the rest of the exam. It includes a conversation with the examiner. You will have to answer several questions about yourself, then give a detailed answer to a given topic and in the end answer more complex questions about society, environment, culture and so on;
- Listening, reading and writing pass in one day. The listening includes four parts, two of which are of an academic style and 2 of the general one. The reading part is given 60 minutes, for which you will have to answer 40 questions. The letter is divided into two parts, one of which is an essay, and the second is a superficial analysis of any data. To successfully complete each part, you will need to know a large amount of academic vocabulary;
- You need to remember to bring along a document, usually a passport, through which you have registered for the test. Get enough sleep before the exam as it will take a lot of time and effort. Practice with time before passing the test, because you will not get extra one.
The number of those wishing to take this exam is constantly growing.