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Overview of the IELTS Exam


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This PPT was made for a Chinese university class whose students were mostly unfamiliar with the IELTS exam. It is intended as an introduction to the various components of IELTS and the information is taken and modified from the IELTS website.

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Overview of the IELTS Exam

  1. 1. IELTS Overview
  2. 2. Test Format Academic reading 60 minutes Academic writing 60 minutes General training reading 60 minutes General training writing 60 minutes Listening 30 minutes Speaking 11-14 minutes
  3. 3. Listening Test What you need to know about IELTS listening
  4. 4. Listening Time: 30 minutes + 10 minutes answer transfer Questions: 40 Sections: 4 Question Types: multiple choice, map labelling, form completion, sentence completion, etc
  5. 5. Example Questions
  6. 6. Listening Section 1: normal conversation between 2 people, often on the phone Section 2: one person talking in everyday context Section 3: 2-4 people talking in an academic setting Section 4: a monologue (usually a lecture) in an academic context (university)
  7. 7. Skills Assessed In this exam, you will be tested on your ability to: » Understand main ideas and specific details » Infer opinions and recognize ideas » Follow a conversation
  8. 8. Example Test Listen to the exam IELTS Listening Exam.
  9. 9. Reading Test Key facts about IELTS Reading
  10. 10. Reading Time: 60 minutes Questions: 40 Sections: 3 (up to 2,750 words) Questions types: multiple choice, T/F/NG, identifying views, matching headings, etc
  11. 11. Kinds of Text These are non-specialist reading passages taken from magazines, books, journals, and newspapers Academic topics of “general interest” Descriptive, factual, discursive, or argumentative - one will contain a “logical argument” May contain diagrams, images, etc
  12. 12. Notes If difficult words (ie technical terms) are included, a glossary is given with definition No extra time is allowed for answer transfer Each question = 1 mark
  13. 13. Example Let’s look at a PDF document from an IELTS practice test book.
  14. 14. Reading Skills Assessed You should be able to do the following: » Reading for main idea » Reading for details » Understanding subtle ideas » Recognizing opinions
  15. 15. Writing Exam What you need to know for IELTS Writing
  16. 16. Writing Time: 60 minutes Sections: 2 Word count: 150 words for task 1 250 words for task 2
  17. 17. Writing Task 1 Describe a table, chart, graph, illustration, diagram, or map. Spend about 20 minutes. Task 2 Respond to a prompt, asking for an argument or point of view, with an essay. Spend about 40 minutes.
  18. 18. Requirements You must: » Write in a formal style » Adhere to a simple structure » Answer the question directly » Stay above the minimum word count
  19. 19. Task 1 Here are some examples of what you may need to describe. In each case, you should only write about the main features, highlighting any comparisons if necessary. For Task 1, you should never give opinions or add extra details.
  20. 20. Bar Chart
  21. 21. Line Graph
  22. 22. Pie Chart
  23. 23. Table
  24. 24. Process Diagram
  25. 25. Map
  26. 26. Combination
  27. 27. Skills Assessed Your writing should show your: » Vocabulary » Grammar » Structure » Understanding
  28. 28. Speaking Key facts about IELTS Speaking
  29. 29. Speaking Time: 11-14 minutes Sections: 3 Type: Face-to-face interview, which is recorded
  30. 30. Speaking Part 1 Examiners confirms the candidate’s identity Questions are short and simple like a basic conversation Topics include home, family, work, hobbies Lasts 4-5 minutes
  31. 31. Speaking Part 2 Examiner gives a “cue card” with a task. Candidate must talk for 1-2 minutes. You have 1 minute to prepare Question is usually “describe…” something Examiner will ask one or two follow-up questions. Total time 3-4 minutes
  32. 32. Speaking Part 3 Longer discussion based upon part 2 topic Answers must be longer and more detailed Ideas can be difficult and answers should be substantial Time: 4-5 minutes
  33. 33. Example Let’s watch a video of an IELTS Speaking Exam