Tips From My IELTS Experience
This is the IELTS experience submitted by an IELTS taker. You can read other IELTS takers’ experience here.
I gained my IT certification in July and then began preparing for IELTS. The International English Language Testing System is an international standardized test of proficiency in English for people who want to study, work, or live abroad in English-speaking countries such as Canada, New Zealand, Australia, the U.S., and the U.K. I took the test because I wanted to move out of India. There are two types of tests: Academic, for those who want to study and General Training, for those who want to work or live. I took the General Training test.
The test has four modules: Reading, Listening, Writing, and Speaking.
This was the trickiest module because you need complete concentration to listen carefully while you note the answers. We had a minute to read the questions before the audio recording was played and it was played only ONCE. After the recording is over, candidates have 10 minutes to transfer their answers to the answer sheet. This module takes 30 minutes.
This module has three sections of increasing complexity. However, I was at ease because I read books and articles regularly. It is enough to scan or skim through an article. My method is to read the questions first and then identify the keywords in the text. This module takes 60 minutes.
This module was easy for me because I have been typing documents on the computer for the last 10 years.
Task one: to write an informal letter to a friend asking him/her about a new job
Points to be included:
- Reasons for not keeping in touch
- Asking for details about the new job
- Proposing a time to meet
I exceeded the minimum word count of 150 because I had a lot to say.
Task two: to write an essay on the advantages of shopping in a modern shopping mall vs. a small local market
Both pros and cons to be mentioned
This module takes 60 minutes.
I found this module nerve-wracking. My test was scheduled two days after the written modules.
I arrived an hour in advance and registered quickly. It felt like giving an HR interview for a job.
Part one: The examiner asks personal questions about your hometown, the part of the house where you feel the happiest, your favorite color now and previously, your least favorite color, and your favorite toy. I was not prepared for the questions on favorite color and toy, so I made up the answers.
Part two: Speak on the topic “Your most enjoyable activity within a group.”
Points to include:
- What do you do
- How often do you take part in the activity
- Who accompanies you in the activity
I was given a cue card and allowed to prepare for a minute with a pen and paper. I spoke about my recent travel experiences.
Part three: Questions related to the topic given for part two
The examiner asked questions like why some people like being alone, why is it good for the elderly to be in groups, what is the advantage of children being in groups, and should we force children to join a group.
This module takes 15 minutes.
I received the results after two weeks and I got my desired score of 8.0.