IELTS - Anything to worry about?

Old Jan 26th 2012, 11:10 am
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Default IELTS - Anything to worry about?

Hi,

Am UK born and bred and have just booked my IELTS for March.

Just wondered how involved it is as I need to get max marks really. Is this easily achievable in anyones opinion?
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Old Jan 26th 2012, 11:13 am
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Default Re: IELTS - Anything to worry about?

Originally Posted by ste1070
Hi,

Am UK born and bred and have just booked my IELTS for March.

Just wondered how involved it is as I need to get max marks really. Is this easily achievable in anyones opinion?
It's the format of the test that can cause problems, rather than your English language ability - but even as a native English speaker it's recommended that you buy some revision materials for it. A few people on the forum have expected it to be a breeze and then been caught out by the test format and not got the required points!

A quick search will reveal threads with more info about the actual test, best of luck with it.

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Old Jan 26th 2012, 11:49 am
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Default Re: IELTS - Anything to worry about?

Originally Posted by christmasoompa
It's the format of the test that can cause problems, rather than your English language ability - but even as a native English speaker it's recommended that you buy some revision materials for it. A few people on the forum have expected it to be a breeze and then been caught out by the test format and not got the required points!

A quick search will reveal threads with more info about the actual test, best of luck with it.

Thanks for that. There appears to be quite a few resources available with regards to the test, sample questions etc so I will get revising. Thanks again.
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Old Jan 26th 2012, 3:02 pm
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Default Re: IELTS - Anything to worry about?

My parents went through the skilled worker program in 2009-11 and queried the rationale of doing a test on english proficiency when they had always lived in a country speaking english, all their immigration dealings had been conducted in english and that it was their native (and only) language.

They didn't have to bother with it in the end.
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Old Jan 26th 2012, 3:14 pm
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Default Re: IELTS - Anything to worry about?

Originally Posted by orly
My parents went through the skilled worker program in 2009-11 and queried the rationale of doing a test on english proficiency when they had always lived in a country speaking english, all their immigration dealings had been conducted in english and that it was their native (and only) language.

They didn't have to bother with it in the end.
That doesn't help the OP though, as he does have to do it! The rules have changed since then and now it's mandatory for all FSW applicants, regardless of their nationality.

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Old Jan 26th 2012, 3:15 pm
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Default Re: IELTS - Anything to worry about?

Originally Posted by christmasoompa
That doesn't help the OP though, as he does have to do it! The rules have changed since then and now it's mandatory for all FSW applicants, regardless of their nationality.

It seems to defy common sense as a rule.
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Old Jan 26th 2012, 3:20 pm
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Default Re: IELTS - Anything to worry about?

Originally Posted by orly
It seems to defy common sense as a rule.
Not really. There are many UKC's that barely speak English, or that have it as their second or third language, so to introduce a test for everybody across the board seems fair to me.

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Old Jan 26th 2012, 3:22 pm
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Default Re: IELTS - Anything to worry about?

Originally Posted by christmasoompa
Not really. There are many UKC's that barely speak English, or that have it as their second or third language, so to introduce a test for everybody across the board seems fair to me.

Of course, but it doesn't take much brain power to look at an application and see the obvious indicators that english won't be a problem.

ie
1) Born in the UK
2) Always lived there
3) Educated in english in British schools
4) Worked entire life in UK
5) Completed application in english
6) Supplied proof of qualifications, usually involving an english GCSE or above

etc

I'm currently planning to get married to a canadian and do a spousal sponsorship. I'll be unimpressed if they're looking for "proof" I can communicate in english after supplying a fully completed application...in english!
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Old Jan 26th 2012, 3:41 pm
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Default Re: IELTS - Anything to worry about?

Originally Posted by orly
Of course, but it doesn't take much brain power to look at an application and see the obvious indicators that english won't be a problem.

ie
1) Born in the UK
2) Always lived there
3) Educated in english in British schools
4) Worked entire life in UK
5) Completed application in english
6) Supplied proof of qualifications, usually involving an english GCSE or above
But even with all the above, English may still not be their first language - they may not speak it at home etc.

