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The International English Language Testing System also known as IELTS measures the language proficiency of individuals who want to study or work in countries where English is used as a medium of communication. A nine-band scale is used to measure the levels of proficiency. IELTS is available in two test versions namely, Academic and General Training.
IELTS Practice Test- Sample Papers:
Academic test version is for individuals who are applying for higher education. General Training test version is for individuals who are migrating to Australia, Canada and UK, or applying for secondary education, or for training programmes and work experience. Skills like listening, reading, writing, and speaking are tested.
IELTS Practice papers
Its crucial for candidates to know about the general test structure and sample questions in the IELTS practice papers/tests in order to be successful in the exam. Free sample questions or free IELTS Practice test samples are available on the official IELTS website. By practicing the sample questions, candidates will get to know the type of questions and tasks that they will have to undertake on the exam. Answers are provided in these practice papers. Listening and speaking sections are the same for both the versions of the tests but he reading and writing tests are different.
Official practice materials have been developed by IELTS to familiarize test-takers with the different question types and test structure. They are Vol.1 Official IELTS Practice Materials with (CD) and Vol.2 Official IELTS Practice Materials with (DVD). They contain sample questions with answers. They can be purchased from Cambridge University or an IELTS test centre.
The duration for this section on the IELTS practise test is 30 minutes. It contains four recorded monologues and conversations. Test-takers are required to work on sample tasks corresponding to the respective recordings. Test-takers can visit the official IELTS site to practice the tasks in this section.
IELTS Reading for Academic test
The duration for this section on the IELTS practise test is 60 minutes. The texts are taken from books, journals, magazines and newspapers. The questions are of various types. Examples include multiple choice, identifying information, identifying writers views, short answer questions and so on.
IELTS Reading for General Training Test
The duration for this section is 60 minutes. It includes a variety of sample tasks. The various question types that are included in this section are multiple choice, identifying information, identifying writers views, flow-chart completion, table completion and so on.
IELTS Academic Writing
The duration for this section is 60 minutes. It includes two writing tasks of 150 words and 250 words respectively. On task 1, candidates need to describe visual information (graph/chart etc.) in their own words. The duration for this task is approximately 20 minutes. On task 2, test-takers are presented with an argument or a problem. They need to complete this task in 40 minutes.
IELTS General Training Writing
The duration for this task is 60 minutes. It has two writing tasks of 150 words and 250 words respectively. On task 1, candidates need to respond to a situation by writing a letter. On task 2, candidates need to write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or a problem.
The duration for IELTS speaking is 11-14 minutes. On part 1, test-takers answer questions about themselves and their family. Part 2 involves speaking on a topic. Part 3 involves longer discussion on a topic. Each part tests a different aspect of ones communication ability.
IELTS exam preparation
To score high, test-takers need to first familiarize themselves with the test structure of the exam. The next step involves practicing the sample questions from all the sections that are available on the IELTS official website. Post this, test-takers can practice from the official preparation material designed by IELTS. The test-takers need to make sure that they are appearing for the right test version before they begin to practice the sample questions.