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What you need to know about the International English Language Testing System

Are you aspiring to earn a degree overseas? Have you gathered the necessary documents to move plans to take international education forward? In the process of fulfilling study abroad aspirations, you might have encountered IELTS or the International English Language Testing System.


IELTS: When English is a Native Language


More than just a proficiency exam to see how well a person can communicate in the English language, IELTS prepares international students and other aspiring immigrants to work, study, or migrate to a country where English is a native language.


IELTS requires that an individual be able to demonstrate a high level of English language proficiency. This is why prior to the test, takers of this exam are encouraged to prepare and may even need to enroll to review centers in the hopes of achieving higher scores. This way, foreign students also receive the support they need in becoming better communicators in the English language.


Zero to Nine


The IELTS band score ranges from zero to nine. A certain score corresponds to the skill level of the test taker. A score of zero to four means that the test taker did not answer the questions, has no ability to use the language except for a few isolated words, or has a limited capacity in communicating in English that can only be used in familiar situations. 


Meanwhile, a score of five to seven indicates partial command of the language, can cope with overall meaning in most situations, can generally handle complex language well, or understand detailed reasoning.


A score of eight to nine means the test taker is either a very good user or an expert user. This indicates that they have a fully operational command of the English language, can handle complex and detailed argumentation, and can communicate appropriately, accurately, and fluently.


Academic and General Training

IELTS has different test formats, but generally, there are two types of IELTS tests– Academic and General Training. The formats vary according to listening and speaking skills, academic reading and writing, and general training for reading and writing.


Different institutions require different IELTS types. It is imperative that a test taker confirms what type of test should be taken. This must be clarified with the higher education institution (HEI) such as a college or university, government, company, or whoever is requiring the IELTS. For international recruitment purposes, some HEIs set their own policy on English language assessment.


In most instances, an international student is supported by a student recruitment agent in preparing and registering for an IELTS exam. 


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