For those seeking greener pastures abroad, one of the things that they have to go through if they’re going to an English-speaking country is to take the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test, a language assessment test to prove they can speak the language.
Over 10,000 organizations in 140 countries trust and accept IELTS as a reliable indicator of English proficiency. It covers four language skills: listening, reading, writing, and speaking. There are two types of tests, the IELTS Academic, which measures English proficiency needed for an academic environment, regardless of the subject focus; and the IELTS General Training, which measures proficiency in a practical and everyday context.
Because of the word test, people get intimidated by it, thinking that their chances of moving abroad will be crushed if they fail it. But that is just one of the many misconceptions about the IELTS. It’s not as scary as some people make it out to be.
Here are 4 things you need to know before taking the IELTS:
1. It’s not a pass-or-fail test
People think that you can only study or move abroad if you pass the IELTS. The thing is, the results aren’t divided into “passed” or “failed,” but comes in an easy-to-use 9-band score that clearly identifies proficiency level from 1 (non-user) to 9 (expert).
2. You don’t need a British accent in the Speaking part of the exam
The IELTS is jointly managed by the British Council (with the International Development Program: IELTS Australia and Cambridge Assessment English) so some test-takers think that you need to speak with a British accent in the Speaking part of the exam. The scoring is based on fluency and coherence, lexical resource, grammatical range, accuracy, and pronunciation. You can speak in any accent you are comfortable with.
3. Your opinion on the Speaking and Writing parts of the exam has no bearing on your score
Test-takers will interact with an examiner but their opinion will have no bearing on their score. What is important is that they express that opinion fluently, coherently, and accurately using the right words.
4. The IELTS is recognized in the US
Even if the IELTS was created mostly by UK organizations, the test is recognized by US organizations. In fact, there are over 3,000 American universities (including all Ivy League institutions) and employers that recognize the test. The 2016 US Admissions Officers Online Survey reported that 83% of admission officers in the US recommend IELTS as an assessor of English language proficiency.
The British Council Philippines regularly conducts the IELTS test, available in paper-based and computer-based formats. The paper-based test is held four times a month in 17 testing centers in the country, while the computer-based test is held once a day in selected testing centers.
To help you achieve your desired score, the British Council launched the Learning Hub to provide test-takers with the support and guidance they need. The hub has reliable resources and high-quality services to help them learn English and prepare for the tests.
This story is in partnership with the British Council. The Learning Hub is located at the British Council’s office on the 7th floor of The Curve at Bonifacio Global City. For more information, visit the website or follow them on Facebook.