INTERNATIONAL ENGLISH LANGUAGE TESTING SYSTEM is the assessment of the proficiency on the Use of English especially for non-native speakers jointly organised by the British Council and IDP.
It is the proficiency test for those who wants to study or work in countries where English Language is used as the language of communication.
Many universities in Australia, Canada, United States of America, New Zealand and United Kingdom accept IELTS either for work or study. Most of these universities accept a band score ranging from 6.5 to 7.5 for admission into post-graduate programmes.
IELTS assess the four language skills: listening, reading, speaking and writing in the two modules- Academic and The General Training. The Academic is for those who want to enroll for further studies and for professional such as Nurses, Doctors who wants to practice in an English Speaking countries. The General Training module is basically for those who want to migrate for work or living purposes.
The listening and speaking test is the same for both academic and general training while there are slight differences in the reading and writing test for the academic and general training.
The test is tested in four skills:
The listening skills consists of forty questions including complete graph/diagram/map, sentence completion, fill-in-the-gaps, and multiple options. The test is divided into four sections having different recordings. Section one is a monologue recording on general issue such as hotel and bookings; section two is also a conversation but on academic area such as admission enquiries. Section three is a monologue on general issue while section four is a monologue on academics such as lectures and speeches. The listening skill test runs for not more than sixty (60) minutes part of which there is ten (10) minutes for cross-checking.
The reading skill test has forty questions lasting for sixty minutes. There are several short passages or up to four long passages to answer the four questions different questions ranging from sentence completion, completing a diagram/graph or map, paragraph matching, true/false, multiple choice questions.
In both listening and reading tests, the questions get tougher by sections.
The writing skills has different question focus for the Academic and General Training test. For the task 1 of the Academic test, candidates are required to write a summary or explain a graph, charts, diagrams, pie-charts, flow-charts or a process in at least 150 words. You are expected to spend about 20minutes on this section. In the General Training Test, candidates are required to write a letter- formal or informal- so you must understand the question to know the type of letter. The writing Task 2 is the same for both Academic and General Training Test. In this task, you are expected to give an essay answer to questions bothering on general issues, lifestyles, health, education, gender roles among others in 250 words under 40minutes.
The Speaking test is the last section. This is a one-one interaction between the candidate and the examiner. The date is often scheduled apart from other days. This section is divided into three tasks. The first task is a conversation between4-5 minutes yourself centering on questions about your work, family, home life and personal interests.
In task 2, you will be given a cue card with a topic. Here, you have 1 minute to prepare your response by writing with paper and pencil then you will be allowed to speak for two minutes. In task 3, you will give elaborate response to the question in task 2 in about 4 to 5 minutes.