Thursday, February 14, 2013

Twenty tips for IELTS success

  1. In Listening, use the example at the beginning of the first section to familiarize yourself with the sound, the situation, and the speakers.
  2. Keep listening until the recording stops, looking only at the questions that relate to the part being played.
  3. There are often pauses in the recording between different sections. Use these to prepare for the next set of questions.
  4. Answer Listening questions in the order they appear on the Question Paper. Remember that they normally follow the order of the information in the recording.
  5. At the end of the recording you have some time to transfer your answers to the Answer Sheet. Check your grammar and spelling as you do so.
  6. In Academic Reading, begin by going quickly through each passage to identify features such as the topic, the style, the likely source, the writer’s purpose and the intended reader.
  7. As you read, don’t try to understand the precise meaning of every word or phrase. You don’t have time, and those parts of the text might not be tested anyway.
  8. Reading tasks sometimes have an example answer. If this is the case, study it and decide why it is correct.
  9. Some tasks require you to use words from the text in the answer; in others you should use your own words. Check the instructions carefully.
  10. The instructions may also include a word limit, e.g. Use no more than three words. Keep to this by avoiding unnecessary words in your answer.

Friday, July 1, 2011

IELTS Exam Preparation

Not only has English become an international language; it is used by more and more people around the world as a medium of post-school study.
To help universities and colleges select students with sufficient English skills to succeed in their courses, The IELTS test was introduced in 1989 to assess “whether candidates are ready to train in the medium of English”. It is now used for this purpose around the globe.

Depending in the course of study that students plan to take, students must elect to sit either the
Academic IELTS test or the General Training IELTS test. This choice must be made when applying to sit the test. The Academic IELTS test is necessary for students who plan to study at university (undergraduate or postgraduate courses), and will test the student’s ability both to understand and to use complex academic language. The General Training IELTS test is required by other institutions, such as colleges and high schools, for courses that require less complex language skills, and is also as a general test of English proficiency e.g. for immigration purposes in Australia, Canada and New Zealand.

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 IELTS test or the General Training IELTS test.

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

IELTS Test Structure
Total Test Time
2 hours 45 minutes

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

IELTS listening test
lasts for about 30 minutes. It consists of four sections, played on cassette tape, in order of increasing difficulty. Each section might be a dialogue or a monologue. The test is played once only, and the questions for each section must be answered while listening, although time is given for students to check their answers.

IELTS Reading test
lasts for 60 minutes. Students are given an Academic Reading test, or a General Training Reading test. Both tests consist of three sections, and in both tests the sections are in order of increasing difficulty.

IELTS Writing test
also lasts for 60 minutes. Again, students take either an Academic test, or a General Training test. Students must perform two writing tasks, which require different styles of writing. There is no choice of question topics.

IELTS Speaking test
consists of a one-to-one interview with a specially trained examiner. The examiner will lead the candidate through the three parts of the test:
An introduction and interview, an individual long turn where the candidate speaks for one or two minutes on a particular topic, and a two-way discussion thematically linked to the individual long turn. This interview will last for approximately 11-14 minutes.