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IELTS


INTERNATIONAL ENGLISH LANGUAGE TESTING SYSTEM (IELTS)
(
www.ielts.org)

Want to apply for IELTS? 
 
Register for IELTS at CBLA, 753-C, Faisal Town, Lahore, Pakistan. Call: +92 42 35161229-30.. IELTS registration is done free without any service charge at CBLA. CBLA is an authorized centre for IELTS registration and you can also collect some useful books and reading resources for IELTS preparation.

What is IELTS all about? Check it out here

What is IELTS Test?
The IELTS test is a test of English accuracy. Many students (people) are conversant in daily life and their spoken English may be good, but the accuracy of their language often needs attention.

For students, simply, IELTS test is an English test that essentially checks your reading, writing, listening, speaking skills to determine that you will be able to understand and cope with the course you are going to study
Test Takers (Is IELTS required or Who accepts IELTS?):
Yes. IELTS is accepted by over 6000 Institutions in 135 Countries.

It has to be taken by students wishing to study Undergraduate Courses (like Bachelors, HND, Diploma, etc.), Post Graduate Courses (like Masters, MBA, MA, MSc, MS courses), Research courses (like PhD, MPhil, etc.).

IELTS test is also required for immigration purposes

Quick Tip from CBLA: IELTS Test Score is not compulsory to be submitted while applying to Universities in UK, Australia, New Zealand. Universities can provide a conditional offer letter advising on the required IELTS score, which can be updated later. Thus, while you are making applications to Universities, you can also simultaneously prepare for IELTS and appear for the IELTS test. This will save time!
Test Conducted and Administered By:
IELTS Test is jointly conducted by:

University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations (Cambride ESOL) (http://www.cambridgeesol.org)
British Council (http://www.britishcouncil.org or http://www.ielts.org)
Nature of IELTS Test:
Paper Based Test (PBT)
Types of IELTS Test (Which IELTS test should I take?):
2 Types:

Academic IELTS to be taken by students who wish to Study Abroad

General IELTS to be taken by people wishing to apply for permanent residency (PR), work permit, and such other
IELTS Test Pattern:
IELTS includes 4 modules:

Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking
IELTS Test Duration:
The test is for 2 hours and 45 minutes excluding the Speaking module. The Speaking module is for 15 minutes; thus the total duration is for 3 hours

Note: Speaking module test is generally conducted on a different day than listening, reading and writing
IELTS Test Scores:
0 to 9 Band. A good IELTS score or a recommended IELTS score by most Universities is 6.5 Band or higher. Many Universities and Colleges accept students with 5.5 Band to 6.0 Band for undergraduate studies and with 6.5 Band for Post Graduate Studies (including Masters, MBA, etc.).

Band scores are used for each language sub-skill (Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking). The Band Scale ranges from 1 ("Non User") to 9 ("Expert User") the four Band Scores, one for each section are added together and averaged for an Overall Band Score. Each Band has a statement giving a summary of the English at that level.

IELTS Validity (How long is IELTS Test valid for?):
Each IELTS Test Score is valid for 2 years
Official Score Reported (When do I get the IELTS Results?)
Mailed after 13 days of taking the test
When is the IELTS Test Conducted?:
IELTS Test is conducted thrice a month (in general). IELTS examination dates are easily available online
When to Register for IELTS?
At least 10 days before the available test date. Check the IELTS dates in advance (at least a month before you wish to take the IELTS test)
Where does one Register for the Test ?:
CBLA Centre (we do it online for you in a matter of few minutes) / British Council Pakistan
Mode of Registration:
Online or Walk-in (in person) to the Centre with completed Test Application Form
Which documents are required for IELTS Registration:
Original and Valid Passport
Duly filled application form (we do it online for you) with the following information at least
2 Photographs (earlier than 6 months old)
Demand Draft (without a date mentioned, the demand draft is returned) or Credit Card

Note: The original passport is also required on the day of the test
Rescheduling (Can I reschedule the IELTS Test Date?)
If you postpone or cancel your application more than 5 weeks before the test date, you will receive a refund minus an administration charge

If you postpone or cancel within 5 weeks of the test date, you will be charged the full fee unless you have a medical reason. If you provide a medical certificate within 5 days of the test date, you will receive a refund minus the local administrative cost
Repeat Test (Can I take the test again?)
Yes you can take the test as many times as you want. But will that give a good impression to your University? And remember, each time you have pay the test fee

Note: You will have to register at least 10 days in advance. Thus, check the dates beforehand
IELTS Test Details, Questions and Time:

IELTS Academic Training:
  • Listening (40 questions) - 30 minutes
  • Reading (40 questions) - 60 minutes
  • Writing (2 essays) - 60 minutes
  • Speaking - 10 to 15 minutes

 

IELTS General Training:
  • Listening (40 questions) - 30 minutes
  • Reading (40 questions) - 60 minutes
  • Writing (2 essays) - 60 minutes
  • Speaking-10 to 15 minutes

 

IELTS Writing:
  • 1st essay (150 words) 20 minutes
  • 2nd essay (250 words) 40 minutes

