Before applying to a university in the UK, you will have had to pass an English exam to prove you know English well enough to take part in the UK Higher Education. One of the most recognized exams of English is IELTS — International English Language Testing System. There are two types of IELTS exam, academic and general training. For entering higher education you’ll need to pass the academic type.
How does IELTS test look like?
The IELTS exam tests 4 skills related to knowing a foreign language — listening, reading, writing and speaking. The test lasts almost the whole day, as reading and writing parts last one hour each, listening part lasts 30 minutes and you’ll get a time slot for speaking on the day of the test. Speaking includes a conversation with an examiner which asks test takers general questions on some familiar topics such as home, family, work, studies and interests. All speaking tests are recorded.
How do I apply for an IELTS test and how much does it cost?
There are more than 1,600 IELTS test locations in over 140 countries so you are very likely to have the opportunity of taking the test in your home country. You can enter your location here and find the nearest IELTS centre. Once you’ve found it, feel free to contact them for any further questions you may have. You’ll then have to send an application form and a copy of your passport. The payment depends on the local currency of your country, but it’s mostly between £160–180.
How can I prepare for an IELTS test?
If you’re considering studying in the UK, you probably know English well enough to pass the test. However, some universities require a minimum score, depending on the course you’re applying for and the level of study. Most often the required minimum is 6.0, 6.5 or 7.0 (averaged score of all 4 test components) for PhD courses. You can find which organisations and institutions accept IELTS scores and their minimum here. Here’s the whole scale of IELTS scores:
It would be good to revise the English language materials from your previous education as the primary source of your preparation, but there are some sample tests on the IELTS web page. You can see how the test looks like for each particular part and practice to see how well you did.
Reading books in English, watching TV shows and movies without the subtitles also helps. If you have the chance, try speaking English in your everyday life too, as practice is what’s most important when learning a foreign language.
How long is my IELTS test score valid for?
IELTS recommends a 2-year validity period for IELTS test results based upon the phenomenon of second language loss or ‘attrition’. So make sure you don’t take your test too early and remember when you took it. In simple words, if you don’t get admitted to your desired university in your first attempt, you still have one year to try. After that, you’ll have to take another IELTS test.
There are also different types of English exams so make sure IELTS is the one you need before booking it. If you have any further questions about English language exams, feel free to email us at email@example.com.