IELTS Exam General Information

A free video tutorial from Keino Campbell, Esq.
TOEFL iBT and IELTS Specialist
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IELTS Exam General Information

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IELTS Band 7+ Complete Prep Course

Major Keys to Success

93:03:51 of on-demand video • Updated March 2024

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Academic and General Exam Strategies and Tactics
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English [CC]
Instructor: Okay, in this video lecture, we're gonna be going over the IELTS format. We're going to give you a really good understanding of the exam setup so that you're very well prepared and know what's coming. Now, when it comes to the format, there are just a few things you need to understand, and then after we explain this to you, we can move into the very specific strategies that are going to lead to your success. On the IELTS exam, there are four equally graded parts that are scored zero to nine on a rubric. Now, in terms of the structure of the exam, when you go into the exam center, you're going to first take the listening section, then reading and writing, which will all occur on the same day. Now, when it comes to the speaking section, this can either come or it can happen one to five days before your listening, reading and writing, or it can happen one to two days after, but it's never going to be on that exact same day as your listening, reading and writing, or I should say, it would rarely happen. It has happened, but it's very, very rare that that happens. Now, it's important for you to understand that the IELTS exam is a test of your English ability, not your intelligence. It's not a test of student intelligence. They're not trying to see how smart you are. They want to know, what is your English ability? Is it very advanced, intermediate? Is it university level? They want to know your English ability, and that's really important to understand, because a lot of students fail to keep improving their English while they're trying to study IELTS strategies and tactics. Now, in terms of the test sections, there's the listening section, which comes up first, and that is 40 total questions. 30 minutes for the test, 10 minutes to transfer your answers. Then you have four alternating sections, and what I mean by that is you have conversations and solo presentations. The questions are either going to be multiple choice or fill the blank, some form of that, some form of multiple choice or fill the blank. Now, when it comes to the reading section, you also have 40 questions and you're given 60 minutes. You have three sections, so basically you have 20 minutes to finish one reading passage, and in general, typically, the reading section passages get progressively more difficult, so reading passage three is a lot more difficult than reading passage number one, so you need to keep that in mind when it comes to your timing. Now, there are 14 basic question types. Some question types they really don't focus on anymore, and throughout this course, we'll kind of point that out to you. Now, some questions go in order, others don't go in order, and when we get into the reading section of this course, we will point that out to you. because that's really, really important information. Now, when it comes to the writing section, if you're doing the academic test, you're going to have task number one, which is going to be a chart, graph, diagram, or process. If you're doing the general test, your task number one is going to be a letter. It will either be a formal or informal letter type. Now, for the academic and the general, they both have task number two, which is a standard essay. Now, moving on to the speaking section, there are three parts to the speaking section. Section one is a short live interview with the examiner, section two is a two minute solo presentation in front of the examiner, and part number three or section three are follow-up questions that have the same subject matter as part number two. Now, I have a lot of students that ask me about the differences between the academic and the general, and so this is where I'm going to kind of point some differences out to you. Most of it is exactly the same. In the academic exam, you have a listening section, reading section, writing task one, and writing task number two, and, of course, the speaking test. For the general exam, the listening section is exactly the same. The reading section is different only in terms of the difficulty of the passage. The questions are the same. Writing task number one is, of course, different. Writing task number two is the same, speaking section is the same. Next, students then like to ask me, well, what's the difference between the paper exam and the computer exam? Well, for the paper exam, you have listening, reading, writing, and speaking. The computer exam, exactly the same. Difficulty level, exactly the same. Question types, exactly the same. The results are different. Paper exam, 13 days, computer exam is going to be five to seven days. Paper exam in terms of marking and the computer exam marking is the same. Now, in terms of the skills, when students ask me questions like, which test should I do? Should I do the computer or should I do the paper test? It depends on your skillset. If you have very good computer skills, you're very comfortable with a keyboard, then you might want to take the computer-based test. If you're not, take the paper-based test. Coming up next, I'm going to be going over a course review where I'm going to give you some really just general information of what you can expect in this course. You're going to learn exactly what we have to offer and why this is the best course for you. I'll talk to you soon. Thank you very much, and I'm going to enjoy being your teacher for the IELTS exam.