Introduction to IELTS IELTS Guide
An IELTS preparation is an inevitable way to ensure the highest possible score on the exam. Moreover, knowing the structure of the latter and its rating goes hand in hand with the preparation and success of this test of English. Warning! It is important to keep in mind that regardless of the score obtained, the test as other tests of English in general (ex: TOEIC, TOEFL, ..) is valid only 2 years. IELTS guide
The IELTS grading system IELTS guide
The notation of the IELTS goes from 0 (or 1) to 9 (expert). The overall score obtained on the test corresponds to the average score of each test of the examination. Each event is also scored from 0 to 9. IELTS guide
|Note||Niveau||Echelle européenne CECR|
|0||The candidate not present IELTS guide|
|1||« non user » : Inability to speak English IELTS guide|
|2||« intermittent user » : Difficult comprehension and expression of English IELTS guide||
|3||« extremely limited user »: Ability to communicate in very basic situations, to be understood but by making a number of mistakes|
|4||« limited user »: Limited knowledge, ability to cope with simple conversations IELTS guide||B1|
|5||« modest user »: More extensive knowledge of the English language but making mistakes IELTS guide|
|6||« competent user » : Correct mastery with some approximations; opportunity to engage in everyday conversations IELTS guide||B2|
|7||« good user »: Good command of the language despite some possible errors and misunderstandings in some complex conversations||C1|
|8||« very good user »: Very good command of the language with only occasional mistakes IELTS guide|
|9||« expert user »: Almost bilingual level (or bilingual)||C2|
The results are communicated within 15 days maximum after writing and are available on the British Council website. An official result of the score will then be sent by mail (the “Test Report Form”). IEL IELTS guide guide
IELTS Sections: The structure of the IELTS IELTS guide
The types of events to expect: How to earn points at IELTS? Like most English language tests, the IELTS framework allows you to target various aspects of the language and thus ensure a real fluency in English – both in production and comprehension, written as well as oral! I
IELTS is organized around two written and oral tests. First, the test provides the opportunity to develop your understanding of English, both written and oral, as well as your ability to express yourself (both orally and in writing) by means of practical exercises.
Specific versions of the IELTS
This test comes in a form called “Academic” for those seeking to apply for academic positions and professional positions abroad. The other form called “General training” is rather it for those looking to emigrate, expatriate in the United States, Australia, Canada or the United Kingdom for example. IELTS guide
In its structure, the IELTS allows testing its skills in listening comprehension, reading, writing and speaking. All this in less than 3 hours. For both oral comprehension and oral expression tests, both tests (Academic and General Training) are identical. However, the reading and writing tests will be different depending on the IELTS exam chosen. IELTS guide
For both IELTS, the listening, reading and writing tests are linked in a single session without pause. Hence the need to be perfectly prepared! For the oral comprehension test, the sessions may be held weeks apart from the written session (either the previous week or the following week). In total, the test lasts 2h45min. IELTS guide
IELTS Listening – The Oral Listening Test (30 min)
During the Listening part, the candidate listens to 4 recordings of native English-speaking countries:
a conversation between two people in a daily context,
a monologue on a social topic
a conversation up to 4 people in an educational setting
a monologue similar to for example a lecture
The candidate must answer, in writing, a series of questions about the wiretaps (about 40 questions), as the wiretaps unfold. IELTS guide
IELTS Reading – Written Comprehension Test (60 min) IELTS guide
The written comprehension test lasts one hour and consists of 40 questions designed to test a fairly wide range of reading comprehension skills (capturing key ideas, details, understanding an argumentation, locating authors’ opinions, tones and objectives of the text …). The structure of the test is similar for both versions of the IELTS but the texts used vary:
IELTS Academic test: The test includes 3 long texts. First, descriptive and factual, then discursive and analytical.
IELTS General Training test: The test includes excerpts from books, magazines, newspapers, announcements, advertisements …
IELTS Writing – Written Expression Test (60 min)
The written expression test varies according to the version of the IELTS.
IELTS Academic test:
This test of the test is composed of two sections and deals with topics of culture and general interests appropriate for candidates of first, second or third university cycle.
This is the form of the test that more than 70% of French candidates pass. Each section requires the use of a “formal” language. A test of explanation, description and summary of a table, diagram, diagram … – The candidate must describe and explain the data presented and detail the stages of a process or the operation of an object or event. (20 min for 150 word writing). An essay writing essay in response to a specific opinion, point of view or issue. (40 minutes for a 250 word essay)
IELTS General Training test:
It is recommended for students who plan to do an internship in an English speaking country. The test is also composed of 2 sections dealing with subjects of general interest. An event where the candidate will write a letter explaining the situation presented to him. It may be used as a personal style, semi-personal or even formal.
The candidate in this second test will have to write an essay in response to an opinion, point of view or problematic.
The texts of the IELTS Written Expression Test vary according to the type of IELTS the candidate is taking.
IELTS Speaking – The Oral Expression Test (11-14min)
The oral test takes the form of an oral interview which is recorded and which is broken down into 3 parts:
The examiner’s questioning of oneself, on familiar topics such as home, family, studies and interests; (about 3 to 4 min) a discussion on a specific topic asked – the candidate has 1 min after the communication of this topic to think about it – then the examiner will question it on during the third part of the test, additional questions may be asked about the subject of part 2 in order to allow the candidate to discuss in English more fully on abstract ideas and issues (4 to 5min). The IELTS test is a face-to-face interview with an examiner.
IELTS Time – The overall duration of each event IELTS guide
Generally, the passage of the IELTS takes a day. Count from 9 am to 4:30 pm – counting the breaks granted to the candidate. In total, the test lasts about 2h45min. The tests that last the longest are those relating to written skills (total of 2 hours). The oral tests represent an approximate total of 45 minutes.
They take place in the following order:
9h to 9h55 – Instructions and passage of the Listening (Listening – 30 min) IELTS guide
10h to 11h – Reading (Reading comprehension -60 min)
11h to 11h20 – Break
11:25 am to 12:25 pm – Writing (Writing Expression – 60 min)
13h15 to 16h30 – Passage of the individual interview (Speaking-Oral expression: 11-14min)
The four IELTS sections last a total of 2:45.
What is a good IELTS score? IELTS guide
Because of its structure, the IELTS requires a certain familiarity with its tests to ensure its chances of success. Thus, even bilingual, it is necessary to prepare the exam to optimize its score. A good IELTS score is between 6 and 9. Indeed, the most recognized universities abroad generally require a grade above 6. A grade above 7 is widely recommended to claim access to quality training.
Here are some universities and the score they require to review an application file:
|Pays / région concernés||Score needed for universities|
That’s not all!
IELTS is also required by many universities and other countries (Australia, East, Asia and even Africa!). It is possible to ensure, on a case-by-case basis, the identity of the universities and programs requiring the IELTS but above all the score required on the British Council website.
Tips and remarks
Here are some rules to follow to help you succeed in your transition from IELTS: IELTS guide
Obtaining the desired score can often depend on the enrichment of one’s vocabulary. Indeed, preparing the written and oral test is proving to be a great way to diversify your English vocabulary and ensure your fluency in the language.
Being familiar with the format of the tests and therefore its different sections, as well as the expectations of the examiners is essential to pass the IELTS. Moreover, the preparation is an adequate way to evacuate the risks of stress and anticipate the difficulties of the event and to ensure a high score. IELTS guide
To know more about IELTS you can check our other article about IELTS here