In practical terms
How does the IELTS work?
The IELTS test assesses students in four areas: listening, speaking, reading and writing. Interestingly, the test doesn’t have a pass or fail system. You will be ranked on a scale from 0 to 9, 9 being an expert user in English. Depending on the reason for you taking the test (career, living in a foreign country, studying), you will be needing a certain score. In the UK for a general Tier 4 Student Visa, you’ll need to achieve a 5.5 overall and in each of the four areas that you are tested.
This means that you won’t just need to take the test and hope for the best, you’ll also need to prepare for it as well. With Britishey’s IELTS preparation course, you will be given the skills and knowledge needed to help you succeed.
Having successfully taken an IELTS test, you are able to apply to study at many international schools, universities, employers, immigration authorities and professional bodies, which recognize and ask for this English language test on their admission requirements.
IELTS is accepted as evidence of English language proficiency by over 9,000 organisations in more than 135 countries, for education, immigration and professional purposes. Besides its good international reputation, this the most widely recognized English test across the globe, due to the high quality control criteria which its questions need to accomplish.
By taking the IELTS test, you´ll already be applying your English knowledge as if you were in an everyday situation with English native speakers. The test is designed to assess different English language skills – speaking, listening, writing and reading – including a live conversation with an evaluator, which prepares you for real life situations, whether it is to talk to your international colleagues at school, to your clients at work or even during a trip abroad
The IELTS examiners ensure an accurate assessment by applying strict criteria to each test, which means that the result will precisely reflect your English language level. IELTS results follow a 9-band scoring but even though there is no limit score for “failed” and “approved”, most institutions require results placed around 6 and 7 points. If your score is less than 5, it will be recommended to repeat the test. The 9-band system is used worldwide so the interpretation of results becomes fairly consistent.
When a university, company or official body requests the IELTS test as a requirement for any application process, a minimum score that you should have obtained to apply is also commonly requested. The Global Recognition System IELTS precisely tells you which organizations accept IELTS and the minimum results required by each one of them.
You can choose between IELTS Academic or IELTS General Training, depending on your personal goals and the type of institution to which you want to show your results. For university applications, whether it is for an Undergraduate or Post-Graduate program, and to work for a company in an English-speaking country, the IELTS Academic is right. For those who want to follow a training course or study without being at the higher education level, the IELTS is sufficient and is also valid for work, travel or to emigrate to an English speaking country.
However, if you have not defined how you’re going to use your score yet, choose the IELTS Academic, since it can be useful in a larger number of situations and it is the most requested version.
In terms of spelling, grammar and choice of words, IELTS covers both British English and American English. Whether you want to study in the US, in the UK or even in another English-speaking country such as Australia, Canada or New Zealand, IELTS gives you the chance to train your ear to different native English accents – the reading assessment incorporates a mix of all of them. This happens because the test is designed by Australians, New Zealanders, British and Americans, who try to build a real approach to each English language variation according to the terms used on advertisements, newspapers, books and companies in their countries.
With dates available soon regularly throughout the year, you can take your IELTS test in 900 different British Council-accredited offices around the world. You can conveniently register online, then the British Council office in your country will process your registration and send it to the nearest testing center. The results are issued 13 days after completion of the test and it can also be directly sent to an institution or organization under your request.