THE IELTS EXAM
Both the General IELTS and the Academic IELTS are integrated tests which assess all four fundamental skills (reading, listening, speaking and writing). The IELTS is scored in bands ranging from band 0, the lowest, to band 9, the highest moving up this scale in half-band increments (6.0, 6.5, 7.0. 7. 5…and so on). Test scores remain valid for two years from the date the official test result is issued.
Unlike Cambridge exams such as the B2 First and the C1 Advanced, the IELTS is not a pass/fail test. The test taker merely obtains or fails to obtain a score that is good enough to use for his or her purposes. Typically, the band scores needed either for emigration or further study can only be obtained by someone whose English is either at the high upper intermediate level (B2) or early advanced level (C1). It is therefore vital not to take the test until you are reasonably sure of getting the score required by the relevant emigration authority or university.
The main reason why test takers fail to get the results they require is that they have not had adequate practice with the many different tasks types in the test and have not developed the numerous sub-skills needed to perform these tasks competently. Our course is designed to teach the relevant sub-skills and ensure that students practice them on authentic materials of a kind that they will encounter in the actual exam. In addition, time is spent explaining the format of various task types as a knowledge of this can result in saving valuable time under examination conditions. Practicing on authentic materials also enables the trainer to assess more accurately where a student actually is in relation to where he or she needs to be.
Should you decide to enrol for IELTS preparation classes, we are also prepared to be flexible with regards to time and arrange for classes outside normal office hours. As many who do the IELTS are working professionals who need a suitable test result for emigration, such flexibility is needed in order to accommodate the fact that they are working full time.
It is impossible to generalise about how much preparation will be needed as much depends on the individual student’s English language level as well as the scores he or she needs to obtain. However, unless a student is already a strong upper-intermediate he or she should expect to invest a considerable amount of time in preparation as even textbooks designed for compact courses assume 50-60 hours of study.
In addition to this, the course Trainer will do continuous assessments of the students’ work and use the results of these as a diagnostic tool for further training. In this way students can be assured that the objectives of this program will be aimed at strengthening their weaknesses rather than wasting valuable time in areas in which they are already proficient.