The IELTS it is an essential test when it comes to emigrating or studying abroad.
The IELTS is an essential test when you want to emigrate or study abroad. It is also a challenging challenge, and getting the desired qualification could open many doors in countries like Canada and Australia.
For this reason, having adequate preparation is key to guaranteeing success in this certification. The IELTS tests several areas of language management. Consequently, it is important that you manage to identify your weaknesses and your strengths.
Next, we present a detailed guide so you can solve your doubts. In addition, this information will help you take on this challenge with the best prospects, so that you can achieve your professional and academic goals.
IELTS: What is it and what is it for?
The IELTS (“International English Language Testing System”) is the most popular test of English proficiency for higher education and global migration. It is estimated that more than three million exams are performed each year.
The IELTS certifies your command of English and allows you access to better job opportunities.
It has enormous international prestige and is accepted by more than 10,000 organizations worldwide. It is even the only English test approved by the UK Department of Visas and Immigration.
In addition, the test also meets immigration requirements in countries such as Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. So if you are thinking of looking for job opportunities in English-speaking countries, you should take the IELTS.
Where to take the exam and how much does it cost?
The IELTS can be taken almost anywhere in the world. Your cost and the date to perform your tests may vary according to the country. To find the closest center to perform it, enter the page of the BritishCouncil, the official organizer in Latin America.
Below we show you the price of the IELTS in some countries, so that you have them as a reference:
Peru: 197 $
Venezuela: 220 $
Ecuador: 220 $
Uruguay: 220 $
What you need to know about IELTS
When you decide to take the IELTS you need to know a few things to be successful in your goal; Please note that this test is a requirement that fits the purpose for which you require it.
In this sense, it is in your best interest to guarantee the trial version according to your goals; the version you choose to present will demand different things from you and will empower you for different possibilities: work, study or the ability to function in daily life.
In the following sections we develop these elements in more detail, as well as the duration and structure of the test. We'll also give you some tips for getting ready and even free resources you can use to reach your goal.
IELTS general training & academic
There are two main formats of this test, which give you different certifications. There is the IELTS Academic (AC) and the IELTS General Training [GT]. There are also other versions, among which the IELTS Lifeskills stands out, which evaluates English in daily life.
- The IELTS General Training (GT), which translates to “general training,” should be taken by those who need English in order to gain experience in the workplace or for immigration.
- The Academic IELTS (AC), which means “academic”, should be applied by those who wish to enroll in an institution of higher education. It is also aimed at doctors and engineers looking to work or study in English-speaking countries.
Duration, structure and score
Both versions of the exam contain four subtests that are set to the following: “Listening”, “Reading”, “Writing” and “Speaking”, with no breaks in between:
- The "Listen" section assesses listening comprehension, consists of four sections and 40 questions in total. You must listen to recordings of conversations and, at the end, answer the questions about the audio heard.
- The “Read” section measures reading comprehension, consists of 40 questions. In IELTS Academic you must read long pieces of academic books and journals, while in IELTS General Training you must read short extracts from newspapers.
- The “Writing” section which assesses the ability to write in English; It consists of doing two writings in a period of no more than 60 minutes. In IELTS Academic you are required to take an essay from a chart that will be presented to you. Meanwhile, in the IELTS General Training you must write a letter requesting information and then do an essay on it.
- The “Conversation” section measures the ability to express oneself orally, and consists of three parts:
- In the first part you should talk about yourself and topics that are of interest to you.
- In the second section you have to answer several questions on a specific topic.
- In the third and last part, you must discuss the topic discussed in the previous section.
The total duration of the test is two hours and 55 minutes. And it has a time mode assigned to each subtest which is divided as follows:
- Listen: 30 minutes
- Reading: 60 minutes
- Writing: 60 minutes
- Conversation: 11-14 minutes
The result of the evaluation is expressed with a "General Score" that averages the performance of each of the subtests that the examinee has presented. According to the grade achieved it is positioned on a scale of nine bands following:
9. Expert User
8. Very good user
7. Good user
6. Competent user
5. Modest user
4. Limited user
3. Extremely limited user
2. Intermittent User
0. Did not attempt the test
How to study for IELTS?
You may want to familiarize yourself with the format of the IELTS test. For this it is important to carry out drills, preferably from about three months before the day of the exam.
These drills should be moderated by a specialized teacher in the format, which can identify the areas to be reinforced and guide you on how to do it. In addition, you will need to strengthen your communication skills with the support of books or online platforms.
How to improve your command of the language before the exam?
Even if you think you are a good user of English, the test will always require more than you are used to. To avoid succumbing to pressure and high expectations that may affect your final result, it is in your best interest to prepare for the exam.
Then, it is essential that you can identify your objectives for the exam and recognize your current level of English. This will allow you to recognize your strengths and identify your weaknesses. From this starting point, you can establish an action plan emphasizing those aspects that need improvement.
Know your level of English, practice daily and train with an English teacher or tutor to achieve success in IELTS.
In addition, it is recommended that you be accompanied throughout the process by a personalized native teacher who will help you plan your study system properly. In this sense, there is no doubt that invest in an english course you will achieve better result than with a free one.
