What is IELTS? The International English Language Testing System, IELTS, is a globally recognized English proficiency test to study, work, and migrate internationally. IELTS is jointly conducted by IDP Education Australia, British Council, Cambridge English Language Assessment is recognized in more than 10,000 organizations across 140 countries around the world. The IELTS exam tests the candidate's various English skills in terms of listening, reading, speaking, and writing. Based on your purpose of the test, choose carefully between the IELTS Academic or IELTS General Training. In the year 2018, IELTS tests held a record of 3.5 million, which is the highest in the area of the International higher education field. Students planning to study abroad, work abroad, or even planning to immigrate must undertake the IELTS exam.
IELTS is one of the trusted exams when it comes to language proficiency tests and is highly convenient as it provides around four exam dates in a month, which sums up to 48 exams annually. Additionally, it is considered to be the fairest of all tests and is widely recognized by organizations globally, making it an ideal choice for aspiring international candidates.
Why chose to write IELTS?
The fundamental purpose of taking the IELTS test is to substantiate an individual’s English listening, reading, speaking, and writing skills. In almost every case, this is done to either gain admission into a foreign college/university (in the case of a student) or to acquire a work or residence permit and with it, migrate abroad as an overseas professional. In both these cases, taking the IELTS test is a mandate.
IELTS 2021 exam is required for migration as well as academic purpose abroad in English speaking countries like Australia, UK, New Zealand, USA, and Canada. It is the only English Language Test approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) for visa applicants applying both outside and inside the UK. A lot of students get confused about why are the IELTS scores required. The simple answer to this is that foreign universities and visa granting authorities need to be sure that you will not have communication issues while staying in the country. You need to show a good understanding and strong command of the English language and that is why your overall IELTS scores are so important. Another common doubt students have is whether IELTS is a compulsory exam or not. No, IELTS isn’t compulsory in all university admissions. Many universities might not even require IELTS scores for admission purposes. But remember that if you don’t give IELTS, your chances of getting the student visa might suffer as the visa officers may not be convinced about your English proficiency without IELTS scores. So it is safer to appear for IELTS and aim to score at least 6 bands overall.
Benefits of IELTS
- IELTS is a widely accepted test to study abroad. It is mandatory in specific organizations and countries to ensure that the candidate is comfortable with the language and is qualified to study under them.
- IELTS helps candidates to improve and polish their English speaking skills. IELTS certificate is proof that you are proficient in English. It helps to build confidence and have a better command over the language.
- IELTS test is a gateway for people looking to study or settle abroad. It opens up various avenues and is considered to be a benchmark.
- IELTS is recognized by institutes, professional bodies, employers, and government agencies in the UK, Australia, Canada, Ireland, USA, New Zealand, etc.
- IELTS exam is very convenient, fair and flexible
- IELTS test enables attractive opportunities in MNC’s in your own country.
- Of all the various English proficiency tests, IELTS is most favored and beneficial.
- IELTS job opportunities are lucrative, with impressive salary packages.
- IELTS test facilitates visa approval by government agencies without many struggles
- Lastly, IELTS can also help in the professional registration process.
IELTS for immigration
If you are applying for Skilled Migration, you will need to prove your English language ability. The required level of English depends on the visa subclass you are applying for and there are different levels of English that the language proficiency tests measure. As it can take some time to obtain a booking for a test and to receive the results, you may wish to plan to take the English test well ahead of time.
The IELTS test is the most common way of evidencing English language ability. Either the Academic or General Training versions of the test are acceptable to the Department of Immigration, but some skills assessing authorities require applicants to sit the Academic version. You will need to obtain a minimum score in each band of the IELTS (Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking) in a single sitting. Other acceptable English tests are TOEFL iBT, PTE Academics, Cambridge (CAE) and more.
IELTS for UKVI
IELTS for UKVI is a UK government approved Secure English Language Test (SELT). This means that IELTS can be used to prove your English language abilities in support of a UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) application. For many categories of visa, you must submit an English language qualification which is included on the UK Home Office’s list of Secure English Language Tests (SELT tests).
IELTS for UKVI
IELTS life skills is a test designed for immigrants in special cases like
- If you’re applying for a ‘family of a settled person’ visa
- extension of a ‘family of a settled person’ visa
- For indefinite leave to remain or citizenship
IELTS Life Skills is a new test, approved by UKVI as a Secure English Language Test (SELT). It’s for people who need to show they have speaking and listening skills at Level A1, A2 or B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.
The British Council and International Development Program (IDP) Education are the two providers of IELTS Exams. There are two types of IELTS exam: IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training. Listening and speaking sections are the same for both these tests, however, the subject matter for the writing and reading sections are different depending on which test one takes. To know more about the differences in details, go to (Syllabus section).
IELTS is most pertinent for would-be under or post-graduates who have either completed higher secondary school and want to pursue under-graduation in a foreign college/university or have completed graduation and want to pursue post-graduation at a college/university abroad. In addition, professionals who want to migrate abroad can take the IELTS exam and checkout complete IELTS Eligiblity Criteria for appearing IELTS Exam 2021.
IELTS has four sections: Listening, Reading, Speaking, and Writing. Following are the number of tasks which you will have to complete in each of the four sections. Check out IELTS Exam Pattern
IELTS scores are awarded on a 9-band scale with a whole band being 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 4.0, etc. and a half band being 0.5, 1.5, 2.5, 3.5, etc. If an individual accrues a band score of 5.25, for example, in any of the four sections, then his/her score would be rounded off to a half band (5.5). On the flip side, the band score of a candidate who accrues 5.75 or 6.75, for example, in an IELTS section, will have his score rounded off to whole band (6.0 or 7.0).
IELTS does not involve negative marking; however, as a rule of thumb, you must ensure that you have attended all the questions, even if you are a little uncertain about one or two.
There is no pass or fail in IELTS exams. Every university has its own benchmark for getting admission through IELTS scores and various eligibility criteria, which candidates need to fulfill apart from other eligibility criteria specified for the university where the candidate is willing to enroll.