One of the least popular exams in English, apart from purely Cambridge is an international exam IELTS, the development of which was not only the examination board of the University of Cambridge (Cambridge ESOL), but also the British Council (British Council) and the company IDP: IELTS Australia, working education (ielts.org). These same organizations and manage international examinations since its inception in 1989.
The international exam IELTS (International English Language Testing Service) exists in order to determine the level of English proficiency of people for whom this is not their native language. The aim of the candidates for this exam obtain a certificate or a willingness to learn and work in English-speaking countries, or the desire to take up permanent residence in countries such as Australia, Britain, Canada, New Zealand.
Every year take the IELTS International sent almost half a million people. And the result of this examination recognized in 135 countries (more than 6,000 organizations, companies and educational institutions). And, despite the fact that the validity of the results obtained in the examination, is only two years, the international IELTS exam is very popular among English language learners. After this testing is performed 48 times a year, almost four times a month. And, then, attempts to test their knowledge may be somewhat less long-term, like other international exams.
How is the international exam IELTS?
First of all, we should say that this exam has two modules. First — General Training (general IELTS exam for those who want to immigrate abroad), the second — Academic (Academic IELTS exam for those who wish to continue their education in higher educational institutions of English-speaking countries). The difference between these two modules is only in the following: In the second module, more complex level such tasks as reading (reading) and writing (writing).
And in addition to reading and writing, the international IELTS exam also tests the two language skills — listening (listening) and speaking (speaking). These tasks are the same for the two modules of the international exam IELTS. During the audition candidates for thirty minutes listening to audio material (dialogues on social topic, monologues on certain topics), and then write answers to the questions (10 minutes). Passing the second phase of testing, «reading», candidates for three hours must read the text and answer the proposed questions to those texts. The third phase of testing «letter» means to perform two tasks. In the first proposed to describe the chart or table (150 words) and in the second you need to write an essay (250 words). The fourth and last stage of testing «check colloquially» is a discussion of the candidate and the examiner alone. By the way, note that these conversations are subject to video that can later be needed as evidence if a person decides to contest the results of the international exam IELTS.
The first three phases of testing are in such an order of priority as listed. Moreover, they are without interruption in one go. Spent time — 2 hours 45 minutes. But part of the international exam IELTS, devoted to speaking, and can be performed separately, even a week before or after the other modules. International IELTS exam results are known in about 13 days after its passage.
How to assess the knowledge of the international exam IELTS?
International IELTS exam results are presented in points. If there are tenths, they are usually rounded to the total number. What level of English language proficiency is determined by each grade?
- 0 — did not take the exam (estimate nothing);
- 1 — I do not know the language (mark with a few words);
- 2 — can not communicate (knows only a few words and phrases for standard situations);
- 3 — very limited in knowledge (surface to understand the simplest situation) — level Elementary A 1 -A 2;
- 4 — is limited in knowledge (has only basic knowledge for standard situations, more complex designs do not understand) — Level Pre-Intermediate A2-B 1;
- 5 — is capable of basic communication (understands most situations, there is a lot of errors) — the level of Intermediate (satisfactory knowledge) B 1;
- 6 — normally speak the language (there are slight discrepancies in standard situations to communicate well) — the level of Intermediate (sufficient knowledge) B 1;
- 7 — a good command of the language (a slight misunderstanding of complex structures and expressions) — Level Upper-Intermediate B2;
- 8 — completely fluent in the language (minor inaccuracies separate misunderstanding in unfamiliar situations, argues his point of view) — Advanced C level 1;
- 9 — excellent command of the language (fully understands fluent, fast reading, etc.) — Proficient level C2.
As you can see, the situation is «not passed-passed» with the international IELTS exam does not happen. The certificate is obtained everything. A certificate differ only in the number of points you have earned by demonstrating your level of English proficiency. Many schools have a passing grade, that is, the value that you have to reach the international exam IELTS, to be able to study at your chosen university. For example, Oxford University is seven points, as well as for Cambridge. And for Birmingham University — 6 points. If you choose where you would like to study, check with this institution the minimum required for the result of IELTS.
How to prepare for the international exam IELTS?
Of course, there are certain courses that aim is to prepare for this exam. You not only get acquainted with the structure and characteristics of the exam, will acquaint with possible jobs on the materials have already passed exams, but also purposefully served necessary for this testing information. In addition, you can help prepare our teachers of English on Skype. But you can also engage yourself. Now training courses and materials are virtually all the publishers of the world can not only buy, but also to find in electronic form. You can choose from one of the following courses: IELTS Practice Tests, Vocabulary for IELTS, Prepare for IELTS, IELTS Practice now (englishtips.org), etc. Good luck!