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28 Nov 2019

IELTS Test Pattern - Listening, Reading, Writing & Speaking

ielts test pattern

IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is the first step for you to complete your dream of studying or working in international institutions or organizations. IELTS is the affiliated English language test used by foreign universities and firms to evaluate or measure your English speaking ability. IELTS is accepted in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK as well as for study and work in the USA. Each country has its own IELTS requirements. It varies upon the country you select, courses you select and upon the organization that hires you.  Your opportunity towards success depends upon how well you perform in IELTS.

The test uses a 9 point scale to measure the English proficiency of the competent. The test includes evaluation of your listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. You can choose a paper-based or computer-based test depending upon your comfort level. The cost of the test is Rs 13, 250 for both computer-based tests and the paper-based test. There are two types of IELTS tests, IELTS for Academic Training and IELTS for General training.

IELTS for Academic Training

The test aims for people who are preparing for undergraduate or postgraduate study mode in foreign universities. The listening and speaking test will be the same for academic and general training IELTS test but the subject of the reading and writing test varies according to the purpose of your trip. The total test time is 2 hours and 45 minutes.

IELTS for General Training

The test measures your English language proficiency to interact in the social sphere or practical everyday context. The test also evaluates your language efficiency to interact in the workplace.

IELTS Test Pattern

Listening Test: the total time to complete the test is 30 minutes. The section includes 40 questions which are divided into four sections each carrying ten questions. Each question carries one mark. In listening you will be listening to some recordings of the native English speakers. The accent can vary, and you have to answer a series of questions. The recording will be heard only once. It assesses your ability to understand and decipher the lingua set up of the chosen country.

Reading Test: The reading test includes three texts of general interest that are suitable for your purpose of going abroad. The total time to complete the test is 60 minutes. The section includes 40 questions and carries 1 mark for each question. It can include preparing summary notes, identifying information, sentence completion and other related reading exercises. 

Writing Test: the total time given for completion of the test is 60 minutes. The test comprises two tasks. The first task gives you some charts, diagrams, or graphs, i.e. some visual information, which you may need to expand in your own words. In the second task, you may be asked to write an essay on some subject clarifying your point of view. To manage the time you should not spend more than 20 minutes for the first section, and take care that it shouldn't be too short. For the second section, you can spend about 40 minutes. If you are preparing for a general training test, then there are some differences in writing test compared to the academic training. In the first test, you will be asked to respond to a situation by writing a letter seeking some information. In the second task, you will be asked to write an essay.

Listening Test: the test may take about 11-14 minutes to evaluate your speaking skill. The examiner will ask you about general information about your life to test your speaking ability. Then there will be a pick and speak section. You will be asked to take a card and speak about a particular topic. The speaking test is actually an oral or a face to face interview section.

Grammatical accuracy is something that should be given fair importance when you are taking the IELTS test. Also, flow or continuity in your speech will be given great importance by the examiner. Recurring words and phrases that sound odd should be avoided in order to gain a good score. Try to improve your vocabulary skill, a person with good vocabulary will be able to communicate well by expressing emotion in the best words. So care should be given to use apt vocabulary which suits the context of the speech. Pronunciation also can create an impact on your IELTS score. Try to avoid L1 influence, (i.e. the influence of native/regional language), also don't try to produce a fake accent. If you prepare for the test by adhering to the pattern of the test then you will be able to get a good score in the IELTS test. Getting a good score in the IELTS also lets you get other opportunities. If you are applying for scholarships and fellowships, a good score in IELTS will benefit you.

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