To obtain an Australian visa, you will need to demonstrate your English abilities to the Department of Home Affairs.
The International English Language Testing System, or 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.
It is the world’s most popular English language proficiency test for higher education and global migration. IELTS continues to set the standard for English language testing today. Governments in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom use IELTS to process immigration applications.
Types of Modules:
There are two modules of the IELTS:
• Academic Module
• General Training Module
The test you choose should be based on what it is you want to do.
The Academic version is for test takers who want to study at the tertiary level in an English-speaking country or seek professional registration.
The General Training version is for test takers who want to work, train, study at a secondary school or migrate to an English-speaking country.
The difference between the Academic and General Training versions is the content, context, and purpose of the tasks. All other features, such as timing allocation, length of written responses and reporting of scores, are the same.
IELTS test structure
IELTS has been developed by some of the world’s leading language assessment experts and will test the full range of English skills needed for success in your new job or study placement abroad.
IELTS assesses your English proficiency on a scale from 1–9 in four areas:
Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking.
Read the instructions and questions carefully before you listen. Try to get an idea of the situation. Remember, you will only hear the audio once. You will need to read, write and listen to all at the same time. Listen for ‘signpost words’ such as however, although and finally. They help you anticipate what the speaker will say.
Speed-read through each text to try to get a basic understanding of what it is about.Carefully read the title and any sub-heading.Remember questions appear in the same order as the answers in the text.
Make sure you do not write less than the word limit or your band score may be reduced. Begin to get an idea of how many words you normally write on one line. This way you will know roughly how much you have written without having to keep counting all the words.
Don’t write too much and instead go for the quality of content. You will not necessarily get more points for writing more.
Plan and check your answer. Don’t just start writing when the time begins and stop when it finishes. Use some time, in the beginning, checking you understand the question, brainstorming your ideas and planning your answer. Then spend some time, in the end, checking your grammar and making final edits. If you know your handwriting is difficult for others to read, train yourself to write more clearly. You are not being graded on your handwriting, however, if the examiner cannot read what you have written, it is not going to help you.
Speak clearly and don’t worry about your accent. Everyone has an accent when they speak English. The important point is that you articulate the best you can so that the examiner can understand you. Don’t give one-word answers.
Use descriptive words. Practice using higher-level words for every simple word you know – such as thrilled instead of happy, or depressed instead of sad.
Choose to be formal rather than informal. Keep a steady pace – Don’t speak too fast or too slow.
Here is the list of time duration for each module
1. Listing 30 minutes.
2. Reading 30 minutes.
3. Writing 60 minutes.
4. Speaking 11 to 14 minutes.
The total time duration of the exam is 2 hours and 45 minutes.
Test takers receive a score on each test area – Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. The individual scores are then averaged and rounded to produce an Overall Band Score.
The validity of the IELTS score is up to two years; however, some places can consider up to 3 years.
Quick Tips for the exam:
PRACTICE: Even a Native English speaker cannot get a good score in IELTS without practice. So, you need to practice a lot of tests to have the confidence of scoring high. There are many free online practice sessions that can be used for this purpose.
UNDERSTANDING THE PATTERN – Get to know the exact pattern of the IELTS exam by going through the test modules. Once the whole pattern is clear to you it will get a better score.
ONLINE TRAINING SESSIONS – Look for some free online training sessions.
Follow these tips and you can get a good score in IELTS.