International English Language Testing System or IELTS is a proficiency test for candidates, which they must opt for if they wish to study abroad. It is widely recognised by countries, including the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, etc.
Moreover, it assesses four essential skills: reading, writing, listening and speaking. Aspiring students can use this guide to gain insights into the IELTS syllabus.
What are the Types of IELTS?
There are primarily two types of IELTS, namely Academic and General. Both these tests assess the four skills mentioned above. However, while the listening and speaking sections remain the same for both General and Academic, the reading and writing are different.
Candidates can opt for the Academic one to pursue higher education, degree courses or join a professional institution. On the other hand, General is suitable for those individuals who want to pursue secondary education or enrol in vocational training. It evaluates one’s skills in a work or social environment.
Sections of IELTS
The four sections of IELTS are explained in detail below:
It is the first section in the IELTS examination and comprises short essays. Candidates will be given two tasks; the first is a 150-word essay, wherein they have to present an overview of the data provided in the table, diagram or table. The second one is a 250-word essay, and candidates must give their perspectives on the article. In addition, one has to substantiate with examples.
It is comparatively easier than that of the Academic module. First, one must write a letter as a response to a situation. For example, it could be a letter written to raise a complaint, a job application, an invitation, advice, apologise, etc. The second task remains the same as the previous one.
One has to answer forty questions, including but not limited to multiple-choice questions, short questions, matching phrases, sentence completion, etc.
One will be given three lengthy paragraphs, which may be analytical, descriptive, and factual. These excerpts are mainly from books, newspapers, newsletters, journals and articles.
The excerpts are from pamphlets, brochures and advertisements. These texts tend to be factual. Therefore, this section is relatively easier than that of the Academic.
This comprises four sections and remains the same for both Academic and General. One will hear conversations of native speakers, and the audio will be played only once.
This is a conversation set in an everyday social context between two people. So, for example, it could be about an accommodation agency.
It is a monologue or a speech about a municipality or its amenities.
It is a conversation between four people that is set in an educational context. For example, it can be a conversation between a tutor and a student regarding a university assignment.
It can be a speech about an academic subject. So, for example, it can be a university lecture.
This assesses the ability of a candidate to communicate. This section consists of three parts.
Candidates must introduce themselves and speak about their interests, hobbies, educational qualifications, etc. The examiner will be assessing the candidate’s sentence construction, usage of word, tonality, etc.
Candidates would be given a cue card upon which they must speak. They will be given time to prepare, and, in this time, they can make points to help during the speech. After it is over, follow-up questions will be asked by the examiner.
This section generally involves talking about abstract issues and spans five minutes. However, it is connected to the previous section.
Tips to Score Well
Candidates can identify their strong areas in the IELTS syllabus by taking a practice test. This will help an individual understand his/her weakness area and whether or not he\she can complete it in the stipulated period. Other than that:
1. Record yourself and practice listening
For the speaking test, appearing candidates can record their conversations and understand if the pronunciation is accurate or not.
2. Widen your vocabulary
Moreover, one can listen to youtube videos, watch English movies or read books to widen vocabulary.
Now that one is aware of the IELTS syllabus, preparing beforehand is necessary. This will help one ace the test. However, one must go through the previous year question papers to gain a better insight into the question patterns, Click here to know more.