IELTS easy?

Old Oct 10th 2020, 2:52 pm
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Default IELTS easy?

Hi forgot to add this question to my previous post, but I was wondering if as a Brit you found the IELTS exam easy? Easy enough to get scores that will give you the highest CRE score anyway.

thanks for any help.

Last edited by Benson1999; Oct 10th 2020 at 3:03 pm.
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Old Oct 10th 2020, 3:28 pm
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Default Re: IELTS easy?

Originally Posted by Benson1999 View Post
Hi forgot to add this question to my previous post, but I was wondering if as a Brit you found the IELTS exam easy? Easy enough to get scores that will give you the highest CRE score anyway.

thanks for any help.
Honestly - not a walk in the park as it may seem. I'm Early 30s, left school at 16, but being fully honest would say I was above average intelligence (12 GCSE's all A-C), currently work in a job which involves plenty of well worded emails and publications. Sat the IELTS twice, scored 9,9,9 for speaking, listening and reading, however only got a 6.5 in writing.

The following time I got 8.5 speaking, 9 for listening and reading, and again only scored a 6.5 in writing.

The writing tasks are easy, however they want you to write a certain way and demonstrate using certain sentence styles, paraphrase what you have just said earlier on etc. Granted i didn't put as much prep into it as i should have done. I did practice a reasonable amount for the second test and didn't get a better result, although I didn't have anyone check my work etc, to see if the improvements were effective.

The other thing which I feel hampered me was it was a written test, as opposed to typed (believe this is starting to change), you have to use their pen/pencil and you are treated worse than a prisoner the whole day when completing the test in the UK (I know someone who sat IELTS in Bali, and the experience was nicer) so by the time i was 6 hours into being locked up with no phone, no food and having orders barked at me in broken english it probably wasn't the time for me to ace a test.

On the flip side i got my results whilst sat waiting to board a plane to Canada for my CofQ exam, I booked a CELPIP test for less than 48 hours later, 300 miles from were i was staying, drove there sleep deprived with about 4 minutes prep, was a nice relaxed experience and got CLB scores of 12,12,11.5,9.5 (which was only just below the maximum scores for CRS points).

That being said many folk with English as a second language get much higher scores than I got, so working towards passing the test for a few months rather than actually being highly literate should mean with it being your native tongue - you should be able to get a high score, just don't think you'll get through it without working at it (On my first test some lads had been sent by a consultancy they were using, aside from not understanding the immigration process, they had no idea what they were doing, and had just been told " go here, do your english test, when you pass we'll get you in the country").
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Old Oct 10th 2020, 3:48 pm
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Default Re: IELTS easy?

Originally Posted by Stumpylegs View Post
Honestly - not a walk in the park as it may seem. I'm Early 30s, left school at 16, but being fully honest would say I was above average intelligence (12 GCSE's all A-C), currently work in a job which involves plenty of well worded emails and publications. Sat the IELTS twice, scored 9,9,9 for speaking, listening and reading, however only got a 6.5 in writing.

The following time I got 8.5 speaking, 9 for listening and reading, and again only scored a 6.5 in writing.

The writing tasks are easy, however they want you to write a certain way and demonstrate using certain sentence styles, paraphrase what you have just said earlier on etc. Granted i didn't put as much prep into it as i should have done. I did practice a reasonable amount for the second test and didn't get a better result, although I didn't have anyone check my work etc, to see if the improvements were effective.

The other thing which I feel hampered me was it was a written test, as opposed to typed (believe this is starting to change), you have to use their pen/pencil and you are treated worse than a prisoner the whole day when completing the test in the UK (I know someone who sat IELTS in Bali, and the experience was nicer) so by the time i was 6 hours into being locked up with no phone, no food and having orders barked at me in broken english it probably wasn't the time for me to ace a test.

On the flip side i got my results whilst sat waiting to board a plane to Canada for my CofQ exam, I booked a CELPIP test for less than 48 hours later, 300 miles from were i was staying, drove there sleep deprived with about 4 minutes prep, was a nice relaxed experience and got CLB scores of 12,12,11.5,9.5 (which was only just below the maximum scores for CRS points).

