Introduction to IELTS: (interational english language testing services)
IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is generally recognized as a reliable means of assessing whether candidates are ready to study or training in the medium of English. IELTS is a test of English language proficiency. IELTS is used as testimony of your language aptitude for immigration and study purposes. Over 1.4 million candidates take the test each year to start their journeys into worldwide education and service.IELTS is owned by three partners, the British Council, IDP Education Australia and University of Cambridge ESOL Examination, and was established in 1989 and recognized by more than 6000 institutions; including 2,000 US universities recognized IELTS in over 135 countries. An IELTS result or Test Report Form (TRF) is valid for two years.There are two versions of the IELTS:
- Academic Version
The Academic Version is planned for those who want to register in universities and other institutions of higher education and for professionals such as medical doctors and nurses who want to study or practice in an English-speaking country.
- General Training Version
The General Training Version is proposed for those who are planning to undertake non-academic training or to get work experience, or for immigration purposes.
IELTS test format:
To succeed in the IELTS exam, a candidate has to know the test pattern and the particular techniques for answering questions. Make sure you are fully prepared with this knowledge. Don't believe people who tell you that IELTS needs no preparation if your English is good. Even if it is, you still require learning the right abilities for the test. Experts suggested a period of two weeks as preparation time, though this would vary depending on your level of familiarity with English. The test fees are high and if you don't get the band score that you need, you have to take test again. Like in all other exams, practice is the key to doing well in the IELTS. Make sure you have done it before you appear for the test. Make well-known yourself with the test format.
All candidates must complete four Modules:
This module consists of four sections and each has 10 questions. Candidates will be given question paper consisting of variety of questions including: multiple choice, short answer questions, and sentence completion, summary, labeling a map/diagram/plan, matching etc. Candidates will hear the recording once only and answer the questions as they listen. Ten minutes are allowed at the end of recordings.
There are two types of reading modules one for Academic Version another for General Training Version, each has three sections with 40 questions. Candidates will be given three readings which may be taken from advertisements, leaflets, newspapers, books and magazines. The first section contains texts relevant to basic linguistic survival in English while the next sections are more difficult. Candidate has 20 minutes for completion of each section.
There are two types of writing modules one for Academic Version another for General Training Version. In each module candidates have 20 minutes for the task 1 and write 150 words and 40 minutes for task 2 which requires 250 words.
Candidates will be given a diagram or some data (graphs, table or chart) in task 1 and they have to present the given information in their own words.
In task 2 there is a point of view, argument or problem and candidates have to give their opinion with arguments and illustrations.
This module consists of an oral interview between the candidate and an examiner. It takes 11 to 15 minutes. It has three parts, in first part candidate will introduce himself to the examiner and answer the general questions asked by examiner. It takes 4 to 5 minutes.
In second part candidates have to talk on a particular topic for 2 to 3 minutes and he has one minute to prepare himself or make notes about the topic. Examiner can ask questions about the discussion. In third part examiner and candidate engage in a dialogue on an abstract issue which is linked to the topic of second part for 5 minutes.
This module will assess whether candidates can communicate effectively in English. The assessment takes on fluency, consistency and grammatical accuracy.
- Test Fee is PKR 12,000.
- Test Report Form remains valid for 2 years.
- There are two examination bodies for IELTS:
- British Council
- Test Centers of British council in Pakistan are:
- Test centers of AEO are
- You must try to register for IELTS test at least 2 months before your chosen test date as later on you may find difficulty in finding a seat.
- You can check for IELTS results after 13 days of your test.
- You can repeat the test as often as you like to improve your score.
- Answer all questions. There is no negative marking for incorrect answers.
- Total Test Duration 2 hours 45 minutes.
- Make sure you have visited the venue of the test a few days before the test date. Arrive at least half an hour earlier than the reporting time specified. Arriving late could send your tension levels soaring and the exam requires you to be absolutely relaxed and ready to give of your best.
- The British Council offers preparatory courses for IELTS. A four day intensive course is held before the date of the test. The course might be a good idea as it gives you an insight into IELTS along with lots of practice. I think it would not help those whose level is very poor. It would be most useful for those who lie somewhere in the middle of the spectrum. Similarly AEO also offer courses.
