Updated on - October 9th 2019 by Piyush Bhartiya

Overview

What is IELTS?

IELTS is an international test which helps in checking the English language proficiency of non-native English language speakers. The test was established in 1989 and is one of the major English language tests in the world. The level of proficiency is measured through a nine-band scale. There are 2 types of the module in the IELTS test - Academic and General Training. The test consists of 4 parts: listening, reading, writing and speaking.

 

IELTS 2019

The IELTS test checks the English language proficiency of the candidates who do not have English as their first language.

What’s in IELTS 2019 for me?

IELTS is beneficial as one can study, work or migrate to countries like Australia, New Zealand, UK etc where English is the major language for communication.

Eligibility

  • The minimum age of the test taker should be at least 16 years.
  • The test taker must have a valid passport.
  • Individuals who wish to study, work or emigrate to English speaking countries are only eligible to take the IELTS test.

IELTS 2019 Application Form

  • Registration

The registration for IELTS 2019 can be done online or through post/ courier. Candidates need to download the form, select the test format, the city from where they wish to appear for the exam and check the available test dates and register online.

  • Application Form

The IELTS 2019 application is open throughout the year. The exams are held around 4 times a month depending on the test center.

  • Filling the Application Form

Filling the registration form requires to mention the preferred test date, test city location and the IELTS module. Personal information such as name, date of birth, age, gender, address, occupation, language etc is also required to be filled.

  • Documents

The test giver has to have a valid passport. It is the only document required and accepted as an identity proof for test-takers.

  • Fee

The registration fee for the IELTS test is INR 12,650 (British Council). It can be paid online using Net Banking, E-Wallets or Card (Visa, Visa Electron, Master Card).

  • Confirmation Page

Once the IELTS application is processed, the selected center will send a written confirmation of the date and time of the test.

IELTS Admit Card

  • The admit card will be sent on the registered email Id of the test taker.
  • It will contain details such as candidate name, photo, test center name and an authorized seal of the test center.
  • Candidates must show the admit card at the time of appearing for the exam.

IELTS and Exam Pattern

Reading

Writing

Speaking

Listening

This section comprises of three long reading passages and questions based on them. The text can be of any type for example on facts, diagrams, graphs, etc. It conducts over 60 minutes in the whole time provided for the IELTS. The number of questions is 40.

This section is conducted for over 60 minutes and it consists of writing essays on some topics or situations. The text can range from a variety of descriptive, facts to diagrams and graphs. It actually tests the student ability to create content. The number of questions is 3.

It lasts over 11 to 14 minutes in the whole time provided for the exam. This section comprises of the face-to-face interview to the interviewer. The questions totally depend on the interviewer but the answers should impress him/her in order to get a good score in this. The number of questions is 3.

There are a total of 4 questions and it comprises of the four recorded monologues and the conversation. The test lasts over for 30 minutes. This section tests the student for the ability of concentration on the words spoken.

IELTS 2019 Syllabus

The IELTS Syllabus is conducted and prescribed by British Council, IDP and Cambridge Assessment English. The test is designed in a way which reflects the use of the English language in our everyday communication.

There are 4 sections in the IELTS Syllabus:

  • Reading

There are 3 reading passages with questions of various types.

Multiple Choices - The candidates are required to choose the correct/ best answers from the alternatives provided.

Identifying information - Test takers will be given a number of statements and will have to answer if they agree or disagree with the same according to the given paragraph.

Identifying the writer's views/claims - In this task, candidate are given statements and they will have to answer if the statement agrees with the views/claims of the writer or not.

Matching information - Test takers are required to find specific information within the paragraphs and write the letters of the correct paragraphs in the boxes on their answer sheet.

Matching Headings - Test takers must match the heading to the correct paragraphs which are marked alphabetically.

Matching features - Test takers have to match a set of statements with a list of options given.

Matching sentence endings - First half of the sentence is given and candidates need to choose the best answer to complete the sentence.

Sentence Completion - The sentences have to be completed from a given number of words.

Summary - Test takers have to select words from the text or a list of answers.

Diagram-Label Completion - Candidates need to complete labels on a diagram which relates to the description contained in the text.

Short answer question - Answers have to be written by using words from the text.

  • Writing

There are two tasks under this category.

Task 1 - The test takers are given a situation and are required to write a response in the form of an informal, semi-formal or formal letter with a minimum of 150 words.

Task 2 - In this task, the candidates are given information about a point of view, argument or problem and have to support their argument with examples and evidence from their experiences.

  • Listening

There will be 4 recordings with 10 questions in each section.

Section 1 - will have a recording of a conversation between 2 speakers.

Section 2 - will have a monologue.

Section 3 - conversion between two people.

Section 4 - monologue on an academic subject.

The candidates have to answer the module in 6 tasks.

Multiple choices - The question will have 3 possible answers. Test takers have to choose the correct answer from the given options.

Matching -Test takers have to match a numbered list of items from the listening text to the options given.

