In this article, we will be able to grasp what IELTS or The International English Language Testing System stands for and what it circles around. We will also be learning about the areas it tests and some criteria that it follows. The IELTS is an English proficiency test which tests you to identify your level of English proficiency. The test focuses on the four basic language skills namely–Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing. 

What is IELTS?

British Council states that – “The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is the world’s most popular English language proficiency test for higher education and global migration.”

If you are opting to study abroad or thinking about that job offer from Australia, it is most likely that you will have to take an English Proficiency Test to ensure that your level of English is comprehensible and good enough for necessary communication needs. Moreover, English proficiency tests are not only required when venturing globally but is often an requirement as a communication skill check in high end jobs.

IELTS is one of the English Proficiency tests out there and is said to be more easy, clear and concise in testing than its other counterparts. IELTS has two types, General and Academic. General examines if your English is efficient enough for day-to-day communication and simple task commands. Whereas, Academic as the name suggests is for slightly more complex level of the language and checks if one’s language is proficient enough for academic environment.

The Four Sections

IELTS assesses the four domains of the English language namely, Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing.  The Speaking test is usually taken either before or after the LRW (Listening, Reading and Writing) test. The Speaking is conducted by an examiner face to face, individually. The rest of the test is given in a room filled with other applicants but you are only to pay attention to your own test. The scores of individual sections are assessed along with the overall.

How to Prepare

Some go solely for self-preparation and some book the nearest IELTS coaching provider. What suites you best is the one you should opt for. I recommend having the best of both worlds. Individual practice is the key, so, entirely depending on few hours of classes will not take you far but often, certain key criteria are missed when learning through self-help books and guides. Therefore, I personally feel being guided by a teacher who has experience in the field can help you know what exactly you need to practice and then you can practice on your own with the guided material. The chances of getting a good score are lifted when doing proper guided practice than solving mindless questions, you have already mastered and leaving out areas you did not even know existed.

Measures to be taken

Pay attention to what exactly you are required to get. An overall band score can be the only requirement stated by your school or office administrators or specific band scores can also be an obligation. Therefore, be fully aware of what you need to get before setting up your goal and practice methods. Similarly, test dates can be booked with taking into account your own learning speed and amount of practice you need.

In recent years, you have an option to take it either online or on paper. The measures and guidelines for both will vary slightly but negligence in noticing these slight differences can make a big impact on your score. Check the time limits, rules and official guidelines before appearing for either. Good luck and do not be scared to give your best!

Penned by Subah Chaudhary

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