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The IELTS (International English Language Testing System) Exam, as its full-form suggests, is undertaken to examine English language proficiency.
The IELTS Exam is usually undertaken by students who want to study abroad or people who will be working there shortly.
As one could interpret, the main idea of the exam is to test whether an individual will be able to use English as the language of communication in the English-speaking countries.
Two Categories of IELTS Exam: IELTS Academic or IELTS General Training
To further simplify the process, the IELTS Exam has been divided into two categories, which are IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training.
The IELTS Exam is made available for those who specifically want to pursue their higher education or for people migrating to English language speaking countries for work purposes.
Nevertheless, both the types of the IELTS Exam provide a very authentic and credible measurement of four skills in the English language.
Generally, people who plan to pursue their higher studies in foreign English-speaking countries or migrate for work purposes to countries like the US, Canada, England, Australia, and others take this exam.
The IELTS Exam is essential because it will not be merely assessing the level of your proficiency. But it measures if a person will be able to communicate himself/herself in a foreign land.
It determines how well she/he will adjust, adapt, survive, and thrive in a foreign country if migrating for studying or work business specifically.
The IELTS (International English Language Testing System) Exam assesses an individual in four different sets of skills, i.e., reading, writing, speaking and listening.
These are the critical areas of both an Academic IELTS Exam and the General IELTS Exam. Of course, the level of Academic IELTS Exam is set higher than the General IELTS Exam.
Apart from that, both the kinds of IELTS Exam more or less similar in the pattern followed in conducting the IELTS Exam.
Next, the IELTS Exam assesses an individual and his proficiency in key four main areas, which are essential in any language. The IELTS Exam uses a nine-band measurement scale system to identify the different levels of proficiency starting from band score 1, i.e., Non-English user to 9 band score that of an expert in the field.
The IELTS Exam is not only one of a kind as there is various similar exam measuring the proficiency in the English Language.
For example, TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) another best known and commonly taken exam. The TOEFL Exam has been specifically designed to assess proficiency in the English language as it will be used in the University setting.
While IELTS General also allows employees around the world to prove their knowledge of the English language enough to be able to work in an English-speaking country.
Other exams include the Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) and the Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE).
There is no fixed score in IELTS that will prove your proficiency or minimum. It would help if you scored to clear the exam.
Various colleges and universities set their band score of the IELTS Exam a student needs to score to qualify for the admissions. And the level of comprehension in English in general for IELTS General to determine how effectively one can work.
IELTS Exam Format
In both, the categories of the IELTS Exam- Academic and General follow a quite similar pattern assessing the four main areas to measure an individual’s proficiency in English. The four distinct areas include:
- Reading Comprehension
- Writing Exam
- Speaking Skills
The total IELTS EXAM time is around 2 hours and 45 minutes in which Listening, Reading, and Writing are to be completed in a single sitting.
The Speaking part of the IELTS Exam might be done on the same day or before or after the other parts. It is believed that all the exam takers are given the same Listening and Speaking tasks.
While the Reading and Writing task differs on the kind of IELTS Exam, you’re taking the Academic one or the General one.
Now, we will look at each exam section with a little more detail:
The Reading part has three subsections, where the test takers are given a task to read three different texts. The texts could be from anywhere a book, magazine, newspaper, or any other media which can be learned.
After completion of the reading, the test takers will be provided with a text of MCQs (Multiple Choice Questions) and Short Answer Questions determining how much the reader has comprehended while reading.
Like, the reading section, the listening session consists of four parts comprising around ten questions each.
The initial two sections of the listening module the conventional questions on social situations. At the same time, the 3rd & 4th parts are based on education and training.
One should hear out these recordings very carefully as it is on them. The questions will be asked. The module of the IELTS Exam is to determine the proficiency level of test-takers in understanding English as a spoken language.
The writing section of the IELTS Exam includes two tasks provided by the examiner to the test taker. In the first task, the test taker is provided with the task to write about 150 words in 20 minutes on the given topic or idea.
The second and the last task of the writing module is where the test taker is asked to write 250 words in 40 minutes.
Again, the questions might differ and depend on the fact the type of IELTS Exam one is pertaining to whether its IELTS Academic or General.
The section of the IELTS Exam is to measure the spoken proficiency of the test taker in the English Language. The speaking module has one face-to-face interview session during which s/he is supposed to talk with the examiner and make conversations.
This module is further divided into three distinct parts, which include an introduction, Long Turn, and Discussions.
Section-I (Introduction): The test taker has to answer the questions asked by the examiner. The questions in the section are fundamental such as self-intro, family background, studies, interests & hobbies, along with the reason behind taking the IELTS Exam.
Section-I (Long Turn): Here, the test taker is provided with a test-task where s/he is given just a minute to prepare a speech on a given topic. After that, the test taker is supposed to deliver a two-minute speech on the topic.
Section-III (Discussions): The third and the last part of the Speaking module in the IELTS test comprises in-depth discussion about the topic/s in the long-turn section with the examiner.
What Is the Minimum Score for Clearing the IELTS Test?
During my research for the article, I came across various queries raised by students and others regarding the IELTS Exam. And among all those doubts, what is the minimum score for clearing the IELTS Exam was the most commonly asked question.
So, the answer to the question is none. Yes, there is no minimum or specific score in the IELTS test.
It all depends upon the score which your college/university demands of you to become eligible for getting admission for the Academic IELTS test.
As each college/university has its fixed set score for the IELTS Exam, which they demand of students seeking admission from Non-English-speaking countries or where English is not the first language like India.
While for people applying for IELTS General Exam, the score is asked by their employer to determine how effectively will they be able to work.
As work requires communication with fellow employees, one needs to have good English proficiency to survive and work.
Where and When Does IELTS Exam Happen?
This was the second most frequently asked question regarding the place, dates, and timings of the IELTS Exam. Well, the answer depends on your choice.
The test taker is given a choice whether s/he wants to take the IELTS Exam through paper mode or computer mode. The test taker must decide the mode of the IELTS Examination as per his/her convenience.
Whatever mode of IELTS Examination you choose there will be no difference in its format, content, pattern, time, or difficulty level of the examination.
So, it is upon you where you want to give your exam by sitting at home or a centre. Please determine you have a strong internet connection before choosing computer mode to avoid any complexity at the time of the exam. That was the answer to the where question.
Now, the answer to the question when does the IELTS test happen. The IELTS test is available/offered to students four times a month. Woah! Yes, you heard me right.
That means the exam is held 48 times per year to be exact. And the IELTS Exam is generally taken on Saturdays or Thursdays giving test seeks enough choice and flexibility.
For an online mode of the IELTS test, one can easily choose dates and time slots when the exam should be conducted.
IELTS Test Fee: The IELTS Exam fee may vary in different countries, but it costs around 200$ approximately for one time.
IELTS Test is one of the most recognized exams for assessing Proficiency in the English Language. The exam is conducted all around the world and has various centers providing people with the opportunity to chase their dreams.
I hope you found the All About IELTS Exam article useful and beneficial, helping to gain knowledge about the exam. Please share your comments and suggestions through the comments below.
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