IELTS Test and Certification
The IELTS certificate is an assessment of the candidate’s knowledge of the English language expressed on a scale from 1 to 9. This is not a test that has a ‘pass’ or ‘fail’ score, as in the Cambridge ESOL examinations (CPE, CAE or FCE). The IELTS certification course is a safe investment to make, and the qualification is valid for 24 months. IELTS has gathered a recognition world-wide and the certification is accepted internationally. Foreign companies and universities usually require a minimum test score in order to hire the best candidates or admit students. If you feel your language has developed further after achieving the intial certification, you may sit for the exam again (at no great expense) in order to achieve a higher test score.
Advantages of IELTS Certification?
- It is an evaluation of your knowledge of the English language and is not an ordinary ‘exam’ that you can fail at.
- It is renowned by countries worldwide and has gained international recognition.
- The Registration fee for the IELTS exam costs approximately €200 (varies slightly according to the exam centre).
Information about the IELTS
The IELTS exam includes four modules : Listening , Reading, Writing and Speaking.
For the tests of Listening and Reading, the candidate receives two files containing text, together with a sheet to complete the answers. For the Writing test, there is random document selected, instructions on how to assess the text, and a blank sheet to provide the answers. The Speaking exam will be recorded for reference purposes, and the examiner will analyse and gauge the language skills of the candidate.
Two Test Versions of the IELTS
There are two main categories of users who can benefit from IELTS certification. The first version (Academic) is usually selected by students and researchers who are about to enrol in a college/ university course overseas (where English is a requirement). The second version (General) consists of candidates who are interested in language certification which opens doors for them to emigrate to countries such as Australia, New Zealand or Canada.
IELTS Academic is the version suited to those who are aiming to attend a university in an English-speaking country. The Reading and Writing are at a slightly higher level than in the General IELTS version, but has a more intense focus on the academic side of the English language.
IELTS General Training
IELTS General Training is intended for students who wish to ensure their level of knowledge of the English language is sufficient for residence or work in an international country where English is a main language requirement. It is extremely useful those who want to move to countries such as Australia, Canada and New Zealand.
1. Listening (35 minutes)
The candidates will be exposed to an audio recording which covers different types of dialogue of a generic nature. The purpose of the test is to assess the ability of the candidate to accurately capture the details of a general conversation, such as addresses, names, actions and so on. The answers are then recorded. There is no variation in the Listening section between IELTS Academic and General Training.
2. Reading (1 hour)
- IELTS Academic: Candidates will read articles about various topics such as science, history, politics or culture. You must answer open/ close-ended questions, probing questions that determines your understanding of the text and the context of the passages provided.
- IELTS General Training: Candidates are required to read generic texts or descriptions from articles or newspapers and then complete the answers to the questions provided.
3. Writing (1 hour)
- IELTS Academic: Candidates will need to describe a diagram, chart or image, outlining specific features. They will then have to create a text surrounding a particular topic – scientific, historical, sociological or political..
- IELTS General Training: Candidates must write a passage guided by the instructions provided, such as informal or formal, a letter, a brief, a description, a story. They must also write a generic text.
4. Speaking (12-15 minutes)
The candidate will have to answer the questions given to them by the examiners. Often, the questions are about your lifestyle, tastes, habits, hobbies and generic conversation. Other questions will cover topics related to contemporary issues. During the test, the examiner will present the candidate with a particular request, along with some information describing the way it has to be replied to. The candidate will talk for approximately 1-2 minutes. The examiner will evaluate the quality of the delivery, the variety of vocabulary, communication skills, clarity and speed of response.
Exam Results for IELTS
The results are available 13 days after the exam date and are posted directly to the candidate’s address (this doesn’t include shipping times!). The result will contain a Test Report Form that lists the four modules addressed during the test, alongside the evaluation of the candidate’s performance of each section. You will receive a score than ranges between 1 (Non-User) to 9 (Proficient User). The final score is the average taken from four individual examiners.
IELTS Preparation Courses
The goal of the IELTS Preparation Course is to make you assimilate and combine techniques needed to achieve the best result during the IELTS test. The preparation course helps you learn in a structured and precise manner and will teach you a better understanding of texts, contexts, generic meaning and vocabulary.
Skills and Strategies
Simply knowing the basics of a language is not enough to ensure a successful result in the IELTS test. With a preparation course you will learn some of the best techniques to complete the four rounds of tests with the maximum effort. The Preparation course is designed to target precise skills, and there is extensive training on each of the four key areas that are evaluated during the exam. The course enables you to analyse conversations, written texts, practice your techniques of speaking and pronunciation and help you develop all aspects of the language that are pertinent to the IELTS test. You will be guided and taught by highly qualified, motivated and supportive teachers. You will have an individual meeting with your allocated teacher, where you can discuss your goals and expectations. Your teacher will evaluate your progress and help you practice in a relaxed and friendly environment.
Each course also includes a number of extra-curricular activities and although these are optional, we recommend you attend a few! It provides you with the perfect opportunity to practice your English among other international students and expand your social network, all the while ensuring that you are learning.
When can I take the IELTS?
Whenever you like! Since certification is valid indefinitely, the Preparation course should be taken whenever you so wish. If you are planning on applying for a university, or a job abroad, or perhaps you would simply like to get a qualification, the course is available all year round, and you can take it at your own convenience.
How can I prepare for the IELTS Test?
Taking a Preparation course is one way to ensure that you have prepared for this exam in the most efficient and effective way. We would suggest that you follow a proper and professional IELTS Preparation course, that encompasses sample papers of previous years and questions that have been developed by experts of international certifications. This course is designed to prepare candidates in a manner that will allow them to achieve a higher score than with any other method of study. Remember that you are assessed with a score that ranges between 1-9, so one more point can make a big difference!
Where can I attend an IELTS Preparation Course?
We would always recommend attending a course such as this in a country where English is their mother-tongue. It is advised that you select a school or institution that is accredited and has a Preparation course specifically targeted for FCE candidates. Our schools offer this particular course in over 20+ destinations, including UK, Malta, USA and Canada. You can find more details by clicking on the destinations menu above.
How much does the IELTS Test cost?
The cost of an IELTS Preparation course will depend on the duration and destination you would like to choose. You can take a look at our prices on each individual destination page, or you may also wish to check out our comparison chart.