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IELTS FAQs

Contents

 

What are the top IELTS FAQs among test takers in the Philippines?

FAQs Answers

01

Having a local accent may be a disadvantage in the Speaking section of the test, and having an English or American accent gives you more points in the Speaking section.

 

IELTS is an international test; therefore, examiners don’t mark according to accents. Test takers can speak in whatever accents they feel comfortable with. Examiners award a band score for each of the four criterion areas: Fluency and Coherence, Lexical Resource, Grammatical Range and Accuracy and Pronunciation.

02

It is difficult to pass the IELTS test because of the examiner's biases and preferences.

 

IELTS uses a 9-band scale to evaluate your language proficiency. Test results are reported in whole or half bands. A detailed description is available for each of the 9 bands, giving you a clear insight into your level of language proficiency. The IELTS Distributed Marking Rule ensures that a test taker's performance is assessed by different examiners and markers who do not have access to the test taker's scores on other sections.

03

It is better to take the IELTS outside your country of origin because it will be easier to achieve your desired IELTS scores.

 

Definitely not. IELTS benefits from a unique partnership of three international organisations. Whilst British Council is one of the IELTS partners that manages the test delivery and other centre-related aspects, Cambridge Assessment is involved in research, test development and paper despatch to all IELTS centres. Since the paper production and despatch are controlled by Cambridge Assessment, the standard of the test is the same regardless of the location you choose to sit for your test. It also brings consistency in the approach we undertake in assessing test takers on their language skills.

 

More FAQs answered by Doctor IELTS

FAQs Answers

01

IELTS scores can only be used for studying in the UK

 

IELTS, accepted by 10,000 organisations in 140 countries including the UK, US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand etc., is the world’s most recognised English language proficiency test. Not only is it accepted in the UK, it is also accepted in many other English-speaking countries and for purposes of study, work and migration. IELTS is the ideal choice for a multi-destination application.

02

Most US institutions only accept TOEFL scores.

 

This is not true. Over 3,000 US universities, including all Ivy League institutions, recognise IELTS. 95% and 99% of the top 200 US universities accept IELTS as part of their undergraduate and postgraduate programme application respectively.^ In fact, 83% of admissions officers in the US recommend IELTS as reliable evidence of English language proficiency.*
^Source: 2015 US News & World Report Top 200 ranking and individual universities' websites
*Source: 2016 US Admissions Officers Online Survey

03

Taking a computer-based test is better as I will lose marks for poor handwriting.

 

As long as your answer is legible, you won't lose marks for your handwriting. Different students have different preferences. Some students prefer to handwrite their answers as pen and paper is the familiar format they use in school exams. Some students who are used to doing work on a computer may prefer a computer-based test as they are more familiar with PC.

04

It is more difficult to get a higher score in IELTS than in TOEFL.

 

Although both are English proficiency tests, they are two different tests and cannot be compared side by side. IELTS is the world's most popular English test for good reasons. It is a communicative test that combines practical and academic use of English; the face-to-face speaking test provides an accurate assessment of the test taker’s English ability; and our quiet test environment helps test takers perform well.

05

Having flexibility over which sections to take first is better than sitting through the whole test in a fixed format.

 

In the IELTS test, all test takers proceed with the same section at the same time, which results in a quiet test environment. In tests where test takers have the flexibility to proceed with different sections at different times, the test environment will necessarily be noisier as some students might be doing a speaking test while others might start with the listening section.

06

IELTS is a UK test, therefore it uses British English while TOEFL uses American English and a mix of accents.

 

IELTS is an international test that accepts all standard English varieties – British, American, Australian, Canadian and more. A range of native-speaker English accents is used in the Listening and Speaking test.

If you prepare well for the Listening section, it will put you in a better position when you start your study or work abroad as you will be able to communicate with people from different parts of the world more easily.

In the Speaking test, test takers can speak in whatever accents they feel comfortable with. Examiners award a band score for each of the four criterion areas: Fluency and Coherence, Lexical Resource, Grammatical Range and Accuracy and Pronunciation.

Try out our free online practice material, ‘Road to IELTS’ to familiarise yourself with some of the different accents used in the test - www.ieltsasia.org/ph/prepare/road-to-ielts

07

For the speaking test, I will perform worse facing an examiner than talking to a computer.

 

Past test takers would disagree. They think that it is more natural talking face to face with someone than talking to a computer. If you missed the question, you can clarify it with the examiner and your speech will flow more naturally when you are interacting with someone rather than speaking to a computer.

