IELTS is an acronym for International English Language Testing System which measures ability to communicate in English across all four language skills: listening, reading, writing and speaking. It is designed for the individuals who want to study or work in countries where English is the language of communication. The test is taken every year across 120 countries in accredited centres at colleges, universities or on British Council premises.
If you want to take IELTS test your English shoud be at least at the Intermediate level or higher. It is not recommended for candidates under the age of 16!
The first three tests Listening, Reading and Writing must be completed in one day. No break is given between the three tests. The Speaking test may be taken at the discretion of the test centre, within seven days either before or after the other three tests.
In Slovakia you can take the IELTS exam at British Council in Bratisava every month, but do not forget that you have to register six weeks before the exam date by delivering (by mail or personally to British Council Bratislava):
1. a completely filled-in application form (which you find on British Coucil website) with two recent photos attached
2. a proof of payment
3. photocopy of the ID stated in the application form
The fee for the test is app 185 EUR.
Results are issued on 13th day after taking the test. Scores are recorded on a Test Report Form (TRF), showing overall ability as well as performance in each sub-test.
IELTS is available in two formats: Academic and General Module.
The Academic Module assesses whether a candidate is ready to study or train in the medium of English at an undergraduate or postgraduate level.
The General Training Module is suitable for candidates who are going to English-speaking countries to complete their secondary education, to undertake training programmes below degree level, to work or for immigration purposes.
While being tested you are given a booklet with answer sheets in which you have to write your answers.
The listening test lasts 30 minutes. You listen to a mixture of monologues and conversations. There are 4O questions and four sections. You hear the recording just once.
The writing tests last 60 minutes and you have two tasks to do in that time. In the first task you have to write a description of information usually given in a chart, graph, table or diagram (In General Training Writing you have to write a letter.). You have 20 minutes and have to write a minimum of 150 words. In the second task you have to write in both modules an essay in response to a statement or question. You have 40 minutes and have to write a minimum of 250 words. You should write legibly, organize the ideas, use wide rage of vocabulary and also spelling is important.
The reading test lasts 60 minutes. There are 40 questions based on three passages. The questions are of various types, e. g.: multiple choice, short-answer questions, sentence completion, identification of information in text – true, false or not, matching headlines for identified paragraphs, etc..
In Academic Reading the texts are taken from magazines, newspapers, journals, books and at least one of them contains a detailed logical argument. All the topics are of general interest. In General Training Reading there are texts taken from newspapers, magazines, advertisements, leaflets, notices, instruction manuals... and test your ability to understand and use the informaton in everyday life. There is also one longer text which is descriptive. rather than argumentative.
The speaking test takes between 11 to 14 minutes and consists of an oral interview between you and an examiner. It has three parts and is always recorded. The first part is an introduction and you answer short questions. In the second part you have to speak at length on a familiar topic and you have just one minute for preparation. The third part is a two-way discussion.