Apart from other mandatory professional exams to pass and registration standards particular to each country, the IELTS has to be cleared in order to apply for a work permit/visa.
However please check immigration rules,registration formalities, scores required and eligibility criteria on the websites of the countries you are applying to.
Tips for clearing the IELTS:
- Take 6 months to prepare for the IELTS :
You need to start preparing well before the test date. It is recommended that if you are not a regular user of the English language, you take at least 6 months to prepare. This is because you will be studying/working full time alongside preparing for the test. 2 hours everyday practice will help you prepare well.
- Understand the test format of the IELTS:
The IELTS tests 4 language skills: Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking. Understand the time limit, question types and scoring patterns of each test.The Writing and Speaking tests will be scored subjectively, that is, by independent examiners. The Reading and Listening scores are marked as per your correct answers—a mark for each correct answer. The questions here are multiple choice questions and fill in the blanks question.
- Join a tutorial or hire a private tutor who has experience with the IELTS: A coaching class is a must if you are not very fluent in English. The trainers or teachers will tell you your weak areas and coach you for each skill individually. For the speaking and writing tests, you cannot score yourself when you are undertaking self-study. An IELTS tutor can tell you how to write an essay, how to speak on the IELTS speaking test and how to score high on the Reading and Listening tests.
- Practice English skills at home on a regular basis:
The only way to learn any language is to immerse yourself fully into it.To get a score of 7 on the IELTS your vocabulary and grammar of English Language should be of a very high level. The only way to practice English at home is to read and listen to a lot of English.
Cultivate a habit of reading. Read plenty of English language journals, magazines and newspapers. Look into the dictionary and get the meanings of words if you do not know the meaning.
Listen to the radio, especially BBC programmes and watch English channels on TV or on You Tube.
You can start with simple reading —like reading the newspaper and some short stories in English. You can watch entertainment programmes in English where you will be able to get the gist of what people are speaking about. Get used to accents in English since the listening test will have speakers speaking in the British or Australian accent.
- Practice from sample IELTS sample materials:
Practice taking the tests from the many books on IELTS available in the market and from practice material available online. Get feedback from your tutor or friend/colleague/relative who can help you with speaking and writing.
Write small essays on a given topic in English. Get it corrected from a teacher for grammatical and spelling mistakes. In the written test, you need to write correct sentences without spelling mistakes.
Pick up speaking topics from the IELTS website or from books and practice with a friend or tutor.
- Essay writing on the IELTS Academic is the toughest, so practice well:
Since nurses have to opt for the IELTS Academic test, the writing section is most daunting. For both tasks—description as well as essay writing, you need to know how to structure a sentence well—grammatically correct with good vocabulary. You also need to use correct spellings. For an essay you need to understand the essay prompt and structure your essay well and follow all the English grammar and vocabulary rules. There are several kinds of essays but the two most common are opinion giving and describing experiences from everyday life. Practice writing these essays and keep improving your scores. Learn about word limit and time limit for each task. Do not write too little or too less.
- Approach the IELTS speaking test with confidence:
The examiners need to know that you can express yourself well in English in a professional environment. Learn how to introduce yourself, greet the examiner, talk about your family, your work and a few everyday situations. Practice how to give your opinion on a subject. It is difficult to speak for 2-3 minutes on a particular subject unless you practice this.
Ask your tutor/friend to give you feedback on your pronunciation and clarity.
There is no correct or wrong answers on the speaking test.You can speak from your imagination and give a different opinion on any question. The only thing your examiner wants to know is whether you can speak in English and sustain a conversation for long, fully understanding the topic of the conversation.
- Do not register for the test unless you are confident of getting 7:
Unless you have been regularly getting 7 in your coaching class on all 4 modules of the IELTS, do not register for the test.
Many candidates lose money by registering for the test before preparations have even begun. If you fail the test you need to spend money again to retake the test. Besides it holds up your visa process and will cause you a lot of stress.
- Take 3-4 full length mock tests before the IELTS exam date:
Practice taking a few full length tests and make sure you finish within the time limit given. Keep about 4 hours each day (about 3-4 days) for doing full length tests.
If you are registered in a coaching class, ask them to give you full length tests, simulating a real IELTS test environment. That way, there will be no surprises on the exam date.
This also helps you feel less nervous and stressed on the test date.
10Plan your IELTS test date:
This is very important. Many candidates, in a hurry to get over with the visa process, just rush and book a test date without planning. Since IELTS test scores are valid for 2 years, it is better to clear your test well before your visa processing starts. Thatway, there will be no hold up. Also it will give you time if you have to take a retest.
This kind of planning will help you overcome any time deadlines that are so often put up during the migration period.
The IELTS test—an overview
It is available in two modules.
- IELTS Academic –
IELTS Academic is for candidates who want to study or seek a professional registrationin an English speaking country.
For admissions into a Diploma/ Graduate/ Post- Graduate program , IELTS Academic scores are required.
- Reading :
Academic reading, is for 60 mins.in which the candidate needs to answer 40 questions. 3 long texts are taken from books, journals, magazines and newspapers.
- Writing :
In Academic writing there are 2 tasks.
Task-1 – Describe a table/ chart/ picture in 150 words
Task-2- Write an essay on the given topic in 250 words.
- IELTS General –
This is mainly designed for immigrants, in order to check the candidates’ daily, practical languageproficiency.
- Reading: It also has the same time limit and questions like Academic reading. But here 3 lengthy passages would be extracted from notices, advertisements, company handbooks, official documents, books and newspapers.
- Writing –
Task-1 – Write a letter in 150 words
Task-2 – Write an essay in 250 words.
The Listening and Speaking tests are the same for both IELTS Academic and IELTS General
This is a 30 mins test, where the test taker has to fill in the blanks, and answer multiple choice questions. The toughness of the questions increases progressively.
After the listening test, the candidate gets 10 extra minutes to transfer answers from main question booklet to the computerized sheet.
The speaking test time limit is 11-15 minutes.
The test is in 3 parts.
Part-A- General introduction, a few general questions
Part-B – Topic card
Part-c – based upon the assigned cue card the examiner asks a few more questions, to continue the discussion.