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IELTS

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IELTS

Overview

IELTS

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) measures the language proficiency of people who want to study or work where English is used as language of communication. IELTS is accepted by most Australian, British, Canadian and New Zealand academic institutions, by over 3,000 academic institutions in the United States, and by various professional organizations across the world.

PURPOSE OF THE TEST

IELTS is available for people who need to prove their English proficiency for the purpose of work, study or migration. There are two different formats of IELTS to choose from

  1. ACADEMIC TRAINING MODULES :If you are planning to attend an international university, you should take the Academic Training Module. It is also used as a measure of professional language proficiency for educators, nurses, doctors and other professionals.
  2. GENERAL TRAINING MODULES :This is more suitable if you want to work or study at a secondary institution in an English speaking country.

SKILLS TESTED

IELTS is divided into four sections

    1. Reading
    2. Writing
    3. Listening
    4. Speaking

    The Reading and Writing sections are different in the Academic and General Training Module whereas Listening and Speaking remains the same for both the module.

    Preparation

    We prepare you for all the sections of the test. A thorough practice with our training module will make keep you a step ahead and boost your confidence level. At THE BRITISH INSTITUTE OF LANGUAGES & OVERSEAS EDUCATION , training is imparted by Highly qualified professionals focusing on the techniques of the different sections of IELTS.

    IELTS is a commitment to your professional or academic career. It requires proper planning of your study hours and writing practice. Reviewing performance on regular basis and monitoring your score graph is helps you to excel in your score sheet. We, at THE BRITISH INSTITUTE OF LANGUAGES & OVERSEAS EDUCATION , provide you a comprehensive training on all these sections of the test. High score in IELTS can boost your career. We train you to perform at your best .

    SKILLS TESTED

          • Making Predictions.
          • Reading for gist
          • Reading for main ideas
          • Reading for detail, skimming
          • Understanding logical argument
          • Recognizing writers’ opinions, attitudes and purpose
          • Analyzing Q+A
          • Identifying tasks.
          • Matching, True False.
          • Labeling, Choosing Headings

    Listening section:

          • Practice and learn Effective Listening
          • Listening & Visualizing. Taking notes while listening, Briefing on Different Targets while listening
          • Conversation between two people, monologue or a speech, conversation between a maximum of four people, monolog/ue on an academic subject, for instance, an academic lecture

    Speaking section:

          • Overview of Speaking Skills, Brief Subject-Verb Agreement
          • Tenses, Sequence
          • General questions about oneself.
          • Range of familiar topics, such as home, family, work, studies and interests.
          • Explaining, Responding, Follow up questions.
          • Introduction & Interview, Organizing &Discussing a topic
          • Discussion – Explaining, Describing , Comparing & Contrasting an issue
          • Giving opinion, asking clarification, delay tactics, Avoiding short answers, Word Families , Sentence Stress
          • Transition words & intonation, lists & intonation
          • Audio scripts
          • Do’s & Don’ts of Speaking

    FAQ’S

    1. Should I take the Academic or General Training Exam?
    2. If you intend to study an undergraduate or a postgraduate course at an English University or college, you should be taking the Academic Training Exams. Also professionals planning to work in English speaking countries are required to take the Academic Training Exam. The General Training Exam tests the general communications skills needed to live or work in the English speaking countries.

    3. Where can I find information about registering for the test?
    4. Contact your nearest examination center or visit the official IELTS website (www.ielts.org) for further details on the application procedure and location of test centers.

    5. How much does it cost to take IELTS?
    6. Test fees are centrally set by the British council and its partners for a year at a time. It is easy to find out the cost of the test by contacting your test center. In case of you cannot take the test, contact your test center as soon as possible.

    7. Is this a paper and pencil test or is there a computer based version?
    8. Since May 2005, a computer based IELTS has become available in selected test centers around the world. These usually take place at alternative days to the paper test. If you opt for CB-IELTS, Reading and Listening Module will be available on the computer. If you are not comfortable with typing, you can give your Writing exam on paper. The speaking section would be face to face. To check out whether you center offers computer based versions, please visit www.ielts.org .