08

For the writing test, I will lose marks if I write more than the word limit.

 

This is not true. The reason why you are given a word limit is to help you better manage your time so you do not spend all your time on one task and end up having insufficient time to attempt the second task. You will not lose marks for going over the word limit. 

09

I will get a lower score with American spelling in the IELTS test.

 

As long as the spelling is correct, both American spelling and UK spelling are accepted.

 

FAQs for the computer-delivered IELTS test

Questions Answers
General
Which test is best for me?

This comes down to your personal preference.

Some test takers prefer paper-based exams as this might feel similar to other exam situations from school, whereas others might feel more comfortable typing answers.

Information on both test formats is available here. Please contact your test centre if you would like to discuss either option.

Does the computer-delivered test cover the same content as a paper-based version? The computer-delivered test will cover the Listening, Reading and Writing components. The test will be the same as the paper-based IELTS version in terms of content, scoring, level of difficulty and question types. The Speaking test will still be conducted by a certified IELTS Examiner.
Is the test marked by a computer or by a person? The IELTS Reading and Listening sections are marked automatically by the computer, while the Writing and Speaking sections continue to be graded by trained Examiners.
Is the computer-delivered test easier because it is marked by a computer? There is no difference in the difficulty of the tests because the assessment criteria are the same for both the computer-delivered and paper-based IELTS.
Is the computer-based IELTS harder than the paper-based IELTS? No, it isn’t. The computer-delivered test will cover the Listening, Reading and Writing components. The test will be the same as the paper-based IELTS version in terms of content, scoring, level of difficulty and question types. The Speaking test will still be conducted by a certified IELTS Examiner.
I heard that in the TOEFL test, the speaking session is conducted with the help of a computer. Is the computer-delivered IELTS speaking test done in the same way?

No, it isn’t. The IELTS Speaking test is conducted by a certified Examiner, enabling real-life, two-way interaction.

The Speaking test will remain face-to-face, as we believe it is the most effective way of assessing speaking skills and encourages more realistic performance from test takers. 

Provision of special requirements
I think I need special arrangements for me to take IELTS. Can I still sit the computer-delivered test? We have a number of options available to support special requirements through our paper-based format. Test takers with special requirements are encouraged to contact their local British Council office to assess their needs and discuss if the computer-delivered test is suitable.
Can I bring my own laptop or keyboard? No, unfortunately not. There is no need to bring your own keyboard or laptop as all equipment is provided by the test centre. No other equipment is permitted.
Test availability
Will there be more IELTS sessions available now with the introduction of computer-delivered tests?

Initially there will be a maximum of one computer-delivered IELTS session available per day in a limited number of test centres.

Increased frequency and availability of IELTS will be introduced throughout 2018. Please check with your local IELTS test centre or here for more detailed information.

Is the computer-delivered IELTS available on demand? The computer-delivered IELTS is not available on demand at present. Registration for the computer-delivered IELTS follows the same procedure as the paper-based IELTS.
Is the computer-delivered IELTS more widely available than PTE and/or TOEFL IBT? Please view the test date and location details here  for more information on test availability.
Test preparation
What practice materials are available?

Please view the materials available here, which provides a clear overview of the computer-delivered test and how it works.

There are also practice materials available at here. As the questions and tasks on the computer-delivered test are the same as the paper-based test, this material is suitable for all test takers.

Test comparison
How does the computer-delivered IELTS compare to PTE and/or TOEFL IBT?

With IELTS, test takers can feel confident they are sitting the world’s most popular high-stakes English language test for study, work and migration.

IELTS is trusted by 10,000 organisations worldwide for its fairness, reliability and high-quality standards. This remains the case for both computer-delivered and paper-based tests.

Why isn’t IELTS fully computerised, like PTE and TOEFL? With IELTS, you deal with real people. Face-to-face testing helps test takers develop English skills in the context in which they’ll be used. The IELTS Speaking test is delivered by a certified examiner, enabling real-life, two-way interaction.
Test results
Does the computer-delivered IELTS mean I’ll get my results sooner? If you take the computer-delivered IELTS test then you will receive your results five to seven days after you complete the last section of your test.
Price
Which test is more expensive? IELTS strives to offer the same test experience to all of its test takers regardless of where he/she takes the test. Please verify the price for your chosen test session before you complete your registration.