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How to Prepare for IELTS Exam

IELTS -- International English Language Testing System is one of the prerequisites that need to be completed if you want to work or study abroad. It evaluates your understanding of the usage of English language and measures your proficiency with the use of the English language. IELTS exam comprises of four sections- listening, reading, writing and speaking and you have to clear all of them to pass the exam! The IELTS assessment has two versions -- the Academic Training and General Training.
  • If your purpose of taking IELTS is to study or work in more technical organizations in English speaking countries like USA, Europe, Australia, you need to take the academic test.
  • For people who are looking to emigrate, usually the General test is required.

The Listening and Speaking sections remain same in both the versions, however reading and writing modules are more comprehensive in the General test. It is always recommended to check with your company, university or the immigration office about the version required by them.

How to Register? For registration you need
  • An IELTS application form which you can also apply online in India -- This can be found at https://ielts.britishcouncil.org/india
  • Two recent passport sized photographs
  • A copy of your passport or national ID card (original must also be presented)
  • A copy of your recent IELTS test score if you have taken the test before
For further information, check http://www.ielts.org/default.aspx Resources: Once you have decided to take IELTS exam, the first thing you need to focus on is how to prepare. There are many ways to prepare for the exam, some of the more common being:
  1. IELTS Tuition or Coaching Centers**: There are many coaching centers and individual tutors that provide training and you can enroll in one such coaching center for the preparation.. Joining coaching classes also helps you interact and benchmark with more students taking this exam. Just make sure you select the one that suits your requirements.
  2. Online Tutoring**: Various websites and individual tutors offer online tutoring for IELTS. Your online tutor will evaluate and send feedback to your assignments. Some websites offer face to face communication with the online tutors that help you to improve your speaking and listening skills.
  3. Self-Study using Study Material: A plethora of study material (books and CDs) is available in the market and on the internet. You can find previous examination papers as well. There are free e-books, test papers and materials available online. However, if you are not confident or do not have a good competency in the language, it may be more useful to take personalized coaching.
What is being tested in IELTS?
  • Speaking Section (11-14 mins) evaluates a candidate s oral abilities like Fluency and Coherence, Vocabulary, Grammatical Range and Accuracy and Pronunciation. All criteria are equally weighed.
  • Listening module (30 mins) will evaluate your understanding of English as will be used by the native English speakers in social and everyday use.
  • Reading Section (60 mins) will evaluate your understanding of the main point or points being made in the paragraphs and analyse them with given information.
  • In the Writing module (60 mins), Task Response, Coherence and Cohesion, Vocabulary and Grammatical Range and Accuracy have equal weightage.
Few tips help improve your score in specific modules: Writing Module: Writing module comprises 2 tasks, a letter or a report of 150 words and an essay of 250 words. Accuracy of sentences and grammatical range are important criteria to score high band in writing task.
  • Use a variety of sentence patterns. Of course, using simple sentences helps reduce grammatical errors. However, it won t impress the examiner.
  • You can use different techniques for combining two simple sentences. For example, relative pronouns who, which can be used to combine clauses. Likewise, participles infinitives, and if -- clauses can also be used to combine simple sentences
  • One hour is allotted for writing test. Complete the first task within 20 minutes and focus on the essay part as it carries more points.
  • Don t use informal language and contractions.
  • Divide the essay into paragraphs and discuss one idea in one paragraph.
  • Spare a few minutes to proofread your letter and essay.
  • Pay attention to subject -- verb agreement, word combination with preposition.
Reading Module:
  • Start with the easiest question and don t spend much time on any question.
  • There is no negative mark for incorrect answers. So, even if you can t find the answer from the passage, try to guess and attend all questions.
  • Learn how to skim a page. Good scanning skills help know the content of the entire passage, even without reading it carefully. So, practice to develop scanning skills.
  • Skip the unfamiliar words. You need to know the essence of the passage only.
  • While answering, be careful with spelling, and grammar.
Listening Module: Listening test has four sections - a conversation between two people, a monologue such as a telephonic message, a discussion between three or more people and lastly another monologue, a lecture or talk. In addition to listening skills, listening task challenges your lexical foundation and grammatical background. So, develop a good paraphrasing skill.
  • Before the beginning of each section, you will get time to read the questions. It is important to utilize this time in reading the questions carefully to do well in the next section.
  • Write down your answers in the listening booklet next to the appropriate questions.
  • No need to copy the answers on the answer sheet between two sections. 10 minutes will be given to transferring the answers from the listening booklet at the end of the listening test.
  • Take IELTS listening practice tests to become accustomed to the style of speaking as recorded in the conversations and the type of questions asked.
Speaking Module:
  • Listen to the questions carefully.
  • Keep talking and avoid long pauses
Here are a few tips to ace IELTS Exam
  • Be acquainted with the format: The foremost thing is to be aware of the test format. Read the information for candidate booklet and familiarize with the test format. Be aware of the duration of each test, number of questions to answer, what the examiners looking for in writing and speaking tests etc.
  • Practice Sample tests: Practicing sample test papers help you build up your speed. By taking sample tests, you will become more confident and can able to identify your weak areas.
  • Try to use English every day. Speak English with your friends and family. Read English newspaper, magazines. Listen to English shows, films. Reading subtitles help you to improve your language.
Language exams are different from other exams , especially preparing for IELTS, you need to practice more. You can t revise for a language exam in the same way as you do for a science or history exam. The more you practice, the better you can score. Relax just before the test day and ace your exam. All the Best! ``````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````` **To find options for tutors and institutes for IELTS preparation, Click Here.

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Marry David 15/08/2013

Good information about IELTS it is very useful for students.

Sudha Subramanian 11/08/2013

It depends on your aim. If your aim is studying abroad, you need to check which exam is accepted by the university that you intend to apply. If the initial English courses you took were taught following the British context, I think, taking the IELTS exam will be easy for you. If you are familiar for American style and accent, you can go for TOFEL exam.  more » It depends on your aim. If your aim is studying abroad, you need to check which exam is accepted by the university that you intend to apply. If the initial English courses you took were taught following the British context, I think, taking the IELTS exam will be easy for you. If you are familiar for American style and accent, you can go for TOFEL exam. «less

Sudha Subramanian 11/08/2013

It depends on your aim. If your aim is studying abroad, you need to check which exam is accepted by the university that you intend to apply. If the initial English courses you took were taught following the British context, I think, taking the IELTS exam will be easy for you. If you are familiar for American style and accent, you can go for TOFEL exam.  more » It depends on your aim. If your aim is studying abroad, you need to check which exam is accepted by the university that you intend to apply. If the initial English courses you took were taught following the British context, I think, taking the IELTS exam will be easy for you. If you are familiar for American style and accent, you can go for TOFEL exam. «less

Julia Robert 08/08/2013

Thanks for sharing this nice post.IELTS Listening section is very important for overall IELTS Score, You can improve your IELTS Listening section through Cambridge IELTS Books.

Richa Bhargava 08/08/2013

How does one decide between IELTS and TOEFL?

Richa Bhargava 08/08/2013

What is a good score for IELTS?

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