Introduction to IELTS
The International English Language Testing Systems (IELTS) is designed to assess candidates\’ language proficiency in English. This ultimately showcases their ability to study or work in a country where English is the default mode of communication. A student can sit for two variants of the IELTS test. Individuals applying abroad for higher education will need to sit for the Academic IELTS, while those trying for emigration and career purposes will sit for the general training IELTS.
When can I register for the test?
You can take your IELTS test practically any time of the year. There are around 4 dates of this centralized test every month for both computer-based and paper-based tests. If you are based in Bangladesh, the IELTS is offered in the following locations: Dhaka, Chattogram, Sylhet, Barisal, Khulna, Cumilla, and Rajshahi. The usual time for registration is usually 2 weeks prior to the exam date. Keep in mind that the speaking test is taken on a separate date from the written test modules: reading, listening, and writing. The registration fee is BDT 17,5000 as of October 2020. The fee is the same for both computer-based and paper-based tests.
- The minimum age requirement is 16
- 2 years of validity
- Over 300 centers operating in more than 100 countries
- No restrictions on candidates re-taking the test
- As of June 2020, the registration fee for the IELTS test is Tk. 17,500
- The registration fee for both types of IELTS is the same
- The results are published around 2 weeks from the test date
IELTS is open to all, and there are no specific eligibility criteria. The respective institutes may have different eligibility criteria, but the IELTS has none. Since there is no pass or fail in the exam, you can even retake the test as many times as you wish until you get your desired score.
The IELTS exam tests a candidate on 4 different skills of communication:
1. Listening 2. Speaking 3. Reading 4. Writing
The listening module is a written test where the candidate listens to a recording and answers questions pertaining to the recording.
- The test runs for 40-45 minutes
- It contains 4 sections
- Each section contains 10 questions
- Each question carries 1 mark
- An additional 10 minutes is provided after the recording ends for transferring the answers to an answering script
- The total marks (40) is then translated to a band score of 9
The speaking module is a 1 on 1 conversation between the examiner and the candidate in a formal setting. The date for the speaking test differs from the other 3 written modules.
Details for the test date and venue are informed prior to the exam, and it is usually taken 2-3
days before or after the written exams.
The speaking module is a 1 on 1 conversation between the examiner and the candidate in a formal setting. The date for the speaking test differs from the other 3 written modules. Details for the test date and venue are informed prior to the exam; it is usually taken 2-3 days before or after the written exams.
- The duration of the speaking test is 12-15 minutes
- The test has 3 parts
- Each of the parts in the speaking module lasts for 3-4 minutes
- The speaking test is assessed and scored to a maximum band score of 9
The reading module differs for the general training and the academic IELTS. However, both the modules:
- last for 60 minutes
- provide no additional time for transferring answers onto an answering script
- contain a total of 40 questions, each carrying 1 mark
- are marked out of a band score of 9 after translating the 40 marks
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ACADEMIC AND GENERAL TRAINING READING MODULES?
The reading module is similar in a lot of ways for the two variants of the IELTS in terms of the question patterns and their difficulties; nevertheless, there are some notable differences as outlined below:
General Training IELTS
Contains 3 passages
Each passage is 1 and a half to 2 pages in length
Are more difficult
Contains 4 passages
Each passage is 1-1 and a half pages in length
Are relatively easier
The writing module differs for the two types of IELTS as well. However, for both of the IELTS, the writing module:
- last for 60 minutes
- contain 2 tasks
- task 1 has a word limit of 150
- task 2 has a word limit of 250
- task 2 is an essay question
- have the same scoring method
- are scored out of a maximum band score of 9
In terms of the differences:
General Training IELTS
Task 1 is a report
Topics of task 2 essay have more variety
Task 1 is a letter
Topics of task 2 essay are common
How is the IELTS Scored?
The 4 individual band scores out of 9 are averaged to produce one final band score. All 5 of the band scores (4 for the individual modules and 1 average of the 4 modules) are mentioned in the certificate.
IELTS Band Score
Since the IELTS is a test to prove the proficiency of a candidate in English communication, each of the bands represents the competency of the user in using the language.
Very Good User
Extremely Limited User
Did not attempt the test
IELTS on Online
You will still need to go to a test center in order to take your test. But it is much more convenient and faster for students who are proficient in using a computer. The speaking test, however, will still be taken by an examiner. One of the greatest advantages of giving the computer-based test is that you will get your results within 3-5 days. With computer-delivered IELTS, you will now have more test dates to choose from. They are available in Dhaka, Chattagram, and Sylhet.
Is it difficult to ‘pass’ the IELTS test?
The IELTS exam does not have a pass or a fail grade, but rather provides a scale that measures the skills of a speaker in English. The IELTS is scored with band scores with the maximum attainable band score being a 9 (Expert in English communication) and the minimum being a 0 (where the candidate does not show up for the test). The average score on the IELTS test ranged between 5.5-7. A majority of universities and immigration requirements vary from 5.5-6.5; while some of the top universities require a score of around 7-7.5. You can always retake the test anytime you want, and as many times as you want if you wish to achieve a higher band score after your first attempt.
Read More: The Ultimate Guide to IELTS Preparation