- There is no break between the components of the test. This means that for around 3 to 3.5 hours, you can't eat, drink or visit the restroom. So be ready for it.
- Carry your original and valid passport as it is mandatory. Also take the letter which gave you the venue of the test and your roll number. The receipt for the IELTS fee is another document that is sometimes asked for. Take it too.
- Take a number of sharpened pencils, a pencil sharpener, an eraser and pens. Do all the components of the test in pencil. For listening and reading, use of a pencil is mandatory.
- Time is a crucial factor so take a watch with you and give appropriate time to each section.
Tips for Preparation:
ELTS Listening Tips
- Keep all your concentration on listening carefully for the half hour or so that the test lasts. Slip of concentration can make you lose the sequence of answers and panic sets in fast.
- The test has four sections. Sections 1 and 3 are dialogues and sections 2 and 4 are monologues. There are 40 questions to be answered and the test lasts for 30 minutes. Ten minutes will be given at the end of the test to jot down your answers on answer sheet.
- Pay particular attention to the dialogues sections (Sections 1 and 3).
- At the beginning of each section of the recording, time is provided to read the questions. Use this time to read the questions concerning to that section (the voice on the tape tells you how many questions to read). Time is also provided at the end of each section to check your answers. Use this time to read the questions for the next section.
- Read the questions carefully. If the query says mark the answer as A, B, C or D on the answer sheet, make sure you don't write the phrase that A, B, C or D correspond to. Just write A, B, C or D. If the question specifies that you must not use more than three words in your answer, writing 4 words will get you no marks for that question.
- The answers usually appear in the conversation in the same order as the questions.
- The speakers often correct themselves. They will say something in the beginning and then change the statement. For example, "we will go to Lahore" is said first and then "No, let's make it Karachi". The correct answer is the final statement i.e. Karachi and not Lahore. Be careful about like these tricks.
- If you miss an answer, don't panic. Keep listening for the next answer.
- Write your answer instantly on the question sheet instantly. Don't try to remember the answers to write on the answer sheet. The ten minutes provided at the end of the test are quite sufficient to transfer your answers to the answer sheet.
- 1. The reading test is considered is the most difficult part of IELTS. You have to read 3 long sections, each with multiple paragraphs, and answer 40 questions (13 to 14 per section). Unlike the listening test, no extra time is given at the end to transfer your answers to the answer sheet. Time can be a major constraint since you only have an hour to finish the test.
- The key to doing well in this part is practice. Read newspapers, magazines and books.
- Try to improve your reading skills and speed.
- The most important thing to understand is the test does NOT assess your comprehension of the paragraphs. It does NOT test how well you have understood the passage. It tests specific skills called Scanning and Skimming.
- Scanning is what one does, for example, when looking for a phone number in a directory. You know the specific information you are looking for and you go down the page quickly to find it. This technique is used when answering questions such as multiple-choice and matching. You scan the passage to quickly find the information mentioned in the question. Once you find it, you get the answer from the passage and write it against the question.
- Skimming refers to evaluate a paragraph rapidly to get an idea about it without trying to understand its details.
- Time factor is very crucial in this module so be careful about the time.
- First read all the questions quickly to get an idea of what type of information is essential.
- Underline the important information such as dates, places and names while reading.
- Once you go through all the questions, skim over the text and underline important parts. If you see any information concerning to the questions answer the question while reading.
- Respond the questions one by one with the help of the underlined parts of the passage.
- The answers typically appear in the content in the same order as the queries; the answer to query 4 will be prior in the content than the answer to question 5. But it is not necessary.
- Read the directions for each question very vigilantly. If the question specifies that you must not use more than three words in your answer then you are bond to in three words three words.
- Be careful about the True / False / Not given and Yes / No / Not given questions these are the toughest ones.
- If you don’t know the answer of a question move on next question don’t waste your time on a question.
- You have to do lot of practice of writing to pass this module.
