Wednesday, 19 June 2013

What Is Ielts

What Is Ielts?

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is a test of English language proficiency. It is jointly managed by the University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations, the British Council and IDP Education Australia.
There are two modules of the test that are offered and Candidates may choose either the Academic Module or the General Training Module :
  • The Academic Module is intended for those wishing to study in universities and other institutions.
  • The General Training Module is intended for those planning to have work experience, or the one who wish to immigrate.
IELTS is accepted by most Australian, British, Canadian, Irish, New Zealand and South African academic institutions, and is also accepted by quite a few academic institutions in the United States, and also by various professional organisations all over the world.
About the IELTS Test :
  • A variety of accents and writing styles are presented in text materials in order to minimise linguistic bias. The test focuses on "International English", which includes British English, American English and other varieties.
  • IELTS tests the ability to speak, read, listen and write in English.
  • Two test formats can be chosen from - Academic and General Training.
  • Band scores are used for each language sub-skill (Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing). The Band Scale ranges from 1 ("Non User") to 9 ("Expert User"). 

Contact Simply Ielts

Contact Simply Ielts!

Simply Ielts

SCO 21, 2nd Floor, Sector 17 E
Chandigarh -India

Phone :  +91-0172-4666001 ,  +91-0172-4621876 ,  +91-97790-55236 

Email :


Ielts Speaking Tips!

  • You should speak as much as possible because examiner wants to see your English ability, this way he/ she would be able to judge you better.
  • Fluency is one of the factors you get scores on ; so be as fluent as possible.
  • In case you are not clear about any instruction or question; ask for clarification.
  • Do not cram or speak rehearsed answers because you will be penalised.
  • The examiner’s questions tend to be fairly predictable; practise at home and record yourself.
  • While doing task 2 of Q Card , do not waste much of your time taking notes, instead rehearse in your mind and write only one / two words if necessary.
  • Exam is in growing order of difficulty, so do not worry if you do not do too well in Part 3, which is quite normal for most of the candidates.
  • Most importantly relax before and during the exam , as nervousness can cost you dearly.


Ielts Writing Tips!

  • Never start the task without carefully analyzing it spend few minutes carefully planning and spend some time making notes.
  • Use of Paragraphs is very important especially in Task 2 ,typically you should explain 1 idea with supporting examples/ reasoning in one paragraph.
  • You should not copy complete sentences / question rubric from paper you will receive no marks for this and words written would not count towards the minimum word length of 250.
  • You must not repeat ideas , as it shows poor task attempt and you would lose points for this.
  • You should keep focus to the topic; writing about unrelated topic could be penalized, also you must use formal language only.
  • spend approximately 20 minutes on Task 1 and approximately 40 minutes on Task 2.
  • You must write at least 150 words for Task 1 and at least 250 words for Task 2; writing less than the limit would attract penalty.
  • Keep some time in the end; ideally about 3-4 minutes to re-read and correct your answers.


Ielts Reading Tips!

You need to work through a number of practice tests in order to identify exactly what you need to do and to understand how to correctly answer each type of question. After doing a few tests, analyze your answers. Doing so will help you recognize which types of questions are easier for you and which types cause more difficulty. Consult your teachers or specialized IELTS guidebooks to learn strategies to help you with ones that are more challenging.
To do well in the IELTS reading test, you need global as well as macro reading skills. This means you should to be able to do the following :
  • Grasp the big picture as well as the minor points.
  • Distinguish facts from opinions and attitudes
  • Identify the overall purpose of the passage
  • Follow the main arguments in a written text
  • Locate specific details and relevant information
  • Summarize the key points
  • Represent written information in graphic form
  • Infer meaning
  • Use accurate spelling and correct grammar
Specifically, three key reading skills will help you do the above most effectively :
  • Skimming
  • Scanning
  • Reading for detail
The first two strategies, skimming and scanning, involve reading very quickly, but each strategy has a different purpose. Skimming means reading quickly to get the main idea of a text. Scanning means reading quickly to look for a specific piece of info or specific words. The third approach, reading for detail means reading every word in order to really understand the message of the text.
On the IELTS, you will need to use all three techniques at different stages. For example, you may start by skimming through the entire text to get a general idea of the passage. Next, you may look at the questions to see what kind of information is required. Then, you may scan the text for a specific piece of information or read a particular section in greater detail to discover the information you need to answer the question correctly.
If you are weak in these areas or read slowly, there are a number of excellent general ESL and specific IELTS books which can help you strengthen your reading techniques, so you can complete the test correctly and successfully within the one hour time limit.


Ielts Listening Tips!

  • Remain focused on the exam questions. This is one of the most crucial requirement to score well. Do not let your mind wander and do not worry about the left out questions as doing so may ruin other questions as well.
  • Use the time allowed wisely between different set of questions such as 1-5, 10- 15 and so on you normally get around 30 seconds to look over questions, use this time to go over as many questions as possible so that you have an idea as to what kind of questions you would need to answer.
  • The answers to questions are in sequence , for example if you have found answer to question number 9 but have not yet found answer to question number 8 , then you have missed it and hence do not try to look for answer of 8th questions , focus on questions 9 onwards and so on.
  • Most of the accents in the test are British , American and Australian , so practice listening to accent of different nationalities such as British , USA and Australia, you could do this by listening to news channels and documentary movies.
  • Try to anticipate as to what would be possible answer of question, this can offer valuable clues while attempting the exam.
  • Follow instructions very carefully. If the instructions state, "Write no more than two words, then you must not write more or you will receive no marks for your answer, even if some of the words you wrote were part of the correct answer.


Ielts Speaking!

