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Old Apr 28th 2012, 8:12 am   #16
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Default Re: Which IELTS Test?

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While that may have been the case for you, it certainly would not have been a walk in the park for my husband. English is his first (only) language however he has difficulty with writing so would find it extremely difficult to achieve 7 in that band.
There really is nothing remarkable about my ability to read, write, speak and listen in my native tongue. It is more likely that the ones who struggle are the unusual cases and I think there is no need to scare everyone who asks about it on BE because of that. I am not suggesting that there are no exceptions, but the average literate native English speaker will not have too much trouble with IELTS.
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Old Apr 28th 2012, 11:54 pm   #17
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Default Re: Which IELTS Test?

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There really is nothing remarkable about my ability to read, write, speak and listen in my native tongue. It is more likely that the ones who struggle are the unusual cases and I think there is no need to scare everyone who asks about it on BE because of that. I am not suggesting that there are no exceptions, but the average literate native English speaker will not have too much trouble with IELTS.
I've come across a fair few very literate native English people who have struggled with IELTS - the main reasons seem to be firstly native English speakers aren't taught English with the aim of passing tests like this. Many non-native speakers learn with one goal, to pass the tests. Hence they are taught and coached towards that goal. No different to learning history, for instance, - learning it with the goal of gaining a qualification is very different to learning it by reading more accessible texts written in a more colloquial way. Secondly many people who sit for IELTS are tradies doing it purely for points. They may not ever need to write more than their name and address, they may never read anything more taxing than a trashy airport holiday novel; they may well struggle because of unfamiliarity with the type of English used. Then you have those people who simply panic or freeze under exam conditions.

I accept that many native English speakers can breeze through it, but, as I believe I've said before, I think assuming that all native speakers have the perfect & correct English skills needed is more than a little naive.
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Old Apr 29th 2012, 12:26 am   #18
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Default Re: Which IELTS Test?

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I've come across a fair few very literate native English people who have struggled with IELTS - the main reasons seem to be firstly native English speakers aren't taught English with the aim of passing tests like this. Many non-native speakers learn with one goal, to pass the tests. Hence they are taught and coached towards that goal. No different to learning history, for instance, - learning it with the goal of gaining a qualification is very different to learning it by reading more accessible texts written in a more colloquial way. Secondly many people who sit for IELTS are tradies doing it purely for points. They may not ever need to write more than their name and address, they may never read anything more taxing than a trashy airport holiday novel; they may well struggle because of unfamiliarity with the type of English used. Then you have those people who simply panic or freeze under exam conditions.

I accept that many native English speakers can breeze through it, but, as I believe I've said before, I think assuming that all native speakers have the perfect & correct English skills needed is more than a little naive.
Seriously Polly. You should see it, you don't need test skills. For example in listening they speak one or two sentences unnaturally slowly and then ask a simple question on what they just said and it is mutiple choice answers! The reading test took me 15 minutes and an hour is allowed.

The odd people that have had trouble with it have historically made a massive fuss on forums about how hard it is and I think that needs to be tempered. It is a literacy test, it is not an O level. We have very high literacy rates in UK and thus my conclusion is that most would have little trouble. I would never assume that a tradie can do little more than write their own name.
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Old Apr 29th 2012, 10:21 am   #19
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Default Re: Which IELTS Test?

Speaking to a variety of potential Oz emmigrants when I did my IELTS, a common concern was "they only want swots" Not all trades need to have the same level of English, but are still highly skilled at what they do.
If I get a plumber in fixing my boiler, I want someone who will do the job efficiently and safely. I don't care that they have not gone through a highly artificial English test!
Also, if you have any level of dyslexia you are automatically going to struggle, and maybe the immigration door may be slammed, despite having the skills needed.
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Old Apr 29th 2012, 3:40 pm   #20
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Default Re: Which IELTS Test?

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Seriously Polly. You should see it, you don't need test skills. For example in listening they speak one or two sentences unnaturally slowly and then ask a simple question on what they just said and it is mutiple choice answers! The reading test took me 15 minutes and an hour is allowed.

The odd people that have had trouble with it have historically made a massive fuss on forums about how hard it is and I think that needs to be tempered. It is a literacy test, it is not an O level. We have very high literacy rates in UK and thus my conclusion is that most would have little trouble. I would never assume that a tradie can do little more than write their own name.
All I'm saying is that just because its a walk in the park for you, doesn't mean its the same for everyone. Bit like the whole visa issue - very smooth for some, a nightmare for others.
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Old Apr 29th 2012, 8:57 pm   #21
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Default Re: Which IELTS Test?

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All I'm saying is that just because its a walk in the park for you, doesn't mean its the same for everyone. Bit like the whole visa issue - very smooth for some, a nightmare for others.
Well Said Polly..
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Old Apr 29th 2012, 9:24 pm   #22
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Default Re: Which IELTS Test?

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Originally Posted by Bermudashorts View Post
Seriously Polly. You should see it, you don't need test skills. For example in listening they speak one or two sentences unnaturally slowly and then ask a simple question on what they just said and it is mutiple choice answers! The reading test took me 15 minutes and an hour is allowed.

The odd people that have had trouble with it have historically made a massive fuss on forums about how hard it is and I think that needs to be tempered. It is a literacy test, it is not an O level. We have very high literacy rates in UK and thus my conclusion is that most would have little trouble. I would never assume that a tradie can do little more than write their own name.
Bermuda, you are seriously wrong with this one. It is not easy for both native and non-native speakers. My two sons are very intelligent and hold very responsible jobs, but, they are both dyslexic! They would never ever be able to achieve a 7 across all 4 never mind an 8. Also, having sat the test myself and having my education delivered in English and studied for an English degree at Liverpool University I can seriously say people do not make a fuss about it. if you remember when you studied for yours you had to conform to what was expected for IELTS which is totally different to anything that is studied in English schools.
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Old Jul 24th 2012, 10:08 pm   #23
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Default Re: Which IELTS Test?

Thanks for the amazing debate everyone!

I finally did the General Test and it was a bit tricky in places.
The key for me was to use the online pre-test information that was sent through by IELTS when I applied for the test, which amounted to about 30hrs worth of material.
This helped refresh the things I had learned a long time ago, and I got good marks because of it.

That's the next step completed. Now to wait for a case officer for the visa application........

Thanks again for the replies, it was really useful.

Ben.
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Old Jul 27th 2012, 10:21 am   #24
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Default Re: Which IELTS Test?

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The key for me was to use the online pre-test information that was sent through by IELTS when I applied for the test, which amounted to about 30hrs worth of material.
This helped refresh the things I had learned a long time ago, and I got good marks because of it.
Would you be able to share the online pre-test information? I'm doing the IELTS on the 4th of August and just got the last confirmation email today. But I don't find the information you are referring to!

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That's the next step completed. Now to wait for a case officer for the visa application........
Good luck with the visa application :-)
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