For students wishing to study abroad especially in countries like Canada, USA, United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand, more often than not, an official IELTS score is one of the major prerequisites. What is IELTS? This wonderful piece spelled out how to prepare for and pass the test.
Basically, IELTS stands for International English Language Testing System. It a standard test in English for non-native speakers of the English language otherwise known as ESL students.
Established in 1989 and now managed by the British Council and other organizations, the test is one of the major English-language tests in the world.
Many students intending to study abroad must have come across references to this test in many application forms. So they are familiar with it. If you are reading this, it is likely because you are wondering what the test is all about and the benefits or advantages of writing the test.
Benefits and advantages of taking IELTS exam
1. Needed for most stages and steps for going abroad
Like mentioned earlier, students with good IELTS score have already fulfilled one of the conditions of studying in countries where English is the first language.
Apart from using it to get admission, the test is sometimes required for visa applications, immigration forms and job applications in foreign countries.
2. It is accepted worldwide
More than 135 countries and over 9000 organizations around the world accept IELTS as proof one is capable of communicating effectively in the English language. So its reputation as a good test of English proficiency extends beyond English-only speaking countries.
3. Good for gauging your English skills
The way the exams are structured makes it possible for ESL students and individuals to test their knowledge of English against native English speakers.
It would therefore enable you to see how good you are. One can also use the opportunity of the test as training to improve one’s English language proficiency.
4. Accurate knowledge of your English skills
The criteria used by the examiners to assess your English language skills are strict for all the various tests. The result you get is, therefore, an accurate reflection of your English language proficiency.
Though there is no actual failure in the test, most institutions would need a score of at least 7 to be satisfied. Candidates who get less than that or get a low score can always repeat the test.
5. Information on institutions where the tests are needed globally
This feature of IELTS is a time-saver for individuals. The Global Recognition System of IELTS has an up-to-date data base of institutions worldwide that require the test results. Apart from that, the system also contains the minimum scores required by each institution.
That gives you an idea or who to apply to or if your IELTS score made the grade.
6.British and American English covered
Many students in ESL countries are confused about the concept of American vs. British English. The differences between the two can range from slight and subtle to glaring and obvious.
The IELTS test covers both types of English making it possible for candidates to know these differences. At least at a basic level, one is exposed to different accents and how certain words are pronounced by the two categories.
7. Live exam
The IELTS is designed to incorporate real life situations. So there is a speaking section of the exam involving a face to face meeting with an examiner.
This might sound daunting but the exam is private. Just the candidate and the examiner speaking English without distractions. This is very important as you would face such situations if you wish to study abroad in English-speaking countries.
Visit the IELTS website for more information about the nearest test center to your location, how to register, and documents and fees needed for registration.