IELTS -- International English Language Testing System

>> marți, 27 octombrie 2009

 Description

IELTS (International English Language Testing System) assesses the ability to communicate in English. It is designed for people who need to study or work in an English speaking environment. It is recognised by over 4700 educational institutions, professional organisations and government agencies worldwide, especially in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and, increasingly, the US. It is a requirement for migration to Canada and Australia.

Who administers IELTS?
IELTS is managed jointly by Cambridge ESOL, the British Council and IDP:IELTS Australia.
Where can my students take IELTS?
IELTS can be taken at approximately 300 centres in 120 countries. The number of people who take IELTS every year currently stands at more than 700,000.

How is IELTS structured?
IELTS is offered in two different formats. The Academic Module is designed for people intending to study at English speaking universities and colleges. The General Training Module is designed for immigration purposes, and for people intending to undertake non-academic training or work experience.

IELTS tests all four language skills. Listening and Speaking are the same for all test takers, but Reading and Writing are different for the Academic and General Training Modules.

Listening (30 minutes, 4 sections, 40 questions)
The Listening Module consists of a number of monologues and conversations, first in a social context, and then an educational or training context. The monologues and conversations increase in difficulty as the test progresses and include a variety of accents and dialogues. Question types include multiple choice, short/answer, sentence completion, notes/summary/diagram/flow-chart/table completion, labelling a diagram, classification and matching.

Reading (60 minutes, 40 questions)
The Reading module consists of three passages with a total of between 200 and 2750 words. Question types include multiple choice, short answer, sentence completion, notes/summary/diagram/flow-chart/table completion, choosing headings, identifying views, claims or information, classification and maatching.

Texts for the Academic Reading Module are taken from non-specialist sources such as books, magazines and newspapers. Texts for the General Training Reading Module are taken from the types of source which test takers would be expected to encounter on a day-to-day basis, such as advertisements, instruction manuals, leaflets and timetables.

Writing (60 minutes, 2 tasks)
Task 1 is expected to take 20 minutes, task 2 is expected to take 40 minutes.

The Academic Writing Module consists of a 150 word report based on material in a table or diagram, and a 250 word essay in response to an opinion or problem. The General Training Writing Module consists of a 150 word letter asking for information or explaining a situation, and a 250 word essay in response to an opinion or problem.

Speaking (11-14 minutes)
The Speaking Module is a face to face interview, where test takers must answer short questions and speak about a familiar topic at length.

How is IELTS scored?
IELTS is scored on a Band Scale from 1-9 as shown below. Each Module is given a Band Score, and the four scores are then averaged to give an Overall Band Score.

9 - Expert User
8 - Very Good User
7 - Good User
6 - Competent User
5 - Modest User
4 - Limited User
3 - Extremely Limited User
2 - Intermittent User
1 - Non User
(0 - Did not attempt the test)

The IELTS handbook gives full descriptors of each band, including a guide to possible acceptable scores for different academic and training courses.

How long are IELTS scores valid?
The IELTS handbook recommends that scores are not accepted more than two years after the date of the test, unless test takers can prove that they have actively maintained their level of English proficiency.
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