    9. How long is the test?
    10. The complete IELTS test takes around 2 hours and 45 minutes. The Listening, Reading and Writing modules are taken in one sitting. There will be no breaks. The Speaking test will be taken within seven days before or after the other three modules are done. Though it is usually taken the same afternoon or within 2 or 3 days, be sure to contact your test center regarding the exam.

    11. How can I find out my results?
    12. Your results will be mailed to you on your home address or your educational institute within two weeks of you taking the test. Your overall band will be given on the Test Report Form, as well as a summary of your scores in the four separate sections.

    13. What is a band?
    14. A band is a level of ability in IELTS. In each section, you can score anywhere from a band of 0 (non-user) to a band of 9 (expert user).Listening and Reading modules award a mark for every correct answer. This number is later on converted into a band using a conversion table. Thus, the overall band will be the average scores of all the four sections and can be given in whole or half bands.

    15. How can I interpret my band score?
    16. A broad description is covered for each of the nine bands. The overall band requirement for each institution or government body may differ. A band of 6.5 or 7 is necessary for university admission.

       

      9 Expert user Fully operational command of the language : appropriate, accurate and fluent with complete understanding
      8 Very good user Fully operational command of the language with only occasional inaccuracies and inappropriacies. Handles complex detailed argumentation well. Misunderstandings may occur in unfamiliar situations
      7 Good user Has operational command of the language, though with occasional inaccuracies and misunderstandings in some situations. Generally handles complex language well and understands desired reasoning.
      6 Competent user Has generally effective command of the language despite some in accuracies and misunderstandings. Can use and understand fairly complex language, particularly in familiar situations
      5 Modest user Has partial command of the language, coping with overall meaning in most situations, though likely to make many mistakes. Should be able to handle basic communication in own field
      4 Limited user Basic competence is limited to familiar situations. Has a frequent problem in understanding and expression. Is not able to use complex language
      3 Extremely limited users Conveys and understand only general meaning in very familiar situations. Frequent breakdowns in communication occur.
      2 Intermittent user No real communication is possible except for the most basic information using isolated words or short formulas in familiar situations. Has great difficulty in understanding spoken and written English
      1 Nonuser Essentially has no ability to use the language beyond some isolated words
      0 Did not attempt the test No information provided

       

    17. How long is my score valid?
    18. An IELTS score is valid for 2 years. Some institutions may accept your score after 2 years also, if you can prove that you have maintained the level of your language. If you are applying for admission to post graduate institutions, they will consider your last test score

    19. When can I retake the test?
    20. You can retake the test anytime you want to and as often as you wish. However, three months should be the minimum amount of time that average learners need to improve their score. In these three months, candidates should continue their efforts in improving their language.

    21. Where can I find the extra help?

     

