The Star Malaysia - Star2
Guide to IELTS
THE International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is one of the world’s most popular English language proficiency tests for higher education and migration.
There are two types of tests: IELTS General Training for those who wish to work in or immigrate to English-speaking countries, and IELTS Academic for undergraduate and postgraduate students, and those who want to join a professional organisation in an English-speaking country.
What to expect in the IELTS test?
The IELTS test comprises four sections and tests listening, speaking, reading and writing.
The exam rating is divided into nine bands, with one being the lowest and nine the highest. Candidates are given an individual rating for each of the four skills and an average score of these represents their overall band score.
In the Academic writing test, you are asked to describe a graph, chart or diagram and summarise the information. For the IELTS General Training test, you are tasked to write a letter to request information or explain a situation. Task 2 is to write an essay in response to an argument, opinion or problem.
Both General and Academic Exams have three texts with tasks. In IELTS Academic, the texts are factual, discursive, descriptive or analytical. They may include diagrams, graphs or illustrations. For IELTS General, the first two texts are shorter and factual. The third text is longer on a topic of general interest.
This component lasts 30 minutes, with an extra 10 minutes to transfer your answers onto an answer sheet. It has four sections that can be dialogues, monologues and conversations. There are a variety of accents and voices, and you only hear the recording once.
Here, you are interviewed face to face by an IELTS examiner on three sections: short questions, speaking at length on an everyday topic and a discussion.
Taking the test
The British Council IELTS Malaysia offers paper-based and computer-delivered IELTS. Computer-delivered IELTS is offered with a wider choice of test dates and faster results delivery (five to seven days). The paper-based IELTS is offered up to 48 times a year, with the results released 13 days after the test.
Taking IELTS with the British Council is also convenient with 15 test venues nationwide and a simple online registration process.