That being said many folk with English as a second language get much higher scores than I got, so working towards passing the test for a few months rather than actually being highly literate should mean with it being your native tongue - you should be able to get a high score, just don't think you'll get through it without working at it (On my first test some lads had been sent by a consultancy they were using, aside from not understanding the immigration process, they had no idea what they were doing, and had just been told " go here, do your english test, when you pass we'll get you in the country").
I’d like to say I’m I’m the same intelligence wise and I am the same GCSE wise. I always did hate the writing tests though in school it’s always about finding out how they want it answered rather than how good your writing is.

I’ll definitely have to brush up on writing I’ve seen a few YouTube videos explaining how to up your writing score so maybe that’s a good idea.

the other test you mentioned sounds a lot better I would just prefer to have everything sorted before I head over there. Appreciate the help!
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Old Nov 29th 2020, 10:13 am
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Default Re: IELTS easy?

I imagine you already took your test but just for anyone interested in the future, I sat the IELTS last weekend with my French husband. I went to a really good university, always top marks at school, mensa member (although I hate admitting that!) but only got 8.5 on all my tests. I sat it at the same time as my French husband and he is better in English than me sometimes - doesn't have a French accent, has lived in the UK for 8 years and Canada for 2, reads a book a week. He actually beat me on speaking (he had a different examiner) but didn't do great on his other tests - 7.5 for listening, 7.0 for writing and 8.0 for reading. These scores are ok actually but we're quite academic / competitive

We discussed it after - what we found difficult and how we approached everything and I think our advice would be:

Listening
- They only play the sample once. It was pretty easy but they are trying to make sure the listener doesn't just hear the word cake and write it down so they'll say things like "he does not like cake although he loves cheese' - and the answer is actually cheese.
- For us, it really ramped up on the last question. They played a lot of information about opinions by different authors and there was a list of 'summaries' of their opinions and you had to match them up. Because it was so quick, by the time you had read through the list, found the correct one, you'd already missed the next information. So if I did it again, I would scribble down notes for that question and do the exercise at the end.

Reading
We both found this one ok but, as above, they are trying to make sure you understand the question and the text so it may have some misleading elements. I would advise as a native English speaker it's best to just go with your gut. A few questions I kept reading them over and over (there was loads of time leftover - I drew a whole picture on my notes!) and thinking 'ahh but are they trying to trip me up here' and I don't think they were.

Speaking
I was bit thrown by this. There was no chit chat beforehand and it went straight into it. It is as you expect, they settle you in with a few obvious questions and then give you a topic to discuss. My husband had one that related to him (using a foreign language for the first time and then sport) and he said it was just like having a chat. But mine, possibly because they knew I was English was quite a strange topic. I think my loss of points (bearing in mind the description of 9 is 'clearly understands and can express themselves as though they are a native speaker' which I am) was that I wasn't enthused by my topic so I spoke about it for a while but ran out of things to really say about it and so had to bumble a few additional things together with a few mmm's here and there. They give you a sheet with the topic and three bullet points of things they want you to include and I also only very briefly mentioned one of them because I thought it was more suggested to help you out and she actually prompted me to discuss it.

Writing
So this is the one my husband was confident on and then got 7. I wrote for ages and got 8.5. It will be split into two parts: a shorter writing exercise (ours was a letter) and a longer exercise. I think the important thing is structure. So the second one is 'some people think this, some people think that - explain each side and give your own opinion'. If you remember back to religious education at school, they teach you to answer questions in this way so that's how I approached it. I started with an introduction summarising the topic and opinions, gave the reasons 'for', gave the reasons 'against' and then gave a conclusion stating my own opinion on the matter and how it linked to the arguments I'd discussed. My husband said he did similar but he wrote a lot less than me and he said he tried to focus on using as many big words as he could and trying to impress them with how well he wrote rather than thinking too much about the structure.