 

IELTS Coaching
CBLA conducts IELTS Coaching Classes

CBLA also provides last minute mock tests (if you are already prepared but want to ensure, everything is in place before you go for the test)

Call CBLA at +92 42 35161229-30 to ask any questions

IELTS Training is conducted during the week, weekends and in the evenings for working students. The IELTS classes are small batches (not more than 3 to 5 students) and can also be done as a one-on-one coaching


Quick Tips from CBLA: IELTS Tips for Students

IELTS Reading Tips:

Students believe reading section in IELTS test may be easy and take it lightly during their preparation. We advise pay as much attention as possible and read as much as possible. It could be anything from newspapers, articles to good novels, etc. There are three long passages that you have to read during the test and to which you have to answer 40 questions (13 to 14 questions per section). Furthermore, like the listening test, no additional time is provided at the end to transfer answers to your answer sheet. The reading section in the IELTS test lasts for an hour and most times this is not enough for students, especially whose reading habits are not good. However do not be afraid of IELTS exams overall, read some useful tips below:
  • Answer All: Answer all questions. There is no negative marking
  • Make Reading a Habit: While you are preparing for the test, make reading a habit. Read newspaper editorials, articles, magazines, good novels, etc. This helps you increase the speed of your reading ability. Carefully read through 'How to Prepare for IELTS' (to start with) and then the 'Cambridge IELTS' book which is very helpful. This will help in understanding the types of questions and the strategies to answer these questions
  • Time to be allotted to each section: Section 3 is more difficult than Section 2 and Section 2 is more difficult than Section 1. Thus, spend about 15 to 18 minutes on Section 1, 20 minutes on Section 2, and 22 to 25 minutes on Section 3. May be if its possible, keep sometime to quickly check your answers in the end
  • Sequence: The answers usually appear in the text in the same order as the questions ie. Answer to first question will be available before the answer to the second question. Thus, the next point is very helpful
  • First Read the Questions: Quickly scrape through all the questions first section wise. Then, start reading the passage. As you find relevant texts (answers), keep underlining them (or mark the important parts)
  • Instructions and Word Limit: Read the instructions for each question very carefully. If the question specifies that you must not use more than three words in your answer, stick to three words
  • Missed an Answer: Don't mull if you miss an answer. Concentrate on the next one and move on. You can always come back later. Remember, there is a time limit
  • Stick to Basics: Answer in singular if asked to do so (not in plural). Remember, all answers are there in the text and you do not need any outside knowledge to provide answers (find them). Concentrating on words which you cannot read through quickly will only waste time (just read them through). Copy the answer correctly (imagine making spelling mistakes when you are simply 'copying'). Answer it all
 

IELTS Speaking Tips:

 

  • Do Speak: Some students fumble. They tend to get nervous. Remember you have paid a price to test your English language skills. Why not enjoy the test?
  • Speak Clearly: The topic could be any and you will be speaking for an average of 11 minutes. Don't worry about your accent. Significance of the test is on whether the examiner on that day understands you. Do not be afraid to apologizing if you have made a mistake. Don't fret, simply move on with what your mind says and translate in to clear English words and sentences
  • Language and Words: Many students feel using high end vocabulary will get them a good score. That's a myth. Be simple, clear and ensure that you use correct words rather than difficult ones. Remember, it's someone else examining you and you are not the one who is taking the examiner's test. It's understood that the examiner may know much more than you. Thus, use simple, easy to understand language. However, you may want to improve up on your existing skills before the test. For eg. another way of saying 'coming back' can be 'returning'; 'very happy' can be substituted by 'delighted'; and such other possibilities
  • Steady Pace: Maintain a pace. Avoid being too fast or too slow. Check if your examiner is understanding you
  • Never Memorize: Don't learn your sample answers in way that you are only going to answer that. Answer that occurs to your mind because the topic could be any and importantly, develop a one way conversation. It's easier!
  • Focus on the Topic: Changing the topic could be one of the most crucial mistakes that you can make. Ensure that you are to the point
  • Practice: The ideas in the speaking are fairly covered and not exhaustive. You must possibly record your own answers while preparing for the test and identify errors beforehand
 
IELTS Listening Tips:

 

  • Concentration: Attentiveness is the key. Listen > Concentrate > Write : this is the key. You may panic if you miss the sequence (also check point 3)
  • Answer All: Answer all questions. There is no negative marking
  • Gap and Sequence: At the beginning of each section of the recording, time is provided to read the questions. The 30 seconds gap between the sections is most important. Check the sequence of the questions. The communication gets played in the same sequence. Time is also provided at the end of each section to check your answers. Use this time also to read the questions for the next section
  • Stick to Basics: Do not exceed the word limit (like you may be asked to write the answer in 2 to 3 words), do not writ in plural if singular is required, currency symbol should be written before the value, transfer all answers in capital letters, follow the correct date format, use universal abbreviations wherever appropriate to save time
  • Answers Corrections: The speaker often changes the answer to the question. Ensure that you collect the correct answer. Eg. Question: What did you have for breakfast today? Answer: Beans. Oh no, I think I actually had some cereals. Thus, the correct answer is cereals
  • Missed an Answer: Don't mull if you miss an answer. Concentrate on the next one and move on
  • Noting the Answers: Write the answers quickly on the question sheet itself. Do not memorise them or write it on the answer sheet. The 10 minutes provided at the end of the test are sufficient to transfer the answers to the answer sheet
 

