The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is one of the consistent tests ofEnglish language, whose band scores are acknowledged by universities globally, especiallyin Europe. If you plan on going to tertiary school in Europe, it will be mandatory to take this assessment to prove your aptitude in different aspects of English.
- It isfor 2 hours and 45 minutes and is marked on a scale of 9. It’s valid for two years after taking the test.
- There are two types:
- ACADEMIC VERSION TEST- It is for candidates who want admissions in universities; to specialise in their study areas and finally settle down there.
- GENERAL TRAINING VERSION TEST- This is considered for candidates who are seeking settlement abroad due to work experience or immigration reasons.
- The test is usually conducted on Thursdays or Saturdays in a week.
HOW TO TOP THE TEST
- Understand the Test Format:
- IELTS has four sections namely Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking, but differs in the Reading and Writing Section.
- The Listening, Reading and Writing Tests must be taken on the same day, while the Speaking test can be attempted three to four days prior or after the three tests.A) LISTENING TEST (40 minutes):
- There are total 40 questions divided in four parts of increasing competence beginning with a monologue or dialogue that acquaints the candidate with the speakers and their environment.
- Each part can be heard only once with the questions provided to the end of it.B) READING TEST (60 minutes):
- It contains 40 questions spread over 3 sections.
- The Academic Test comprises of 3 long texts in the three passages with questions provided towards the end or beginning of each text.
- The General Test comprises of three or four passages with questions provided towards the end or beginning of each text.C) WRITING TEST (60 minutes):
- The two tasks are of 150 and 250 words respectively.
- In the Academic Test, Task 1 requires description of the given figure whereas Task 2 requires anaccount to the presented argument.
- In the General Test, Task 1 requires writing a letter whereas Task 2 requires writing an essay concerning a viewpoint or an argument.D) SPEAKING TEST (11-14 minutes):
- It is a face to face verbal exam divided in three sections.
- The first part is an interview where the candidate may be asked to introduce himself along with questions ranging from his hobbies to general topics.
- The second section provides the candidate with a topic and 1-minute preparation time to speak on it.
- The third section involves a conversation between the candidate and the examiner relating to the topic in the second section. It is a follow-up round.
- TIPS FOR EACH SECTION:
- READING SECTION:
- Improving your lexical resource is always a good place to start. Emphasise on multiple words; break them to fit into your understanding and commit them to memory.
- Reading newspapers and books increase the speed of reading which is vital to crack this section.
- Preparatory materials, online forums, flashcards and practice questions give an idea of what type of questions to expect and help in improving one’s reading skills.
- WRITING SECTION:
- Vocabulary not only plays a significant role in improving reading skills but also the writing skills.
- The more you write, the more practice you will get, your writing skills and grammatical competency will be achieved.
III. LISTENING SECTION:
- A good listener is a successful person. Listening skills can be improved through various online practice questions available.
- For people with trouble in understanding the English accent, a large number of movies/ videos can be watched to improve listening skills.
- SPEAKING SECTION:
- Communication is the most important precondition to qualify for any education.
- It can be improved by speaking with a lot of people. This will help in expanding the vocabulary and speaking fluency by getting some ideas from them.
- Constant speaking practice in English is the only way to ace this section.
- THE FINAL TOUCH:
- Improve one’s English through Practice and dedication.
- Plethora ofpractice tests are obtainable online for shaping one’s English to the desired effect.
- Official IELTS Practice Material Volume I and II are available with intricateelucidations on every section with ampleof sample questions and practice tests in the CDs accompanying the books.
With the above points in mind, IELTS should be easy to pass.
HOW TO IMPROVE IELTS LISTENING
Feel the urge to improve your score on the IELTS listening test? If yes, then this blog is for you. There are eight ways to improve your listening skills.
- No Surprises: Know the Test
You already know that listening tests are the same. They are the same format for Academic and General. They are thirty minutes long. In terms of each part of the test, check the table below:
|PART||TYPES OF LISTENING|
|1||Conversation between 2 on daily life conversation (General setting)|
|2||Monologue on a specific topic|
|3||Group Discussion between 3-4 people in Academic setting|
|4||Monologue on an academic topic|
- YOLO!(You Only Listen Once)
You’ll hear the recording once. Many of us would like to listen it a second time, but that is not possible. There are a few tips to doing well with just one listening:
- When you do rehearsal tests, only listen once. Get used to listening only once even during the practice sessions.
- Identify your listening shortcomings and work towards it.
- On the question sheet, emphasizeon the key words. Try to find exact words and their synonyms.
- Practice different types of listening situations (lectures, conversations, chatting, etc.)
- Follow Your Gut Instincts
When practising, choose stimulating topics. If one lovesIndian history, listen to stories about it. It is a known that we listen to things in a better fashion when we want to or when we enjoy hearing. If you really want to inspire yourself and get the best out of each and every listening practice, try this approach. You might even enjoy doing it!
- Audio Scripts
When choosing or searching for practice tests, try and find ones with transcripts. They are the word-for-word written texts of the audio one listens to. You can follow some tips. Just to name a few:
- Accuracy check: Primarily take notes without scripts. Then, link your notes to the transcript. Check for accuracy, spelling, and misunderstanding.
- Read aloud: After you read loudly, listen to the audio. How precise were you? Did you sound the same as the speaker(s)?
- Listen and read: Follow the text while you listen to it. Try to understand the keywords and pronunciation carefully. Notice how the keywords are pronounced clearer and louder.
- Have you tried an IELTS preparation class? If yes, you would probably know that substitutesare important in all parts of the exam. In the speaking and writing exam, you have to show that you know how to use synonyms. In the reading and listening exam, many questions use synonyms in the questions.
- Real Life Listening
English is a language. IELTS tests you on your awareness and dexterity of this language. One of the best ways to learn a language well and to do well in the exam is to use English in real life. Every day not having a conversation is a missed opportunity. So,the next chance you have, chat, text, call, email, discuss, and laugh in English!
- Revise thoroughly!
- Little mistakes can count big. A few trivial mistakes can all be the difference between scoring a 5.5 and a 6.
- Contemplate In English
- Several language professionals agree about one crucial rule. Thinking in a precise language helps you learn that language. Many pupils of English often try and interpret everything in their heads.
- Don’t do it.
- Translating has two main issues. First, it is slower. Second, you remember your mother tongue and forget English.
- In the listening exam you won’t have time to translate. Also, you’ll have to remember important English words. So, when you’re practicing English, think in English!
Hope this information proves beneficial to everyone!!