This is because they focus on your specific needs and give you all the tools you need to perfect your English in no time. You can even take them online, without traveling, and schedule your classes at the most convenient time for you.
Whether you decide to prepare with a private course, free course, or on your own, make sure that study structure it fits to the parameters presented below:
1. Level exam
Before you start your IELTS preparation, you need to find out your current level of English. So taking a level test is the most effective tool for this. This will allow you to know your current ability and establish a study plan.
If you are going to take the General Training, you can take your leveling exam at any language institution, you can also get it online, free of charge. However, if you are going to take IELTS Academic it is preferable to do it in a specialized institution.
The demands of the academic version are greater and require attention to technical English offered by specialized institutions with native teachers. In this case, you must not only know the language but also the vocabulary associated with your professional area.
2. Identify grammatical and oral weaknesses
It is important that the results of your level exam are accompanied by thematic suggestions to start studying. In case your chosen institution or platform does not include them, you can review the description of CEFR level In Internet.
If you are going to prepare on your own, make your study plan based on the mistakes you made in the exam. Identify the topics that are most difficult for you to understand and try to leave time to nurture your vocabulary.
On the other hand, if you prefer to study with a full course, choose one that allows you to customize your study plan and include hours of private lessons. This way you can improve your pace and eliminate level weaknesses without distractions.
3. Study hours
For you to improve It will require time, patience and perseverance. Once you know your real level of English, you can determine how many hours of study you need to dedicate to achieve the desired grade. Use our study hours chart to find out.
4. Absolute immersion
Forget your mother tongue. From now on, everything you think, read and hear must be in English. Likewise, it is convenient for you to practice oral communication at least 1 hour a day, for this you can meet with friends to practice or go with a private English tutor.
5. Simulation test, once a week
After a week of practice, you can put your progress to the test. We recommend that you download online test formats or ask your teacher to provide you with theirs.
The most important is get a reliable review system (either automatic or manual); in any case, it should not be you who corrects the test, in order to avoid subjective elements.
If you repeat the drill weekly and keep up with your syllabus you will see how you get better and better. User experience shows that it is thus possible to raise up to two CEFR levels before the test.
Please note the following tips:
- When you practice at home, write down the time so you know how many minutes you need for each question. This will help you to know your strengths and the ones you need to strengthen.
- The day before the test try to rest well and spend a relaxing day to avoid anxiety and anguish.
- The vocabulary that best dominates when expressing ideas and take advantage of it when presenting the test. Always trust your abilities and express yourself with confidence.
Although the best recommendation is to have a specialized teacher to help you work on a study plan. There are good options for free courses, in case you can't afford a premium one:
- I am going to the world IELTS: offers you more than 40 hours of content totally free to prepare for the IELTS. In addition, you can take exam simulations, corrected by certified teachers in the area.
But if you are one of those people who learn best by interacting with other users, then the Meetup or Tandem applications are for you.
- meet-up: It is a platform where groups are formed to talk about a specific topic. In it you can find English-speaking people to talk to, this will allow you to practice and develop that skill.
- Tandem: It is another platform created for the exchange of languages, in it you can agree with anyone who wants to practice Spanish and at the same time, help with their English.
Free online IELTS preparation courses
If you want to take an intensive course that ensures complete teaching of everything you need to know to take the test successfully, and without failing in the attempt, these four courses may be to your liking:
1. University of Queensland Course: It is a free course and one of the most requested in the world. In it you will learn the procedure and format of the test, as well as exercises that will help you develop your reading and writing skills.
2. British Council Course: It is a free course, offered by one of the institutions that is part of the International Association after the test. Includes practice in Listening, Writing, Reading or Speaking. Each stage has the advice of a tutor.
3. Cambridge University Course: this is another of the institutions of the International Association; offers a free 5-week course. This focuses on improving the test score with the realization of different models.
4. IELTS Course Advantage: This is a former blog that has now become an indispensable resource for students around the world. Those interested in taking the IELTS test online often turn to it.
IELTS as an attainable goal
Preparation, organization and commitment are paramount in obtaining optimal results. take advantage all resources that you can find on the Internet, practice every day and never stop reviewing what you have learned.
Do not let your emotions dominate you when taking the IETLS, stay focused and achieve a good result.
English is an indispensable language that will open many doors for you once you have mastered it completely. You just have to focus and project it as an achievable goal. Only in this way will you achieve the success you want.
Benefits of having the IELTS
The IELTS is requested by many companies in English-speaking countries as proof of language proficiency. By having your test certificate you will be able to show your command of that language, which will give you access to better jobs.
No less important is that better job opportunities lead to a better salary. In addition, to the extent that you master English better, se will feel more confident when communicating in that language and create better relationships with English speakers.
To speak of IELTS is to refer to the most widely accepted English certification test in English-speaking countries. If you want to find the best job offers and be considered by well-known companies, you should prepare yourself to get a good score.
Success on the test is dependent on the preparation and discipline you developed prior to your submission. In English2Go we have online programs and native teachers, as well as 24/7 resources to drive you to your goal. Visit our page and discover a world of possibilities.
You may be interested in:
Personalized English Courses
Learn with native teachers specialized in technical vocabularies. Courses oriented to your objectives and at your own pace.