Being born in the UK is no indicator of English ability, as their family may speak no English at all. Being educated in a British school may not mean they were educated in English either, and the completed application in English could well have been done by somebody else for them (immigration consultant or even just a friend).

Before the IELTS result was required, you used to have to write a letter to demonstrate your language proficiency, but that was easily forged, hence the test requirement.

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Old Jan 26th 2012, 3:44 pm
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Default Re: IELTS - Anything to worry about?

Originally Posted by orly
Of course, but it doesn't take much brain power to look at an application and see the obvious indicators that english won't be a problem.

ie
1) Born in the UK
2) Always lived there
3) Educated in english in British schools
4) Worked entire life in UK
5) Completed application in english
6) Supplied proof of qualifications, usually involving an english GCSE or above

etc

I'm currently planning to get married to a canadian and do a spousal sponsorship. I'll be unimpressed if they're looking for "proof" I can communicate in english after supplying a fully completed application...in english!
But you could be a Scouser or Geordie and one could argue that they dont speak English very well
As pointed out the test was introduced for fairness rather than penalising.
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Old Jan 26th 2012, 5:17 pm
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Default Re: IELTS - Anything to worry about?

It is useless to continue this argument. The requirement is clear and unavoidable if unfortunate for mother tongue speakers. I had to take it for a licence although I am also a well-educated mother tongue speaker of English.
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Old Jan 26th 2012, 8:45 pm
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Default Re: IELTS - Anything to worry about?

Originally Posted by ste1070
Hi,

Am UK born and bred and have just booked my IELTS for March.

Just wondered how involved it is as I need to get max marks really. Is this easily achievable in anyones opinion?
Hi
You need to study ,study and study.
I was 2 points short when I sat test 1st time.
Resat 1 year later and got 16 points.
Its not easy especially the listening part you have to listen hard
and not miss anything.
We are waiting for our meds as fsw going to nanaimo.
Regards
Derek
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Old Jan 28th 2012, 3:34 pm
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Default Re: IELTS - Anything to worry about?

Originally Posted by Former Lancastrian
But you could be a Scouser or Geordie and one could argue that they dont speak English very well
As pointed out the test was introduced for fairness rather than penalising.
Australia has used the language test for a long time and been much more successful in filtering out candidates with poor English. Canada seems to have latched on to using the test rather late and has already admitted large numbers of immigrants with very poor English who have taken advantage of previous weakness in the system. Native English speakers should see the English test as an opportunity rather than a problem.
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Old Jan 30th 2012, 5:59 pm
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Default Re: IELTS - Anything to worry about?

I sat this test back in September. It's not difficult... but the setting is very much that of a formal exam, so if you haven't sat in an exam environment recently then you may get "brain freeze"!

It a number of separate tests back to back:

Listening - a formal recording that you listen to and write answers.. not difficult provided you don't have "panic exam brain freeze" and can pay attention!

Reading - A mixture of different reading and comprehension skills, again not difficult but you do need to read it properly.

Writing - You have to write a letter (mine was to pretend to apply for a job) and then an essay. My problem here was running out of time to check my spelling and grammar properly - work neatly and fast!

This lot takes just over 2 hours which is a long time to be sat in a classroom...

You then have the verbal interview where they ask you weird questions and you have to do your best to answer clearly and showing good use of the English language.

I got 8.5 out of 9 overall - pulled down only because of the spelling in my written tests (when will someone invent a pen with a built in spell checker!!)

Hope this helps!
Good luck!

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Old Feb 6th 2012, 5:17 pm
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Default Re: IELTS - Anything to worry about?

Originally Posted by ste1070
Hi,

Am UK born and bred and have just booked my IELTS for March.

Just wondered how involved it is as I need to get max marks really. Is this easily achievable in anyones opinion?
I agree with previous commentors, you really need to look at practise materials. I just took mine and got 9.0 overall but my writing is where I fell down slightly, not because I can't write but because they have a required format for one question (defending a point) in which they want a clear introduction, argument for and against the point, and a summary paragraph. The listening also has special 'rules,' e.g. instead of writing an answer as 'exercise for good health,' they just want 'exercise' or whatever.

I had a look through this site beforehand and found it useful (plus it's free): http://www.ielts-exam.net/

Cat
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