    SELF PRACTICING ACTIVITIES

    1. Reviewing a book or a movie
      Read a book (reading) or watch a movie (listening). Summarize their plot, their settings and characters and make a list of all the points why you like the book or movie. Pretend to be a book reviewer or a movie critic for a newspaper or a website. Write a review of the book or movie with your opinions or recommendations (writing). Give an oral presentation to your friends or family. (Speaking). Record a video and listen to it again, identifying your mistakes. Correct your mistakes and record it again.
      When you are done with a book or a movie, start again with a new book or a movie
    2. Discuss any event
      Pick an event from the newspaper and read the articles relating to it. Write a short essay on the event. (Writing) Give a presentation about it. (Speaking)Make your video detailing the event. Then watch the video presentation and write down what is being said and understood by you. (Listening) Correct the mistakes you made and record again. Once done, fins a new event to work on.
    3. Report the news
      Listen to an English news channels on radio or watch CNN, BBC on TV. Take notes as you listen. Write a summary of what you heard. Pretend that you are the news reporter. Report the news and record yourself. Use the notes you made while listening. Then watch the video and identify your mistakes. Correct your mistakes and start on with a new program.
    4. Plan a trip
      Choose a city or a country you are planning to visit. Go to a hotel’s website, choose a room and choose other tourist spots to visit. Write a report about the city. Describe the tourist spots u would like to visit. Explain why you would like to visit the city. Describe the hotel and its rooms. Also plan out the local eating spots and shopping areas. Now write a letter to someone recommending the city Pretend that you are going to give a lecture on your planned trip. Make a video and jot down the points you listen. Correct any mistakes and record the presentation again. Then choose another city and repeat the exercise.
    5. Shop for an electronic product
      Choose an electronic product and research on it. Visit different shops to enquire about the features and price. Write a report about the product detailing its features and comparison of prices in different shops. Then write a letter to your friend recommending the product. Make a sales pitch for the product. Record a video and listen to your notes. Write down the points and identify mistakes. Choose a new product and start all over again
    6. Express an opinion
      Read a letter to the editor in the newspaper. Write a letter in response in which you say whether or not you agree with the opinion expressed in the first letter. Explain why. Pretend you have to give a speech regarding your opinion on the topic. Make a video of yourself and watch the video. Jot down the points and correct your mistakes. Then read another letter to the editor and do this again.
    7. Summarize a TV show
      Watch a TV show in English. Take notes as you listen. After watching, write a summary of the show. Use your notes to give an oral summary of the show. Explain the characters, setting and plot. Make a video of yourself. Then watch the video and write down what you think about it. Correct any mistakes and record it again.

     

    EXAM DAYS TIPS

    1. Read all the communications from the center carefully. You will receive directions or advice on nearby hotels.
    2. Be a little early to the center. If you live far away, you may want to arrive a day earlier or night before.
    3. Be comfortable. Don’t wear clothes that make you feel different or awkward.
    4. Don’t bring unnecessary items with you to the testing center. Only pencils, rubbers, pens and water bottle will be allowed inside the testing rooms. Everything else, will have to be left outside the testing rooms.
    5. Please bring the identification with you in the testing room. The test administrators usually ask for a passport. You will be asked to arrive at the testing center at least 30 minutes ahead of the time for check in and identification check. Anyone who arrives late will not be allowed to enter the room.
    6. The Listening, Reading and Writing parts of the test last about 3 hours .You will have to remain in your seat even if you have finished the test early.
    7. You will be permitted to leave the room to go to the restroom if necessary. Raise your hand and quietly ask the person in charge for permission. Do not disturb the other test takers.
    8. The last part is the speaking test.it takes up to 20 minutes. This is a face to face interview, so each test taker will be assigned a time for his or her interview. You probably won’t know the time for your interview, so be prepared to spend most of the day at the center

     

    MODULES

    LISTENING

    The module comprises four sections, with ten questions in each section. It takes 40 minutes: 30 – for testing, plus 10 for transferring the answers to an answer sheet.

    Sections 1 and 2 are about every day, social situation.

    • Section 1 has a conversation between two speakers (for example, a conversation about travel arrangements)
    • Section 2 has one person speaking (for example, a speech about local facilities).

     
    Sections 3 and 4 are about educational and training situations

    • Section 3 is a conversation between two main speakers (for example, a discussion between two university students, perhaps guided by a tutor)
    • Section 4 has one person speaking about an academic subject.

     

    Each section begins with a short introduction telling the test taker about the situation and the speakers. Then they have some time to look through the questions. The questions are in the same order as the information in the recording, so the answer to the first question will be before the answer to the second question, and so on. The first three sections have a break in the middle allowing test takers to look at the remaining questions. Each section is heard only once.

    At the end of the test students are given 10 minutes to transfer their answers to an answer sheet. Test takers will lose marks for incorrect spelling and grammar.

