Is IELTS a General Test or there is a Specific Syllabus?

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  • IELTS is designed to assess English Language skills across a wide range of levels. It is recognized and accepted by many organizations worldwide, including universities, employers, professional bodies, immigration authorities and other government agencies. It is ideally a test to assess the language ability of people who want to study or work abroad, where English is the language of communication.
  • IELTS, does not has any specific syllabus. However, there is a pattern which is generally followed for the test. As there are four components of IELTS ie. reading, listening, writing and speaking. Each component has its own pattern to be followed by the candidate appearing for the exam in Academic and General Training.
  • Writing Module:
  • For the Academic exam, in Task 1 the candidate is required to describe, summarize or compare a graph (line graph, bar graph, pie chart and Table), diagram, process (stages), flowchart or map in word limit of 150 words.
  • The source of data for these types of graphs, charts or table or map can be from anywhere.
  • For General training exam, in Task1 the candidate has to write a letter. It could be formal, Semi formal and informal.
  • In writing module, Task 2 is same for both Academic and General Training it is about formal essay writing.
  • The questions in Task2 can be related to point of view, argumentative, outlining a problem and offering solutions, highlighting advantages and disadvantages.
  • The total time is 60mins spend, 40 for Task 2 and. 20 for Task 1.
  • Listening Module: –
  • This module is same for both Academic as well as General Training candidate. It is of approximately 30 minutes (plus 10 minutes ‘ transfer time)
  • There are 40 questions. A variety of question types are used, chosen form the following: multiple choice, matching, plan/ map/ diagram labeling, form completion, note completion, table, flow, summary, sentence completion and short answer questions.
  • There are 4 sections; Section 1 is a conversation between two people and Section 2 deals with monologue set in an everyday social context.
  • Section 3 deals with a conversation between up to four people set in an educational or training context. Section 4 is a monologue on an academic subject.
  • The tape is played once only and a candidate is required to answer all 40 questions.
  • A Variety of voices and native- speaker accents are used.
  • Reading Module:
  • This module varies for Academic and General Training candidates. The duration of an exam is 60 minutes (no extra transfer time)
  • There are 40 questions. There are 3 sections for both Academic and General Training.
  • Academic module includes three long comprehensions picked up from various books, journal, magazines, and newspapers.
  • General Training module includes texts from books, magazines, newspapers, leaflets, instruction manuals, notices, advertisements, company handouts and guidelines.
  • The questions are chosen from the following – multiple choice, identifying information (True / False/ Not Given), identifying a writer’s view / claims (Yes/ No/ Not Given) sentence, summary, table, flow-chart completion, short answer questions.
  • Speaking module:
  • The structure of the exam is same for both Academic and General Training candidates, The exam is of 11-14 minutes.
  • This test evaluates a student’s ability to judge his/her English language.
  • It is divided into three parts. Part 1 deals with introduction. The examiner asks the candidate general questions on familiar topics like home, family, work, studies, interests.
  • Part 2 is about an individual long turn. The examiner gives a cue card which asks the candidate to talk about a particular topic. It also includes points which candidate can cover in cue – card. Candidates are required to prepare the same in 1 minute and then speak for 2 minutes.
  • Part 3 deals with two- way discussion. The examiner asks further questions which are connected to the topic of part2. These questions give the candidate an opportunity to discuss more abstract issues and ideas, and often require detailed answers.
  • So, IELTS is ideally a test for language assessment and does not require any specific syllabus. Only the pattern regarding the four modules has to be followed.