Plan, Map and Diagram Labeling - Test takers have to select the answers from a list on the question paper or select the missing words from the recording.

Sentence Completion - Test takers are required to fill the gap in sentences by using information from the listening text.

Short answer questions - Test takers are required to read the question write a short answer as per the word limit is given.

  • Speaking

There are 3 parts to the speaking test.

Part 1 - The test taker is asked to introduce himself and have to answer general questions such as his home, family, hobbies, etc.

Part 2 - The test taker has to talk about a given topic which includes some point which he needs to cover in his conversation/ explanation.

Part 3 - It is related to the second part in which the discussion takes place in greater depth.

IELTS Preparation Tips

Tips for the listening test

  • Listen to as many conversations as possible.
  • Practice listening to English news and bulletins regularly.
  • Practice multitasking as it will help to take notes while listening.
  • Practice shorthand writing as it will help to take down notes quickly.
  • Be accurate with spelling while noting down the points.

Tips for the Reading test

  • Read as much as possible as it improves vocabulary.
  • Learn to make notes while reading.
  • Repeat the reading exercises as it helps to find new points.
  • Practice comprehension as it sharpens comprehension skills.

Tips for Writing test

  • Read sample essays.
  • Practice essay writing.
  • Practice grammar as it helps avoid mistakes.
  • While writing an essay try to stick to the topic and avoid writing irrelevant information.

Tips for the Speaking test

  • Add interesting facts in the reply.
  • Be quick and prompt in answering.
  • Think before speaking as it ensures clarity in the information.
  • Talk confidently to avoid confusion.

Previous Paper Analysis

Questions

Writing Section

  1. Which paragraphs contains the following information?

A comparison of past and present transportation methods?

Answer: Paragraph C

  1. How driving habits contribute to road problems?

Answer: Paragraph F

Speaking skills

  1. What can the government do to protect the environment?

The Answer will depend on the person’s knowledge but some of the answers were”

The Government can stop deforestation and pollution of rivers which are the lifeline of our civilization.”

  1. What do you aspire to become in life?

The Answer did vary from person to person the best answer was "I aspire to become an inspiration to others and a good human being.”

Reading skills

Read this answer the following question:

The world’s oldest form of resistance training

  1. A) From the very first caveman to scale a tree or hang from a cliff face, to the mighty armies of the Greco-Roman empire and the gymnasiums of modern American high schools, calisthenics has endured and thrived because of its simplicity and utility. Unlike strength training which involves weights, machines or resistance bands, calisthenics uses only the body’s own weight for physical development.
  2. B) Calisthenics enters the historical record at around 480 B.C., with Herodotus’ account of the Battle of Thermopylae. Herodotus reported that, prior to the battle, the god-king Xerxes sent a scout party to spy on his Spartan enemies. The scouts informed Xerxes that the Spartans, under the leadership of King Leonidas, were practicing some kind of bizarre, synchronized movements akin to a tribal dance. Xerxes was greatly amused. His own army was comprised of over 120,000 men, while the Spartans had just 300. Leonidas was informed that he must retreat or face annihilation. The Spartans did not retreat, however, and in the ensuing battle, they managed to hold Xerxes’ enormous army at bay for some time until reinforcements arrived. It turns out their tribal dance was not a superstitious ritual but a form of calisthenics by which they were building awe-inspiring physical strength and endurance.
  3. the origin of the word ‘calisthenics’?
  4. 30) the last popular supporter of calisthenics

Listening Skills

Listen to the Audio and answer.

Link (http://takeielts.britishcouncil.org/sites/default/files/audio/BC_LISTENING_Test_1.1_Audio.mp3)

 

Destination?

Harbour City

Q.

Questions: Transport from Bayswater

Express train leaves at (1) …………………….

The nearest station is (2) …………………….

Number 706 bus goes to (3) …………………….

Number (4) ……………………. bus goes to station

Earlier bus leaves at (5) …………………….

IELTS Result

  • Results will be available after 13 days from taking the test.
  • The results report can be posted or can be directly collected in person.
  • The papers are valued by highly trained and certificated examiners who give accurate, secure and consistent results.
  • The results can be directly transferred to the selected organizations.
  • The scores are valid for 2 years.

Below is a table comparing IELTS scores with equivalent TOEFL scores. In the right-hand column, you can also see how IELTS bands compared to the English levels in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR)

 

IELTS SCORE TOEFL SCORE RANGE CEFR LEVEL
9 118-120 C2
8.5 115-117 C2
8 110-114 C1
7.5 102-109 C1
7 94-101 C1
6.5 73-93 .B2
6 60-78 B2
5.5 35-45 B1
0 TO 5 0-31 A2 (IELTS Band 4)
A1 (anything below
IELTS Band 4)

IELTS Score

The results are given on a band score from 0 to 9. There are also different band scores for different sections of the IELTS exam. All the sections are awarded a band score between 0 to 9.

Band Score

Skill

Meaning

Band 0

Did not attempt

Did not answer the questions.

Band 1

Non User

No ability to use the language except a few isolated words.