The IELTS Speaking test is the same for both the IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training tests. And has a total time of 11 – 14 minutes, The Speaking test may be on the same day or up to seven days before or after the other modules of test.
Test uses the following factors to assess your ability to :
  • Communicate your opinions and information on common topics
  • Speak for some time on a given topic
  • Organise your ideas in a logical manner
  • Express and justify your view points
The Speaking test is made up of three sections 
Part 1
Introduction and interview
4-5 minutes
First of all examiner will introduce him or herself and ask you to introduce yourself and confirm your identity. Following this examiner will ask you simple questions on common topics, e.g. home, family, work, studies and interests.
Part 2
Individual long turn
3-4 minutes
In this section examiner will give you a task card which would require you to talk about a topic, including points given in Q card to include in your discussion. You will be given one minute to prepare and make notes. You will then be asked to speak for about 2 minutes. The examiner will then ask you one or two questions on the same topic.
Part 3
Two-way discussion
4-5 minutes
In the final section which is the most difficult; examiner will ask you further related questions of Part 2 topic.
You will be marked on the four criteria which are :
  • Fluency and coherence
  • Lexical resource
  • Grammatical range and accuracy
  • Pronunciation


Ielts Writing!

The IELTS Writing test is meant to assess your writing skills, which includes if you could write a response appropriately ,present your ideas in a systematic manner and use a wide range of vocabulary and grammar.
The IELTS Writing is conducted in 60 minutes. You are advised to spend 20 minutes on Task 1, and 40 minutes on Task 2. Though you are advised to spend the time , you would still need to manage time on your own since exam answer sheet would be collected after 60 minutes of the exam and not individually.
Test is divided in 2 tasks and you will be asked to write at least 150 words for Task 1 and at least 250 words for Task 2.
Note: there is no limit on the higher number of words for the test
Test is different based on whether you choose to take General or Academic Module of the exam.
You are required to write in a formal style in the IELTS Academic Writing test and in Task 1 you will be presented with a graph, table, chart or diagram. You will be asked to describe, summarise or explain the information in your own words. This might involve describing and explaining data, describing the stages of a process or how something works, or describing an object or event.
In Task 2 you will be asked to write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem.
IELTS General Training Writing test
In Task 1 of General Training you will be presented with a situation and asked to write a letter requesting information or explaining the situation. You can write the letter in a personal, semi-formal or formal style depending upon the task situation In Task 2 you will be asked to write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem. You can use a fairly personal style.
Task 2 has double weight age as compared to Task 1 in the IELTS Writing test.


Ielts Reading!

There is difference in General IELTS exam and the Academic IELTS exam.
The main difference between the Academic and General Reading Modules of the IELTS is in the language of the passages while the General Module has easy texts the Academic Module includes more complicated texts, at an undergraduate or graduate level, from academic sources.
In terms of timings both Academic and General Reading Modules last for one hour, Academic Module contains 3 passages and 40 questions while General Module Reading test may have upto 5 passages. Please note unlike Listening Module there is no extra time allowed to allow for transfer of answers on Answer Sheet.
How Scoring is done in Reading Section
In both the General and Academic Reading Modules, one mark is awarded for each correct answer. Then a score table depending upon the analysis made by IETLS conducting organizations converts the scores out of 40 into a band score on the IELTS band scale. You may receive a whole band or a half band depending upon your score. Your overall score is the average of the band scores you receive in the four modules. This final score itself may be represented as a whole band or a half band.
Types of Reading Tasks
There are various types of questions that you may face in both the Academic or General Reading Module, the following types of questions usually are part of reading module :
  • Paragraph headings
  • Short-answer
  • Sentence completion
  • Multiple choice
  • Tables, diagrams, flow charts
  • Multiple matching
  • Summary completion
  • Locating information
  • Yes/No/ Not Given Identifying writer's views
  • Classification of Paragraphs
  • Matching
Remember that you have three reading passages and forty questions to answer in only one hour. Also, the three passages become increasingly more difficult. Divide your time into three 20 minute segments, or as suggested below :
  • 17 minutes on section 1
  • 20 minutes on section 2
  • 23 minutes on section 3
If you're having difficulty with a particular question, mark it for your attention, move on to the next question and come back later. If you finish early, use the time to review.


Ielts listening!

The IELTS Listening Test is the same for the Academic and General Training modules. You listen to language spoken in a social or academic context and answer a series of questions. The tape is played only once so you have to practice sufficiently beforehand to pick up what’s being said the first time around.
The listening test is divided into four sections with 10 questions in each part (a total of 40 questions). This module lasts about 30 minutes. You get an extra 10 minutes at the end to transfer your answers to the answer sheet.
The listening test measures how well you can listen for main ideas, specific information, supporting information, facts and opinions. You will find a variety of question types :
  • Multiple choice
  • Short answer
  • Sentence completion
  • Notes/diagram/flow chart completion
  • Matching
  • Classification
The variety of question types means that you sometimes need to write in the answer in your own writing, versus simply choosing the right answer. This is important because in such cases, you also need to spell correctly or the answer will be marked wrong. Even a small error can cause you to lose marks. For example, if the answer is "hat"; and you write "hats", it may be marked wrong.
You also have to make sure you include the correct information. If the answer is "Green hats" and you write only "hats", you may also lose points.
You will get a better sense of how precise you need to be by doing as many practice listening exams as possible before your actual test. Believe it or not, you will improve with practice, though it might seem impossible at first. Your ear and your concentration can be trained. Over time, you will improve – but only if you remain patient and move steadily towards your goal of the highest score possible.
Each of the four sections of the IELTS Listening Test focuses on a different type of speech, as shown below :
  • Section 1 – A social or transactional dialogue – 2 speakers
  • Section 2 – A topic or short speech on a general topic – 1 speaker
  • Section 3 – A conversation in an academic context – 2-4 speakers
  • Section 4 – An academic lecture – 1 speaker