Sunday, February 28, 2010

What is IELTS?

IELTS is the International English Language Testing System. It measures ability to communicate in English across all four language skills – listening, reading, writing and speaking.

Since 1989, IELTS has been proven and trusted worldwide to provide a secure, global, authentic and customer-focused test which measures true to life ability to communicate in English. More than 6,000 education institutions, faculties, government agencies and professional organisations around the world recognise IELTS scores as a trusted and valid indicator of ability to communicate in English.

Over 1,000,000 people a year are now using IELTS to open doors throughout the English-speaking world and beyond. The test is taken every year across 120 countries, and is one of the fastest growing English language tests in the world, and sets the standard in integrity, research and innovation.

When the question is English language ability – IELTS is the answer.

IELTS (pronounced /ˈaı.ɛlts/), or 'International English Language Testing System', is an international standardised test of English language proficiency. It is jointly managed by University of CambridgeESOL Examinations, the British Council and IDP Education Australia, and was established in 1989.

There are two versions of the IELTS: the Academic Version and the General Training Version:

* The Academic Version is intended for those who want to enroll in universities and other institutions of higher education and for professionals such as medical doctors and nurses who want to study or practice in an English-speaking country.
* The General Training Version is intended for those planning to undertake non-academic training or to gain work experience, or for immigration purposes.

It is generally acknowledged that the reading and writing tests for the Academic Version are more difficult than those for the General Training Version, due to the differences in the level of intellectual and academic rigour between the two versions.

IELTS is accepted by most Australian, British, Canadian, Irish, New Zealand and South African academic institutions, over 2,000 academic institutions in the United States, and various professional organisations. It is also a requirement for immigration to Australia and Canada. This has been criticised in Canada, because the English accents employed in the Listening section of the IELTS are far removed from typical Canadian accents.

An IELTS result or Test Report Form (TRF - see below) is valid for two years.



In 2007, IELTS tested over a million candidates in a single 12-month period for the first time ever, making it the world's most popular English language test for higher education and immigration
IELTS characteristics

The IELTS incorporates the following features:

* A variety of accents and writing styles presented in text materials in order to minimise linguistic bias.

* IELTS tests the ability to listen, read, write and speak in English.

* Band scores used for each language sub-skill (Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking). The Band Scale ranges from 0 ("Did not attempt the test") to 9 ("Expert User").

* The speaking module - a key component of IELTS. This is conducted in the form of a one-to-one interview with an examiner. The examiner assesses the candidate as he or she is speaking, but the speaking session is also recorded for monitoring as well as re-marking in case of an appeal against the banding given.

* IELTS is developed with input from item writers from around the world. Teams are located in the USA, Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and other English speaking nations.


IELTS Test Structure

All candidates must complete four Modules - Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking - to obtain a Band, which is shown on an IELTS Test Report Form (TRF). All candidates take the same Listening and Speaking Modules, while the Reading and Writing Modules differ depending on whether the candidate is taking the Academic or General Training Versions of the Test.

Total Test Duration 2 hours 45 minutes

The first three modules - Listening, Reading and Writing (always in that order) - are completed in one day, and in fact are taken with no break in between. The Speaking Module may be taken, at the discretion of the test centre, in the period seven days before or after the other Modules.

The tests are designed to cover the full range of ability from non-user to expert user.

Source: http://www.bignews.biz/?id=846284&pg=2&keys=ielts-writing-speaking-grammar