     

    Question types

    There are a variety of question types on the IELTS listening modules. Some of the examples of the questions are

    1. Multiple choice
    2. Short answer
    3. Making notes
    4. Summarizing
    5. Sentence completion
    6. Labeling diagrams, plans and maps
    7. Chart completion
    8. Classification
    9. Flowchart completion
    10. Matching
    11. Graphs
    12. Selecting from a list
    13. Tables

     

    Listening tips

    1. Learn and understand the directions now. Don’t waste your time during the test to understand directions. Use the time to study the questions.
    2. Study the different types of questions.be prepared for what the question might ask you to do
    3. If you don’t know the answer. Guess it
    4. Take notes in your question booklet and mark answers if necessary
    5. When you have an extra time or a break, study the next set of questions.
    6. When you make assumptions ask, what? Who? Why? Where?
    7. The correct answers are often repeated but they will not be in plain text. They will use paraphrase and synonyms
    8. A lot of information given is not tested. Pay attention to the parts which have answers
    9. Don’t get stuck on the question, if you didn’t hear the answer, go on.
    10. The answers are given in order if you hear the answer for question 10; it means you missed the question 9. It would not be repeated.
    11. When you write a word, make sure that spellings are accurate. It doesn’t matter whether they are American or British.
    12. Mark your answers properly. If you are told to give a letter, do not write a word or a sentence
    13. Look out for speakers that correct themselves. The second statement is the one that is usually asked for
    14. Incomplete or shortened answers will be marked incorrect.
    15. Remember, answers exceeding word limits will be marked as incorrect
    16. Variety of accents is used. Practice listening to native speakers
    17. Concentrate and do not let your mind linger. Practice listening for 30 minutes

     

    READING

    The reading module lasts 60 minutes. The reading passages and the questions will be given to you in a question booklet. You can write in the question booklet but cannot take it from the room. You will write the answers in the answer booklets. You will have only 6o minutes to read, answer the questions and mark your answers.

    Reading module: Academic Reading

    Time Tasks Topics Sources
    60 minutes Read 3 passages and answer 40 questions General interest topics written for a general audience Journals, magazines, books, newspapers

     

    Reading module: General Training Reading

    Time Tasks Topics Sources
    60 minutes Read 3 passages and answer 40 questions Basic social English training topics General interest Notices, flyers, timetables, documents, newspaper articles, Instructions and manuals

     

    QUESTION TYPES

    There are many types of questions used in the Reading module. You should be familiar with all these types

    1. Multiple choice
    2. Short answer
    3. Making notes
    4. Summarizing
    5. Sentence completion
    6. Labeling diagrams, plans and maps
    7. Chart completion
    8. Classification
    9. Flowchart completion
    10. Matching
    11. Graphs
    12. Selecting from a list
    13. Tables

     

    READING TIPS

    A. BEFORE TAKING THE TEST

    1. Read as much as possible in Englishv
    2. Read a variety of topics from different sources
    3. Keep a notebook of the new words you learn
    4. Try to write these words in a sentence. try to put these sentences into a paragraph
    5. Learn words in context. Don’t be afraid to guess meanings
    6. Know the types of questions
    7. Know how to make predictions
    8. Know how to skim and scan, to look quickly for information

     

    B.DURING THE TEST

    1. Read the title and any headings first. Make predictions about the topic
    2. Look over the questions quickly. Make predictions about content and organizations
    3. Read the passage at a normal speed. Don’t get stuck on parts or words you don’t understand.
    4. When you answer the questions, don’t spend too much time on the ones you don’t feel sure about. Make a guess and go on
    5. Don’t spend more than 20 minutes on each passage
    6. The last passage is longer and more complex, so save more time for that
    7. Be sure to write your answers before the time is up
    8. Learn to understand true/false and yes/no questions. They are the most difficult of all.

     

    WRITING

    The Writing paper has two tasks which must both be completed. In task 1 test takers write at least 150 words in about 20 minutes. In task 2 test takers write at least 250 words in about 40 minutes. Task 2 is worth twice as much as Task 1.Test takers will be penalized if their answer is too short or does not relate to the topic. Answers should be written in full sentences

    A.IELTS Academic

    Task 1:Test takers describe a graph, table, chart or diagram in their own words.

    Task 1:Test takers discuss a point of view, argument or problem. Depending on the task, test takers may be required to present a solution to a problem, present and justify an opinion, compare and contrast evidence, opinions and implications, and evaluate and challenge ideas, evidence or an argument.

