The International English Language Testing System, or IELTS™, as it is popularly called, is an English Language proficiency test that is required to be taken by non-native students so as to study in countries where the medium of instruction is English. IELTS™ is accepted by universities in Australia, UK, New Zealand, Canada and US. It has become a mandatory test for studying in Australia.
If you are interested in taking the IELTS, then you must know that there are two types of IELTS exams: IELTS Academic and IELTS General. All students take the same Listening and Speaking sections. However, the Reading and Writing sections vary in IELTS Academic and IELTS General. Be clear about which test type is right for you.
Working professionals or students who want to pursue higher education at universities or institutes abroad need to take the IELTS Academic. In this test there are four sections:
Listening: This section requires you to listen to four different recordings where native English speakers are talking. After each recording is over, you will have to answer a series of questions. The first two sections test you on everyday social context and the remaining two on educational and training contexts.
Reading: This section takes 60 minutes and contains 3 long texts. These texts are taken from books, journals, magazines, or newspapers and are generic in nature. Students are required to skim and scan these texts for answers.
Writing: IELTS writing test takes 60 minutes. The first task of the test requires you to describe a table, chart, or diagram in 150 words. The second task asks you to write a short essay in about 250 words.
Speaking: IELTS speaking test takes about 11-14 minutes. This section of the test is a face-to-face interview. The interview is structured more like a conversation between the examiner and the test taker. It allows you to talk to the examiner naturally on a familiar topic.
People applying for a visa to migrate to Australia, Canada, New Zealand, or the UK or students planning to study in high school or a vocational training program, take IELTS General.
IELTS General Training tests your English language proficiency in a more practical and everyday context. It also has four sections, two of which are Listening and Speaking test, that are the same as IELTS Academic in terms of format and difficulty, the other two sections are:
Reading: This reading test of IELTS General takes 60 minutes and consists of 3 sections. The first two sections contain short factual texts focussing on topics relevant to everyday life such as applying for jobs, company policies, etc. The third and final section contains one longer and more complex text.
Writing: IELTS General writing section also takes 60 minutes to complete. It requires you to write a letter of 150 words and a short Essay of 250 words.
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