IELTS REVIEW PROGRAM
The Greater Heights IELTS Review Program is a course that offers intensive preparation to aid professionals and non-professionals to ace the IELTS examination. The course offering is client-centred as it begins with a diagnostic examination that serves to identify the reviewer’s strong and weak points concerning the English language.
Students can access the course in their own time and schedule. They can also monitor their performance as they progress through the program, allowing them to focus more on areas needing reinforcement.
IELTS Review by Greater Heights not only sharpens one’s English abilities but also opens the door for more opportunities that cater to the personal and professional needs of clients worldwide.
The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) an international standardized of English language proficiency, designed to assess the language ability of candidates who want to study or work where English is the language of communication.
IELTS is recognized by more than 7,000 institutions in over 135 countries worldwide, including universities, employers, professional bodies, immigration authorities and other government agencies.
It is jointly managed by University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations, the British Council and IDP Education Pty Ltd, and was established in 1989.
Academic Version and the General Training Version
• Academic – Institutions of Higher and Further Education
The Academic format is intended for those who want to study or train in an English-speaking university or Institutions of Higher and Further Education. Admission to undergraduate and postgraduate courses is based on the results of the Academic test. It is also intended for professionals such as medical doctors and nurses who want to study or practice in an English-speaking country.
• General Training – for school, work or migration
The General Training format is typically for those who are going to English-speaking countries to do secondary education, work experience or training programs. The General Training format focuses on basic survival skills in broad social and workplace contexts. People migrating to Australia, Canada and New Zealand must sit the General Training test.
IELTS test structure
• The first three modules – Listening, Reading and are completed in one day, and in fact are taken with no break in between. The Speaking Module may be taken, at the discretion of the test centre, in the period seven days before or after the other Modules.
• The tests are designed to cover the full range of ability from non-user to expert user.
• Timing: 30 mins (plus 10 mins transfer time)
• Questions: 40 questions
• Test Parts: 4 sections
Each section begins with a short introduction telling the candidates about the situation and the speakers. Then they have some time to look through questions. The first three sections have a break in the middle allowing candidates to look at the remaining questions. Each section is heard only once
• Timing: 60 minutes
• Questions: 40 questions
• Test Parts: 3 sections
In the Academic module the reading test comprises three sections, with 3 texts normally followed by 13 or 14 questions for a total of 40 questions overall. The General test also has 3 sections. However the texts are shorter, so there can be up to 5 texts to read.
• Timing: 60 minutes
• Test Parts: 2 parts
In the Academic module, there are two tasks: in Task 1 candidates describe a diagram, graph, process or chart, and in Task 2 they respond to an argument. In the General Training module, there are also two tasks: in Task 1 candidates write a letter or explain a situation, and in Task 2 they write an essay.
• Timing: 11-14 minutes
• Test Parts: 3-part face-to-face oral interview with an examiner. The speaking test is recorded.
The first section takes the form of an interview during which candidates may be asked about their hobbies, interests, reasons for taking IELTS exam as well as other general topics such as clothing, free time, computers and the internet or family. In the second section candidates are given a topic card and then have one minute to prepare after which they must speak about the given topic. The third section involves a discussion between the examiner and the candidate, generally on questions relating to the theme which they have already spoken about in part 2. This last section is more abstract, and is usually considered the most difficult.
IELTS is scored on a nine-band scale, with each band corresponding to a specified competence in English. Overall Band Scores are reported to the nearest half band.
The following rounding convention applies: if the average across the four skills ends in .25, it is rounded up to the next half band, and if it ends in .75, it is rounded up to the next whole band.
|9||Expert User||Has full operational command of the language: appropriate, accurate and fluent with complete understanding.|
|8||Very Good User||Has full operational command of the language with only occasional unsystematic inaccuracies and inappropriacies. Misunderstandings may occur in unfamiliar situations. Handles complex detailed argumentation well.|
|7||Good User||Has operational command of the language, though with occasional inaccuracies, inappropriateness and misunderstandings in some situations. Generally handles complex language well and understands detailed reasoning.|
|6||Competent User||Has generally effective command of the language despite some inaccuracies, inappropriacies and misunderstandings. Can use and understand fairly complex language, particularly in familiar situations.|
|5||Modest user||Has partial command of the language, coping with overall meaning in most situations, though is likely to make many mistakes. Should be able to handle basic communication in own field.|
|4||Limited User||Basic competence is limited to familiar situations. Has frequent problems in using complex language.|
|3||Extremely Limited User||Conveys and understands only general meaning in very familiar situations.|
|2||Intermittent User||No real communication is possible except for the most basic information using isolated words or short formulae in familiar situations and to meet immediate needs.|
|1||Non User||Essentially has no ability to use the language beyond possibly a few isolated words.|
|0||Did not attempt the test||No assessable information provided at all.|
Strategies and Tips on Preparing and Taking the Examinations
Since IELTS is graded on a scale 1-9, you can start preparing for this exam even if you have only general knowledge of English. The lower level of English you have, the more you need to work to get the desired grade. However, your IELTS grade depends not only on your general level of English, but also on your awareness of different strategies and approaches to various question types used in IELTS.
There are many ways to prepare for IELTS. Some candidates choose to enroll on a special course; the others prefer taking individual lessons or study on their own. Regardless of what your way is, there are some things you should always include into your study plan to ace IELTS.
1. Choose several references – this will give you an ample amount of knowledge regarding the test format of the exam. Having several references gives you the advantage by being able to compare with other sources thus getting the maximum information from all sources, helping you improve your IELTS performance. When you know how to approach each task, you are ready to do practice tests.
2. Pay attention to vocabulary – any mistake on spelling or grammar on your answer sheets will cause a deduction to your score. It advised that you to take note of the vocabulary that you are using. There are special books which are aimed at improving your vocabulary for IELTS and it may be a good idea to use one of them if you do not have much time before the exam. However, the general recommendation is to read as many English newspapers and magazines as possible.
3. Do not forget about the grammar – It is very useful to revise it when preparing for IELTS as it will directly influence your grades in Speaking and Writing modules. If you do not have much time to prepare for the exam, the best way to find out which grammar topics you have to revise is to write some essays and ask your friends or an English teacher to check them. Your mistakes will demonstrate which grammar topics you have to work on.
4. Listen a lot – In order to prepare for the Listening module, try to listen to as many English podcasts and TV programs as possible. A great exercise is to listen to your practice tests after you have already done them. Try to listen to the recordings as many times as you need to catch all the phrases.
5. Practice and practice – The best way to develop your speaking skills is, of course, to practice. However, if you are preparing on your own, try to record yourself talking on various topics taken from the Speaking practice tests. When you are finished, listen to the recording and pay attention to your pronunciation, grammar mistakes and how detailed your answers are. You could also ask someone to listen to you, and having frequent conversations helps too!