- Task 2 have more marks so spend more time on it. Twenty minutes on task 1 and 40 minutes on task 2 would be a good equilibrium.
- For both writing tasks, it is a good idea to put down your thoughts on the question sheet. It will provide you an outline for your writing. It may take 2 or 3 minutes but the time spent is worth it.
- Don’t go beyond your relevant points and avoid writing any irrelevant data. Describe the relevant and most important data.
- Write concluding sentence which sums up all the information.
- In task 2 candidates have to present an argument so they should have something on the topic to write. Regularly read newspapers, editorials and magazine articles on current issues. It will help you to widen your ideas.
- Introduce the topic and shape your stance whether you agree or disagree.
- Give opinions of scholars in support of your viewpoint and write relevant examples.
- State the opposing viewpoint and give explanation why you differ with it.
- Wind up with a short concluding paragraph.
- If there is time left at the end, improve your answers by checking spelling or grammatical mistakes.
The test consists of three parts. In the first part the examiner will ask you to introduce yourself. He can ask some relevant questions.
In the second part you will be given a sheet of paper with a topic written on it. You have to speak for 2 minutes on this topic. You will be given 1 minute to write down your ideas.
- Ensure you read all the questions concerning to the topic, written on the paper. It generally has two or three parts which you will have to talk about. Don't miss out any query.
- Write down your ideas about the topic in given one minute. Two minutes can be a long time to talk alone and the notes you make will help you keep talking for the full two minutes.
- Whatever examiner asks you answer the question and don’t worry about its facts because assessment will be on your language fluency and grammatical accuracy not your knowledge.
- The most important thing which will help you in the speaking test is to use English in your everyday conversations. Avoid communicating in your native language for a few weeks before the test and speak only in English. This will make you self-assured and you will talk confidently and smoothly in the test. Watch English movies and English programs on television to improve your accent and to develop your vocabulary.
|There is official IELTS Practice Materials of British Council which consist of booklet and an audio CD. This contains complete sample tests for the both Academic and General Training Modules with answers. Candidates also have a complete book “How to Prepare for IELTS” providing advice and practice in all Modules. “Road to IELTS” is CD- ROM containing 120 hours of learning materials for the IELTS which helps the candidates in preparation and also practice in all aspects of IELTS test.|
Inspite of these materials you can get information in any institute near your city. There are many institutions which offer services to teach and especially for the practice of candidates. AEO also provides practice material for test and candidates can get this material from the center at the time of submission.
AEO offers 3 different courses for the preparation of IELTS and a mock test for practice.
Mock test will give assessment of the student about his skills and proficiency in English.
|How to register:|
You can apply in British Council and AEO in Pakistan for the IELTS.
AEO offices are situated in Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi. You have to visit the offices to get form or download it from their official website.
British Council offices in Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Multan, Faisalabad and Hyderabad offer full testing services on a regular basis. It is not required to attend a preparation course though it is a good initiative to practice thoroughly ahead of time.
You can get IELTS Registration Form from Standard Chartered Bank or download from the British Council official website.
You have to attach a clear photocopy of your valid Computerize National Identity Card or Passport, two colored passport size photographs without eye glasses (not older than six months) and your payment deposit slip of Standard Chartered Bank (Demand Draft in favor of respective British Council office). Banks details where you can deposit fee given at the end.
Payment/cost of IELTS:
Candidates located in the cities where there is a British Council office must deposit the IELTS test fee of PKR 12000/ in the selected Standard Chartered Bank (bank branches detail is given at last). If you give test with AEO then fee will be PKR 13000/.
If you live in a city which does not have a designated Standard Chartered Bank, you can deposit test fee payment through a bank draft drawn in favor of the British Council office at which the IELTS application form is to be submitted. Please maintain photocopies of the IELTS application form, stamped bank deposit /bank draft and courier dispatch slip.
The result will be announced after the 13 days of written examination. Examiners give bands to the candidates and there are total 7 bands and up to 5.5 bands are usually required for the admission in foreign universities but there are some universities especially in UK and Australia ask for 6 or 6.5 bands.
The IELTS Band Score Scale