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Ultimate guide to prepare for IELTS

Every year, millions of people across the world move from one country to another either to stay there permanently or for further studies or to work. In such cases, migration authorities, universities and professional bodies, evaluate their eligibility on the basis of their proficiency in English language. To ease the evaluation process, there are some agencies which conduct language proficiency tests to be used by immigration authorities and other organisations.

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is one of those English language proficiency tests conducted worldwide at more than 1,100 locations in over 140 countries. Popular among people who wish to migrate or study abroad to an English-speaking country, IELTS tests candidates on the basis of their language skills.

More about IELTS

Accepted by over 10,000 organisations around the world, IELTS provides an accurate assessment of a candidate’s language skills on the basis of listening, reading, writing and speaking.

IELTS conducts two types of tests: IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training.

IELTS Academics is for those students who wish to apply for higher education or professional registration in an English-speaking country.

IELTS General Training for those people who are migrating to Australia, Canada, New Zealand or the UK. It is also undertaken by those who wish to pursue secondary education, training programs or work in an English-speaking country.

An applicant can choose any of the dates from the 48 test dates scheduled in a year.

Three parts of the test, i.e., Listening, Reading and Writing are taken on the same day one after the other, without any breaks in-between.

The Speaking section of the test is either taken on the same day as other after a short break or on some other day.

The total test time is 2 hours and 45 minutes in which Listening section takes up 30 minutes, Reading 60 minutes, Writing 60 minutes and Speaking takes up 11–14 minutes.

The IELTS score is based on the 9-band system.

Strategy to prepare for IELTS

First and foremost, take a look at the test format and make sure you understand the pattern. Then only start your preparation.

Adopt ways to improve your English. If you feel you need more pointed guidance, join an English language course so that it will help you improve your speaking, listening, reading and writing in English.

Use English in your everyday life. Speak to your family and friends.

Listen to shows, music and films in a variety of English accents.

Improve writing skills by writing letters, articles, notes, emails, etc.

Read magazines or other books of English publications to improve your vocabulary.

Practise as many sample questions based on IELTS as possible to improve your timing and to know your level of preparation.

Last but not the least, try and relax before the day you take your IELTS.

Anamika Sharma

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