IELTS, or the “International English Language Testing System,” is a test that measures the English proficiency of non-native English speakers. It is the world’s most sought-after high-stakes exam on English language skills. A team of language specialists from the United States of America (USA), the United Kingdom (UK), Canada, Australia, and New Zealand developed the IELTS test questions. They regularly conduct extensive research to ensure that the test remains fair and unbiased for any taker regardless of gender, location, background, nationality, or lifestyle.
But why do people take an IELTS exam? And why is it necessary to have a thorough preparation for IELTS?
Taking and Preparing for IELTS Exam
IELTS plays a crucial role in international higher education. More than 10,000 organizations, including universities, colleges, and training organizations; government departments and immigration authorities; multinational firms and employers; and professional and industry associations in more than 145 countries worldwide recognized its results.
An IELTS test result reveals a passive knowledge of English and the ability to use the language effectively in various real-world contexts. It shows the language skills one will be needing for everyday life, higher education, and professional contexts in English-speaking countries.
How IELTS Test Works
Remarkably, the IELTS test does not have a pass or fail system. Takers are measured in terms of their listening, reading, writing, and speaking skills using the Nine-Band Scale, with 1 being a non-user and 9 being an expert user. The first three sections of all IELTS tests – Listening, Reading, and Writing – are done on the same day with no rest or breaks between them. Meanwhile, the candidate can take the Speaking section a week before or after the other tests. The total test time of an IELTS exam is 2 hours and 45 minutes.
IELTS also offers two tests to serve both academic and non-academic purposes: the IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training. The first one measures the English language skills for a higher learning environment. The tasks and texts in the IELTS Academic are accessible to all candidates regardless of their subject focus. Meanwhile, IELTS General Training assesses the English language ability of someone in a practical, everyday context. The tasks and texts reflect social and workplace situations, making it the best option for immigration purposes to countries like Canada, New Zealand, and Australia.
Scoring in the IELTS test also depends on your reason for taking the test, which may be due to career opportunities, studying abroad, living in a foreign country, and the like. Each immigration body, workplace, university, or institution will have specific IELTS score requirements. The higher you score in your IELTS, the more it reflects your better understanding and ability to communicate in English.
Why Preparation for IELTS is a Must
If you plan to go on with the test, remember that you cannot just take it and hope for the best. You need to have a thorough preparation for IELTS and the commitment to ace the test. If you feel discouraged, thinking you are a below-average English speaker, do not lose hope! IELTS test content reflects everyday situations. It is fair and unbiased to all test takers from all backgrounds.