Basics About the IELTS Exam

Basics About the IELTS Exam

Tens of thousands of people take the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) general exam each year. IELTS is a significant part of the Canadian immigration process, and it can cause some apprehension among foreign nationals looking to live, work, or study in Canada. While IELTS can be intimidating, understanding the IELTS exam can help make it far more manageable. Knowing the basics of IELTS is one of the best ways to improve your final score and further strengthen your application. In this article, you will be introduced to some of the basic facts about the IELTS exam to prepare yourself for a higher score better.

What Is IELTS?                                                   

IELTS was developed by leading experts in language skill testing from around the world. IELTS is based firmly on four necessary English language skills: speaking, writing, reading, and listening. IELTS is designed to test the abilities of applicants who want to work, study, or live in an English-speaking context. IELTS is a globally recognized testing system taken all over the world. In 2017 alone, over 3 million IELTS tests were completed. The pervasiveness of IELTS is due to its recognition by over 10,000 international organizations, including universities and schools, immigration authorities, professional groups, and employers. Each year, IELTS is taken at more than 1,200 testing sites in at least 140 countries.

Canada also looks to the IELTS exam for these purposes. Over 350 Canadian organizations trust IELTS, making it the preferred high-stakes English language test in the country. IELTS was the first test to gain recognition from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and Immigration Quebec. Both rely on IELTS to show that foreign nationals have proficiency in English.

The Two Types of IELTS Exams

You have the option to choose from IELTS General and IELTS Academic. These tests have the same primary purpose, showing you are proficient in English. However, the exams focus on two different scenarios: general proficiency and preparation for studying in Canada. IELTS Academic is necessary if you want to study at a university for an undergraduate or postgraduate degree, as well as to join professional associations that have English prerequisites. IELTS General is for those applying for Express Entry or other immigration programs throughout Canada. Demonstrating your English proficiency is an integral part of acquiring a Canadian visa.

What Score Do I Need to Pass?

IELTS is not a pass/fail test, so your score matters. The score you will need is dependent on the requirements of the visa you are applying for. It also depends on the organization you plan to work for or study with. You should find out who accepts IELTS exams and see what scores they require.

IELTS scoring is broken into four parts, each graded 1-9. As mentioned at the beginning of this article, the four categories test four skills: listening, reading, writing, and speaking. This is true regardless of which version of IELTS you take.

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