Band 2

Intermittent User

Great difficulty in understanding spoken and written English.

Band 3

Extremely limited user

Can convey and understand the only general meaning in very familiar situations. There are frequent breakdowns in communication.

Band 4

Limited user

Frequently show problems in understanding and expression. Not able to use complex language.

Band 5

Modest user

Have a partial command of the language, and cope with overall meaning in most situations, although likely to make many mistakes.

Band 6

Competent user

Can have an effective command of the language despite some inaccuracies, inappropriate usage, and misunderstandings.

Band 7

Good user

Have an operational command of the language, with occasional inaccuracies, inappropriate usage, and misunderstandings in some situations.

Band 8

Very Good User

May misunderstand some things in unfamiliar situations. Can handle complex detailed argumentation well.

Band 9

Expert user

Full command over the language.  English is appropriate, accurate and fluent, and you show complete understanding.

Things to remember

  • Organize yourself but don’t stress yourself.
  • Manage your expectations as more flexible students have more energy.
  • Don’t overthink.
  • Revise actively.
  • Practice previous exam papers.
  • Look at marking schemes and answer accordingly.
  • Remember keywords.
  • Don’t be stuck on the same answer for a long time.
  • Attempt all the answers.

FAQs

  1. How do I prepare for IELTS?

Go to www.ieltsidindia.com to get information and filling up the form.

  1. How can I improve my writing?

Understand the Prompt, Always make an outline, put your best foot forward, keep it simple, focus on language and proofread.

  1. How can I improve my speaking?

Understand the text, know what your examiner want, set your target, make a timeline, learn from mistakes, refer books, etc.

  1. How can I improve my listening?

Accuracy check, read aloud, listen and read along, synonyms, check it twice, be precise and think in English.

  1. How can I improve my reading?

Know what examiner wants, Use interesting vocabulary, use lots of linking words, practice speaking English.

  1. How do I get a Band 7/8/9 in writing?

Understand the Prompt, Always make an outline, put your best foot forward, keep it simple, focus on language and proofread.

  1. How can I improve my grammar?

Refer to grammar books which will be good for you, practice sets many more.

  1. How can I improve my vocabulary?

Learn 10 words every day, practice by writing it down, etc.

  1. How much time does it take to prepare for IELTS?

If you are an English speaker then 1-2 weeks are enough and if not 1 month should be enough. 

  1. How to answer agree and disagree questions.

Discuss two opinions, advantages, and disadvantages, causes, and solutions, problems and solutions, compare and contrast.

  1. How soon the candidate can give the IELTS test again?

Candidates can resit for the IELTS exam anytime.

  1. How can I postpone or cancel my IELTS test?

Candidates can cancel or postpone the IELTS exam. However, candidates can postpone or cancel the exam personally or through email. Cancellation or postponement cannot be done through the telephone.

If you postpone or cancel your application more than 5 weeks before the test date, you will receive a refund of less than 25% of the administrative fee.  Candidates canceling the exam less than 5 weeks ahead of the exam will not receive any refund. Those who do not appear for the exam will also not receive any refund.

  1. What is the difference between IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training?

IELTS academic is given by those who wish to enroll at a college/university to pursue studies. Whereas, IELTS General Training is given by those who wish to migrate to a foreign country for work.

  1. If the candidate is absent from the exam because of the genuine medical condition?

If the candidate does not appear for the exam, they will lose their whole amount of the fee. However, if the candidate is not able to give the exam due to a genuine medical condition, then they need to submit a medical certificate within 5 days of the exam to receive the refund after deducting the administrative cost.

  1. What is the purpose of taking the IELTS test?

Visit the official IELTS website. Register for the test. Select the test type and date. Give all your details in the application form.  Upload all your documents (candidates’ passport). This step is not mandatory. Pay the fee and check all the details and then proceed.

  1. Which countries accept IELTS Score?

There are more than 140 countries which accept IELTS score. It is accepted by various organizations in major English speaking countries like the UK, US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Apart from this, even non-English speaking countries also accept IELTS score to give admission in different colleges and universities where courses are taught in English.

  1. How often can I sit for IELTS?

There is no reappearing limit on the exam but it is advised not to sit in the period of two months two times.

  1. What level of English is needed for the IELTS?

Depending on the caliber of the person but the advanced form is needed to score well in the exam.

  1. Is IELTS available on a computer?

Yes. It is available on Computer.

  1. How long is the IELTS Test score valid?

It is valid for up to two years only.

 


Co-Founder @ AdmitKard

Piyush values education and has studied from the top institutes of IIT Roorkee, IIM Bangalore, KTH Sweden and Tsinghua University in China. Post completing his MBA, he has worked with the world's # 1 consulting firm, The Boston Consulting Group and focused on building sales and marketing vertical for top MNCs and Indian business houses.

Comments

2 Comments
  • Admitkard
    Thanks @Prithvi. Stay tuned with AdmitKard for more updates.
  • Prithvi
    Very useful content on IELTS Exam for studying abroad.