How about watching a few good English movies before going for the test? It's an interesting way of hearing some different English accent if you are not used to it

 
IELTS Writing Tips:

Before looking at the tips, understand that you have to write 2 tasks in 60 minutes, Part 1 being simpler than Part 2. Writing task 1 requires you to describe a graph / table / diagram in AT LEAST 150 words while task 2 asks you to present an argument. Task 2 carries more marks than Task 1
  • Structured Format: This requires some practice. It is appealing to think what you will write than actually writing it. Ensure that you practice writing because during the test, you must ensure that your writing is structured so that you finish both tasks in the time allotted and within the word limit
  • Time allotment to both tasks: Take 20 minutes for task 1 and 40 minutes for task 2 (Note: Task 2 carries more marks as compared to Task 1)
  • Attempting Task 2 First: It would be a good idea to attempt task 2 first since its difficulty level is higher and also carries more marks. However check your comfort levels
  • Write down your ideas: For both writing tasks, it is a good idea to jot down your ideas on the question sheet so that you know the outline of what you will be writing. It may take 2 or 3 minutes but the time spent is worth it
  • Paragraph: Write different ideas in different paragraphs. It would make your and examiner's work easy
  • Avoid Repetition: Writing about the same information again and again will do not good. Avoid repetition. While analyzing your paragraphs, writing the flow should help
  • 150 words: Learn to recognize 150 words before the IELTS test date since during the test you may not have the time to count the words. If you write less than 150 words, you lose marks. If you write more, you are likely to make more mistakes. Try and stick to around 150 words
  • Flow of Writing (Task 1): Do not leap in to start writing. Ensure that you know what each axis resembles and to which units. The recommended structure / flow is: a. describe the graph / table in one sentence, b. describe important trends shown, c. describe the relevant and most significant parts of the data since describing all data may not be possible (compare trends between two graphs, if more than one graph is given), d. concluding sentence that summarizes the data
  • Flow of Writing (Task 2): Ideas are best developed when you read newspaper editorials and / or magazines on existing trends and topics. Besides, most importantly, every print media has a word limit and thus the usage of words is apt (in general). A recommended structure of writing IELTS Writing Task 2 is: a. always introduce the topic and state your stand, whether you agree or disagree, b. provide arguments supporting your viewpoint possibly with relevant examples, c. state the contrary viewpoint and provide reasons why you disagree with the same, d. conclude with a short concluding paragraph (summarize it) and e. if you have more time, revise your answers and correct any spelling or grammatical errors
 

Myths clarified:

British Council IELTS is not different from IDP IELTS and the IELTS result has nothing to do with where you register or give the test.
 
You need not appear for both: IELTS and TOEFL. Both are English language tests and are widely acceptable in most countries and nearly all universities. We would want to look at both as simple, but important "English exams", which can be easily cracked.
 
GRE English (Verbal) or GMAT English (Verbal) cannot replace an a test of English like IELTS or TOEFL. Students whose course require a GRE or a GMAT must also appear for one of the English exam ie. IELTS or TOEFL.

Final Suggestions:
Do not reach late at the exam centre. You do not want to lose money and time on taking another IELTS test date. 
 
You have done enough to prepare and appear for the IELTS test. Do not lose your score report. Many students face problems later only to find that they nearly missed an intake because they could not apply for their student visa timely.
 
Find some practice tests for IELTS before the IELTS exam. You will find many online sample tests for all modules: IELTS Reading, IELTS Writing, IELTS Speaking, IELTS Listening. Remember, whatever score you get during IELTS practice tests, in general believe that you will score .5 lesser in the actual test. Thus, if your score is not coming out well enough, practice more

IELTS in Lahore (IELTS Coaching for students):

Many students may require coaching for IELTS and IELTS prep could be important too. Remember, you can take the test as many times as you want. But focussed students would want to crack the IELTS test in the first attempt. Obviously, CBLA will be delighted to train you for the IELTS test. Many of our students have scored 7.5 Band, 8 Band and even 8.5 Band and we believe you can do it too. It just requires some determination for IELTS scoring. Lots of IELTS material, IELTS sample tests, IELTS practise test are available at CBLA. Make use of our IELTS coaching. Classes for IELTS are available during the week, on weekends, and in the evenings too for working students. 

 
Each IELTS class time duration could be between one hour to three hours depending on the work required. While some students are not good at spoken English but can manage English grammar well when it comes to writing, while for some speaking English could be easy, but use of newer English vocabulary could be required. All aspects are identified during the course of IELTS training. Coaching for IELTS is not essential but is always useful especially for the ones where application deadlines are near.


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