Accepted by over 3400 institutions in the United States, IELTS is of the major English exams, a perfect fit for someone who needs to prove their proficiency. Learn all about the test and the best ways to prep for it. Enjoy your read!
What is the IELTS test?
IELTS stands for International English Language Testing System, a test that evaluates the candidate’s abilities to listen, read, write and speak in English. It aims at those who wish to work, study or immigrate to an English speaking country.
If you are an American citizen, even being fluent, to reach your career ambitions, IELTS suits you well. A high score on the exam shows a good grasp of the language itself and broad knowledge of grammar rules. That makes your resume stand in the crowd, especially for jobs that have to do with writing and interpreting.
Why should I take the exam?
IELTS is widely recognized; in other words, its score will be useful not only to apply for a specific job position in a company but in several different ones. You can check all locations where your IELTS USA score is accepted on the exam website.
How does IELTS work?
IELTS US is divided into 2 tests; both evaluate your proficiency in the language, but for different purposes
As the name already says, this version of the exam focus on those who want to apply for higher studies. If you have the need to demonstrate your language skills in an academic setting where classes take place in English, this test is just right for you.
Once IELTS Academic questions have to do with reading and essay writing, they are made based on the daily vocabulary used in universities.
IELTS General Training
This version focuses on those who need to prove their English proficiency in work-related matters such as job interviews, so this version of the test is based on social and business settings. General Training is also accepted by vocational schools and, in some countries, accepted as a proficiency test for immigration purposes.
PS: Canada also accepts CELPIP as proof of English proficiency.
As you have probably seen before, IELTS is divided into 4 pillars, tested individually during the exam. Check how each one of them is evaluated.
- Listening: for approximately 30 to 40 min, you will listen to 4 audio recordings,and at the end of each one, you will have to answer questions related to them;
- Reading: in this part, you will have 60 min to answer 40 questions related to the corresponding texts;
- Writing: again, you will have 60 minutes to write 2 essays according to the given topics;
- Speaking: the conversational part of the IELTS USA lasts between 11 to 14 minutes, divided into 3 steps: general questions related to your life, a topic presented by the examiner and lastly, a conversation about the topic. This conversation can either take place on the same day as the rest of the exam or on a different one, depending on the test center availability.
Where can I take IELTS?
In the US, there are hundreds of cities spread throughout the country where test centers can be found. Additionally, those provide people with a wide range of test dates. When booking the exam, you must opt for either the paper or computer-based version.
How to study for IELTS in the best possible way
Given the test’s importancy, to be well-prepared is the best way to take it with confidence and surely score high on it. Check the 4 most assertive ways to prep for the IELTS USA;
1 – Learn all about the test format
In order to have a high performance on IELTS, it is crucial to learn all the ins and outs of its format, as we presented here. Get acquainted with the 4 pillars and learn that your studies should be based on them. For example, if you are good at reading but not at writing, you should mainly focus on writing.
You also need to understand how each pillar is evaluated on the test; this will also make a difference once you know what to expect on the big day.
2 – Use past papers to study
In order to be well acquainted and confident with IELTS, it’s important to study using the same format of questions you will be facing on exam day. On the official IELTS website, you can have access to a wide variety of sample test questions, which are ready to be used.
3 – Take an online IELTS Test
To find out more and measure your study progress in the exam, you should take an IELTS mock test to learn what you still need to work on. On the official website, you can find and choose between mock tests for IELTS Academic or IELTS General Training.
The test is corrected by certified and trained people, and you will receive feedback with your score in each section. This will assist you in understanding your performance.
4 – Take an IELTS Preparation Course
Besides getting acquainted with the content and actively study using the materials that are made available on the official website, you should think about taking a preparation course if you are serious about scoring high on IELTS.
Most times, studying by ourselves becomes challenging and getting professional help is the difference between making it or not.
You can easily find IELTS oriented books; however, what makes the difference is to be able to understand the test mindset and how to turn all that content into something easy to master. It’s not hard to find language schools which offer such preparation courses, but the ones with real results to show are very few.
Do not lose your mind on the test day
The best way to take the exam without freaking out is to be well-prepared in terms of techniques, strategies and to be on the top of your game when it comes to English.Several candidates, despite the study process, end up getting nervous and getting wrong questions that were considered relatively easy to them during the preparation.
Don’t let it happen to you, take a good night sleep, make sure you got all the needed belongings (such as your photo ID and pencil), double check the test time and make sure to be there ahead of schedule.