What is IELTS? and How do I start preparing for ielts?

What is IELTS and why you need it?
IELTS stands for International English Language Testing System. The IELTS examination is taken by those who wish to live, study or work in and English-speaking country.
IELTS is accepted worldwide, including universities, immigration departments, government organizations and international companies.

Who owns IELTS and who writes the test?
IELTS is jointly owned by British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge English Language Assessment and offered through more than 1,000 test centres and locations in over 140 countries. International teams of writers contribute to IELTS test materials. Ongoing research ensures that IELTS remains fair and unbiased. Test writers from different English-speaking countries develop IELTS content so it reflects real-life situations.

The Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS for Academic & General Training with Answers with DVD-ROM

Two versions of the test
IELTS has two versions – Academic and General Training. The Academic test is for those who want to study at university in an English-speaking country. The General Training test is for those who want to work, study at school or migrate to an English-speaking country.

Which version should you do?
Read the explanation of the Academic and General Training tests, then contact the organisation or institution to which you are applying to find out what it requires. Note that you must know which version to take when you complete the IELTS Application Form.

Preparing for the IELTS
Exam overview
The exam tests four language skills: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. There are separate Reading and Writing modules for Academic and General exams.
4 sections
30 min
Academic Reading
3 sections
60 min
General Reading
3 sections
60 min
Academic Writing
2 tasks
60 min
General Writing
2 tasks
60 min
3 parts
11 – 14 min
IELTS Prep Plus: 6 Academic IELTS + 2 General IELTS + Audio + Online

You will get your IELTS results within two weeks of taking the exam. You can’t pass or fail this exam, you will receive a Test Report Form with a bank score for each of the skills, and a final overall band which is an average of these. The scores are on a range of 0 to 9.
The following guide can help you to understand the IELTS nine-band scale:
Band 9 – Expert User
Understands and uses the language extremely well: produces appropriate, fluent language with no mistakes; understands everything
Band 8 – Very Good User
Understands and uses the language very well: only occasionally makes mistakes; may misunderstand some language in unfamiliar situations; is able to give complicated explanations clearly.
Band 7 – Good User
Understands and uses the language well: occasionally makes mistakes, and uses inappropriate language in some situations; generally uses complex language well, and understands complicated explanations.
Band 6 – Competent User
Generally understands and uses the language well: may make some mistakes or misunderstand things, but can use and understand fairly complex language in familiar situations.
Band 5 – Modest User
Uses the language fairly well in several situations: generally understands things in most situations, though is likely to make a lot of mistakes when speaking or writing; can usually manage quite well when dealing with familiar topics.
Band 4 – Limited User
Is only able to use basic language in familiar situations: makes a lot of mistakes, or uses language inappropriately; is not able to use complex language; often has problems understanding things.
Band 3 – Extremely Limited User
Is only able to produce and understand general meaning in very familiar situations: communication often breaks down completely.
Band 2 – Intermittent User
Can only talk/write about very basic information on familiar topics, using single words or short phrases: has great difficulty understanding.
Band 1 – Non User
Has no ability to use the language except a few words.

IELTS 15 Academic Student’s Book with Answers with Audio with Resource Bank: Authentic Practice Tests (IELTS Practice Tests) 1st Edition

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