It is not surprising to read or hear countless claims, discussions, and even debates on how to get a desired band score. To ensure success candidates must complete a sufficient amount of preparation with its four components: IELTS listening, IELTS reading, IELTS writing, and IELTS speaking.
So what is the IELTS exam? Put simply, IELTS is an internationally recognised test of proficiency in the English language.
Candidates’ capabilities are tested in each of the four components: listening, reading, writing, and speaking.
IELTS Listening. Listening In the 40-minute listening test, candidates are required to focus on how to perceive pieces of information or sets of ideas while an audio recording is played once. In this case, they should be familiar with the various worldwide English accents and the elements of pronunciation along with a wide range of vocabulary. This goal requires a series of training activities. Watching movies, listening to podcasts or songs, and interacting with good native speakers of the English language are examples. The exam candidate’s level of comprehension for this exam, will be achieved through consistent and thorough practice. At this point, candidates should have completed mock tests and related activities provided by good course-books and the like.
IELTS Reading. The next component is the three-section academic reading task that demands a high comprehension level and a rich foundation of vocabulary. Before taking the test, IELTS candidates should have engaged in a variety of reading activities: through books, magazines, journals, newspapers or any other materials that utilise good English. Throughout their learning period, reading in English should become a habit to every candidate. In the actual IELTS exam the examiner is seeking assurance that candidates have built up a strong basis in the English language and that they are well prepared. In this section of the IELTS Test, familiarisation of the test format, the kind of questions to answer, and even the nature of the articles to be read are given much importance. Therefore, candidates should take time to answer as many reading tests as they can.
IELTS Writing. The third IELTS exam task, academic writing, asks candidates to write essays of at least 150 words (part 1) and of at least 250 words (part 2) by integrating and applying language skills such as grammar and vocabulary to answer the salient elements of each task. Prior to the IELTS Test candidates should have familiarised themselves with the characteristics of good essay writing. In IELTS writing task 1, images such as graphs, charts, tables, diagrams and maps are used. Development of a breadth of vocabulary applicable to these will help candidates score well. In IELTS writing task 2 with its corresponding topic, candidates have to rely more on their own knowledge and previous experiences in life. In preparation for these IELTS Tests candidates should develop a broad English language vocabulary by learning, remembering and applying what they have learned through writing as often as they listen and read.
IELTS Speaking. Another English language skill that requires the integration and application of candidate’s acquired skills is speaking. Candidates should work hard to ensure they have intelligible pronunciation by working on the most difficult sounds in English. To score high IELTS band scores candidates should have mastered grammar early and practised answering IELTS Test sample questions coherently and cohesively. Although, practice is the basic requirement for each of the tasks, candidates should bear in mind that speaking is not merely expressing. The examiner is looking for it to be purposeful and meaningful. Candidates don’t have to be a genius to get a good IELTS band score, a conscious effort on the part of the candidate to work hard to be an effective speaker by describing and giving an opinion will bring high scores within reach.
So the answer to “what is the IELTS exam?” is that it is a test of English language proficiency that is widely recognised and demanded, by governments, institutions and employers across the English speaking world. To achieve high IELTS Test band scores, extensive and intensive training and practice are key prerequisites for successful candidates.
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To your IELTS success,