One of the major issues regarding studying abroad is language. Each country has its own language and culture. However, one thing that connects every place in the world is English. The universal language is not just part of linguistics but also connects people from all over the world. This is also why its one of the requirements aspirants need to fulfil in order to study abroad. English Proficiency Tests like IELTS and PTE are widely accepted as a proof that one has a good command over the English language. These tests ensure that your stay in a foreign country is not only pleasant but convenient too. Here is everything you need to know about IELTS and PTE.

What is IELTS all about?

The International English Testing System (IELTS) is the widely accepted English Test in the world. It is taken by over 2 million people every year. As it name suggests, the test evaluates the English Language proficiency of people ages 16 or above, who aspires to study or work abroad, especially where English is a primary language.

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Since your departure to your dream country depends on this particular test, it requires a significant amount training and preparation, so it’s advised to start preparing for it in advance. IELTS is conducted by two main bodies in India i.e., British Council and IDP. The important pointer to remember before giving IELTS is that itessentially follows the international standards language to assess candidates.

Types of IETLS exam:

IELTS has two versions depending upon your intentions of moving aboard i.e., IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training.

IELTS ACADEMIC – Those who wants to travel abroad for education purposes and seek admission in universities at undergraduate or postgraduate level or other professional registrations are obliged to give IELTS Academic.This test assesses the English language proficiency of the student and tests if they are prepared to carry their education overseas in English speaking environment.

IELTS GENERAL – This test is designed for those professionals whose primary goal is to migrate and settle in their chosen English-speaking countries. This test is required to evaluate the fluency level of the candidate and how comfortable they are to use English in their everyday life. This good result in this test is mandatory to settle in English speaking counties like Australia, Canada and UK.

How does it differ from other English language tests?

Its most widely acceptance is preference is what makes IELTS test unique from other English Language tests like TOEFL. It is more accepted for non-academic purposes. IELTS is more commonly accepeted for admission to universities in countries such as the UK, Australia and New Zealand whereas the TOEFL is more widely accepted by US universities. The major difference is the band system of IELTS. It does not allot candidates specific marks for each section. Rather, the scores are graded out of 9-band system and the requirement depends upon the universities you apply to.

What does it test?

Each language has letter that are communicated through writing, reading and speaking and understood through listening. This is exactly what IETLS tests. It doesn’t pass or fail a candidate. Rather, it grades their test on the scale of 1 to 9 assessing the individual on the basis of their English skills. There are four modules in this test: - Reading, Listening, Writing and Speaking. Although applicants have the same listening and speaking tests but they sit differently in their reading and writing on the basis of test type selection i.e., Academic or General.

IELTS Reading test: This section tests candidate’s understanding and reading skills. The duration of this test is 60 minutes. It consists of 40 questions with various different patterns including multiple choice, identifying information, matching data, matching sentences, identifying writer’s view etc.

IELTS Writing test: The duration of this test is 60 minutes. This test is designed to check the writing skills of the candidate. There are 40 questions in this section as well where the candidateis required to perform two writing tasks with different writing styles. They are required to write 150 words of Task 1 and 250 words for Task 2. There is no choice in these questions.

IELTS Speaking test: This test requires the candidate to sit with a specialized examiner for face-to-face discussion. The duration of this test is around 10 to 15 minutes. This evaluation consists of three parts - there will be an introduction and interview in the first part, the student is required to speak for 2-4 minutes on a particular topic in the second round and last round will have a two-way discussion which is connected to a long personal turn. This section primarily tests the candidate’s vocabulary and eloquence.

Pointers to remember:

  • There are no restrictions on retaking the test, so you can take it as many times as you need to.
  • The registration of IELTS can be done online of by post/courier system.
  • As the test is conducted at least 5-6 times a month, you can enrol it anytime you see fit.
  • Results will be available in 13 working days of giving the test.
  • The test is validupto 2 years.