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American Short Stories
ESP (English for Specific Purposes)
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WHAT IS IELTS?
IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is now the world's leading test; designed to assess whether candidates are ready to study, train or work where English is the language of communication. Over 1,7 million candidates take it each year. It is recognised by more than 7,000 organisations including educational institutions, employers, professional associations and governments, in 135 countries around the world and accepted in the USA by more than 3000 institutions and programs. It is a prerequisite when applying for immigration to Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United Kingdom.
IELTS is jointly managed by British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and the University of Cambridge Examinations (Cambridge ESOL).
THE TYPE OF IELTS YOU SHOULD TAKE
You can choose between the Academic or General Training module. Each module tests four language skills through the Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking components. There is a difference between the Academic and General Training Reading and Writing, while the Listening and Speaking components are the same for both modules.
The Academic module assesses whether a candidate is ready to study or train in English at an undergraduate or postgraduate level. It is widely accepted in the UK and many other countries, including the USA.
General Training is not designed to test the full range of formal language skills required for academic purposes, but emphasizes the skills needed in broad social and educational context. It is suitable for candidates who are going to English speaking countries to complete their secondary education, undertake work experience or training programmes not at a degree level; and for immigration purposes to Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
IELTS Global Recognition System
can tell you exactly which organisations accept IELTS and the scores they require.
If you are still unsure of which module to take, please contact our Examinations Services.
IELTS - HINTS AND TIPS
Read instructions carefully, don’t just glance at them. They are not always the same as in practise or previous tests.
Often the speaker will give you an answer and then correct themselves-watch out for this. It’s a common trick.
Try and anticipate what the speaker will say. This requires concentration-easy in your own language, but more difficult in English.
Remember if you want a high score you should aim to get all questions in parts one and two correct. Don’t make any careless mistakes in the easier sections.
Although there are not that many IELTS books on the market other Cambridge exam preparation materials can provide valuable practise such as FCE and CAE preparation books.
Small errors can lead to low score such as spelling, omitting 's' or incomplete times.
Don’t panic if you think the topic is too difficult or the speaker is too fast. Relax and tune in.
Read, write and listen at the same time. Tricky but practise!
Don’t leave blanks, you might as well guess you won’t be penalised.
Leave a question if you can’t answer. To spend a long time on one answer is disastrous. Go back later if you have time and guess if you have too.
Don’t panic if you don’t know anything about the passage. All the answers are in the passage and you don’t need any specialist knowledge.
Remember you have no extra time to transfer your answers, many candidates think because they have extra time in listening they are able to do this in reading too. You can’t.
Before the exam read as widely as possible e.g. Newspapers, magazines, journals. Don’t limit yourself to one type of text and read articles with an academic style where possible.
Look at ways paragraphs are organised.
Try and predict content of paragraph from the opening sentence.
Give a paragraph you read an imaginary heading
Don’t concentrate on words you don’t know. It is fatal and wastes valuable time.
Careless mistakes cost many marks. Copy the answer correctly if it is in the passage.
Only give one answer if that is all that’s needed.
Be careful with singular/plural.
Highlight/circle key words
Clearly divide paragraphs
Don’t repeat ideas in a different way.
Stick to the topic.
Careful with timing-don’t rush Task 2, it’s longer and carries more weight.
Paragraph simply with one idea in each paragraph.
Avoid informal language.
Learn to recognise how long 150 words is in your handwriting. You don’t really have time to count.
Get used to always spending several minutes re-reading and correcting your essays.
Don’t memorise model answers, they won’t fit the question and you will make more careless mistakes.
It tests your ability to communicate effectively not just your grammatical accuracy
Don’t learn chunks of answers. The examiner is trained to spot this and will change the question.
Develop your answers as much as possible.
Speak more than the examiner.
Ask for clarification if necessary.
Remember it is not a test of knowledge and there is no single answer, but ensure that you give your opinion. Don’t worry if you feel it is not sophisticated enough.
The areas covered are fairly predictable and not infinite so practise at home recording ideas onto a tape recorder.
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