IELTS What is it?What is it? What is it?
So, what is it? IELTS is a test of English. It’s a way to check if people are ready to work or study in English. There are actually 2 IELTS exams – “General” and “Academic”. Qatar University asks for the Academic test.
Is IELTS like TOEFL? • TOEFL mostly tests the English you need in an American college, but IELTS is more general. IELTS subjects might include traffic, the internet, friends, and clothes, as well as college subjects. • In IELTS, listening, writing, reading and speaking are four different tests. In TOEFL iBT, they are integrated. • In IELTS you write by hand on paper, and you speak to a teacher. In TOEFL iBT, you write and speak into a computer.
How is IELTS marked? IELTS is marked from 1 to 9. • A mark of 4 is called “limited”. It means you can handle basic communication in familiar situations. For example, understand a teacher in the classroom. • A mark of 5 is called “modest”. It means you can understand a little in familiar situations. For example, part of a story in a newspaper, or on the radio. • A mark of 6 is called “competent”. It means you can understand and explain more things. For example, read a college science article, and write about it. • To get out of the Foundation course, you need 5.5.
What’s in IELTS? IELTS has 4 parts: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking.
Listening The listening exam takes 30 minutes. There are a number of recordings: some with just one speaker, some with more. There are British, Australian and American accents. (TOEFL iBT has the same.) You hear each recording just once. The recordings start easy and get more difficult.
Reading The reading takes one hour. There are three reading passages, all from newspapers or magazines. One of the texts has a detailed argument.
Writing The writing takes one hour, and there are two tasks. In the first, you have to write at least 150 words to describe a graph or diagram. In the second, you write an essay discussing a general question. This essay must be at least 250 words.
Speaking The speaking takes 11 to 14 minutes. (you may have to wait for a while before you are called.) You sit alone with the examiner who records you. You start by speaking about fairly simple things – hobbies, customs, weather – and then you have to speak by yourself for more than one minute on a topic that the examiner gives you. (You have a minute to think about it and plan what you’re going to say.) After that, you discuss more complicated questions.
When and where can I do IELTS? • You can do IELTS at the British Council. • It costs QR650. • Exams are held on Saturdays, about twice a month. You do the reading, listening and writing in the morning, and the speaking in the afternoon. • In 2008, you will be able to do IELTS at Qatar University as well.
Is IELTS difficult?Yes, IELTS is difficult!! You have to read and listen to serious information! You have to write two essays in just one hour! You have to speak about many different things for nearly 15 minutes! To do well in IELTS, you need to know a lot of words and grammar. You also have to be able to think about a lot of different topics. For example, suppose you’re asked to write or speak about your favourite TV show. That sounds easy, but it isn’t. You might have to • compare that show to other shows, and • compare what old people think about it to what young people think, and • imagine the future of the show, and • consider the effect the show has on children, society, and the Arabic language. And all the time you have to explain what you mean and give examples
How can I practice for IELTS? • As well as English classes, try to read some newspaper stories or listen to the TV news. • Think how you would describe events or explain opinions in English. Do you have enough words and grammar? If not, that’s the words and grammar that you need to learn. • IELTS preparation classes, will let you know what to expect.