Most study abroad destinations require you to prove your English language proficiency, especially if you’re coming from a non-English speaking country. To prove your proficiency in the English language, most of these countries require you to take the IELTS test or any other proficiency test required by your prospective university. We have carefully compiled all you need to know about IELTS, its exam, tests, and answers to questions that plague your mind.
Let’s get started!!!
What is IELTS?
IELTS is an abbreviation that stands for International English Language Testing System. It is a test to prove your English language proficiency. It’s often regarded as the world’s most popular English language proficiency test for global migration and higher education.
This test has been developed by some world’s experts in language assessment. Its tests cover all the skills needed for success in academics, a new job, and settling abroad. To register visit their official website
You’ll be assessed in the following areas:
Types of IELTS
All IELTS exams have one aim; to prove your proficiency in the English language. But depending on use, the test differs. You should base the test you choose on use. Here are the types of IELTS tests below;
- IELTS Academic
- IELTS General Training
IELTS Academic: This measures whether your level of English language proficiency is suitable for an academic environment. So when applying for scholarships and study abroad destinations, this is the test to write.
IELTS General Training: This test measures English language proficiency in a practical, everyday context. This is a test you take when applying for a job, visa, and volunteering tasks.
Note: The listening and speaking section of the test are the same for both tests, but the reading and writing section differs in the subject matter.
There are many other English language proficiency tests but most organizations, institutions, migration consular posts, government parastatals, employers and professional bodies prefer this English language proficiency test. Having stood the test of time for 30 years, over 10,000 organizations globally trust IELTS.
Second, when you write the exam, you can be confident that it is internationally recognized and widely accepted.
What is the Format of the IELTS Exam?
To prove your proficiency in the English language, write the proficiency exam. As earlier stated, the tests comprise four sections; reading, writing, speaking and listening.
You get to complete 3 sections (reading, writing, and listening) on the same day with no breaks in between sections. The speaking aspect of the tests can last up to a week.
We recommend you seek advice from your exam center once you apply.
What Should I Expect in the IELTS Exam?
Below, I summarize how the exam will go.
The Listening Section
In the listening section, you will listen to four different recordings of native English speakers and then write the answers to a series of questions asked in the conversation.
1st recording–a conversation between two people set in an everyday social context.
2nd recording – a monologue set in an everyday social context, e.g. a speech
3rd recording–a conversation in an educational or training context, e.g. a university lecturer and a student discussing an assignment.
4th recording – a monologue on an academic subject, e.g. a university lecture.
Note: they play once the recordings. Expect the British, Australian, New Zealand, American and Canadian accents. You have 30 minutes to answer 40 questions in this section.
The Reading Section
This section comprises 40 questions and you have to answer them in 60 minutes. Here is the question structure you should expect in this section;
- Matching tasks
- Gap filling tasks
- Classification tasks
- Short-answer questions
- Multiple-choice questions
- Sentence completion tasks
- True/false/not given questions
- Chart, table, or diagram completion tasks
The Writing Section
There are two tasks to complete in this section. These tasks take 60 minutes to write two writing tasks, either essays or compositions.
The Speaking section
This is usually the longest section, as it can take weeks to complete. This section comprises three parts and takes between 11 and 14 minutes to complete. This section requires you to have a face-to-face conversation with an examiner.
How do I Register for the IELTS Exam?
To register for the exam, follow the steps below;
- Visit the official British Council registration page
- Create an account with the British Council.
- Find your nearest test center.
- Register for the IELTS test and pay online
- Prepare and wait for the exam date.
How do I get a high score on my IELTS Test?
Before writing the exam, know that no tricks, hacks, or tips will aid you to ace your tests if you’re not grounded in the English language.
This test is about you learning how to hear, speak, read, and write English. The essence of this test is to improve your English proficiency and abilities.
Therefore, to get to ace your test, you need to start with a solid foundation in English, after which you get familiar with the testing format of this test.
