IELTS is considered by many institutions to be the most reliable English test. For individuals who wish to study or work in English-speaking countries, it is strongly recommended that they take the IELTS exam. This certification would not only give them more credibility, but also allow them to take advantage of more opportunities.
What is IELTS?
Nowadays, mastering the English language is essential if you want to discover new horizons. Whether you plan to study further or work abroad, you will need to have at least some knowledge of English. In some fields of activity, English is the only language used, and employees will never want to work with you if you don’t master it. Some institutions will even ask you to show them a certificate. If you plan to work or study in an English-speaking country, a certificate of English language proficiency is required.
The IELTS, or International English Language Testing System, is a test to assess your level of English proficiency. This test is internationally recognised and is valid in almost all English-speaking countries. Currently, IELTS is accepted by more than 10,000 institutions worldwide, and those who have taken the test will be free to choose their institution.
The the International English Language Testing System is one of the best known English language tests. On average, more than 3 million candidates apply to take the test every year, and this number is growing steadily. If you are considering taking the IELTS test, you should prepare very seriously as the assessment system is very strict.
How does an IELTS exam work?
An IELTS exam consists of four main components: listening, reading, writing and speaking.
In the Listening phase, the candidate will be asked to answer a series of questions in the form of multiple choice questions. The candidate will have 30 minutes to listen to the questions and another 10 minutes to mark the answers.
Reading comprehension also consists of a series of questions in the form of multiple choice questions. However, the candidate will have to look for the answers in the three texts that will be presented to him or her. Reading comprehension lasts about 60 minutes.
As for the Writing test, it consists in writing two texts in English. The candidate has 60 minutes to write a 150-word text and a 250-word text.
As for the Speaking component, this is probably the most stressful test. The candidate will have to talk to an IELTS examiner and answer the questions that he or she is going to ask. Even if the interview only lasts 10-15 minutes, the applicant will still have to answer many questions.
A full IELTS test usually takes just under three hours, and each test is timed to the nearest second. The candidate has a clearly defined time for each phase of the test. Once the time has elapsed, the candidate must move on to the next test even if they have not yet finished the test they were working on.
The topics covered in an IELTS exam can be very varied (news, education, work, environment,…). Before registering for this test, it is important to be well educated.
Preparing to take the IELTS exams
The IELTS test may seem simple for people who have been used to hearing English words, but this will not guarantee success. Even if you have a very good knowledge of the English language, you should never neglect the preparation phase.
The first thing you need to do is to assess your current level. On the Internet, you will find tests that will allow you to find out your level of English proficiency. Ideally, you should find exercises based on the IELTS grading system.
Afterwards, try to improve your English. If you have the opportunity, take English courses or IELTS preparation courses. If you can’t afford it, try to practise the language as much as you can. To maximise your chances of success, try to prepare during the two to three months before the exam.
Registering for the IELTS exam
If you decide to take the IELTS test, you can register with your nearest British Council centre. You will then need to download the registration document from the IELTS website, print it out and fill it in before handing it in to your test centre. You can also register online and fill in all the required information on this website. In all cases, you will be required to pay the examination fee at the time of registration.
Once your application has been validated, the examination center will send you an e-mail containing your candidate code. You will also receive your invitation by e-mail two weeks before the exam.