     

    B.IELTS General Training

    Task 1:Test takers write a letter in response to a given everyday situation. For example, writing to an accommodation officer about problems with your accommodation, writing to a new employer about problems managing your time, writing to a local newspaper about a plan to develop a local airport.

    Task 1:Test takers write an essay about a topic of general interests. For example, whether smoking should be banned in public places, whether children’s leisure activities should be educational, how environmental problems can be solved.

     

    QUESTION TYPES

    You should be familiar with the types of tasks in both Academic and General Training Modules

    Academic Writing Module

    Task 1: Describe or summarize facts and figures presented in one or more charts, graphs or tables
    Explain a diagram of a machine, a device or a process
    Task 2 Express an opinion and give examples to support your ideas

     

    General Training Writing Module

    Task 1 Write a letter in response to a situation
    Requesting information
    Giving information
    Explaining a problem
    Task 2 Give your opinion about a point of view,  argument or problem

     

    WRITING TIPS

    1. Make sure you organize your writing before you begin. Use the bottom of page 2 of your test booklet to create a concept map.
    2. The examiners judge your writing on its clarity. Make sure you have supported your ideas with specific details.
    3. You can write more than 150 words or more than 250 words but you can’t write less. You will lose points if you have less than assigned number of words in your essay.
    4. Learn to look at your writing and estimate how many words it is. Don’t waste precious time counting words.
    5. Remember that you will be allowed to use a second sheet of paper if necessary.
    6. Paraphrase the question in your introduction.
    7. Learn the words and phrases used to link sentences and paragraphs.
    8. Add personal experiences and details whenever possible.
    9. You must answer the question wholly. Do not leave any part out or will lose points.
    10. Organize your time carefully. Leave time for planning, writing and revising.
    11. Write your essays in correct place. Task 1 needs to be written on page 1 & 2 whereas Task 2 needs to be written on page 3 & 4.
    12. Don’t forget to indent.
    13. Write clearly and legibly. Make sure the ink in your pen is dark enough.
    14. Cross out changes neatly or erase thoroughly.
    15. Leave some time at the end to check for and correct spelling and grammar mistakes.
    16. Read as much and as often as you can so that you become familiar with the way writing is organized.
    17. Watch your time.

     

    SPEAKING

    The speaking test is a face-to-face interview between the test taker and an examiner. There are 3 parts to the speaking module, which lasts between 11 and 14 minutes. You will be alone in a room with one examiner, who will ask you questions and ask you to talk on certain topics. The interview will be recorded. You will be able to make notes in Part 2 only.

    The Speaking Modules are the same for both the Academic and General Training versions of IELTS. Topics include discussions about you, your family etc.

    Sections Time Tasks
    1 4-5 minutes Answer questions about yourself and your activities
    2 3-4 minutes
    1 minute preparation1-2 minute preparation1 minute follow up questions
    Talk on a topic presented on a task card
    3 4-5 minutes Discuss with examiner issues related to the topic in Part 2

     

    QUESTION TYPES

    There are variety of questions and prompts the examiner will use to get you to talk during the IELTS Speaking Module. You should be familiar with these types

    Part 1

    Wh- questions

    Yes/no questions

    Part 2

    Describe and explain

    Yes/no questions

    Part3

    Wh- questions

    Yes/no questions

     

    SPEAKING TIPS

    Tips to help you while taking the test

    1. Focus on the task. Think what the examiner is asking you. Respond precisely to the question or topic.
    2. Speak clearly. Sit up straight. Talk directly to the examiner. Do not be afraid to make eye contact
    3. Speak loudly. Make sure you are heard, but do not yell.
    4. Don’t waste preparation time writing out full sentences. Make notes of just your key ideas
    5. Laugh. Do these before you meet the examiner. It will help u feel better and light.
    6. Smile at the examiner
    7. Don’t try to memorize answers in advance
    8. Pay attention to verb tense
    9. Ask the examiner to repeat or explain a question if the task is unclear