Here are some tips on how to prepare for the exam;
- Begin your preparation early, be consistent, and track your progress.
- Acquaint yourself and communicate with standard English grammar.
- Focus your preparation on these four areas; listening, speaking, reading, and writing.
- Aim to learn at least 10 extra words from different subject areas every day. This will help you improve your vocabulary.
- Read texts related to management, finance, culture, history, sciences, etc.
- Join an IELTS course or train with a professional tutor. (Don’t assume you’re grounded, you need an expert to tell you so). I will personally recommend this: The High-Score IELTS Program. They have proven to be the best when it comes to IELTS Preparation.
- Practice with full-length tests under realistic conditions for several weeks before the test date.
On the exam day…
- Use Time to Your Advantage: spend little time on any question. Remember, you’re prepared, once you know the answer, tick and move on to the next one. Leave the hard questions till the end.
- Read the task and follow instructions: Know when to fill gaps and when to choose either true/false. Follow instructions strictly.
- Use scanning method: Scanning is a reading method that allows you to find information faster. When scanning, you no longer read everything word for word.
- Once you’ve answered the questions you know, review, and correct errors.
Frequently Asked Questions About IELTS
Who Needs to Write the IELTS Test?
First, you can only write this test if it’s part of the university, job or the migration requirement. Only 1non-natives are required to write the test.
Who is in Charge of IELTS?
The British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia, and Cambridge Assessment English jointly own IELTS.
How Long Does the Test Take?
This test takes 2 hours 45 minutes. Most times they add a transfer time of 10 minutes.
What IELTS score is required for a Master’s or an MBA program?
The IELTS score for a Master’s depends on the university you’re applying to. Different universities have their score requirements. But based on research, there is an average range that is acceptable.
The overall score ranges between 1 and 9. We recommend you aim to achieve a score of 6.5 or above for the Master’s degree program taught in English.
How much is the fee for IELTS?
The registration fee for IELTS academics is N75,000.
Where is the IELTS Exam taken?
When it’s time to write the test, the test will take place in an official British Council test center. You can take your test either on paper or computer, depending on your convenience. Either way, there is no difference in the content, format, or level of difficulty between the two options.
Is IELTS Compulsory for every University Application?
The answer is No. You do not require this test for every university application. We strongly advise that before registering for the exam, find out if your prospective school requires IELTS as part of the entry requirements.
We know you require it when applying for a student visa in any study abroad destination. So if your school does not need it, the consular post will.
Who is Eligible to write IELTS?
The test is for everyone irrespective of age, gender, race, nationality or religion. We do not recommend the test for those under 16 years of age.
Is there a Limit to the Number of Test Attempts?
There is no limit to the number of attempts. You can write this test as many times as possible without restrictions or extra charges. You have to pay the registration fee for each test until you get your desired test score.
What is the educational eligibility to give the IELTS exam?
There are no educational eligibility criteria for this test. Anyone who wishes to pursue higher studies abroad, work or relocate abroad can attempt the exam (both Academic and General Training).
Which Countries Accept IELTS?
They accept this testing score in over 140 countries. Countries such as the UK, Australia, New Zealand, the USA, and Canada accept IELTS. We advise you to check the university/country requirements for IELTS before sitting for the exam.
Can I cancel my IELTS Registration?
Yes, you can cancel your IELTS registration. You should do this cancellation 5 weeks prior to the exam day. If you cancel 5 weeks before the exam date they will refund you with 25% deduction for administrative duties. But if you cancel anytime closer, you won’t get refunds.
Note: If you are applying to a UK University, that has requested you to take an IELTS for UKVI (Visas and Immigration).
As the name signifies, IELTS is internationally recognized. Passing the exam shouldn’t be much of a challenge if you flow the tips and tricks shared in this post. Passing the test and submitting a substandard motivational letter will put you in a bad spot with the admission committee. Find out how to write a motivational letter here.
We hope this article answered all your questions about this test. Share with friends and family.