ACEC announces the availability of academic advisory services for entrance exams (SATs, GMAT, GRE etc).

IELTS is The International English Language Testing System, and it has been designed to assess English ability. It is an essential qualification for students to have if they want to go to a learning institution in the UK, or to work in an organization where English is used for communication.

Depending on which area the student wants to enter, they have two choices of course to study and exam to take. These are the Academic or General English Qualifications. Both consist of 4 parts, Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing.

Prior to taking the IELTS exam it is important that the learner has a good level of English in all components. The aim of a preparatory course is to focus on improving language, developing a better range of ideas and vocabulary to use when speaking and writing. Students will also be given the opportunity to undertake practice activities which will prepare them for the examination.

The exam for both Academic and General English consists of:

Students listen to a range of recorded texts given by native speakers, and then complete the set questions; this section takes around 30 minutes.
Academic Reading
Students read 3 long factual texts which tests comprehension skills.  They then answer questions relating to the topic. This section takes 1 hour (20 minutes per reading task).
General Training
Students read articles about everyday topics; these are taken from newspapers, magazines and advertisements. Questions relating to the subjects are then answered.
Writing – Academic
Students prepare themselves to write 2 tasks, task 1 is 150 words about a graph, diagram, chart or process. This section takes 20 minutes. Task 2 is an essay of around 250 words about a pre-set academic topic. This requires the learner to think, plan and write in a formal way in 40 minutes.
Writing – General
As with the academic task the student has 2 general interest topics to consider. Task 1 the learner will write a personal, semi-formal or informal letter requesting or explaining information given in the task. Task 2 asks the learner to write an essay giving a point of view about a situation or problem. This is written in a slightly less formal way than in the ACADEMIC writing exam. These tasks are completed in 1 hour.
This part of the test is the same for both exams; it is designed to test student’s ability to speak freely about a topic without rehearsing the responses beforehand.

Initially, the student answers general questions about themselves and familiar topics; this usually takes 4 – 5 minutes.

The next stage gives the student 1 minute to plan then talk for 2 minutes about a given topic, this is followed by answering a couple of questions given by the examiner.

The final part of the test allows the student to give more detail and opinions about the topic from task 2. This section also takes around 4 – 5 minutes.

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