IELTS is considered to be one of the most popular exams amongst people who dream of a future abroad. A high score is considered as an indicator of adaptability in a country where the primary language is English. Thus points from IELTS score is considered to be an important deciding factor contributing towards the immigration prospects of a candidate besides others such as Age, Education and Marital Status.
An International Standardized Test of English conducted to test the language proficiency of non-native English speakers. Jointly managed by 3 international bodies namely The British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge Assessment English, it was conducted in the year 1989. Some of the facts associated with the IELTS exam are:
- Accepted by most Australian, British, Canadian, US, New Zealand academic institutions, and by various professional organizations across the world.
- Considered as the only secure Test approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI)
- The band score in IELTS vary from band 1″ (“non-user”) to “band 9” (“expert user”)
- The validity of the IELTS score is of 2 years only
GENERAL IELTS AND ACADEMIC IELTS
The IELTS exam is of two types:
Though the article covers in detail the strategy a candidate needs to adopt in order to score high in IELTS Academic exam, one needs to understand the difference between a General IELTS and Academic IELTS.
While attempting the IELTS exam most of the candidates are confused over which form of the exam he should appear for.
IELTS GENERAL EXAM
The exam is an English proficiency requirement mainly for immigration purposes like gaining residence visas/work permit. Some of the countries which use the scores of General IELTS are Canada, United Kingdom Australia and New Zealand
IELTS ACADEMIC EXAM
IELTS is considered a prerequisite for applying for any Bachelor’s /Masters /PhD course in the world more so in Canada, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
OTHER DIFFERENCES BETWEEN IELTS ACADEMIC AND IELTS GENERAL
Though there is the same number of sections in both the versions, some of the differences are listed below:
- The difficulty level of the Reading Comprehension section is higher in Academic Testing where a candidate can be tested on his ability to interpret and infer on topics of academic importance.
- The Written section is much simpler in General Testing where it is a mere 150 word while the Academic Test requires the candidate to infer from a complex Graphical diagram such as Pie Chart or Bar Charts.
Overall the General Testing is just considered as an adaptability factor to survive in an English Speaking country while the Academic version is complex and consists of a series of tests where a candidate presents complex data in written format.
TIPS AND STRATEGY OF SCORING HIGH IN IELTS ACADEMIC EXAM
ENHANCE YOUR CORE ENGLISH SKILLS
Learning any language is a skill which one needs to learn. The first and foremost approach for this has to start from reading, writing, listening and speaking. Covering all these attributes is not like appearing for the random mock test. One needs to constantly enhance the skills through incorporating it in the daily lifestyle like a conversation, audio and watching movies etc. Also, a good English teacher can get you to understand English or immerse yourself in the language through books, newspapers, music and movies. Make discussion groups of English conversing friends or colleagues. Find some English-speaking friends and organize an English only conversation club. The key to acing the test is to be as natural as possible.
IMPROVE YOUR WEAKNESSES
Scoring High in IELTS is dependent on your understanding of English Grammar. One should take time to evaluate himself for the errors if related to spellings or usage of part of speech or a missing punctuation mark. Practice eliminating these errors with time. The point made here is to eliminate the errors with constant learning and be adept in all aspects at the time of examination. It shall enable you to score a higher band score thus improving your chances of selection at a deemed college or University.
POLISH YOUR SPEAKING SKILLS
Practice with friends and colleagues at work. Don’t get disheartened if you are not able to pronounce it in the right way. The key to a speaking test is that one needs to be able to communicate continuously for about 3-4 minutes. So practice speaking taking care that it should seem natural and not rehearsed. Practice with a family member and be comfortable about yourself and share some of your experiences.
READ ON VARIETY OF TOPICS RELATED TO ACADEMICS
In order to increase one’s band score of IELTS one needs to read a variety of topics on Academic importance such as Sociology, Science, and History Economics. The more one reads on these topics the more understanding one gets and thus is able to infer better especially in Speaking and Written English.
SIMULATING NATIVE ENGLISH FLUENCY
In order to score high in IELTS academic one needs to follow:
i) FAMILIARITY WITH VARIOUS ACCENTS AND PRONUNCIATION
ii) ACQUAINTANCE WITH NEW VOCABULARY AND INTERESTING TOPICS
iii) WATCH MOVIES AND HEAR PODCASTS AND TED TALKS
The candidates should keep in mind that more exposure to General Language, the higher the chances of a HIGHER THAN 7.0 BAND SCORE IN IELTS ACADEMIC EXAM.
MOST COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT IELTS
Some of the common questions that have intrigued the prospective IELTS candidates are listed below:
- What is the purpose of the IELTS exam?
- What is the difference between IELTS General Testing and IELTS Academic Testing?
- How can coaching help me in preparation for the Academic IELTS examination?
- Can a high IELTS score guarantee me admission to a prestigious University?
- How should i get a higher band score in the IELTS Academic Exam?
Our research has been based on personal experiences, especially the interaction with many retrospective candidates who not have attained band scores of 7,8 and even perfect 9 in all the sections namely Speaking, Reading, Listening and Writing respectively in the IELTS exam. With sincere hope that these golden strategic rules besides working for many turns out useful for you all too.