International English Language Testing System
IELTS , is an international standardized test of English language proficiency for non-native English language speakers. It is jointly managed by the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge Assessment English, and was established in 1989. IELTS is one of the major English-language tests in the world, others being the TOEFL, TOEIC, PTE , and OPI/OPIc.
IELTS is accepted by most Australian, British, Canadian, European, Irish and New Zealand academic institutions, by over 3,000 academic institutions in the United States, and by various professional organisations across the world.
IELTS is the only Secure English Language Test approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) for visa customers applying both outside and inside the UK. It also meets requirements for immigration to Australia, where TOEFL and Pearson Test of English Academic are also accepted,and New Zealand. In Canada, IELTS, TEF, or CELPIP are accepted by the immigration authority.
IELTS Beginners: How do I Start my IELTS Preparation?
1. Understand how scoring works
It is important that you understand how the scoring works in the IELTS exam so that you can appropriately measure your progress.
The exam is graded on a scale of 1–9. These grades are known as ‘bands’.
Take a look at the info-graphic below to get a better understanding of the standard of English that each band represents. I will only list 6–9 because if you are reading and understanding this article, you’re most likely already at least a 5
Once you’re familiar with the band system used for grading IELTS, you must apply this system to each section of the exam.
Each section of the exam — Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing — is a separate test and therefore will be given a separate band score. Your final IELTS result will be an average of these four scores.
For example, let’s say your IELTS results are:
Then your total score would be (8+7+7+6)÷4= Band 7.
2. Understand the test format
In order to excel in the IELTS exam, you must first have a thorough understanding of what the exam will look like. This will prevent you from being taken by surprise on exam day, allowing you to focus on the quality of your work.
To begin, I would suggest taking a look at the graphic below that explains exactly how the exam operates:
" Once you understand the exam conditions, you can familiarise yourself with the IELTS format by completing practice papers. "
3. Identify your current level
If you are completely new to IELTS, the best way of getting an understanding of your current level is by completing real IELTS practice papers under exam conditions and marking yourself honestly.
Taking practice papers is also a great way of improving your understanding of the exam format.
4. Equip yourself with the tools you need
There are so many tools available to help you improve your IELTS skills, such as video lessons, study material, blogs and free online courses.