Hope that helps someone in the future! FYI - we did no prep until the day before when I listened to a few samples for half an hour on the IELTS website.
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Old Nov 29th 2020, 10:37 am
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Default Re: IELTS easy?

Originally Posted by Rhe View Post

Hope that helps someone in the future!
won’t be going through the process for another two years I’d say but just trying to gather information for it beforehand.

I appreciate the answer I think I’ll definitely have to do a lot of practice before I sit it.
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Old Nov 29th 2020, 6:54 pm
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Default Re: IELTS easy?

There's a lot of practice material available online - just remember it's the General IELTS you will need to take, not the Academic one.

https://ieltscanadatest.com/prepare-...tests-general/
https://ieltscanadatest.com/prepare-for-ielts/
https://www.britishcouncil.ca/exam/ielts/prepare
https://takeielts.britishcouncil.org/take-ielts/prepare
You can now take a computer delivered IELTS test https://takeielts.britishcouncil.org...s/how-it-works
https://takeielts.britishcouncil.org...practice-tests

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Old Nov 29th 2020, 9:41 pm
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Default Re: IELTS easy?

Originally Posted by Rhe View Post
I imagine you already took your test but just for anyone interested in the future, I sat the IELTS last weekend with my French husband. I went to a really good university, always top marks at school, mensa member (although I hate admitting that!) but only got 8.5 on all my tests. I sat it at the same time as my French husband and he is better in English than me sometimes - doesn't have a French accent, has lived in the UK for 8 years and Canada for 2, reads a book a week. He actually beat me on speaking (he had a different examiner) but didn't do great on his other tests - 7.5 for listening, 7.0 for writing and 8.0 for reading. These scores are ok actually but we're quite academic / competitive
Thats one hell of a score for writing - especially with little to no prep!

In what country did you complete the exam? and did you complete it as a paper exercise or digital?

I found the listening ridiculously easy, reading was similar - although the first time I sat the exams, there was a large article about bird watching - and as you probably found out, the questions are often paraphrasing and using slightly different words so people with low english skills don't just match the words - but the way they had worded the question, and the article content, there was a chance it could have been 2 of the options (of course, you never know if you got the right answer, whether they were both right, or whether the the question was discounted later on when they realised how badly worded it was).

Couldn't crack writing for the life of me.

As for speaking - its a strange experience, but the one thing that's easy to forget, is your answer doesn't need to be truthful, it just needs to be relevant, cohesive and show you've answered the question. My first test I was given - "give the name of someone who has impacted climate change positively, and reasons why they have done so" and given the 60 seconds to prepare - I had a mind bank and talked about Sadiq Khan increasing public transport, fare freezes and the ULEZ for 80 seconds before running out of things to say and using a lot of "erm" and repeating myself. I should have spent the last 40 seconds talking about how he was installing a hydroelectric damn upstream on the Thames, and putting treadmills in Battersea dogs home to provide power back to the grid.
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Old Nov 30th 2020, 3:08 am
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Default Re: IELTS easy?

I scored pretty low in writing as well, like many others here are saying. I actually paid to have them re-asses the score since I'm a pretty confident writer. Then it magically went up two points which is pretty darn significant. I don't have much faith in their marking criteria tbh.
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Old Nov 30th 2020, 4:57 am
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Default Re: IELTS easy?

Interesting to read that part 2 of the writing test counts for more points than part 1 - I recommend using the British Council practice tests
https://takeielts.britishcouncil.org...neral-training
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Old Nov 30th 2020, 8:49 pm
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Default Re: IELTS easy?

I took the computer based test at the start of November. Would definitely recommend doing practice tests even if just to learn the format. There are loads online outside the official ones.

I kept getting pretty average scores in the listening and reading and on checking the answers realised I was making some pretty silly mistakes.

I agree the speaking is a bit odd and it wasn't very clear if the test had started or not! Listening can be a bit tricky as its easy to get a bit muddled if you miss an answer and start to panic a bit so I practiced that the most.

I practiced for about 2 weeks in total and scored 8.5 in the listening, speaking and writing and 9 in the reading.
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