Top 10Misconceptions about the IELTS Exam:
Score high in the IELTS by not falling prey to rumors and myths spread by others. Learn for yourself what the IELTS exam is all about and prepare accordingly.
There are many misconceptions about the IELTS Test which seem to be quite challenging and dangerous. The IELTS Test is not just about performing well in the exam, or having a high level of English and examining your test skills, it is about learning how the test works by understanding what the examiners expect. If you are not equipped with accurate information, unnecessary errorsthat lower your band score are bound to happen.
Few evident misconceptions are
- There is only one correct answer for each question in the speaking test.
Many IELTS aspirants believe that the speaking test is more like mathematics than English. There is no correct or incorrect answer when it comes to thespeaking test. The examiner will judge your answer based on the following 4 parameters.
- Fluency and coherence
- Lexical resource
- Grammatical range and accuracy
There is no single way to answer a question in the speaking test. Five different people could give five different answers to a question and they all can get a high score if their speech is fluent and clear containing a wide range of vocabulary along with proper pronunciation. The grammatical range of the sentences in the speech should be accurate and not contain too many errors.
- The examiner must agree with my opinion in the speaking and the writing test.
IELTS is not a knowledge or an opinion based test. You can achieve a band score of 9 even if the examiner disagrees with every opinion you have. Theexaminer may only judge your ability to speak or write in English. He is not authorized to agree or disagree with your opinions. So in the exam you may expressyour outlook liberally without worrying about the examiner’s opinions or feelings.
- Some testing centers provide easier tests than others
IELTS is a standardized test. The IELTS Test scores are accepted by top universities of the world. It is one of the most reliable language testing exams available for us today. All testing centers have the same standards and mark you with the same criteria across the globe. IELTS examiners undergo a lot of training and preparation in order to allocate you the correct score. Examiners are also monitored to ensure if proper scores are assigned to all the test takers.
- Some examiners are more generous while a few are too strict.
You must understand that the IELTS examiner is not your friend to award you an accurate score. The examiner is not authorized to be overly generous or too strict. You must comprehend that the examiner might not be constantly smiling at you since he would be concentrating on grading your speech and not because he dislikes you. The factor that determines your score is your speech and not the examiners attitude.
- A lot of cheat codes are available to score well in the IELTS exam.
Many websites and training schools claim that they provide cheat codes that guarantee a high band score in the exam. This can befalse and misleading. The IELTS Test has 4 sections with a set paper pattern. Since the pattern of the test does not change, ‘cheats’ for this test can never be available. But there are many training schools that provide genuine training and help the test aspirants understand the test pattern and learn the different task types that will be given in the test.
- Studying IELTS helps attaining a good band score
Understand the IELTS test pattern and practicing is very important, but your general English ability is more important. If you feel that you are unable to score well in the test, it’s not IELTS Test paper that is difficult, but your English language Comprehension skills that needs to be polished. So always work on your general English first before starting to prepare for the IELTS test. Once your general English skills areenhanced, you can improve your test skills and learn about the test.
- I should learn a lot of complicated words and supplement them into my writing and speaking test
Displaying knowledge of a wide range of vocabulary is very important but it becomes too obvious to an IELTS examiner when students insert complex words into their writing just because they think this will impress the examiner. This looks too unnatural and your coherence and cohesion suffers. Learning a list of words and then dropping them into your essay, without really thinking about the meaning, will make you lose marks. If you are uncertain about the usage of a word, do not use it. You should be aware of not only the meaning of the word, but also its form, collocations and synonyms.
- I should not ask the examiner to repeat the question in the Speaking test
The Speaking test is not like the listening test where you get to listen to the question only once. It is acceptable to ask the examiner to repeat the question. You may also ask the examiner to explain the meaning of a word but not too often. Don’t abuse this privilege as it leaves the impression that you are not familiar with English language.
- I should learn the British or American accent to perform well in the Speaking test
Students without British or American accents get 9 in the speaking test every day. The IELTS Test is all about comprehension and not about learning accent. It is about speaking fluently and using a range of pronunciation features such as, sentence stress, weak sounds, linking sounds and intonation.
- It is better to have a wide range of grammatical structures than be error free
When it comes to grammar, you will be judged on 2 things.
- ability to use a wide range of structures
- Ability to write error-free sentences.
You tend to commit more errors when you use complicated grammar structures. So use only structures that you feel very comfortable with and you are confident about. This helps to reduce the amount of errors you commit wh