IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is an international identical test on the English language for non-native speakers whose mother tongue or official language is not English. The exam basically tests the proficiency of the English language of a student.
Proper language understanding and use are very essential in modern day communication setup. There are various languages that are now widely spoken and which have been made very paramount when applying for jobs or admission to graduate schools.
At the moment, various institutions are looking for employees or students who are proficient in one or two languages, including English, French, Spanish, German, and Chinese. Good knowledge of these languages will serve to boost your level of communication and even your applications.
Universities across the world will tend to want their students to possess language test results to ascertain that indeed they can speak and communicate properly. For example, IELTS is required by several British and US universities before they proceed to accept applications from potential students.
IELTS is an exam designed with the sole objective of determining the candidate’s language capabilities. This test is mostly undertaken by students or employees who want to study or work abroad respectively.
This exam is mostly required by organizations that mainly use the English language or are in English speaking nations. Several institutions in Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia and the United States will require candidates to submit their IELTS results along with their applications.
To take the test then you will first need to register in any of the accredited testing centers across the world and you will be required to pay a fee of around $230 but, which varies from country to country.
IELTS Exam Pattern
This exam has two main categories that the candidates can choose from and they include General Training and Academic Training. Overall, the test has 4 sections that one needs to complete successfully. They include: Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing Sections.
Listening Section – This section contains 4 sections with a total of 40 questions. The candidates will be required to complete it within a 30-minute period.
Reading Section – This section has three sections with a total of 40 questions. The candidates are required to complete it within 60 minutes.
Writing Section – The section contains 2 tasks and which must be completed within a 60-minute timeframe.
Speaking section – The section has a 3 part one-on-one task and which must be completed within 11 to 14 minutes.
Those wishing to apply for undergraduate or postgraduate studies will be applying to do the IELTS Academic Module, while those seeking to pursue employment opportunities will sit for the IELTS General Training Module.
Main Tips for IELTS Exam Preparation
This exam is very important if you want your job or college application to be accepted. So, preparation is very essential to ensure that you get the required score on the first attempt.
The following tips should help you prepare well.
- Since it is a language test, then you need to ensure that you read lots of magazines and newspaper and see how the writers use the various English elements in their writing. Through reading also you will be able to learn new word phrases.
- Listen to various English audios and learn how to speak in the required tone, voice or speed.
- Reading through written materials will help you know the correct spelling of different words.
- Practice writing short but grammatically correct sentences that can be understood. This will help you save lots of time.
- Practice your grammar on a day to day basis and read through different essays and know how to argue out your points.
- Learn to read the questions carefully and understand what is really being asked before answering.
- Ensure you got your facts right when handling the speaking and writing sections.
- Avoid using fillers and other unnecessary words within your answers.
- Take online IELTS practice tests on a regular basis and learn to correct your mistakes on each attempt.
Top Resources for IELTS
There are several resources that candidates can use when preparing for the IELTS. Some of the best ones available include:
The British Council – The council has lots of English language resources both online and in written forms that candidates can use to prepare for their IELTS exam.
IELTS Liz – This is a YouTube channel by Liz, which contains lots of English language practice videos that students can get to watch and learn how to go about improving their English prowess.
IH London – This is a good place for one to get lots of IELTS practice tests for all the sections of the IELTS exam. It combines a good load of past tests and example tests that can greatly help you improve your English.
Top Websites for IELTS
Several IELTS websites do exist nowadays online with lots of free content that students can get to access and use at any given time. The widely known websites include:
IELTS official website – This is a very prominent IELTS website that contains lots of IELTS materials that students can use to familiarize themselves with when it comes to exams. The site includes videos, practical questions, practice tests and lots of other useful materials.
IELTS Simon – This website is highly recommended since it is for an IELTS examiner who provides candidates with lots of insights about the IELTS exams. He shares videos and written materials on how to tackle the IELTS questions and how to go about studying the different sections.
– The website is a good one since it provides candidates with model answers and questions for the different IELTS sections and breaks things down so that the candidates can understand how to tackle the different questions.
Top Books for IELTS
There are those who love to read the hard copy materials and so there are lots of books that will guide you in preparing for the exam, these may include:
IELTS Cambridge books – These books are authentic and contain some of the updated contents on IELTS. They contain several editions so you should try to have at least one of the editions and read it through.
IELTS official practice materials – These books are also very good learning materials that you can use to improve the English mastery.
IELTS trainer – This book contains 6 essential practice tests that you can undertake alongside other useful tips on how to handle the different IELTS exam sections.
We believe that for any person to pass his or her exams is to start preparing for it very early. This will reduce the last minute pressure of having to study a lot of things in a hurry hence missing out on what is important. Early preparation eliminates any form of fear by giving you that peace of mind and confidence.