     

    Tips to help you study for the speaking test

    1. Talk to yourself:Pay attention to things around you. In your mind, describe the scene to someone in English. Imagine a person who has never visited your city and describe the scene to that person
    2. Make up stories: Use your imagination. Look around you on the street, bus, elevator etc. ask yourself questions about everything or everyone you see.
    3. Make your daily plans:Talk to yourself in English. If you have to decide what clothes to wear,what to have for breakfast etc., make these decisions in English
    4. Think about your job:Imagine you are at a job interview. Talk about your educational and work background. In your mind, try to sell yourself to a future employer by talking about your strength and good qualities
    5. Explain your interests:Choose a hobby or free time interest that you have. Imagine that you are teaching another person how to do it. Explain everything step by step. Describe any equipment or tools that are needed
    6. Read books, watch movies and TV:Think about a book, film or TV show that you really enjoy.in your mind, tell another person what it is about and why you like it. Also think about a book you dislike
    7. Read the news:When you read the news or watch the news, try thinking in English
    8. Talk to everyone you meet: Talk to cashiers, bus drivers, neighbors
    9. Introduce yourself: Practice introducing yourself and answering typical “getting to know “questions
    10. Make notes:Practice making notes about different topics and turning those notes into a short speech
    11. Explain your opinion :Practice giving opinions and explaining them with examples
    12. Remember:You are being marked on your speaking abilities, not on your knowledge.

     

    WRITING TIPS

    1. FLUENCY AND COHERENCE
    2. When you answer the examiner’s questions or talk about a topic, your speech must be fluent and cohesive. This means the words you use must fit the situation and these words must come quickly. You must address the topic fully, and your ideas must be tied together

      It is important to speak for at least one full minute during part 2. You can speak for two minutes if you can. The examiner will tell you to stop and will then ask a question related to the topic

    3. ACCURACY
    4. Accuracy is very important. An examiner will listen to your vocabulary, your grammar and your pronunciation. She or he will want to make sure that you have large enough vocabulary to express yourself easily and be understood completely. The examiner will pay attention to your grammar and its correct usage. He will also pay attention to your pronunciation your speech must be comprehensible. You can have an accent but the words must be intelligible.

    How to attempt different types of questions Flowchart, Graphs, Tables.Making Notes, Summarizing Texts. Labeling Diagrams and Maps Classification, Matching and Selecting. How to score higher in the test. Listening Skills with American, British & Australian Accented Audio Visuals. Do’s and Don’ts for taking the exam.

    Reading section:

                  • Making Predictions.
                  • Reading for gist
                  • Reading for main ideas
                  • Reading for detail, skimming
                  • Understanding logical argument
                  • Recognizing writers’ opinions, attitudes and purpose
                  • Analyzing Q+A
                  • Identifying tasks.
                  • Matching, True False.
                  • Labelling, Choosing Headings

    Listening section:

                  • Practice and learn Effective Listening
                  • Listening & Visualising. Taking notes while listening, Briefing on
                    Different Targets while listening
                  • Conversation between two people, monologue or a speech, conversation between a maximum of four people, monologue on an academic subject, for instance, an academic lecture

    Speaking section

                  • Overview of Speaking Skills,Brief Subject-Verb Agreement
                  • Tenses, Sequence
                  • General questions about oneself.
                  • Range of familiar topics, such as home, family, work, studies and interests.
                  • Explaining, Responding , Follow up questions.
                  • Introduction & Interview, Organising&Discussing a topic
                  • Discussion – Explaining, Describing , Comparing & Contrasting an issue
                  • Giving opinion, asking clarification, delay tactics, Avoiding short answers, Word Families , Sentence Stress
                  • Transition words & intonation, lists & intonation
                  • Audioscripts
                  • Do’s & Donts of Speaking

    Writing section:

                • Overview on Writing skills, Responding to the task,Stating your opinion
                • Grammatical Range, Accuracy & Cohesion
                • Summarizing or explain the information in his own words.
                • Write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem
                  Paraphrasing
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