The IELTS is a globally recognised English test. Statistics show that over 1.4 million applicants take the test each year to apply for overseas education and employment. Over 6,000 institutions in 135 countries recognise this test.
The IELTS is conducted in over 500 international centres, four times in a month. A number of people from different backgrounds appear for the test, making it one of the most accepted forms of international testing. This makes it imperative for aspirants to plan a structured preparation before taking the IELTS.
All four forms of language skills – listening, reading, writing and speaking are tested in IELTS. Among these, the speaking test is a face-to-face interview with a certified examiner.
The IELTS test structure consists of two test formats: Academic and General Training. Of the four skills that are tested, Listening and Speaking sections are same in both the formats, whereas Reading and Writing sections are different.
The Listening, Reading and Writing sections of either of the formats are conducted in one day. Speaking, however, may vary depending on the student’s test centre; it can occur on the same day or up to a week before or after the student takes the test for the other sections. Good IELTS scores can be attained with through preparation.
STRUCTURE OF THE IELTS EXAM
Insight into IELTS
What do I need – Academic or General?
The Academic Module has been designed for people who aspire to pursue undergraduate or postgraduate programme in an English-speaking university or institutions of higher and further education. Students are offered unconditional admissions to desired courses on the basis of their test results.
IELTS – Score processing, reporting and interpretation.
Scores from Band 1 to 9 are given to candidates. A separate profile score is reported for each section. The four respective scores are averaged and rounded off to calculate the Overall Band Score. Each sectional score and the Overall Band Score are reported half bands and full bands
Candidates receive a Test Report Form that details their Overall Band Score and the scores they’ve achieved in the Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking sections. The scores of each section are equally important. The Overall Band Score, thereby, is calculated by averaging the scores of the individual sections.
Listening and Reading
IELTS Listening and Reading papers have 40 items, each carrying one mark. Band scores (ranging from Band 1 to Band 9) are awarded depending on their raw scores.
Writing and Speaking
Detailed performance descriptors function as a strict rubric for examiners marking the Writing and Speaking sections of the IELTS exam. The performance descriptors describe the candidate performance level at each of the 9 bands.
The four criteria on which the examiners award a band score in the Writing Section are:
- Task Achievement (for Task 1)
- Task Response (for Task 2)
- Coherence and Cohesion
- Lexical Resource and Grammatical Range and Accuracy
Similarly, the four criteria on which the examiners award a band score in the Speaking section are:
- Fluency and Coherence
- Lexical Resource
- Grammatical Range and Accuracy