Are you planning to work or study abroad? If yes, then you must know that immigrating to an English-speaking country has several requirements; the primary one is the IELTS score. It is to be noted that the IELTS exam is amongst the most widely recognized English language proficiency tests.
You must understand the IELTS exam thoroughly to be well-prepared as an aspirant. This article will discuss further what to know about the IELTS exam in 2023.
The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) refers to a standardised test that evaluates the English language proficiency of non-English speakers who want to pursue overseas education or work abroad. So, it checks an individual’s ability to read, write, speak, and understand English for various academic and professional purposes.
Around 11,500 organisations from 140 countries accept IELTS scores. Several colleges, universities, and educational institutions accept the exam score for admission to their courses. Many immigration authorities in countries like the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia also use it as proof to validate English language proficiency.
The IELTS exam remains significant in 2023 for individuals who want to pursue academic or professional goals in English-speaking countries. Therefore, you must be well-prepared for the exam, which can open doors to various international opportunities.
Types of IELTS Exams There are two different types of IELTS exam - General Training Module and Academic Training Module. The latter is designed for individuals applying for higher education abroad or professional registration in English-speaking countries. On the other hand, the General Training Module is for individuals applying for training programs, work experience, or immigration purposes.
The IELTS exam consists of four sections:
Listening Reading Writing Speaking
The exams for all sections are conducted on the same day. However, the speaking section may be held on the same day or up to a week before or after the rest of the sections.
The duration of the IELTS exam is approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes. The listening section will take 30 minutes, the reading section will take 60 minutes, the writing section will take 60 minutes, and the speaking section will take around 15 minutes.
The IELTS exam is scored on a band scale ranging between 1 and 9. So, most universities and institutions require a minimum band score of 6 or above for admission. Recent statistics state that the average IELTS score is between 6.5 and 8.
Preparing for the IELTS Exam You must indulge in proper preparation to perform well in the IELTS exam. Here are some tips to prepare effectively:
Setting a Study Schedule You can create a schedule to cover all four exam components and allocate sufficient time for practice and revision. It is one of the most crucial steps to prepare for exams because it enables you to manage your time efficiently and helps you cover your curriculum.
Identifying Strengths and Weaknesses Identify your strengths and weaknesses in each exam component. You can do the same through practice tests and self-assessment. It is another crucial step in your exam preparation because it allows you to focus your efforts on specific areas of improvement.
Practicing with Previous Years’ Papers Practice with previous years’ IELTS papers to familiarise yourself with the exam format, question types, and time management. It can help you improve your speed and accuracy in answering questions. Checking and analysing previous years’ papers is an effective strategy for IELTS preparation.
Taking IELTS Preparation Courses Many institutions and language schools offer IELTS preparation courses to study abroad that provide comprehensive training and practice materials. These courses can help you improve your exam strategies and linguistic skills.
Using IELTS Preparation Materials You will find several IELTS preparation materials, including books and sample tests. Use them to enhance your language skills and expand your vocabulary accordingly.
Tips for Taking the IELTS Exam You can follow some basic tips to perform your best on the day of your IELTS exam:
Managing Time Effectively IELTS is a timed test and each exam has specific time limits. So, you must be conscious about managing your time accordingly.
Reading Instructions Carefully Read the instructions for each question type carefully to understand what is expected of them. Pay attention to details and follow instructions accurately. It will help you in answering the questions without making mistakes.
**Answering all Questions ** Answer all the questions in each component, even if unsure. There are no penalties for wrong answers, so make an educated guess rather than leaving a question blank. If you leave a particular question, then it means you will not bear any mark for it. So, try to take the chance and answer it.
Writing Legibly Ensure that your answers are clear enough to read. Avoid using fluff or vague sentences. You may lose marks if the examiner cannot read your handwriting or if your answers remain unclear.
Checking Answers Before Submitting Recheck everything before submitting your papers. Ensure you have enough time to revise after completing the exam. It will help you identify and correct any mistakes or discrepancies made when you were attempting the answers.
IELTS Exam Results The IELTS exam is scored on a band scale of 1 to 9, with 0.5 increments. So, you will receive individual scores for each component (listening, reading, writing, and speaking), including an overall band score.
You can access your IELTS scores online or receive a physical test report form (TRF) by mail. TRF provides detailed information on the scores, including the band scores for each component.
Notably, IELTS results are available 13 days after the test date. You can check results online with the test report form (TRF) number and your date of birth.
If you are unsatisfied with your IELTS score, then you can appear for the exam again. There is no limit to the attempts a candidate can make for the IELTS exam. However, they must wait for a minimum of 90 days before retaking the entire test.
Conclusion The IELTS exam is a widely recognised and accepted test for assessing English language proficiency for academic and immigration purposes. Following the best practices to prepare for the exam can greatly enhance your chances of achieving a high band score to study abroad.
Moreover, understanding the band scores and their implications can help you interpret the results accurately. So, with adequate preparation and practice, you can confidently approach the IELTS exam and achieve your desired band scores.