Applying to IELTS Exam The most widely accepted English language proficiency exam around the world is the IELTS (International English Language Testing System). It measures the candidate on a scale of 1-9, the lowest being the non-user and the highest being an expert. IELTS exams are of two basic types, IELTS -Academic Training and General Training IELTS. If you are working towards higher education or professional opportunities in English speaking countries, IELTS Academic training is the exam to choose.
General Training IELTS exam is to ensure the capacity for basic communication requirements in everyday life. Since 2016, the IELTS exam can be taken as a Computer based test or as a Paper Based Test. You should be clear about which one you prefer as the time allocated for both the types differ. In India, Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bathinda, Bangalore, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Mumbai, Noida, Pune are the IELTS exam centres where the computer-based test option is available For a paper-based test, the candidate has to go to the official IELTS exam centre and give the exam on paper with a pen or HB pencils.
The reading, writing and the listening section are all conducted on the same day, without any break. The speaking test will be conducted by the IELTS trained examiner face-to-face. The speaking test can be taken a week prior to or after the test. The Computer-based test also requires the candidate to go to official IELTS exam centre for giving the exam. The advantage of the Computer-based test is that there are more slots available for the exam and the results are delivered within a week.
Test format for the IELTS test: Reading (Academic):
Time allocated: 60minutes This section of the test contains three long passages taken from books, newspapers and journals. General interest topics are only given in this test. Reading skills like skimming, reading for gist, attention to detail, recognizing the writers' opinions, purpose and attitude and logical argument are tested. There will be a total of 40 questions in this section.
Writing (Academic): Time allocated: 60minutes There are 2 topics and both have to be completed in the given time. Notes and bullet points are not accepted as a part of the answers. The answers have to be formal.
Reading(General Training): Time allocated: 60minutes This section of the test contains three parts. The first section may have several short texts. Section two has 2 short texts and section 3 has 1 long text. General interest topics are only given in this test, taken from sources that a person will come across on their everyday life in an English speaking country like Advertisements, posters, company handbook etc, Reading skills like skimming, reading for gist, attention to detail, recognizing the writers' opinions, purpose and attitude and logical argument is tested. There will be a total of 40 questions in this section.
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Writing (General Training): Time allocated: 60minutes There are two tasks in this section. One letter and one essay from a general interest topic will be asked. Both questions have to be answered. The style of writing can be personal.
Listening: Time allocated: 30minutes+10 minutes. There are 4 sections and one recording for each section. Two of the recordings will be conversations and the other two are monologues A total of 10 questions will be asked from each section. The questions will be of six different types like multiple choice, fill up etc.,
The answers to the questions will be in the order that the audio is played. This test will assess your ability to understand the ideas and development of facts and ideas, as well as the attitude and purpose of the writer. The recording is played only once. Listen carefully and write the answers on the question paper. The answer can be transferred later in the 10minutes allocated for it. Write out your answers carefully as bad spelling and grammar are penalised. This section is common to both IELTS Academic and General Training IELTS tests.
Speaking: Time allocated: 11 to 14 minutes. This is an oral interview session. It consists of 3 parts. The first part of the test you, your studies or work and other interests. This will last around 5 minutes. The second part of the test is a speech on a given topic for two minutes. One additional minute is given for the preparation.
The third part of the test is an extension of the second. You will be discussing more on the topic given in the second part of the test. This will take around 5minutes. The Speaking test is always recorded. The speaking test is to assess your use of spoken English, accuracy in grammar and lexical resources. This section is common to both IELTS Academic and General Training IELTS tests. Once you have decided and of course are prepared or in the process, you should register for the test. How do I book a test?
There are around 1600 exam centres around the world. FInd the one nearest to you. The centre details are available on the IELTS website. Not all centres have computer-based test option. So search and select the appropriate exam centre. If you have any special requirement and also want to attempt the computer-based test, contact the test centre. They will counsel you for the best course of action.
You can either register online or offline. To register online, go to the official registration portal and fill up all the details required on the application. Payment is also done online. Proof of identity is required. To register offline, you can download the application form and fill it up by hand. Then submit the filled form to the nearest centre along with the proof of identity.
A written confirmation letter with a date and time of the test will be sent to you once the application is processed. While appearing for the exam, take the ID roof that you had submitted along with the application.
Note: Candidates with special requirement must give a centre three months notice period. The exam centres will make special provision for the same. Special requirements like Braille papers, Lip reading test for the Listening part, Speaking test cards in braille or enlarged font. Extra time is given to the candidate in case of medical condition or for infant feeding. Special CDs for the listening test with pauses and stops.
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