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  Standardized Tests

IELTS : .

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) tests how good you are at the English language. People who take the test take the Academic Module or the General Training Module. The academic one is for people who want to go to university. It is designed to assess the language ability of candidates who want to study or work where English is the language of Communication. It measures your language skills on all fronts.

It has two modules:

Academic and General.

The academic one is for people who want to go to university.

The general one is for people who want to do other training or want to get work experience. People who want to immigrate to a country that uses English also take the general one.

IELTS is used by over 9,000 educational institutions worldwide. This section provides just a few examples of IELTS requirements in different countries. Full details about the organizations which accept IELTS and the scores they require can be found on the IELTS Global Recognition System

When to take IELTS?

Test takers can take IELTS in more than 140 countries and in over 1,000 locations.

There are up to 48 test dates available per year. Each test centre offers tests up to four times a month depending on local demand. The Academic version is available on all 48 dates per year and the General Training version is available on 24 dates.

There used to be a minimum time limit of 90 days before which a person was not allowed to retake the test. However this restriction has been withdrawn and currently there is no limit for applicants to retake the test.

Test Structure:

The IELTS test has four parts:

Listening: 30 minutes (plus 10 minutes' transfer time)

Reading: 60 minutes

Writing: 60 minutes

Speaking: 11–14 minutes

The test total time is: 2 hours and 45 minutes.

Listening, Reading and Writing are completed in one sitting. The Speaking test may be taken on the same day or up to seven days before or after the other tests.

All test takers take the same Listening and speaking tests, while the Reading and Writing tests differ depending on whether the test taker is taking the Academic or General Training versions of the test.

The Test Format

There are four sub-tests, or modules, to the IELTS test: Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking. Students must sit all four sub-tests. While all students take the same Listening and Speaking tests, they sit different Reading and Writing tests, depending on whether they have selected the Academic Module or the General Training Module.

On the day of the test, the four subsections will be taken in the following order:

The Speaking test may even take place a day or two later at some centers

What are the components of the test?

The IELTS tests all of the fundamental skills that you can put language to

The following is the distribution of test components.

Listening

Timing: Approximately 30 minutes (plus 10 minutes’ transfer time)

Reading

Timing: 60 minutes (no extra transfer time)

Questions:There are 40 questions. A variety of question types is used, chosen from the following: multiple choice, identifying information (True/False/Not Given), identifying writer’s views/claims (Yes/No/Not Given), matching information, matching headings, matching features, matching sentence ending, sentence completion, summary completion, flow chart completion and short answer questions.

Test Parts: There are 3 sections. The total text length is 2,150-2,750 words

Academic Reading

Each section contains one long text. Texts are authentic and are taken from books, journals, magazines and newspapers. They have been written for a non-specialist audience and are on academic topics of general interest. Texts are appropriate to, and accessible to, candidates entering undergraduate or postgraduate courses or seeking professional registration. Texts range from the descriptive and factual to the discursive and analytical. Texts may contain non-verbal materials such as diagrams, graphs or illustrations. If texts contain technical terms, then a simple glossary is provided

General Training Reading

Section 1 contains two or three short factual texts, one of which may be composite (consisting of 6-8 short texts related by topic, e.g. hotel advertisements). Topics are relevant to everyday life in an English-speaking country

Section 2 contains two short factual texts focusing on work-related issues (e.g. applying for jobs, company policies, pay and conditions, workplace facilities, staff development and training)

Section 3 contains one longer, more complex text on a topic of general interest

Texts are authentic and are taken from notices, advertisements, company handbooks, official documents, books, magazines and newspapers.

Writing

Timing: 60 minutes

Tasks: There are 2 tasks

Candidates are required to write at least 150 words for Task 1 and at least 250 words for Task 2

Test Parts: There are 2 parts

Academic Writing

In Task 1, candidates are presented with a graph, table, chart or diagram and are asked to describe, summarize or explain the information in their own words. They may be asked to describe and explain data, describe the stages of a process, how something works or describe an object or event

In Task 2, candidates are asked to write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem. The issues raised are of general interest to, suitable for and easily understood by candidates entering undergraduate or postgraduate studies or seeking professional registration.

Responses to Task 1 and Task 2 should be written in a formal style

General Training Writing

In Task 1, candidates are presented with a situation and are asked to write a letter requesting information or explaining the situation. The letter may be personal, semi-formal or formal in style

In Task 2, candidates are asked to write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem. The essay can be slightly more personal in style than the Academic Writing Task 2 essay Topics are of general interest

Speaking

Timing: 11-14 minutes

Tasks:

The Speaking test is a 3-part face-to-face oral interview with an examiner.
The Speaking test is recorded

Test Parts:

There are 3 parts:

Part 1 Introduction and interview (4-5 minutes)

The examiner introduces him/herself and asks the candidate to introduce him/herself and confirm his/her identity. The examiner asks the candidate general questions on familiar topics, e.g. home, family, work, studies and interests

Part 2 Individual long turn (3-4 minutes)

The examiner gives the candidate a task card which asks the candidate to talk about a particular topic and which includes points which the candidate can cover in their talk. The candidate is given 1 minute to prepare their talk, and is given a pencil and paper to make notes. The candidate talks for 1-2 minutes on the topic. The examiner then asks the candidate one or two questions on the same topic

Part 3 Two-way discussion (4-5 minutes)

The examiner asks further questions which are connected to the topic of Part 2. These questions give the candidate an opportunity to discuss more abstract issues and ideas.

           

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