Everything you need to know about IELTS

If you’re looking to migrate to Australia, you might hear or see this acronym in the course of your research: IELTS. It stands for ‘International English Language Testing System‘, and it is one of the English language test accepted by Australia’s Department of Home Affairs.

Home Affairs – English Tests

Luckily for prospective Australian migrants, the Government has picked a recognized and readily accessible test. Over 3 million of them are taken each year, and it’s also recognised by most employers, organisations, associations, universities and colleges.

Q: What score will I need?

A: It really depends on the particular visa you’re going for, or the employer or organisation you’re aiming to work or study with. Check out this Australian government page for more information/ : Visa – English Test

In a nutshell, IELTS ranks your proficiency in English between 1 and 9 in four areas: speaking, writing, listening and reading, 9 being the highest grade acheivable

Find out more here – LINK

Q: Where can I take the IELTS test?

A: There are plenty (almost 50) of IELTS test locations across Australia, including at least one in every major capital. Basically, you can do the test on any Thursday or Saturday. Likewise, most countries have IELTS examination centres in most major cities. In India for example, there are close to a hundred test centres spread across the country.

IELTS examinations are conducted at around 1,200 test locations in over 140 countries/territories

Q: How should I prepare?

A: The most important thing to remember is that you really must prepare. The IELTS website has put together an information booklet that includes sample questions so make sure to check it out – LINK

Q: What if I’m a native English speaker

A: Even if you’re very confident about your English language skills, don’t take it for granted. It might be the actual test format that catches you unawares, so do consider checking out some practice materials, including past tests and the answers.

Really want to feel confident about your IELTS test before you take it?

We’ve put together a list of helpful tips:

1. Be ready for the accents

You won’t just hear a neutral accent in the listening test recordings – which you’ll only hear once, by the way. You’ll also hear American, New Zealand, British and Australian accents, so try to brush up by listening to some podcasts or Youtube channels.

2. Read the instructions

Make sure you read the instructions for each test component carefully – and if possible, twice. For instance, you might be asked to answer using two words, so using three (even if it’s still a good answer) will be wrong.

3. Practice your timing

As we’ve advised that you do some practice tests, pay attention to the time. For instance, the listening test goes for 40 minutes but you’ll only have 10 for writing down the answers. So make sure you simulate the test conditions well within the time limitations.

4. Practice, practice, practice

We’ve mentioned podcasts and Youtube channels, but you shouldn’t stop there. In your studying phase prior to taking the test, immerse yourself in magazines, newspapers and news websites. Write down short paragraphs that describe your day and stretch yourself with new and complex words in your vocabulary.

5. Find a study buddy

If you know someone who knows English better than you do, ask them if they’ll help you practice. This is particularly helpful for the speaking test because you can rehearse this component with them and then get feedback.

Want more information? IELTS has a website specifically for Australia, featuring free support tools, practice tests, really helpful tip videos (https://ielts.com.au/study-for-ielts/ielts-test-tip-videos/ and even a blog.

Check out www.ielts.org – and good luck!

Additional Resources



MIGRANT NINJA TIP – When applying for skilled migration via the points based, depending on your performance during the IELTS test components you can expect one of the following outcomes:

COMPETENT IN ENGLISH – You have achieved a score of at least 6 in each of the four test components (speaking, reading, listening and writing) POINTS GAINED – 0 (ZERO)

PROFICIENT IN ENGLISH – You have achieved a score of at least 7 in each of the four test components (speaking, reading, listening and writing) POINTS GAINED – 10 (TEN)

SUPERIOR IN ENGLISH – You have achieved a score of at least 8 in each of the four test components (speaking, reading, listening and writing) POINTS GAINED – 20 (TWENTY)

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