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How to prepare for the IELTS exam

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How to prepare for the IELTS exam

The most common exam in the world for knowing English as a foreign language is the International IELTS (International English Language Testing System). The IETLS certificate, like the TOEFL, is accepted all over the world by colleges, schools, universities and employers, demonstrating the level of English for those citizens for whom English is not native.


Variants Two versions of this exam are accepted:

  • Academic Academic IELTS

Admissions required in the UK, USA, South Africa, New Zealand , Canada, Australia, Ireland and in other English-speaking countries (if you chose to study in English). In the United States, this exam is often replaced by a similar version of TOEFL.

  • General General Training IELTS

Mandatory for immigrants from Canada, New Zealand and Australia (professional migration programs); Is required to obtain a UK work visa. The exam tests general, universal and basic knowledge of the English language - if you are going abroad in search of work, it is better to pass it exactly. In general, everyone who wants to study, work and live in an English-speaking country is given a general examination.

Obviously, IELTS General Training is easier than the academic version of this exam. This is especially evident in the examples from the Reading and Writing sections: the same amount of time is given for the tasks, but the tasks themselves are simpler, closer to real life-less complicated vocabulary, familiar and familiar everyday themes familiar to each student. For example, the task for the first composition in the Writing block can be "Letter to a friend."

IELTS structure

IELTS exam takes place in writing, the total time is 2 hours and 45 minutes. Testing consists of 4 equally important modules:

1. Listening (listening and listening)

  • Total time: 30 minutes
  • Composition: 40 questions.

Students are given 4 audio tapes that are available for listening only once, and a list of questions to Him. A big plus - the content of the questions is known to you even before the audition starts, so you can mentally prepare and anticipate the topic of the audio recording in order to answer the questions more correctly.

2. Reading (reading texts in English)

  • Total time: 60 minutes
  • Composition: 3 texts and 40 questions to them.

Students for Hours work with 3 texts on different topics: in all, 40 questions are offered that affect every aspect of reading - from the main idea to the special stylistic and grammatical constructions.

3. Writing (written speech)

  • Total time: 60 minutes
  • Composition: 2 compositions.

The volume of the first and second compositions is 150 and 250 words respectively (the minimum threshold). The first essay is written based on the provided illustration, table, chart or graph - you need to analyze the information received or describe the process seen. The second is slightly more complicated: you will need to fully open the topic proposed by the examiners, having considered the problem posed from your point of view and from the opponent's point of view.

4. Speaking (spoken English, speaking)

  • Total time: 10-15 minutes
  • Composition: dialogue with the examiner / monologue on the given topic.

This stage can be held both on the day of the main exam and on additional dates. Each student talks with the examiner on the given topics (usually they are general, available to everyone) or prepares and pronounces a monologue for the given topic, after which also follows a dialogue and answers to the questions of the examiner.

Important differences between TOEFL and Academic IELTS

Of course, both exams have many similarities and test the same language skills, but there are fundamental differences between them:

1) TOEFL is based on the American version of English, and IELTS is British. It is important to choose the format that is closer and more accessible, clearer to you.

2) TOEFL is delivered electronically: at an accredited testing center, each examiner is placed in front of a separate computer. IELTS - exam "paper". The differences are especially evident in the Speaking section: in the case of TOEFL, you talk to the computer, into the microphone, and your answers are recorded, and on the IELTS you are listened directly by the "live" examiner.

3) Writing block: IELTS tasks are often asked to describe a graph or table, whereas in TOEFL, assignments are almost always related to listening to a passage / reading a text and writing a retelling. However, the second part - writing essays - is almost the same.

4) Part Reading: in IELTS, tasks are usually more diverse (you may be asked to compose a title for the text, to correlate several given facts), whereas TOEFL is more often given the option to choose the most correct and complete from several answers.

5) Listening block: the key difference in the form of submitting questions. In the IELTS process, you are first offered a block of questions, and then you are given a recording for listening, whereas in the TOEFL the topic of the audio recording remains unknown until the last moment - first you listen to the text or the dialogue, and then you see the questions to which the correct answers should give. It makes sense to practice writing information!

What to choose: IELTS or TOEFL, which testing is easier?

It is unambiguous to say that one exam is easier than another, it is impossible - the choice depends only on your preferences and goals. Both tests test the same language skills (reading, listening, writing and speaking), and scores and scores are easily converted among themselves. TOEFL is most often required for admission to American universities - but if you pass IELTS, the results will also be accepted and transferred to the TOEFL school.

Here you can learn about the preparation and other tests:

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