What is IELTS?
The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is designed to help you work, study or migrate to a country where English is the native language.
This includes countries such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and USA.
Your ability to listen, read, write and speak in English will be assessed during the test.
IELTS is graded on a scale of 1-9.
IELTS is jointly owned by the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge Assessment English.
Why take IELTS?
If you are looking to work, live or study in an English-speaking country, then you must be able to demonstrate a high level of English language ability.
English is the third most spoken language in the world, with 379 million speakers worldwide.
Being able to communicate in the native language of the country you wish to work or study in, has a wide range of benefits.
It is also essential for job opportunities as well as integration into the community.
IELTS is the most popular test for those looking to migrate to Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK.
It is globally recognized by more than 11,000 employers, universities, schools and immigration bodies including 3,400 institutions in the USA.
IELTS score scale
|Band score||Skill level||Description|
|9||Expert user||The test taker has fully operational command of the language. Their use of English is appropriate, accurate and fluent, and shows complete understanding.|
|8||Very good user||The test taker has fully operational command of the language with only occasional unsystematic inaccuracies and inappropriate usage. They may misunderstand some things in unfamiliar situations. They handle complex and detailed argumentation well.|
|7||Good user||The test taker has operational command of the language, though with occasional inaccuracies, inappropriate usage and misunderstandings in some situations. They generally handle complex language well and understand detailed reasoning.|
|6||Competent user||The test taker has an effective command of the language despite some inaccuracies, inappropriate usage and misunderstandings. They can use and understand fairly complex language, particularly in familiar situations.|
|5||Modest user||The test taker has a partial command of the language and copes with overall meaning in most situations, although they are likely to make many mistakes. They should be able to handle basic communication in their own field.|
|4||Limited user||The test taker’s basic competence is limited to familiar situations. They frequently show problems in understanding and expression. They are not able to use complex language.|
|3||Extremely limited user||The test taker conveys and understands only general meaning in very familiar situations. There are frequent breakdowns in communication.|
|2||Intermittent user||The test taker has great difficulty understanding spoken and written English.|
|1||Non-user||The test taker has no ability to use the language except a few isolated words.|
|0||Did not attempt the test||The test taker did not answer the questions.|
How to Prepare for the IELTS Test?
Before your begin practicing, it’s extremely important that you know what to expect of the test format. Familiarize yourself with it by reviewing the content of the test, as well as the question and task types for each section.
Remember the key to success in any examination and not just IELTS is a sound familiarity with the test pattern and format.
Once you know the type of questions you’ll have to answer, you will know what to expect in each section and how to answer them and you’ll feel more comfortable and less stress.
As you know there are four sections in the IELTS test, Reading, Speaking, Writing, and Listening.
There is a fixed time limit for each section. Here are a few ways that can help you to prepare for the IELTS test:
- Mock tests- Mock tests are the best way to prepare for the IELTS. With practice tests you can perfect your time management, understand your strengths and weaknesses.
- Practice on a regular interval- You can practice speaking and reading skills with someone who has a good grasp of the English language.
- Develop your English capabilities and IELTS strategies: One of the biggest mistakes students make is to focus only on IELTS. They do lots of IELTS practice tests but they forget to improve their English, and you have to keep in mind that learning IELTS is a process. On average it takes 12 weeks to move up a score band by one point.
- Connect with previous students- you can connect with the students who have earlier appeared for the test and scored a higher band. You can take tips and tricks from them, which can be extremely helpful.
- Develop a wide range of reading skills: Test takers have to provide short answers, match information, complete sentences, match headings or complete diagram labels. Ensure you practice includes a wide variety of questions so that you become accustomed to each type.
How to Choose the Best IELTS Preparation Books?
Choosing the best IELTS preparation books between hundreds of books is a tricky task, but with the right approach you can easily find the right books you need.
First , you need to focus on your strong and weak points! Once you become aware of the section you need to improve yourself in, it becomes easy to select the best IELTS preparation books that suit your level.
You can connect with people who have previously attempted the IELTS exam and ask them for their suggestions.
You can also ask for suggestions on online forums, and then search about the books and reviews online.
To help you out, we have researched and gathered some of the best IELTS preparation books for you to consider.
Top books for IELTS Preparation 2020
Frequently Asked Questions
How IELTS is developed
IELTS is developed to provide a fair and accurate assessment of English language proficiency.
Test questions are developed by language specialists from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the USA. The test covers four sections: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking.
IELTS test content reflects everyday situations. It is unbiased and fair to all test takers from all backgrounds.
What is the Ideal Time to take IELTS?
The best time to take the IELTS is right before the topics change, namely the months of December, April, and August.
IELTS speaking topics are added in January, May, and September.
By this time, the candidate will be aware of 99.9% of the topics that will eventually help them take the exam.
Additionally, candidates should also note the application deadlines of their selected universities and colleges.
How much does IELTS test cost?
The IELTS test fee is set in each market’s local currency, thus varying by country and eliminating the need for foreign currency exchange. The cost to take IELTS in the US ranges between $245 – $255 USD.
How do I book/register for the test?
Step one – Find your nearest IELTS test location
With more than 1,600 IELTS test locations in over 140 countries, there is bound to be one near you. Find my nearest center.
Step two – Register for your IELTS test
You can register and pay online or download an application form to print, complete and submit to your local test center.
Don’t forget to provide a copy of your valid identity document. You will also need to present the same identity document on the day of the test.
Step three – Your IELTS test is booked
Once your application has been processed, your test center will send you a written confirmation of the date and time of your test. The Speaking test, however, can be completed up to a week before or after the other tests. Your test center will advise.
For further information, contact your local IELTS test center or download our Information for Candidates booklet (PDF 704 KB).
What can I take into the examination room?
Only pens, pencils and erasers. You must bring the passport/national identity card you used on the IELTS Application Form to the test. You must leave everything else outside the examination room.
Do IELTS books include practice paper?
Some IELTS practice books contain practice papers such as the Cambridge book, the Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS, IELTS Trainer, Barron’s IELTS, and more.
How much time is required to complete the IELTS preparation book?
The time required to complete the IELTS preparation book depends upon your preparation. It might take three to six weeks to prepare for the IELTS exam.